By Daniel Bobinski, M.Ed.
If you know what you’re looking for, it’s relatively easy to identify a person’s core behavioral style. In the past several issues, I’ve been writing about the four core styles. I have been highlighting each style’s ideal environment and motivations, value to the team and preferred communication methods.
By way of review, so far I’ve covered the “Dominant” style, the “Influencer” style and the “Steady” style. Dominant styles are more task-focused and comfortable making high-risk decisions quickly. Influencers are comfortable making high-risk decisions quickly but focus more on people than tasks. Steady styles focus on people but prefer lower-risk decisions and taking their time when making those decisions. In this installment we’ll examine the “Conscientious” style. To read all four columns, visit tinyurl.com/4ndscpcy.
Like the Steady style, people with a Conscientious style also prefer lower risk decisions and taking their time when making them. However, they tend to focus more on the tasks rather than the people helping with the tasks.
Value to the team
People with a strong “Conscientious” style are objective thinkers who set and maintain high standards. Typically, they are good at asking incisive questions that get to the heart of a matter while clarifying expectations along the way. In practical terms, this enables them to see gaps in plans, which makes them an asset to just about any team. They tend to be diplomatic with an eye for detail.
Ideal environment and motivations
Conscientious people enjoy technical, task-oriented work that can be followed through to completion. They prefer working with small groups of people in an environment where quality and high standards are appreciated. They like knowing what rules and procedures are expected, and they want their team members and supervisors to follow established rules or company policies, too. They’re not fans of abrupt change nor noisy environments, but they’re big fans of having time to process information so they can analyze data. Conscientious types prefer avoiding the negative consequences of a bad decision.
Best communication methods
People with a strong Conscientious style like action plans with scheduled dates and milestones. Details are important to them, so avoid vagaries. If you appear disorganized or are unclear about expectations, that will cause frustration and maybe a loss of trust. Objective facts and verifiable research are important, so avoid making emotional appeals or offering feelings as a reason for doing something.
When talking with strong Conscientious types, take your time. Prepare your case in advance and use a logical, straightforward delivery. Also, keep emotions to a minimum. Provide enough information so they can make a solid decision. In fact, if you present both the pros and the cons of an idea, you will gain much credibility. They know pros and cons exist for everything, so if you gloss over the cons they are likely to think you’re tying to hide something. Better to be totally transparent.
Finally, give them time and space to think things through. Forcing quick decisions creates tension. They want time to examine both sides of an issue and be confident their decisions are the best ones possible.
Daniel Bobinski, M.Ed. is a best-selling author and a popular speaker at conferences and retreats. For more than 30 years he’s been working with teams and individuals (1:1 coaching) to help them achieve excellence. He was also teaching Emotional Intelligence since before it was a thing. Reach him through his website at MyWorkplaceExcellence.com or call his office at 208-375-7606.