Posted by Jan (18.104.22.168) on July 14, 2003 at 13:43:12:
May I suggest Leisurely Style, Serious or Vigilant Style?
Case study text:
HENRY VD WESTHUIZEN 3 NOVEMBER 1994
This is a person with an interest in personal achievement, and who measures his success by his personal advancement in life rather than others' attitudes towards him. He lacks the self-confidence and directness to achieve these goals directly, however, and instead relies on applying his considerable powers of subtlety and efficiency into his work in the hope that this will indirectly elevate his position within the organisation.
It is unfortunate that most of the strengths of this personality are being modulated somewhat by his perceived need not to display them. For example, the advantages of this personality type are thoughtfulness, precision and co-operation with others, but he seems to feel the need to display a more impatient, active and authoritarian personality style which causes these advantages to be hidden for much of the time. Nevertheless, they are present in the personality and will be used.
In the same way that this person is hiding many of his strengths, his weaknesses are also being disguised by the mask role which he is adopting. For example, this is not a naturally independent person; he much prefers to have the co-operation and support of others before acting, but he is trying to hide this and show himself to be self-sufficient in terms of action and decision-making.
The key to this personality is the understanding that his cooperativeness and precision does not reflect a lack of personal goals and a need for achievement; rather, it reflects a lack of self-confidence in the ability to achieve them. This is something which is perhaps made less obvious by an attempt to adopt a more confident attitude, to convince others that confidence does exist where it does not.
Despite his attempts to demonstrate the contrary, this person will work best in a co-operative, supportive environment, in which he is afforded security and back-up. If he is shown that he will not be thought less of for working in such an environment, his productivity and performance can be expected to improve accordingly.
A lack of persistence and a low concentration threshold are probably the greatest management problems with this personality type. This person is easily bored and finds it extremely difficult to concentrate on repetitive tasks or those requiring long term commitment.
This person finds it very difficult to trust others; he is a sensitive type and often detects antagonism towards him where none in fact exists. It is important, therefore, for the manager to build up a working rapport with this individual as soon as possible.
This person reacts best to structured, concise training. He understands new ideas quickly, and it is important not to feel that his lack of response or input into a training programme reflects a lack of understanding. If it is necessary to ask questions during the course to establish full comprehension, ensure that these are carefully structured; for example 'What would you do now?' is less likely to receive a positive reply than 'Would you do X or Y?'.
The innate lack of concentration present in this personality is the major difficulty in a training environment. If an idea is explained in greater detail or at greater length than he feels is necessary, he will become restive and bored. In this situation, he is likely to bring his mask personality into play and start to cause disruption by interrupting or correcting the trainer.
This person needs to learn to value the basic strengths of his personality (thoughtfulness, subtlety and structure) instead of devaluing them and trying to replace them with factors unnatural to his style, such as independence, directness, and self-sufficiency. In this way he will both reduce his personal stress levels and increase his productivity.
He also needs to learn to concentrate more effectively, and to be able to apply his organisational skills on a more long-term basis, in which case he is likely to enhance his value to organisation considerably.
to motivate this person towards acceptance of a proposal, there are two key elements of approach to remember. First, explain the new concept in as much detail as possible, producing statistics or reports as necessary. Second, explain how the implementation of the new proposal will enhance his personal standing, either in terms of consolidating his position or advancing it with minimal risk or difficulty to himself.
It is likely that he will adopt a demanding, even dictatorial style during the negotiation, especially if he is not immediately convinced of the effectiveness of the new idea. In this case, do not be intimidated; this behaviour is part of his mask role and is not rooted in his underlying personality style. If he is put under an equal amount of pressure, he will become much more evasive and tractable.
This person will work best in a secure environment over which he has as much control as possible. He desires structure and procedure; if it does not exist at present, he will make attempts to introduce it himself, or modify existing systems.
A person of this type bases his position on personal ability, and will continue to operate effectively as long as he feels that the input which he gives the organisation is reflected in the motivators and compensators which that organisation provides.
This person sees himself adopting a consultancy role in the team environment, although the nature of this role will be modified by his perceived need to appear more assertive and outgoing than he naturally is. He will tend to offer ideas for debate, or make suggestions if asked to do so, but he will rarely become involved in an argument if others disagree with him.
There is an important exception to this evasive, non-committal style, however; if he feels that his personal position, or those things on which he bases that position (e.g. his ability to perform it well) are being threatened or denied, he will use all his powers of logical thought and subtlety to defeat the threat. In this case too, it is likely that his direct, assertive mask will also come into play, making him a surprisingly tough opponent.
This is a rare profile showing very little or no stress in the pattern, indicating that the person has few problems in life at the moment. It should be noted, however, that this person does not deal well with stress, and if it should arise, the problems caused may be severe.
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