Resolve in Style

Happy New Year, Everybody!  Have you made your resolution yet?  Neither have I.  Let’s do it together – and make it count.

The HRDQ Style Model is an accurate and accessible model of personality style, based on an individual’s levels of assertiveness and expressiveness.  It defines four styles (Direct, Spirited, Systematic, and Considerate), that describe sets of natural behavioral tendencies.

HRDQ Style Model

Because these styles reflect all aspects of our behavior, they represent both effective and ineffective choices.  Once we’ve developed an appropriate awareness of our own behaviors, we can resolve to choose more effective actions.  We can start by finding out which personality style we exhibit.  The HRDQ Style Series offers 8 personality assessments that target different aspects of work-life.  Then, by examining some potential problem areas, we can be more conscious of our weak areas, and be vigilant and attentive to those around us.

Here are some suggested resolutions for each personality style:

Start 2014 In Style

Direct

Resolve to be a better friend.  Increase your emotional intelligence and listening skills to build strong, lasting relationships and let others know that you value them.  When the people around you feel heard, they’re more likely to listen to you.

Spirited

Resolve to get organized.  Use time management and realistic goal setting to make sure you’re a productive and engaged member of the team.  Focus your exuberance and show your team mates that you’re interested in meeting team goals.

Systematic

Resolve to let people in.  More self-disclosure builds trust and opens you up to new possibilities and new relationships. Taking chances on people and ideas can benefit your entire team, and help you learn and develop new skills.

Considerate

Resolve to be more assertive.  Express your opinions to others so that you feel you’ve done your part and are not resentful of team decision-making.  Learn how to acknowledge and move past your emotions so that there’s no lingering ickyness in your every day.

Start your year off right with soft-skills training from the HRDQ Style Series – let personality style guide you towards more productive relationships, a happier work life, and more effective choices.

Get started today!

Go Out in Style (or Which Movie Monster Should You Be for Halloween?)

Halloween is tomorrow, you guys.   I know.  You’re all going to be Miley Cyrus.  But wouldn’t it be nice if your costume matched your personality style?  I think it would.  So let’s figure out which classic movie monster you should be for Halloween!

Personality Style is a sum of natural tendencies that can be observed by the people around you.  It’s a disposition to information processing and communication that is measured by expressiveness and assertiveness.  By expressiveness, I mean the extent to which you share your emotions, and by assertiveness, I mean the extent to which you try to influence others.  In the HRDQ Style Model, these dimensions define four styles – Direct, Spirited, Systematic, and Considerate – in this way:

HRDQ Style Model

Each style is associated with a set of traits and behaviors – some of which are displayed by our favorite classic monsters, Dracula, the Wolfman, Frankenstein’s Monster, and the Mummy.

Dracula

8bit draculaHe doesn’t rely on brute strength; he prefers a strategic approach.  He makes plans and follows through with them – going so far as making real estate deals and chartering boats to get himself where he needs to be.  He’s also on a strict nighttime-only schedule, which requires organization and discipline.

These traits are characteristic of the Systematic style, and correlate to low levels of both expressiveness and assertiveness.

Wolfman

8bit wolfThe Wolfman is ruled by forces beyond his control – he’s passionate and excitable.  His bite can create new Wolfmen to join in his excitement or it can kill people, and the only way to hold him back is to tie him down.

He’s Spirited – with high levels of both expressiveness and assertiveness.

Frankenstein’s Monster

8bit frankHe’s very emotional and openly reacts to fear, excitement, love, and other stimuli.  He acts on impulse and doesn’t like to be pinned down.  He can be seen as overly sensitive, but values relationships and interacting with others.

Frankenstein’s Monster may be made up of a variety of people, but he’s all Considerate – with a high level of expressiveness and a low level of assertiveness.

The Mummy

8bit mummyMummy likes the ladies – well, really just one particular lady – and that’s all he’s interested in dealing with right now.  He’s intently focused on reclaiming his lost love, and he’ll fight anyone that stands in his way.  He’s goal oriented, proactive, unwavering, and interested in getting results.

These traits fit with the Direct style, correlating to a low level of expressiveness and a high level of assertiveness.

So which monster is appropriate for you?  The HRDQ Style Series will help you not only help with costume selection, but other things – like identifying and utilizing your strengths and the strengths of others, relating to the people you interact with each day, recognizing and addressing areas of potential development, and approaching situations and people in the most effective way possible.

Find your style for Halloween and every day by getting started with the HRDQ Style Series right now!

How is Personality Style Affecting Your Cartoon Romance?

On this day in 1950, the first Peanuts comic strip was published.  The series met with great success and transcended social movements and media.

One of the things that makes Peanuts work so well is the mix of the characters’ personality styles – it opens the door for conflict, reflection, and growth by learning from others.  We like to watch the characters disagree about fundamentals and fall in love with each other’s peculiar traits.  There are no “good guys” or “bad guys” – there are likeable and frustrating aspects of each personality, just as in life.

And, as in life, love and frustration are often paired – matches are made across personality styles.  Two pairings are Lucy (a Direct personality) with Schroeder (a Systematic personality) and Sally (a Spirited personality) with Linus (a Considerate personality).

Lucy and Schroeder

Lucy and SchroederWithin the HRDQ Style Model, Lucy and Schroeder both fall on the low end of the expressiveness spectrum – Lucy with a high level of assertiveness, and Schroeder with a low level.  Both value persistence, accuracy, commitment, and proficiency; and are good at exposition, work hard, and possess strength and resilience.  Neither are comfortable bending their will or feeling emotionally compromised or vulnerable.

Systematic Schroeder’s commitment to accuracy in emulating Beethoven demands that he remain single – preventing him from considering Lucy’s advances, though he does betray a fondness for her periodically.

Direct Lucy wants to be “in charge” and is frustrated by the lack of progress in their relationship.

Sally and Linus

Sally and LinusSally and Linus are both highly expressive.  Sally has a high level of assertiveness, and Linus has a low level.  Both value consistency, accommodation, and personal relationships.  Neither are great with finality or staying calm.

Spirited Sally freely expresses her love for Linus, but doesn’t pick up on his cues.  She doesn’t accept that he’s not on board and gets upset with him often, despite her unwavering affection.

Considerate Linus never rejects Sally outright.  He has difficulty asserting himself and relies on external crutches as a coping mechanism (security blanket).  He may never definitively exile Sally to the “friend zone” in the interest of maintaining his relationship with the Brown family, as Charlie is his best friend.

Will these crazy kids ever get it together?

Well, no – the Peanuts comic strip ended in 2000.  But, maybe!  Right?  Successful relationships rely on more than longevity and familiarity.  To arrive at mutually beneficial interactions, everyone can flex their personality style:

  • Someone with a Direct personality, like Lucy, can work on patience and try to be more open with their feelings.
  • Someone with a Systematic personality, like Schroeder, can try to go with the flow more, and remain open to new opportunities – even when they don’t fit with the plan.
  • Someone with a Spirited personality, like Sally, can take a breath and assess the full situation before pressing on.
  • Someone with a Considerate personality, like Linus, can try to accept a more aggressive role when decisions need to be made, and know that being assertive is not the same as being mean.

HRDQ Style Model

Learn how to add “happily ever after” to your cartoon romance – and any of your other relationships – by learning about personality style and how it can make you a more effective communicator and team member – in all four dimensions.

Get started with the HRDQ Style Series today!

Is the Tone of Your E-mails Sending the Wrong Message?

Kate WardA guest-post from Kate Ward, author of Personality Style at Work, first posted on salary.com

Recent surveys have estimated that over 132 billion business emails are sent and received each day. With that much communication going on through emails, there’s lots of room for confusion and misunderstandings – especially if you are unaware of how your personality style is perceived by others.

Follow these tips to make sure you are on the same wavelength as the recipient of your email.

Direct Style Emails: When exchanging emails with a person with the Direct style, keep it short and to the point. Jump in to your main point and stop when you are done. When you send them an email that doesn’t require a response, don’t expect one. And don’t bother with a personal greeting or goodbye – they won’t be offended if you leave it off.

Learn more by reading Kate Ward's book, Personality Style at Work.

Learn more by reading Kate Ward’s book, Personality Style at Work.

Spirited Style Emails: The main thing you will notice when communicating by email with a Spirited colleague is that you may not receive a timely response. But when you finally do hear back from them, they will be apologetic. Their emails are likely to be lengthy and cover many topics, just as they do in face-to-face conversations.

Considerate Style Emails: Make your emails conversational – just like Considerates are in person. Begin with a personal greeting such as “How’s it going?” or “Hope all is well with you.” Considerates will almost always send a response to every email you send them, even if one isn’t expected or required, just to say “thanks” or “let me know if I can help.”

Systematic Style Emails: Using bullet points is a good way to communicate with colleagues who prefer the Systematic style. In any case, make sure your email is organized and logical. Stick to one topic per email – send a separate email, if necessary, to cover a different topic.

Test yourself:

Read each email and see if you can identify which style each one is (answers can be found below):

1. Subject: Great idea!

Hi Sam, I was talking to Frank in Shipping, and he mentioned that their budget proposal was accepted as submitted, without any reductions. I think we can swipe some great ideas from them. Stop by my office and we’ll discuss. Thanks for your help with this!

2. Subject: Budget reformat

As I reviewed the budget proposal, several thoughts came to mind:

  • Highlight positive aspects of each option
  • Minimize duplication of information
  • Copy last year’s format to save time

Let me know if you can move ahead, or if you need additional information.

3. Subject: What do you think?

Hi Sam,
How’s it going? I was working on revising the budget proposal and thought we might want to emphasize the positive aspects of the various options more. I can work on some different formats if you think it’s a good idea. Let me know your thoughts.

4. Subject: Budget reformat

You need to reformat the budget options to highlight the positive aspects of each and minimize duplication of information. See what I did in last year’s proposal for direction. Budget is due on Friday. Let me know if you have any questions.

Answers: 1=Spirited, 2=Systematic, 3=Considerate, 4=Direct

Find out how else your workplace can be impacted by personality styles in Kate Ward’s upcoming FREE webinar, hosted by HRDQ.

HRDQ WebinarsPersonality Style at Work: The Secret to Working with (Almost) Anyone

July 10, 2013

11am – 12pm ET  

This hour-long, interactive webinar explores how personality style impacts the workplace. Kate Ward will introduce a simple, proven model that can help you – and your training audience – decode behaviors and actions, maximize strengths, avoid trouble spots, and adapt and flex personality style to improve working relationships.

Click here or more information and to register!

Personality is a Part of Performance

When seeking sustainable performance improvement, it’s important to look at things holistically.  Personality is not separate from performance, just as relationships are not separate from teamwork.

Knowing that, it’s often easiest to make large-scale changes by unpacking complicated, synthetic concepts like performance, and making sure that each component is cared for.  Personality is a good place to start.  Performance, when broken down, is a series of decisions – behavioral choices – that we use to accomplish our goals.  It’s important to know where these decisions come from and how they affect one another.  Our preference for certain types of decisions and behaviors is determined by our personal style.

Personal Style

But, that is not to say that we are limited by our personal style.  Simply acknowledging our personal style makes it possible to choose behaviors that are not in line with our natural tendencies, but that are more effective for the situation at hand. When that situation involves dealing with someone who is very different from us, understanding their personal style is the most fundamental aid to presenting and gathering information to and from that person – to communicating with them.  Learning the difference between our preferred methods of communicating and the methods of others will make working together more efficient and effective.  It may also reveal which methods are more successful than others when approaching certain tasks and goals – helping everyone involved become more effective when approaching similar tasks in the future.

There are many ways to measure personality style.  One very popular and proven method is presented in the Personal Style Inventory (PSI) – a personality assessment and soft-skills training program based on the theories of Carl Jung.  Starting with a quick and easy-to-score self-assessment, the PSI ascribes a style to each participant based on their responses.  Participants are guided through an explanation of how these styles are differentiated, which behaviors are associated with them, and how they are perceived by people with opposing styles.  The PSI includes style strengths and action-planning to avoid ineffective, style-specific behaviors.

Personal Style Inventory

On an individual level, knowing our own natural strengths and weaknesses helps us decide where to focus our energy and which of our skills need refinement.  Whether we are working together or separately, performance – just like personality – is a relative measure.  When working to accomplish any goal, it’s always important to consider our actions as they relate to others.  That’s how we build organizations, communities, families, and ourselves.

Experiential learning activities like the Personal Style Inventory allows for application of new knowledge in the moment – a positive change just by participating.  Improvements in performance and interpersonal relationships take effect immediately, and become part of work life.

The Personal Style Inventory is your first step toward sustainable improvement – try it today!

Doing a Little Spring Cleaning in Your Office?

What your workspace tells about your co-workers and your communication styles.

Throwing away old papers? Dusting off that top shelf? During your office spring cleaning, take a closer look around your workspace. Does your desk have an endless supply of papers strewn across it; or is it so clear of clutter that you can see every inch of the desk with charts and graphs on your wall? Are papers arranged in neat organized piles?  Or mixed with personal photos and some clutter? Your work space can provide insight into your personality style.

Personal style is developed over time and revealed by the level of assertiveness and expressiveness you display. Assertiveness is the amount of effort you make to influence or control another’s thoughts or actions, and expressiveness is the amount of effort you make to control emotions when interacting with others. By measuring your levels of assertiveness and expressiveness, you can discover your preference for one of the four personality styles.

HRDQ Style Model

Identifying an individual’s preferred personality style as Direct, Spirited, Considerate, or Systematic enables us to develop better interpersonal connections while recognizing the strengths and weaknesses of each style. By understanding the strengths of each style, we can flex our own style to work with those strengths – communicating and interacting better.

The next time you enter into your or a co-worker’s space, take some time to look around  - take mental notes about the space.

Personal StyleIf you have a hard time finding their desk under all the papers, notes, books, or magazines, they are displaying a spirited personality style and you should turn on your listening ears because they like to talk.

Do you see family photos prominently displayed? Is there a comfy couch or chairs? This type of space reflects considerate personality styles. Create rapport by making small talk.  You’ll build a solid relationship before jumping into projects.

Personality StyleIf you see piles of papers nicely organized with personal photos discreetly placed in the corner, you are meeting with a direct personality style. Be direct and to the point with clear instructions.

When you pass by your co-worker’s workspace at night and all you see is the desk, they are displaying a systematic personality style. Provide and focus on the facts in an organized way.

Simple clues such as how a co-worker’s workspace looks help identify communication styles and enter into more effective relationships.

What's My Communication Style?The HRDQ Style Series provides quick and accurate ways to identify personality styles and the impact they make in the workplace. Using self-assessments, participants can better understand how personality drives behavior, improve their people skills, and successfully create interpersonal relationships.

What’s My Communication Style? is the perfect place to start!

What’s My Time Style?

Personality Style affects all aspects of our work life – especially time management.  Just as with social situations involving different groups of people, we approach time management differently depending on what we’re doing.

Time ManagementWhen thinking about time management, it’s important to consider not just the nature of the task, but the other people involved.  Team members, managers, and other stakeholders may have very different methods of time management than we do.  And while we cannot control the behaviors of others, and most often can’t choose who we work with, we can make our time-management style align more closely for a more harmonious group effort.

This is especially important when fitting our own tasks into a schedule developed by someone else.  We need to choose an appropriate time-management style for the task at hand, but also make sure that our style is appropriate for the people we are working with.

So, how do we classify time-management style?

We all observe behaviors in ourselves and in others, and can sense when we are compatible (or not).  There’s a simple and effective way to decipher these behaviors and understand why they result in compatible or incompatible relationships.  It’s the HRDQ Style Model.

HRDQ Style Series

Classifying observable behaviors into four distinct personality styles (Direct, Spirited, Systematic, and Considerate), the HRDQ Style Model helps us create a plan for capitalizing on our own natural strengths, and relating to others more effectively.  The HRDQ Style Series is comprised of eight style assessments that deal with specific aspects of work life and provide personal development training.  What’s My Time Style? deals directly with time management.

What's My Time Style?Built on a foundation of behavioral tendencies, arrived at by self-assessment, What’s My Time Style reports an individual’s “style” and provides enough interpretive information and time managemet training to chart a course toward better performance, better relationships, and smoother sailing all around.

Learning about personality style can improve all aspects of our home and work lives, and help us build the skills and relationships we need to maintain high performance, feel fulfilled in our interactions, and help others succeed with us.

Let the HRDQ Style Series help you!

Don’t Kiss Me, I’m Systematic

On St, Patrick’s Day, everyone is Irish.  It’s not really about ethnicity or religion – it’s about finding things that are special and unique in us and in others, and celebrating them.  It’s about being aware and appreciative of differences.

Personality StyleBut more than that, it’s an acknowledgement that behavior is a choice.  We can shape our interactions and interpersonal relationships by choosing certain behaviors.

On St. Patrick’s Day, everyone incorporates the good, fun parts of the signifier “Irish” into their own behavior.  In the same regard, we can all flex our personality style to incorporate positive aspects of other styles into our behavior in situations that call for them.

Teams and organizations are made up of personalities.  Successful teams and organizations are conscious of the different strengths and weaknesses of these personalities, and understand that behavior is a choice.

Personality Styles

By helping your team understand their own behavioral tendencies, you’ll encourage them to recognize and develop their special, unique strengths while appreciating the strengths of others.

The HRDQ Style Model is based on the understanding that everyone has inherent tendencies – a personality style – and that no style is fundamentally better or worse than any other.  Measuring the expressiveness (desire to share thoughts and feelings with others) and assertiveness (desire to influence others) of individuals, HRDQ Style Assessments reveal a personality style based on individuals’ response to statements regarding interpersonal behavior.

Offering eight different assessments targeted towards varying soft skill sets, the HRDQ Style Series is your tool for building healthy and productive workplace relationships.  On their own, or as part of broader training on related topics, HRDQ Style Assessments are an effective foundation for a variety of soft-skills training topics, including communication, leadership, team building, and supervisory skills.

Get Started with the HRDQ Style Series Today!

Celebrate your style with a blinky button!

Celebrate your style with a blinky button!

Communicating From Earth to Mars: Averting Communication Disasters

In 1999 the Mars Climate Orbiter burned up as it entered the Martian atmosphere after $125 million spent in development and nine months of travel.

The cause? A lapse in communication.

It all came crashing down because the navigation team and the designers of the spacecraft weren’t communicating essential information in a common language; one used English measurements and the other used metric to relay vital data.

“It is very difficult for me to imagine how such a fundamental, basic discrepancy could have remained in the system for so long,” John Pike, Space Policy Director at the Federation of American Scientists, said about the incident in a Los Angeles Times article. While it may be hard to imagine, it happens all the time to organizations around the world and employees at every level. The good news is such an enormous, costly communication disaster can be easily averted.

It starts by making sure information is continuously and precisely conveyed to all involved in a project, both within and between teams. In a recent Harvard Business Review blog post, Georgia Everse reminds leaders that “there is no such thing as over-communication.” She urges them to avoid jargon, build a common language, and “be explicit about using terminology that resonates with everyone in the organization.”

In Personality Style at Work, Kate Ward suggests that in order to convey your message clearly and accurately one should avoid sweeping generalizations and check for understanding to make sure the message was understood in the way it was intended. Following such simple steps can keep the lines of communication open and prevent chaos in the future.

HRDQ’s What’s Your Communication Style can help identify communication problems and improve communication skills, BEFORE they result in the crash landing of a promising project.

Avert a communication disaster and see how HRDQ can help today!

Read more about Kate Ward’s advice!

Wear Your Personality on Your Sleeve (or Which Ninja Turtle Should You be for Halloween?)

Our Personality Style comes through every day, whether we are conscious of it or not.  Awareness allows us to take control of – and improve – our interpersonal relationships.  Developing an understanding of our Personality Style can be the first step in improvement.  This Halloween, you can start by choosing to celebrate your style.  Obviously, you were planning on being a Ninja Turtle.  I didn’t even have to ask.  But which one should you be?

Do you have a Direct style?

Raphael embodies the Direct style.  Never hesitating to take action, he’s always ready when the team encounters conflict and isn’t reluctant to dive in feet first.

Do you have a Spirited style?

Michaelangelo’s big personality always keeps the team engaged and communicating – on a personal level, and when it’s time to get down to business.

Do you have a Systematic style?

Donatello is a total Systematic.  As the team’s technical expert, he’s always thinking of new ways to improve strategy and resources to get things done more efficiently.

Do you have a Considerate style?

Leonardo pulls the team together with his Considerate style – reminding them of their purpose and the teachings of their leader, and keeping everyone working together, harmoniously, toward common goals.

One reason the Turtles are such a successful team is their variety of styles.  Each style has a different way of contributing to the group dynamic and taking on leadership.

Not sure exactly which Turtle you have the most in common with?  The What’s My Team Member Style?  Assessment can help you better understand the contribution you make to your team, and how to capitalize on your personal strengths to benefit your organization.

Try it now at the HRDQ Store!