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January 27, 2004

Social style

I am an Analytical Analytical. Or at least that is how my peers at work see me. I'm afraid they are right.

What the heck am I talking about? Recently, I took the Working Styles course offered at work- a one day session to learn about the four different categories that typify how people generally interact socially. The thought being that armed with this knowledge you can tailor your approach when working with people to be considerate of their social comfort zone.

There are four styles: driver (D), expressive (E), amiable (M), and analytical (A). Here's a bad ASCII diagram for you:

Task directed
A | D
ask ---------- tell
M | E
People directed

What my bad diagram is trying to illustrate is that Analyticals and Drivers are task oriented, while Amiables and Expressives are more people oriented. Analyticals and Amiables are more likely to use an asking strategy ("I wonder if we should ask Joe"), and Drivers and Expressives are more likely to use a telling strategy ("Let's get started.")

To make some generalizations, drivers are results and time oriented, and value process. Expressives are often quite creative and can bring a lot of energy to a group. Amiables do not like conflict and value relationship building. Analyticals like a lot of structure, and to get all the facts so they can make logical decisions.

Each quadrant is subdivided into four other quadrants so that you may fall in various places within a quadrant. For example, a Driver Amiable is in the upper-right up the Amiable quadrant. It means that the person is primarily an Amiable, but exhibits Driver traits as well.

The Wilson Learning company has developed and administers the Social Styles survey. I gave a survey to five of my coworkers who I have worked with extensively in the past. Wilson compiles the results to tell you what your social style is.

I sent a thank you to my coworkers who were kind enough to fill out the survey for me, and also told them a little bit about what I learned in the class:

I can definitely see how Analytical Analytical describes my social style:
-perceived as a listener
-perceived as being steadfast in purpose
-unemotional and businesslike
-approach new people with deliberate caution and care; not extending yourself until comfortable, then establishing strong bongs

I can see how analytical traits belong to me:
-hates waste; desires progress
-likes to share information
-values organization
-desires validation
-approaches problems with a focus on facts and logic
-desiring to discover and solve problems

But I do not believe that belonging to that category necessarily means that I have strong analytical skills. I desire strong analytical skills, but darn, that's tough! =)

Analytical Analyticals (or any "double-double" style for that matter) are often perceived as being inaccessible or hard to relate to. But 3 of you felt that I was moderately versatile, 1 of you felt that I had strong versatility, and 1 of you felt that I had very strong versatility, meaning that I have a decent ability to help people feel comfortable when they are interacting with me.

Additionally, I like to think that I have expressive traits- I'm a dreamer, and I like to think that I am creative.

All well and good, but I got a lot of crap for typoing and saying that I like to form "strong bongs" with people instead of "strong bonds." Matt replied and said it sounds like it's time for a drug test. Brian replied and wondered where he could get some of these strong bongs. He showed up at my cube a few minutes later with a bag of Fritos. Heh.

Anyway, Analytical Analytical is a crappy, lonely place to be. Avoid it if you can. I'm trying to get out. Let me out!

Posted by tbailen at January 27, 2004 09:13 PM

Haven't finished reading this one yet, but I just love this description of your style:

"... not extending yourself until comfortable, then establishing strong bongs"

I think that describes the socialization style of many pot-heads out there. On the other hand, many find that establishing a strong bong is a good first step to making friends. :)

Posted by: Brian Reischl on January 28, 2004 10:23 PM
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