By Daniel Bobinski, M.Ed.
Three months ago, I started a series on identifying behavioral styles. Four core styles exist, and everyone is a blend of the four styles, but there’s no need to memorize thousands of different blends. If you can identify your own and other people’s core style from the four main styles and do a little adapting, working relationships can improve and productivity can increase significantly.
So far, we’ve covered the Dominant style – people who are more task-focused and comfortable making high-risk decisions quickly. Then, we covered “Influencers,” who are comfortable making high-risk decisions quickly, but focusing more on people than tasks. In this installment we’ll cover the “Steady” style. Like Influencers, they focus on people, but “Steady” types prefer lower-risk decisions and taking their time when making those decisions. We call them Steady because a predominant characteristic is preferring a stable environment without a lot of change.
Value to the team
Those with a strong “Steady” style are dependable team workers who work hard for a leader or a cause. They tend to be good listeners. Loyalty is important to them, so they usually create long-term relationships. Because of that loyalty, strong Steady styles often finish their tasks, even if it takes extra hours to do get them done.
Ideal environment and motivations
Steady people enjoy stable and predictable environments, and they prefer work that has established standards. If change must occur, they prefer learning about those changes well in advance, and they want to know the reasons for those changes. Those with strong Steadiness traits usually enjoy being part of a small, productive team in which they can develop relationships. They are motivated by receiving words of specific encouragement, but they don’t usually like being center of attention.
Best communication methods
Someone with a Steady style often blends personal and work topics into the same conversation, so it’s good to begin conversations with a personal comment. Something as simple as, “How are you doing?” is better than jumping headlong into a business discussion.
When discussing future activities, draw out their thoughts and goals in a non-threatening, conversational manner. Avoid making demands or threating them with any position of power you may have.
Steady styles dislike conflict, so it’s best to keep conversations low-key and non-threatening. And, because of their dislike for conflict, they are unlikely to bring up any differences of opinion. That’s why it’s vital to watch their body language for any signs of disagreement. This can be difficult, as people with strong Steady styles tend to have a good poker face, so a good “best practice” when working with strong Steady styles is to ask if they have any concerns about ideas or plans being discussed.
Perhaps the most important communication technique for Steady styles is giving them time to think. In other words, don’t force them to make quick decisions. Give them good information and then let them consider their options.
In the next issue I’ll be reviewing the “Conscientious” style.
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 Daniel through his website, MyWorkplaceExcellence.com, or his office at 208-375-7606.