Angela Person

Counselor Mentoring and Student Development

Self-Aware Student

Introduction 00

Welcome to your report!

This report is expressly designed for counselors and teachers with tailored advice for speaking to each student.  Additionally, many sections describe “common problem areas” for the student that help staff and mentors troubleshoot what is holding a student back and then provide specific action steps for the student to take for performance improvement.

 

This report It also includes activities to assist counselors and teachers in helping their students.  The activities can be done with the student or printed and handed to the student to do later in preparation for a follow up discussion.



Interaction Style Stress Management 01

How you manage and develop stress based on your interaction styles.

How do you tend to express yourself? How are you driven to interact with others? What is your natural energy and movement pattern? Your core Interaction Styles is the most easily observed aspect of your CORE since it is embodied in your communications and movements. The Berens Interaction Styles lens helps us establish rapport and greatly affects relationships of all kinds. Berens Interaction Styles is reflective of the long researched work on temperament in children as well as a deconstruction and reintegration of Social Styles and DiSC models.

Angela's Interaction Style

Get-Things-Going

Get-Things-Going
Urgent need to involve
It's worth the energy to involve everyone and get them to want to...

Angela is likely stressed by

  • Not being a part of what's going on
  • Feeling unliked or not accepted

When stressed, Angela is likely to

  • Feel scattered and panicky
  • Are overly expressive
  • Use selective avoidance

How to help Angela

  • Listen as they talk things out
  • Encourage their active participation
  • Express their own ideas, thoughts and feelings

Angela's talents when fully leveraging Get-Things-Going include

  • Make preparations
  • Discover new ways of seeing things
  • Share insights
  • Explore options
  • Facilitate
  • Catalyze and energize
  • Brainstorm ideas
  • Persuade
Interaction Style Stress Management Authors
Original work by: Linda Berens © Step Research Corporation

Problem Solving 02

How you can improve on your
 problem solving and decision making skills.


This describes how you can improve on your problem solving and decision making skills.

HOW Problem Solving is based on the two middle letters in the type code – ST, SF, NT or NF, which are of great importance to focus, motivation and interests when solving problems and making decisions. 

The Idealist - NF

"Are we solving the right problem?”

Problem Solving Strengths

  • The big picture: Has the overall contexts and values in mind. Insightful. Can often ”feel” when something is not right. Contemplates the long-term consequences and the context into which the solution must fit.
  • Creative: Thrives on big challenges and is creative and innovative. Works well in an unstructured setting. Brings many solutions to the table.
  • Flexible: Is flexible in problem solving – believes there are many ways to solve a problem. Thinks out solutions that are adaptable to new opportunities with a particular focus on strengthening human relations.
  • Values-based: Assigns value and worth to ideas and things. Seeks solutions that create the most meaning and value for people – now and in the long run. Focuses on making the world a better place.
  • Cooperative: Solves tasks well with others. Is enthusiastic and motivates and inspires others to develop their potential.
  • People in focus: Idealistic. Seeks solutions that release energy and make people grow, both individually and more widely. Focuses on the effect a solution may have on the people involved.

Problem Solving Development Areas

  • Be realistic: Examine the mundane factors which may be necessary to bring a solution to life, including economic and structural limitations. Be careful not to overlook important details or facts.
  • Use experience: Do not reinvent the wheel every time. Establish if there is experience to draw on. Keep what works well – do not change for the sake of change.
  • Focus: Hold back generating possibilities until you have collected more facts about the task at hand. Include short-term perspectives and what logically makes sense to launch right now. Be careful not to make decisions based solely on personal values and ideals
  • Objective analysis: Make an objective and logical analysis of the task. Remember to include the unpleasant facts. Keep a cool head. Put aside your ideals and concerns for people’s needs for a moment.
  • Adapt: Where appropriate, adapt the solution to what is logical and valuable right now – even if it seems unkind or too short-sighted and unambitious to you.
Problem Solving Authors
Original work by: Mette Babitzkow Boje Tina Brøndum Kristjánsson © Step Research Corporation

Staying Engaged at School 03

Becoming more self-aware can help students stay more engaged at school.

Learning Environment

Angela’s personal style means that she will tend to:
  • Gravitate toward faculty members and fellow students based on their values.
  • Want her work to be evaluated both in terms of individual circumstances and objective standards.
  • Perform better in courses with a strong connection to the needs of people.
  • Structure her response to another person’s ideas around finding points of agreement with that person’s position.

Growth Opportunities to Help Angela Shine

To expand her perspective and work more effectively with others, it can help Angela if she
  • Stops to consider the logical consequences and fairness of an idea when deciding what’s best.
  • Tries questioning the facts and rationale associated with an approach to round out her understanding of what is right.
  • Stretches her natural style to include components that are not as practiced to increase her ability to help others and make her better able to appreciate the variety of helping styles used by others.

Applying Engagement Styles to Help Angela Get Unstuck

Your dominant engagement style describes how you prefer to interact and engage with others, especially when working on a group project. Knowing your engagement style can be helpful in identifying what roles you prefer to play when interacting with your fellow students and how you can make your best contributions. Each engagement style has specific gifts that can help make group projects more successful. When an engagement style is overused, however, this can threaten a project's success.

Angela's Engagement Style:

Dynamically Explore
Advantages at School

Energetic discovery

Building enthusiasm

Dynamically Explore
Pitfalls at School

Unnecessary changes

Not completing

Activity to improve Angela’s school work

Angela risks failing to complete what she started and can get stuck in changing things for the excitement of doing something new and different. This can threaten her success in school.

Activity to improve Angela’s school work

  1. From the list below choose a strategy based on effective use of the other three Engagements Styles.
  2. Think about how this strategy could help you move past considering options for how to do your work and instead help you to complete work you started.
  3. Craft a couple of sentences where you detail what you might do differently and make a list of the potential advantages of varying your approach.
  • Organize & DirectFocusing on the new opportunities that will be available after I finish what I am working on now
  • Refine for PerfectionTweaking what has worked for me in the past
  • Carefully UnderstandMaking a plan for completing my work with a set start- and endpoint
Staying Engaged at School Authors
Original work by: Elizabeth Hirsh Katherine Hirsh © Step Research Corporation

Reducing Stress & Building Resilience 04

Each person's unique style influences the way they are affected by stress.

Each person/s unique style influences the way they are affected by stress. Helping them see where their personality supports or hinders them responding effectively to stress can go a long way toward building resilience, reducing stress and overcoming challenges.


Reducing Stress & Building Resilience

  • Caution Angela not to assume that her typical ability to wing it with any person, on any subject, is enough – preparation and thoughtfulness are important and can make a star performer stand out even more.
  • Remind Angela to watch her tendency to jump head first into new activities without considering if this is practical or sensible given her existing commitments and busy schedule.
  • Challenge Angela to balance her desire to seek interesting experiences with attention to what’s best for her on a day-to-day basis. Self-care in terms of diet, exercise, rest, etc. provides a healthy foundation upon which to pursue even more exciting experiences.
  • Help Angela leverage her natural desire to want to be in harmony with others by recognizing that it’s more thoughtful to check on how realistically possible something is before agreeing to it and/or encouraging others to participate.

Troubleshooting Common Problem Behaviors

Hiding behind the belief that "Enthusiasm is enough."

  • Tell Angela “Studying the facts, doing research, and having at least a general sense of the specifics involved shows respect for the topic and those involved as well as helping your ideas to be taken seriously.”
  • Have a discussion with Angela about her tendency to ignore key details and practical constraints, believing that the positive aspects will simply override the drawbacks.
  • Explain that different people have different strengths and Angela doesn’t have to be a detail expert but doing her part to show commitment to the nuts and bolts involved means that she will be perceived as capable and as making a valuable contribution to the process.
  • If Angela is receptive, suggest she stretches her communication muscles by taking part in courses or seminars on active listening. Angela’s goal is to act as the listener and receiver of others’ input, paying careful attention and then responding to what specifically is said (and only to what specifically is said), rather than her usual mode of offering her hunches and impressions.

Practice new skills: Homework/In-Session Activity

  1. Ask Angela to look at the list of overuse tendencies and pick out three of the items.
  2. Have Angela explore how the items she chose have adversely affected her life and what she might like to do differently instead. This can be homework or you can work on it together in the session.
  3. Suggest Angela use these prompts to record any new insights, a-ha’s and actions that could be tried.
    1. Keep track of with whom, when and under what circumstances you find yourself overdoing your style in order to improve your ability to recognize which people and situations result in overuse of your preferred strategies.
    2. Note anything that helped you to cope in stressful situations and how this might help you to expand your perspective, try new things or reach out to others more readily.

List of Overuse of Preferred Style ITEMS TO GIVE Angela – She picks 3

Angela Person

Angela may overuse her natural style and increase her stress when she:

  • Ignores her body’s signals of fatigue and carries on to the point of near collapse.
  • Assumes that the proper mood will strike and things will get done without her needing a plan or structure to keep herself on track.
  • Distracts herself by busily pursuing novel and unusual activities to avoid dealing with concrete day-to-day concerns affecting her life and her well being.
  • Looks at so many options that determining which approaches and opportunities are best becomes overwhelming.
  • Longs for an idealized future, failing to prioritize practical things that could be done now to support her wellness.
  • Presumes that others are as emotionally aware as she is and so should understand and honor her feelings in the same way she does theirs.
Reducing Stress & Building Resilience Authors
Original work by: Elizabeth Hirsh Katherine Hirsh © Step Research Corporation

Handling Conflict & Difficult People 05

This section highlights particular strategies, both effective and ineffective, that a person may rely on when faced with conflict.

Handling conflict and difficult people is a challenge for all of us. This section highlights particular strategies, both effective and ineffective, that a person may rely on when faced with conflict. It describes how overuse of certain strategies might inflame rather than reduce conflict unless the person becomes conscious of their limitations. It also enumerates the sorts of difficult people who tend to irritate them as well as the awkward situations that may evoke resistance in them. Finally, it offers tips to help you support the person in developing greater competence and professionalism in conflict resolution.


When Handling Conflict & Difficult People

  • Encourage Angela to pause to allow her normal gift of can-do optimism to re-emerge before trying to analyze the conflict.
  • Suggest that Angela process out loud and record her ideas on paper, whiteboard, or an electronic device preferably with a friend or colleague to help her reflect on the causes of the conflict.
  • Remind Angela that connecting concrete facts with people’s feelings is crucial for a full understanding of why conflict occurred and figuring out which solutions are the most practical as well as inspiring.
  • Help Angela to resist setting aside her personal values during conflict in order to secure the approval of others.
  • Help Angela to resist setting aside her personal values in order to secure the approval of others during conflict; her input may be just what’s needed to steer conflict resolution in a more caring and people-centered direction.

Troubleshooting Common Problem Behaviors

Believing what’s new is always better

  • Tell Angela “Not everyone approaches new ideas with gusto.”
  • Have a discussion with Angela to explore how her willingness to embrace almost any solution as long as it’s unique or different can be seen by others as fickle.
  • Explain that “If you want others to take the risk of doing things differently, it’s important to make it clear that they can rely on you to follow through consistently on your commitments on big issues.”

Deflecting discomfort through constant activity

  • Tell Angela “No matter how busy you try to keep yourself, negative feelings will linger until explored.”
  • Have a discussion with Angela to explore how persistently pursuing entertainment or distraction can make conflict worse because it gets in the way of taking a closer look at what’s not working and allows problems to fester.
  • Explain that “Many people use nonstop activity as a way to suppress feelings of insecurity or emotional distress that arise during conflict.”

Struggling with constraints

  • Tell Angela “Rules are designed to ensure consistency and fairness in how people are treated.”
  • Have a discussion with Angela to explore how many people equate breaking the rules with a lack of respect for the individuals, organizations or groups who established them and are therefore less likely to respect the rule-breaker.
  • Explain that “Insisting that your situation is so unique that you should be allowed to ignore official structures and procedures can appear entitled and further inflame conflict.”

Practice new skills: Homework/In-Session Activity

  1. Ask Angela to look at this list (SEE LIST BELOW) of people who might trigger her to lose her cool and pick out three items.
  2. Have Angela brainstorm possible ways of staying calm when meeting these sorts of people. This can be homework or you can work on it together in the session.
  3. As a next step or additional homework, suggest Angela record any new conflicts and reflect on them. Have Angela respond, orally or in writing, to the following prompts:
    1. “To improve your ability to recognize which people and situations trigger you, keep track of with whom, when and under what circumstances you lose your cool.”
    2. “To improve your coping skills going forward, note anything that helped you to manage your negative emotions when you couldn’t avoid dealing with these sorts of difficult people.”

List for Homework/In-Session Activity

Angela Person

Angela may be triggered to lose her cool by people who:

  • Seem pessimistic and cynical
  • Focus solely on the current reality
  • Prioritize duty over fun
  • Ignore people’s feelings
  • Appear to stifle creativity
  • Require Angela to be practical
  • Make no room for doing things differently
  • Discourage enthusiasm
  • Want to stick with the known or refuse to look at what’s possible
  • Fail to recognize Angela’s vivid imagination
Handling Conflict & Difficult People Authors
Original work by: Elizabeth Hirsh Katherine Hirsh © Step Research Corporation

Evaluating Career Options & Crafting a Career Plan 06

The career search process is not a one-size-fits-all proposition and therefore an important initial step for a person is finding an approach that works for them.

The career search process is not a one-size-fits-all proposition and therefore an important initial step for a person is finding an approach that works for them. Learning more about one’s natural decision-making style as part of a career search is an investment that will have a lifelong positive pay-off across personal and work domains.

Evaluating Career Options & Crafting a Career Plan

    A successful search process for Angela is likely to allow her to:
  • Get advice from others on where to start exploring a breadth of career options that she would find rewarding.
  • Look at her dreams, hunches, and off-the-wall ideas for clues about which career options to consider more deeply.
  • Ask herself whether the possible career choices she has identified feel right.
  • Respond to new information, chance meetings, or spontaneous opportunities that keep her career search fresh.
A “yes” answer to these four questions suggests that a particular career option might be satisfying to Angela:
  • Do people in this field value conversation, group work, and action?
  • Do people in this field value imagination, insight, and reaching toward an ideal future?
  • Do people in this field value warmth, appreciation, and relationships?
  • Do people in this field value freedom, adaptability, and openness?
feedbackIf a job or practice area doesn’t have these features, Angela will likely find it more difficult to get ahead. However, if she is aware of this and feels ready to handle the challenges that may come with her choice, she may very well make a special contribution through her unique approach to the job, practice area or field.

Practice new skills: Homework/In-Session Activity

Decision-Making Strengths and Blind Spots
  1. Show Angela the Z-Model Handout below, and call out that the processes she likely uses effectively (these are highlighted in blue).
  2. Ask Angela to pick out at least two items that most surprised her from the processes she is less likely to utilize.
  3. Have Angela create an action plan for applying these questions:
    1. When I am selecting which careers to explore, I need to ask myself...
    2. When I am evaluating of the appeal of different careers, I need to ask myself...
    This can be homework or you can work on it together in the session.
  4. Encourage Angela to continue testing her assumptions about what makes for a good career by asking new questions about her career options.

Z-Model Handout

Angela Person

Career Decision-Making

  • How does this career option take advantage of skills I already have?
  • What direct experience do I need?
  • What existing knowledge will I be able to apply?
  • What is the customary entry point for this career?
  • How does this career option stretch abilities I already have?
  • What experiences of mine might be transferable?
  • What new knowledge will I be able to obtain?
  • What alternative entry points exist for this career?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of this career option?
  • What reasons support choosing this career?
  • What parts of this career would I find most challenging?
  • How does this career promote competence?
  • What are the most rewarding and most stressful aspects of this career option?
  • Would choosing this career fit my values?
  • What parts of this career would I find most meaningful?
  • How does this career promote personal satisfaction?
Evaluating Career Options & Crafting a Career Plan Authors
Original work by: Elizabeth Hirsh Katherine Hirsh © Step Research Corporation

Career and Work Satisfaction 07

This section uses your personality type to help illustrate what sort of work environments and core values suit you best.

In this section, you will see how your personality type represents the values you hold and how that coincides with which working environments will fit you best.  Finding a career that aligns with your values and provides a suitable environment for your personality type will lead to a more fulfilling and productive career.

Work environmental and cultural factors preferred by Angela

Aligning her work environment and the company’s culture with her personality type is also another important consideration in finding the right job. Her personality type prefers an environment where:

  • Management allows people to be self directed
  • The environment and culture gives you opportunities to think through your ideas by talking about them
  • The atmosphere allows you to be warm and caring and to build strong interpersonal relationships
  • The environment allows for freedom and flexibility and is loosely structured without too many rules

Work that aligns well with Angela

  • The work involves theory and speculation
  • The work involves creativity, imagination and a creative approach to problem solving
  • The work involves looking beyond the present i.e. future possibilities, future products, future actions
  • The work is not limited to what exists today but involves "what may be" and "what could be"
  • The work itself is personally meaningful and has value
  • Decisions and actions at work are in sync with your personal values

Those with Angela's personality prefer careers where

  • Management allows people to be self-directed
  • The work itself is personally meaningful and has value
  • Decisions and actions at work are in sync with your personal values
  • The work offers the opportunity to rapidly change direction and to respond to problems as they arise
  • The work is fun and allows for some spontaneity
  • The work allows you the opportunity to work with and meet a wide variety of people, rather than working alone most of the time
  • The work moves at a rapid, exciting pace
  • The environment and culture gives you opportunities to think through your ideas by talking about them
  • The work involves theory and speculation
  • The job is action oriented and provides for a wide variety of activities rather than being highly focused on a few tasks
  • The work involves creativity, imagination and a creative approach to problem solving
  • The work involves looking beyond the present i.e. future possibilities, future products, future actions
  • The work is not limited to what exists today but involves "what may be" and "what could be"
  • The atmosphere allows you to be warm and caring and to build strong interpersonal relationships
  • The environment allows for freedom and flexibility and is loosely structured without too many rules

Natural abilities and strengths for Angela's personality

Angela's natural abilities and talents, when utilized, help her to perform better and enjoy her job more. Also, her success is generally more dependent on leveraging and capitalizing on her strong points rather than focusing on her weak point - it's her strong points and natural abilities that will bring Angela job satisfaction and success.

Angela has probably already experienced something like this: When the work she does in her job or in school aligns well with her natural abilities, things start to go easier, move more smoothly, and she feels better about what she is working on or studying. The results usually come out much better.

The opposite is also true, when the work she does or the subject she is studying is not well aligned with her natural abilities, things feel more difficult, stress levels increase and results are not so good. The key here is 'alignment'.

Because most professional jobs involve several different types of work, some of the work she does may be well aligned and some may not. If she can move herself into a career path where most of the work is aligned with her natural abilities, she will be more successful and more satisfied

  • Natural diplomatic skills
  • Natural skills when it comes to using words, both spoken and written
  • Natural skills in the area of strategy and planning
  • Natural ability to mentor, advise, teach and counsel others
  • Natural ability to help others especially in a self-improvement aspect
  • Natural strengths when it comes to studying humanities and literature but not so much science
  • Naturally altruistic and concerned for the greater good
  • Natural ability to be a catalyst for change
  • Natural ability to be an advocate for change
  • Natural ability to train and facilitate

Angela's likely core values include:

For maximum job satisfaction and success, her job and her work environment should align with her core values. The list below represents common core values for her personality type.

  • Harmonious, caring relationships
  • Strong personal relationships
  • Cooperative and empathetic relationships
  • Personal growth
  • Self-actualization
  • Integrity
  • Having a unique identity
  • Originality
  • Creativity
  • Minimal tension
  • Rewards and recognition are for helping people and achieving one's full potential
  • Work must have meaning that is aligned with one's values
  • Search for the meaning of existence
  • Altruistic, benevolent towards others
  • Being authentic and genuine
  • Being enthusiastic
  • Possibilities
Career and Work Satisfaction Authors
Original work by: Michael Robinson © Step Research Corporation

Preference Development 08

These describe various activities and exercises for your development.

This section describes various activities and exercises that can be used to strengthen the ability to consciously use the mental skills related to each preference.
You have the capability of building skills related to your natural preferences – the ones you have in your type code – as well as the preferences you do not have in your type code. Most people have, through their lives, naturally built skills in the areas their preferences have drawn them towards. More often, it is therefore the preferences they do not have in their type code where training would be beneficial.
Once you have developed skills within all eight preferences, you can more easily choose the behaviour that is most appropriate in any given situation. Thus, you will expand your "behavioural toolbox" as well as find that the use of a trained preference does not require as much energy.

Preference for Extroversion

The opposite is called Introversion

Your Strengths:

  • Energised by the outer world
  • Talk, think, talk
  • Action
  • Breadth

This means you typically look like this to other people:

  • Talk a lot – and often loud and fast. Respond quickly.
  • Process out loud so others tend to know what they are thinking. Develop ideas through discussion.
  • Interrupt when you are speaking – seem eager or impatient.
  • Discuss a variety of subjects at the same time and move quickly from one topic to the next.
  • Pay attention to the external world – get distracted easily.
  • Use body language, gesticulate and share their energy outwardly.
  • Take initiative in making contact with other people – use eye contact, small talk, often start a conversation.
  • Push to get started right away – action oriented. Do not need much reflection time. “Shoot from the hip”.
  • Contribute enthusiastically when working in groups. Want to learn new tasks by talking and doing.
  • Have a broad social network and a variety of interests.
  • Do not seem to mind interruptions when working.
  • Prefer spoken communication rather than written communication when they are free to choose.

This means your opposite typically looks like this to other people:

  • Listen more than they talk – and often speak calmly. Talk more in one-on-one situations.
  • Process internally – when talking, they most often only convey the essence/conclusion of their chain of thought.
  • Pause in the conversation – and shut down if you interrupt them. May seem withholding.
  • Talk in-depth about one subject before moving to the next.
  • Sustain concentration and focus for long, and they may seem like they are in their own world.
  • Calm body language – seem reserved.
  • Limit social interaction with other people to what is “necessary”.
  • Seem cautious and hesitant – they need time to reflect before acting.
  • Enjoy working alone and like quiet surroundings. Want to learn new tasks by reading and reflecting.
  • Have few but close relationships and explore interests in-depth.
  • Seem to be disturbed by interruptions when working
  • Prefer written communication rather than spoken communication when they are free to choose.

Areas for development that are typical challenges:

  • LISTEN MORE

    Ways to develop:


    “Listen-more-day” – Plan a “listen-more-day”. Reflect. Say only something when necessary. Give others time to answer and find peace in silence. Pause at least ten seconds longer than you normally would before you say something. Note what happens with the dynamics in the conversation.
    Do not interrupt – For one day focus on not interrupting. Let people finish talking. Do not interrupt in the middle of an argument. Stop yourself if you accidently do it anyway. Get feedback from other people on how being interrupted affects them.
    Listen to understand – Pick out a planned conversation. Listen to what the other person is saying. Practice staying attentive to his or her inputs rather than thinking of what you will say in response. Listen to the other person's point of view and describe what you heard before you allow yourself to talk about your perception and point of view.

  • INNER PEACE

    Ways to develop:


    Find peace of mind – Take lessons in meditation, breathing techniques or mindfulness. Practice. Set aside time each day or week to visit your inner world. Learn to feel comfortable in your own thoughts and feelings.
    Spend time alone – Say “no” to a social activity or event you would normally say yes to. Make a list of things you like doing alone and do this instead. If you need inspiration, ask a friend who prefers I.
    Clarify thoughts alone – Reflect on the importance of an experience or an event by yourself. Contemplate impressions by yourself. Make an important decision alone. Practice clarifying your thought without speaking to others.

  • DEPTH AND FOCUS

    Ways to develop:


    Seek depth in conversation – Pick out a person at a social event and talk in depth about a subject one-on-one. Everyone has something they are better at than you or an interest in something you do not know about. Find out what it is and let them be the ones that talk the most.
    Examine in dept – Identify various subjects that interest you. Instead of breadth go into depth with one of the subjects. Allow more time than you think is necessary. Be patient and "look for the nuances."
    Create a framework for focus – Pick out a task to work on alone. Find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed. Plan your breaks and stick to them. Control your craving for variation. If you feel the urge to talk, talk to yourself.

  • REFLECTION

    Ways to develop:


    Communicate in writing – Resist the temptation to choose verbal communication just because it is possible. Pick out three situations during the coming week where you would normally meet with or call a person and communicate in writing instead.
    Think before you speak – Think through what you want to say and what your opinion is before you start talking. Consider writing down your thoughts, summarise and only convey the “essence” of what needs to be said.
    Reflect before acting – Do not accept or engage in activities you would normally throw yourself into. Turn your thoughts inward and reflect whether it is the right thing to do as well as whether it is the right time and place.



Preference for Intuition

The opposite is called Sensing

Your Strengths:

  • Future
  • The big picture
  • Visionary
  • The sixth sense

This means you typically look like this to other people:

  • Talk about opportunities, new ideas, concepts, patterns, visions and coherences – “what could be”.
  • Present the big picture first. Talk in general and abstract terms – use metaphors and speak figuratively.
  • Refer to things as being “intuitively correct” or that something “could theoretically work”.
  • Ask for the underlying ”meaning” and the context of an issue. The overall purpose.
  • Appear to lose interest if too many details are presented in a story.
  • Often say “Imagine that…”. Point out if something is unambitious and want to think big.
  • Begin their story at the end and articulate the totality, skip around easily in the story and may miss some parts. Intuitive hunches.
  • Interested in new ideas and new solutions – because they are new. Talk about changing things – not just improving them.
  • Quickly become enthusiastic about a new idea. Trust their intuition and theories.
  • Seem reluctant to do the same thing twice and follow a routine unless they have to – prefer to do it in a new way.
  • Seem more engaged when a task requires a new and creative approach.
  • Do not ask for instructions when assigned a new task – want to solve it in their own way

This means your opposite typically looks like this to other people:

  • Talk about real life, people they know, things that have happened or will happen, the here and now – ”what is”.
  • Present the facts first. Talk in precise terms, use detailed descriptions, similes. Have a straightforward speech pattern. Speak literally.
  • Refer to common sense and experience and what is feasible.
  • Ask about the facts and details of a case/situation.
  • Appear to lose interest if it gets too hypothetical and airy fairy.
  • Down-to-earth. Point out if something is unpractical or unrealistic.
  • Start their story at the beginning and build it in a linear fashion, step by step. Explain in detail.
  • Seek practical and efficient solutions. Talk about improving things – not changing them.
  • Unlikely to embrace new ideas unless they are grounded in reality – they will ask questions about ”how”. Trust tangible data and facts.
  • Seem reluctant to change the tried and tested unless it is necessary – refer to what works.
  • Seem more engaged when a task requires skills already learned.
  • Ask about “what” and “how” when assigned a new task – would like to know the established way before deciding how to tackle it.

Areas for development that are typical challenges:

  • FOCUS ON WHAT IS

    Ways to develop:


    "Sensing-day" – Plan a "sensing-day". Use your five senses for a whole day and focus on the real, the tangible, the observable. Note the details of real life. Be present in the moment and not in the future.
    Stick to the issue – Pick out three conversations you have planned. During the conversation, focus 100% on the subject you are discussing. Push away any associations and do not interpret and “read between the lines”.
    Facts – Read a short article or a memo, or ask a person who prefers S to tell you a story. Afterwards, write down the facts that were given. Crosscheck to see how accurate you were in retaining facts and not making inferences about the facts.

  • PARTICULARS

    Ways to develop:


    Focus on the details – Proofread this card (or something else) in detail. Read from the the bottom to the top, right to left, word by word. (Did you spot the error in the second line?)
    Practice the details – Buy a big puzzle and use at least 20 minutes a day to put it together. Or develop a hobby that requires attention to detail such as knitting from a given pattern, cooking following the recipe closely or painting by numbers.
    Follow the instructions – Practice reading and following step by step instructions. Follow an instruction manual at work, install and learn a new computer program or assemble a piece of LEGO or a piece of furniture from IKEA. Do things in the way shown in the instructions. Resist the urge to do it your own way or jump around.

  • REALISTIC AND CONCRETE

    Ways to develop:


    Be realistic – Brainstorm and write down your ten best ideas. Pick out two or three ideas and write down how they could be implemented. Use facts to support the usefulness of the ideas. Are they realistic? Introduce the ideas to a person who prefers S. Request feedback.
    Be concrete – Tell someone a story or tell about your day at work. Tell in a straightforward way what happened and communicate chronologically and in detail. Use literally concrete words. Avoid metaphors. If you use a figurative statement, convert it to a literal statement.
    Task breakdown – Pick out a big task and break it down into small tasks. Write down. Make each task specific, actionable and in succession. Estimate how long time each task will take. Start from the beginning and finish each task before moving on to the next.

  • RESPECT WHAT IS

    Ways to develop:


    Resist the urge for change – Next time you notice something that needs changing, write down what is currently working. Avoid changes and "improvements" if there is no compelling reason to initiate them. Focus on only changing what is necessary.
    Use routines – Make a note of what you do in the morning before leaving for work. How much of this is routine? Does having a routine make the mornings less complicated? Write down three different activities you do every day where implementing a routine would make life easier. Implement.
    Use experience – Pick out a task or assignment to be performed at work or at home. Resist the urge to do it in a new and different way. Examine carefully how you or others have solved similar tasks before. Identify the hands-on experience that might be and apply the proven method. Reflect on the efficiency.



Preference for Feeling

The opposite is called Thinking

Your Strengths:

  • Values
  • People centred
  • Harmony
  • Compassion

This means you typically look like this to other people:

  • Highlight areas of agreement. Try to establish harmony and concensus.
  • Often avoid conflicts, withdraw from discussions or try to “smooth things out”. May become uncharacteristically direct if values are violated.
  • Seem uncomfortable pointing out errors and receiving critical feedback. May seem touchy and take things personally.
  • Naturally tuned in to people’s feelings and soften their language.
  • Want to know and understand personal standpoints. Cooperate rather than compete.
  • Accept decisions based on values and personal motivations.
  • Focus on people. Help people by showing concern for their needs.
  • Argue for what they believe is ”right or wrong” and what is ”good or bad”.
  • Talk about the “best solution” for the people involved and refer to core values.
  • Give compliments and express their appreciation to others easily. Often give praise – both for results and effort.
  • Use values and the needs of other people as a foundation for their opinions. Distrust decisions based solely on “cold insensitive logic”.
  • Seem accommodating and empathic (and may sometimes seem evasive and soft).

This means your opposite typically looks like this to other people:

  • Tend to first notice and deal with points of disagreement. Go “head on”. Focus on efficiency.
  • Comfortable with arguing and have no hard feelings afterwards.
  • Generally quick to tell others where they need to improve. Are “totally truthful” and may forget the diplomat.
  • Direct when communicating and may seem tough-minded and critical.
  • Assess others’ competence by asking challenging questions. Seem to like competition.
  • Ask ”why” and search for logical coherence. May unwittingly hurt the feelings of others.
  • Focus on problem solving. Offer objective advice to help. ”Mr. Fix-it.”
  • Argue for what they believe is logical – and often present a lot of arguments.
  • Talk about the objectively speaking ”right solution” and refer to analyses, the pros and cons, fairness and consistency.
  • Ungenerous with their compliments. Recognise results but rarely praise effort.
  • Use objective principles and a logic-centred approach as a foundation for their opinions. Distrust decisions based solely on “illogical feelings”.
  • Seem task centred and business-like (and may sometimes seem cold and impersonal).

Areas for development that are typical challenges:

  • DIRECT SPEECH

    Ways to develop:


    "Direct-speech day" – Plan a "direct-speech day" where you practice expressing yourself clearly about what you want. Avoid sugarcoating. Stand firm, even though others might disagree.
    Map your communication style – Identify situations through your life where your communication style has been too indirect and led to confusion and irritation. Consider how you can minimise the negative impact of your communication style in the future. Practice.
    Give critical feedback – Next time someone presents you with a possible solution to a problem, tell them which problems and flaws you see. Communicate clearly – do not apologise. Remind yourself that people can recover from hurt feelings, and that a bad decision or a task solved poorly can be much more harmful to them.

  • OBJECTIVE ANALYSIS

    Ways to develop:


    Be objective – Review a problem you have. Analyse to determine the cause of the problem and think of four possible ways you could take to solve the problem. List the consequences of each course of action. What are the pros and cons? Is the decision consistent with past decisions, and is it a reasonable precedent to set for future decisions?
    Articulate "why" – Identify three decisions you have made recently. Logic shows the relationship between premises and conclusions – were the decisions logical? Analyse. Practice articulating "why" with focus on the underlying premises.
    Uncover the logic – Pick out a conversation with others about an important topic/decision – focus on determining the underlying premises that are driving their reasoning. Ask questions until you find the arguments and conclusions are logically related.

  • DRAW THE LINE

    Ways to develop:


    Standard answers – Define three standard answers you can use in situations where you find it hard to say no. For example "That date sounds familiar. I need to check my calendar and get back to you." This gives you time to "prepare" your no.
    Debate with yourself – Identify three situations in which you failed to draw the line – where you said yes instead of no. What were your thoughts and feelings? Write down what you were afraid would happen if you said no. Is there an objective reason for thinking that would happen?
    Say no – Identify three typical situations where you find it hard to say no to others. Agree with yourself to say no the next time they occur – even though others may be disappointed. Accept the discomfort. Note how the other person reacts. If possible, request the other person's feedback on your "no".

  • "TOUGH SKIN"

    Ways to develop:


    Take yourself out of the equation – Identify an episode where you felt offended by something someone said to you. Consider which underlying premises may serve as a logical explanation for the remarks. Note how this review of the premises can change your emotional response to the episode.
    Ask for objective feedback – Request objective feedback on a task you have solved. Prepare for critique. Listen with an open mind. Ask clarifying questions and ask for examples. Consider soberly what you want to do with the feedback. Could it actually make your problem solving better?
    Compartmentalise – Think of the methods you use to separate a problem in your personal life from your work life (or the other way around). Apply those methods to other components of your life. Does it make life easier by logically compartmentalising parts of your life from each other?



Preference for Perceiving

The opposite is called Judging

Your Strengths:

  • Freedom
  • Process
  • Flexibility
  • Just in time

This means you typically look like this to other people:

  • Combine work and play – seem open and informal.
  • Flexible and sometimes inattentive when it comes to time, meetings and tasks. Usually see organising as unnecessary and limiting.
  • Do not make many plans and deviate from the ones they do make – reopen agreements and decisions. Are good at adapting.
  • Articulate frustration about rigid structures and too many rules and regulations. Seek freedom and flexibility in order to be able to take advantage of unexpected opportunities.
  • Postpone decisions for as long as possible. “It’s ages from now.”
  • Are most enthusiastic at the beginning of a project and want to try out several different approaches.
  • When asked for their opinion, they will typically delay offering an opinion and will ask questions to get more information.
  • Tend to make statements that end with a question mark – indicating their open-ended approach to life? Easily change their mind.
  • Do not ”organise” work and living spaces. Leave things in the open so they can easily find them.
  • Appear as if they have lots of time, go with the flow, relaxed.
  • Often wait until the deadline gets closer to work on a task. Often say they work more efficiently under time pressure.
  • Time optimists – do not always arrive on time and deliver just in time.

This means your opposite typically looks like this to other people:

  • Have a clear distinction between work and play – seem serious and decisive.
  • Organised. Use lists, a calendar and systems to keep track of time, meetings, tasks and appointments (and take pleasure in using them).
  • Set goals, make plans and follow them. Express resentment about changing a plan or a decision.
  • Articulate frustration when experiencing too many ”loose ends”. Want predictability and matters settled.
  • Prefer to make decisions quickly – and want others to do the same. ”We might as well make a decision now.”
  • Most enthusiastic in the completion phase of a project.
  • When asked for their opinion, they will typically answer quickly – often without asking clarifying questions.
  • Tend to make statements that end with an exclamation mark! Do not easily change their mind.
  • Have visibly organised work and living spaces. Put things away so they can easily find them.
  • Seem in a hurry – walk fast and focus on being effective.
  • Work at a steady pace until the submission of assignments.
  • Arrive on time and deliver on time – or sooner – and expect that others do the same.

Areas for development that are typical challenges:

  • STRUCTURE

    Ways to develop:


    Get it under control – Manage your tasks, appointments and obligations. Write everything down in your calendar and create a to do list. Set as a goal for the coming week to arrive at meetings and deliver input in good time. Begin working on your tasks right away. Do not postpone.
    Schedule – Make a plan for the next day before leaving work. What would you like to achieve? Write it down. Estimate how long time each task will take and make an order of priority. Develop a plan for the coming week. Estimate. Prioritise. Follow the plan. Evaluate by the end of the week what went well and what can be done better. What are the benefits of planning?
    Get tools – Take a training course on personal effectiveness. Learn the basic planning tools. Integrate them into your life in a way that fits your lifestyle.

  • ORDER

    Ways to develop:


    Follow the rules – Sharpen your awareness of rules/procedures. Follow the rules for a week – in all aspects. Stay within the limits. If you want to do something that is not in accordance with the rules, ask for permission – not forgiveness.
    Ask for feedback – Ask your family, colleagues and friends how it affects them when you are oblivious about time or agreements or are always working close to the deadline. Do they have concrete examples? What impression does it make on you?
    Tidy up – Plan a tidy-up day at home and at work. Tidy up your home and your office following the motto "Everything has to stay in its own place!". Create order. Organise so it is easy to find things.

  • CLOSURE

    Ways to develop:


    "Focus-day" – Plan a "focus-day". Complete all the tasks you have decided on getting done one at a time. Do not jump around by working on several tasks at the same time. Every time you think "There is plenty of time to ..." stop and reflect if you do actually have the time. Practice being a time realist.
    Complete the task in good time – Pick out a major task. Finish the work at least four hours ahead of the deadline, then come back after two hours to see if you can improve it.
    Sow before you reap – Adhere to the saying "you have to sow, before you can reap." For a week, force yourself to get all duties done. "Work before play". What are the benefits?

  • DECIDE

    Ways to develop:


    "J-day" – Plan a "J-day". Practice forming an opinion swiftly about absolutely everything – anytime and anywhere. Write down pros and cons of rapid decision making and eliminating uncertainty.
    Be decisive – Make three decisions during the week as swiftly as possible. Do not postpone the decision to see if something else comes up, or because you want to explore something a little more. Decide on the basis of the available information (if you want to go to the conference, the meeting, the party, which option you like the best, etc.).
    Resist the urge to reopen – The next time you want to reopen a decision already made, resist. Instead write down three good reasons why your decision was right.



Preference Development Authors
Original work by: Mette Babitzkow Boje Tina Brøndum Kristjánsson © Step Research Corporation