Welcome to this issue of "Dr. T's Timely Tips" by Dr. Tony Alessandra. Please send your feedback to info@alessandra.com!

Adapt your compatibility to make working with others a breeze!

When it comes to tasks -- whether it's doing a project at work, purchasing a family car, or just balancing the checkbook -- the style pairings that work well socially don't necessarily work the same when it comes to getting things done.

Their similarities can get in the way because they have the same needs. After all, to complete a task, one must have resources, rewards, time, space, and attention. However, there is only so much of those to go around.

Therefore, when those needs are not met, tension and conflict can result. When one partner feels a need to win, for instance, the other one may sense he or she has been shortchanged. The frequent outcome: resentment.

However, before getting into which pairs clash, let's look at the most naturally compatible combinations task-wise:

Thinker-Relater
Director-Relater
Socializer-Relater

See a pattern here? You bet! The Relater gets along with everybody in a task situation. He or she is the universal antidote for disharmony. It is the Relaters' most distinctive trait. They are supportive workers who exert a calming, stabilizing influence. Naturally interested in others and in making a contribution, they enjoy being productive partners. No wonder they are everybody's favorite.

The moderately compatible combinations, as far as working on tasks together, are:

Thinker-Thinker
Relater-Relater
Socializer-Thinker

Thinkers loom large in this second grouping. While not as easygoing as Relaters, they are sensitive to others' feelings and have a passion for excellence that others usually recognize.

Interestingly, Thinkers figure in many of the least compatible combinations socially, but among the highest in tasks. This suggests that others appreciate the quality and thoroughness of their work, even if the Thinkers are not always viewed as being a lot of laughs.

Last, come those combinations that are least compatible because they tend to see one another as competitors:

Director-Director
Director-Thinker
Director-Socializer
Socializer-Socializer

Director-Director combinations work fairly well socially, but when it comes to tasks, a Director's competitive nature and need for control can stymie cooperation, especially with like-minded Directors.

As for the Director-Thinker, there is a fundamental clash in the Director's need for speed and control versus the Thinker's penchant for being slower-paced and systematic.

While the Socializer-Socializer pair is among the most socially compatible, now they are likely to be the least productive as far as working together on tasks. That is because neither is motivated to deal with task details.

Similarly, Directors and Socializers also have moderately high social rapport but plummet to the lowest rungs of compatibility when tasks are involved. That is because they both tend to want to delegate.

However, do not give up yet on those whose personal style may not be a perfect fit with the situation. With some effort at understanding and applying The Platinum Rule, you can adapt your compatibility so that you can work successfully with anyone.


Here's to more personal insight,


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