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Case text - Diana Laplace
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Case text - Diana Laplace

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Posted by Jan den Breejen ( on July 20, 2003 at 13:49:49:

The text looks much like that of Henry vd Westhuizen case text which I posted some time ago. This text is more complete and consistent however. She's a middle manager in the service industries. What is her likely type? May I suggest Serious Style (perhaps Briget Jones-like type)?



This is a person with an interest in personal achievement, and who measures her success by personal advancement in life rather than others' attitudes towards her. She lacks the self-confidence and directness to achieve these goals directly, however, and instead relies on applying her considerable powers of subtlety and efficiency into her work in the hope that this will indirectly elevate her position, both within the organisation and in her personal life.

The advantages of this personality type are thoughtfulness, precision and co-operation with others. She has the capability of thinking through a situation carefully in order to understand the consequences of different courses of action. She is also ready to co-operate with others in order to reach a solution, and will tend to accept instructions patiently and fulfil them to the best of her ability, although in doing so she will also be looking for a way of advancing her own ideas.

This is not a naturally independent person; she needs to have the co-operation and support of others before acting. This means that she will tend not to perform an action or make a decision unless she feels that it will be accepted by her colleagues. Her attention to care and detail will often show itself as pedantic and over-cautious behaviour, and she finds tight timescales difficult to deal with as her perfectionist streak prevents her from acting until she is sure that all eventualities have been covered.

The key to understanding this personality is an awareness that her cooperativeness and precision does not reflect a lack of personal goals or of a need for achievement; rather, it reflects a lack of self-confidence in the ability to achieve them.

This person will work best in a co-operative, supportive environment, in which she is afforded security and back-up. If she is shown that she will not be thought less of for working in such an environment, her 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, although she is trying to disguise these problems at present. Nevertheless, this person is easily bored and finds it extremely difficult to concentrate on repetitive tasks or those requiring long term commitment.
This individual often finds it difficult to trust others; she is a sensitive type and often detects antagonism towards her 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 will react best to structured, concise training. She understands new ideas quickly, and it is important not to feel that her 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 can be a major difficulty when it comes to training. If an idea is explained in greater detail or at greater length than she feels is necessary, she will become restive and bored.

Probably the most important training need for this individual is the requirement to raise her levels of confidence in her own abilities. If this can be achieved, her capacity to act in an independent and personally responsible way will be enhanced, and her usefulness to the organisation will increase accordingly.
Persistence and steadiness are lacking in this character. She needs to learn to concentrate more effectively and to use her powers of precision and care on a longer-term basis than that of which she is currently capable.

In order 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 her personal standing, either in terms of consolidating her position or advancing it with minimal risk or difficulty to herself.
It is likely that she will adopt an amiable, patient style during the negotiation. It is important to realise that this approach is not indigenous to the underlying personality style, but is simply part of the mask which this person is adopting in order to fit into the structure of the organisation.

This person will work best in a secure environment over which she has as much control as possible without the need for making independent decisions. She is strongly motivated by structure and organisation; if it does not exist at present, she will make attempts to introduce it herself, or modify existing systems to include it.
A person of this type bases her position on personal ability, and will continue to operate effectively as long as she feels that the input which she gives the organisation is reflected in the motivators and compensators which that organisation provides.

This person sees herself adopting a consultative role in the team environment. She will tend to offer ideas for debate, or make suggestions if asked to do so, but will rarely become involved in an argument if others disagree with her.
There is an important exception to this evasive, non-committal style, however; if she feels that her personal position, or those things on which she bases that position (e.g. her ability to perform her job well), are being threatened or denied, she will use all her powers of logical thought and subtlety to defeat the threat, making her a surprisingly tough opponent.

This person is carrying stress related to their personal life; that is to say, their stress is not specifically associated with their work situation. Its root, however, may be in a problem at work, and this should ideally be probed to discover the cause of the stress.

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