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

The Four Styles - Acting on the Golden Rule

With the natural differences among the four behavioral types in mind, pretend that you want to give four people 15-20 minutes to make three simple decisions:

1. Where the next meeting will take place
2. When it will happen
3. The theme of the meeting

Quite by accident, your group consists of one Relater, one Thinker, one Director, and one Socializer who all believe in practicing The Golden Rule. Do you think they'll get the job done? Perhaps, or perhaps not, depending on how each responds to one another in handling the simple task. Let's see why this may not work out.

As they walk into the room, the Director typically speaks first. "Here's my plan...

The Socializer says, "Hey! Who died and left you boss?"

The Thinker says, "You know there seems to be more here than meets the eye. We might want to consider some other relevant issues and break into sub-committees to explore them."

The Relater smiles and says, "We may not get this done if we don't work as a team like we have before."

If you think that I'm stacking the deck, consider putting all four of one behavioral type into the room to make those decisions. They'd get the job done, wouldn't they? Not if they follow the Golden Rule verbatim!

What do you call it when you send four Directors into the same room? War!

Or four Thinkers? Paralysis by analysis!

And four Relaters? Nothing! They sit around smiling at each other: "You go first." "No, why don't you go first. By the way, how's the family?"

When four Socializers walk out, try asking them if they've gotten the job done. "Get what done?" They've had a party and instead come out with 10 new jokes and stories.

I may be exaggerating to make a point, but in some cases, not by much. Directors tend to have the assertiveness and leadership initiative to get tasks started. They may then delegate to others for follow-through, enabling the Dominant Directors to start still other new projects that interest them more.

Thinkers typically are motivated by their planning and organizational tendencies. If we want a task done precisely, find a Thinker. Of the four types, they're the most motivated to be correct -- the quality-control experts.

Relaters have persistence and people-to-people strengths -- patience, follow-through, and responsiveness. When we have a problem, we may choose to go to a sympathetic-appearing Steady Relater because he or she listens, empathizes, and reacts to our feelings.

Socializers are natural entertainers who thrive on involvement with people. They also love to start things, but often don't finish them. In fact, they may pick up three balls; throw them in the air, and yell, "Catch!" Emotional, enthusiastic, optimistic, and friendly, Socializers usually pep up an otherwise dull environment.

Here's to more personal insight,


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