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Management Values/Styles
The way in which you manage situations and supervise people depends on more than the
12 MAP2 competencies. McGregor’s management theory of X and Y (embedded in the
MAP2 assessment) advances the notion that your values (perceptions, expectations, opin-
ions, etc.) regarding work and workers have a strong bearing on how you apply your com-
petencies in supervising others.
To provide additional insight into your style, MAP2 took you through two self-assessments:
Communication Response Style and Personal Style Assessment. Your Communication
Response Style helps you to see how you are likely to respond to others at work. Indeed,
the way in which we communicate with others is the most reliable indicator of our
management style.
The Personal Style Assessment examines four behavior patterns that are present in dif-
ferent degrees as part of your personality: Thinker, Intuitor, Feeler, Sensor. Do not be mis-
led by these four labels; they were established by Carl Jung many years ago.
On the 12 MAP2 competencies, higher percentiles are an indication of better performance.
However, higher scores on the styles and values are not necessarily better than lower ones.
There are no right or wrong styles and values. Rather, your scores are appropriate or inap-
propriate to the individual, the situation, and the organization’s culture and climate.
Management Values/Styles
1 |
Theory X/Theory Y
In his book, The Human Side of Enterprise, Douglas McGregor presented two highly influen-
tial ways of viewing people’s motivation in the workplace, known as Theory X and Theory Y.
Theory X assumes that people are lazy, dislike and shun work, lack ambition, dislike respon-
sibility, seek security before advancement, and prefer to be led. In these circumstances,
management must persuade, reward, punish, control, and direct people’s activities.
Under Theory X, management approaches can range from a “hard” to a “soft” approach. The
hard approach relies on coercion, implicit threats, close supervision, and tight controls;
essentially an environment of command and control. The soft approach is permissive and
seeks harmony, with the hope that in return employees will cooperate when asked to do so.
However, neither of these extremes is optimal. The hard approach often results in hostility,
purposely low productivity, and hardline demands. The soft approach results in ever-
increasing requests for more rewards in exchange for ever-decreasing productivity.
By contrast, Theory Y assumes that people have a psychological need to work, and want
achievement and responsibility. Under Theory Y, the essential task of management is to
arrange organizational conditions and methods of operation so that by directing their
efforts toward organizational objectives, people can achieve their own goals. People who
agree with Theory Y believe that, for most people, work is as natural as play—that people
have the capacity for self-control, that motivation arises from higher-order needs such as
self-esteem and achievement, and that people, if properly managed, will be more than
willing to take on responsibility. Finally, Theory Y says that people can be creative and
team spirited, and that few organizations make use of these inherent abilities that their
people have.
According to McGregor’s theory, the role of a manager is not to ask, “Which theory of
human nature is right?” but, “What is the reality of our job situation, and how can I moti-
vate my group to keep them involved and contributing?” In other words, whether you as a
manager adhere to Theory X or Theory Y will be reflected in how you relate to and com-
municate with your people in different circumstances.
The table on the following page summarizes some of the assumptions that underpin the X
and Y theories.
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MAP 2/EXCEL 2 Performance Improvement
Underlying Assumptions about
Theory X and Theory Y Management Styles
Theory X Assumptions
Theory Y Assumptions
People are naturally lazy; they prefer to do
People are naturally active; they set goals and
enjoy striving to reach them.
People work mostly for money, status, and
People seek many satisfactions in work: pride in
achievement, enjoyment of process, sense of
contribution, pleasure in association, and
stimulation of new challenges.
The main force keeping people productive in
The main force keeping people productive in
their work is fear of being demoted or fired.
their work is a desire to achieve their personal
and social goals.
People remain children, only larger; they are
People normally mature beyond childhood; they
naturally dependent on leaders.
aspire to independence, self-fulfillment, and
People expect and depend on direction from
People close to the situation see and feel what is
above; they do not want to think for themselves.
needed, and are capable of self-direction.
People need to be told, shown, and trained in
People who understand and care about what
proper methods of work.
they are doing can devise and improve their own
methods of doing work.
People need supervisors who will watch them
People need to sense that they are respected,
closely enough to be able to praise good work
capable of assuming responsibility, and able to
and reprimand errors.
People have little concern beyond their
People seek to give meaning to their lives by
immediate, material interests.
identifying with larger causes.
People need specific instruction on what to do
People need ever-increasing understanding; they
and how to do it; larger policy issues are none of
need to grasp the meaning of the activities in
their business.
which they are engaged; they have cognitive
hunger as extensive as the universe.
People appreciate being treated with courtesy.
People crave genuine respect from their fellow
People are naturally compartmentalized; work
People are naturally integrated; when work and
demands are entirely different from leisure
play are too sharply separated, both deteriorate.
People naturally resist change; they prefer to stay
People naturally tire of monotonous routine and
in familiar territory.
enjoy new experiences; to some degree everyone
is creative.
Jobs are primary and must be done; people are
People are primary and seek self-realization; jobs
selected, trained, and fitted to pre-defined jobs.
must be designed, modified, and fitted to people.
People are formed more by heredity, childhood,
People constantly grow; it is never too late to
and youth; as adults they remain relatively static;
learn; they enjoy learning and increasing their
“old dogs don’t learn new tricks.”
understanding and capability.
People need to be inspired, pushed, or driven.
People need to be released, encouraged, and
Management Values/Styles
3 |
More recently, the field of transactional analysis (TA) brings a pair of terms to help our
understanding of Theory X/Theory Y: Parent-Child (Theory X) and Adult-Adult (Theory Y).
The table below makes the distinction clear:
Theory X and Theory Y Values
(Theory X)
(Theory Y)
Nurturing (Soft X)
Judgmental (Hard X)
(Theory X)
(Theory X)
You’re Not OK
You’re OK
When we approach situations and people with the attitude that we are right and others are
not (I’m OK, you’re not OK), we are operating from the parent state. There are two kinds of
parent behavior: The nurturing parent tends to protect subordinates—to gather them
under one’s wings. This manager (Soft X) wants to be recognized as a friend.
In contrast to the nurturing parent, the judgmental parent (Hard X) tends to believe that
employees may be lazy or inadequate, and will typically do only what is expected of them.
This manager believes that pay, working conditions, and incentives are the tools a supervi-
sor must work with in order to induce employees to work, since the work itself is not con-
sidered to be sufficiently attractive in and of itself.
Most people will have a score on both scales (X and Y). If one of your scores is high and one
score is low, you show a clear preference for the high score.
If both scores are equal, you have developed a strong management style, responsive to both
types of employees and situations: Adult-Adult and Parent-Child.
Of course, there are no right or wrong answers. The appropriateness of your two scores
depends upon the work environment, the people you supervise, and your own evolution as
a manager, as well as the specific situations in which you are expected to manage every day.
The next four pages will describe how a Theory X style manager and a Theory Y style man-
ager are likely to perform in each MAP2 competency area. Note: This is only a general
guide, as actual performance will depend on the situation.
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MAP 2/EXCEL 2 Performance Improvement
The Administrative Competencies
(Theory X)
(Theory Y)
Managing and
Activity oriented; wants to see
Results oriented; there should be
Prioritizing Time
employees keeping busy the whole
quiet times and moments for reflec-
tion and planning.
Manages the time of others who
Trusts employees to manage their
cannot be expected to know the
own time and does not second-guess
them on priorities.
Everything must get done sooner or
Getting everything done is not as
later, so keep working. Time is
important as getting the right things
something you spend.
done. Time is something to invest.
Expects employees to be available
Recognizes that employees have
whenever they are needed; putting in
many priorities and are not always
time is of primary importance.
available; achieving results is more
important than putting in time.
Setting Goals and
Assigns tasks and activities, often
Assigns goals and standards; explains
without explanation of why (goals).
what the results should look like and
Tells employees the details of how a
Lets employees work out the details
goal or standard should be met.
of how a goal or standard should be
Believes that employees do not need
Believes that employees have a criti-
or want to know goals and standards.
cal stake in knowing the goals and
Believes that they are happy as long
standards and that the tracking of
as they are busy.
performance toward them is a key
source of motivation.
Sets personal goals that may be
Sets personal goals that are chal-
unrealistically high or low, since the
lenging but achievable, since the
activity is often seen as threatening.
activity is seen as one of growth and
Planning and
There is no time to plan or schedule.
Planning, scheduling, and controlling
Scheduling Work
Besides, things never go according to
are part of every job. We must take
plan anyway, so why bother?
time to make time.
Sees activity as productive (visible
Sees planning as working. Effective
output) and may distrust planning as
planning should enable employees to
a poor substitute for working.
work smarter rather than harder.
Planning and scheduling are respon-
Planning and scheduling are part of
sibilities of management, since
any task or assignment and are the
employees cannot be expected to
responsibility of everyone. Managers
know how to handle it.
and employees must confer on how
to handle it.
Management Values/Styles
5 |
The Cognitive Competencies
(Theory X)
(Theory Y)
Identifying and
Believes that management has the
Believes that the employees closest
Solving Problems
responsibility and superior
to the problems are in the best posi-
experience to solve problems, and
tion to solve them, given proper
employees should not attempt it
training and coaching.
Sees empowerment as a threat to
Sees empowerment as a means of
quality, as unprepared employees
affixing responsibility with teams and
attempt to solve problems them-
work groups, where it belongs.
May at times be more interested in
Avoids blaming employees; prefers to
affixing blame than in resolving
view problems as opportunities for
Sees problems as an error on
Sees problems as a natural part of
someone’s part.
any endeavor.
Making Decisions and
It is the role of a manager to make
Many decisions can and should be
Weighing Risk
decisions and the role of employees
made by employees. Managers and
to put these decisions into action.
employees should work out, in
advance, the types of decisions each
is responsible for.
Tends to base decisions on subjective
Tends to base decisions on objective
factors and gut feelings. The process
data. Weighs the alternatives on dif-
is sometimes emotional.
ferent factors, sometimes with a
decision matrix. Takes a rational,
unemotional approach.
Tends to not gather information from
Empowerment means more
sources and may make uninformed
effectiveness for everyone.
decisions or no decision at all.
Employees will be more committed
to the successful outcome of a
decision that they researched and
Thinking Clearly and
Tends to oversimplify and to polarize
Tends to see many shades of gray
issues as black and white.
when analyzing employees and
Often unaware of personal bias or of
Solicits opinions and viewpoints of
alternative ways of viewing things.
others so as to get a broader percep-
tion of things.
May lead with the heart and follow
Keeps facts and feelings separate,
with the head.
treating reason and emotion with
equal respect.
Jumps to premature conclusions;
Takes time to weigh evidence,
does not look for evidence or assign
explore alternatives, test assump-
weight; is easily victimized by faulty
tions, and evaluate the soundness of
the input (premises) and output (con-
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MAP 2/EXCEL 2 Performance Improvement
The Communication Competencies
(Theory X)
(Theory Y)
Listening and
May not spot gaps or inconsistencies
Probes to confirm understanding and
in what others are saying.
get closure.
Believes that people say what they
Believes that employees are not
mean and mean what they say.
always sure what they want to say.
Fails to summarize or confirm under-
Confirms and seeks closure with
standing. Assumes that message
summary: “Let me see if I understand
clarity is the speaker’s responsibility.
what you’ve been saying. You feel
Often better at listening for facts and
Pays much attention to the speaker’s
content than for feelings and intent.
intent as to the message content;
works to answer the question,
“Why are you telling me this?”
Giving Clear
Believes that one person is the
Believes that both parties have infor-
sender and the other is the receiver
mation to give and get, and that this
of information. Therefore, the ability
is done via dialogue.
to make an effective (one-way)
presentation is the key to influencing
Believes that attitudes are hard to
Believes that attitudes can be
change but that it can be done by
changed better by asking questions
conveying the right information.
than by giving information—
deductive (Socratic) discussion and
dialogue rather than inductive
Sees breakdowns in communication
Sees communication as a two-way
as the other person’s fault: “You
street; both parties are responsible
didn’t listen when I told you.”
for making sure that understanding is
Getting Unbiased
Does not probe for verification.
Believes that the speaker deserves
full attention and a clean slate (no
prior listener bias or assumptions of
source credibility).
Often better at listening for factual
Probes for feelings “Why are you tell-
information than for feelings and
ing me this?” as well as for fact
“What information are you
Uses directive questions that tend to
Uses the full repertoire of questions
bias the respondent into saying what
(directive, nondirective, self-
is expedient (i.e., the reply is often
appraisal, probes) to get the full
guarded, incomplete, and phrased in
message (content and intent).
acceptable terms).
Management Values/Styles
7 |
The Supervisory Competencies
(Theory X)
(Theory Y)
Training, Coaching,
The glass is half empty...there is so
The glass is half full...we can train our
and Delegating
much that our employees must learn
employees by building on what they
and so little time to teach it (show
already know (Socratic, deductive
and tell, inductive method).
My role is to tell employees what
My role is to help employees learn by
they need to know to perform
experience with hands-on activity in
a low-risk, fail-safe environment.
Employees are dependent on me to
Employees are self-dependent as
share my experience and knowledge.
long as we provide the needed
resources (mentors, coworkers,
May believe that training can and
Believes that training of one’s team is
should be delegated to HRD.
too important to be delegated (it can
only be abdicated!)
Sees the teacher’s role as active and
Sees the learner’s role as active and
the learner’s as largely passive, sub-
teacher’s role as an arranger of
missive, listener—“don’t interrupt or
learning experiences—welcomes
interruptions and challenges.
Appraising People
The judgmental manager (Hard X) is
Gives regular feedback, both compli-
and Performance
critical and hard to please, whereas
mentary and corrective, so that both
the nurturing manager (Soft X) gives
types are seen as normal and
overall and general encouragement
welcome. Such feedback is thus
without pinpointing specific correct
reinforcing (i.e., effective in shaping
and incorrect behavior.
the desired behavior).
Sometimes waits until annual
Gives regular feedback so that annual
appraisal to evaluate. Performance
appraisals are surprise-free—a time
reviews contain surprises and may be
for taking inventory, identifying
trends, and planning future growth
Wants the employee to know how
Wants the employee to do a self-
he/she “stacks up” in the eyes of a
appraisal and thus internalize the
superior’s expectations.
standards and the responsibility (self-
Disciplining and
Sees discipline as a negative action
Sees discipline as a constructive
that may be taken to punish to make
action that must be taken to restore
a point or get even.
behavior to desirable levels.
It is the person who is unacceptable
It is the behavior that is unacceptable
and must be corrected.
and must be corrected.
May avoid discipline in the hope that
Sees the need to correct inappropri-
the problem or deviation will go away
ate behavior when it is first recog-
or get better on its own.
nized, before it becomes habit and
thus harder to correct.
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MAP 2/EXCEL 2 Performance Improvement
On-the-Job Activities to Consider
There is no one prescriptive strategy that will fit everyone’s managerial situation. You must
develop your own personal plan if you want to become a stronger, more effective manager.
The four questions below will help to guide your development efforts.
Based on my scores, what is my overall managerial style in most situations, and is this
consistently applied in most of my management actions? If not, where might this
To what degree is my managerial style appropriate/inappropriate to the nature of my
work and the type of people I manage?
What one or two actions can I take based on my Theory X and Theory Y scores that
could improve my managerial effectiveness?
What other comments or thoughts occur to you given the data presented in this profile?
Management Values/Styles
9 |
Communication Response Style
A vital ingredient of effective communication is being aware of the power you have to affect
how the other person(s) will respond to you. The more effectively you listen and respond
to others, the more they become aware—even subconsciously—of your responsiveness. As
a result, they are more likely to respond positively when your turn comes to talk. In short,
your response style serves as a model for those you communicate with and is likely to
influence their response style when it is their turn to listen.
If we want to be effective in our dealings with others, it is important to know the kinds of
things we do that cause distrust and misunderstanding. Do you ever hear complaints such
as “I’d like to help Joe, but he won’t listen to anything I say”? Or perhaps you have heard
this one: “Why do they all go to Janet to discuss their problems? I’m their supervisor… not
her.” By developing an awareness of our response style and how it affects others, we can
work on developing more effective response patterns. By knowing the behaviors we use
that turn people off or that influence them to feel understood, we can expand our ability to
influence others positively.
The pages that follow contain a description of the four response styles. All four were pre-
sent in each of the items in the Communication Response Style (CRS) assessment, and you
should already have your four scores to reflect the strength of each style. Here is what each
score means.
Empathic Response
The empathic response is a nonjudgmental reply that captures the essential theme and/or
feeling expressed. This communication mode reflects a positive attitude, sorts out elements
of personal value, and goes all the way in making the communication a two-way exchange.
A person in this mode will listen between the lines for underlying meanings, will keep an
open mind by staying out of a judgmental framework, and will focus on what will be useful
rather than on what is wrong. This person concentrates on fostering respect, rapport, trust,
and understanding.
By holding back on our rebuttals, we can keep a more objective point of view. The empathic
response stimulates the other person by being attentive, alert, and interested in their needs.
Such responses encourage the other person to elaborate on their ideas and feelings. They
will be willing to open up to the degree that we remain nonjudgmental and noncritical. The
empathic listener is like a mirror, reflecting what the other person is feeling. This leads
people to open up, comfortable in the assurance that they can talk openly without being
criticized or judged.
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MAP 2/EXCEL 2 Performance Improvement
A major element of this communication style is that the empathic responder avoids the
temptation to give advice. When people are given the opportunity to talk about and think
through their problems, they have a better understanding of the implications of their
problem and will be able to work out their own action plan. Although empathic responders
avoid suggesting a solution, they can still remain a resource person who can share
information when appropriate. It is important to remember that you do not have to agree
with what a person is saying to be an empathic listener. Your empathy extends to their
feelings and what they might be experiencing; it need not extend to their actions.
Critical Response
The critical response expresses judgment or evaluation that the other person often per-
ceives as a put-down. This response often results from our natural tendency to judge
others, either approvingly or disapprovingly. This responding style often challenges what
people say and why they feel the way they do. Even though people may tell you that they
want feedback and evaluation, most people do not take kindly to criticism, regardless of the
spirit in which it was given. Indeed, as Mark Twain once wrote, there is no such thing as
constructive criticism.
Because a critical response is often perceived as a threat, it increases the emotional level of
the other person, who feels turned off, labeled, and categorized, and they may choose not to
respond. When we become critical, we are likely to “get hooked” into negative feelings that
will cloud our objectivity and cause us to jump to false or premature conclusions.
Many factors can lead us to make critical responses. One is the pressure of time and con-
flicting priorities (i.e., we have other things to do rather than listen to another person’s
problems). Another is that the values and ideas of the other person may differ from our
own, thus biasing us. Still another is that we have our own experiences and needs, and in
our desire to share these with others, we inadvertently adopt ways that are easily con-
strued as being critical or judgmental.
There are three unfortunate outcomes of the critical response. The other person (1) feels
rejected or put down, (2) will usually retreat or “clam up,” and (3) will not have a chance to
release the feelings and emotions that may be begging for expression. We all give way to
critical responses from time to time. What is important is that we know when it is happen-
ing and work to overcome the problems that our critical responses may create.
Searching Response
The searching response asks for additional information. Sometimes we need more facts
and feelings in order to understand the other person. Sometimes the additional infor-
mation will help us get to the root of a problem. Sometimes we want to help the other per-
son to “ventilate” and thereby express their emotions. These are all good reasons for using
a searching response.
Management Values/Styles
11 |
But there are times when a searching response is inappropriate. Too many questions can
be felt as interrogation—a feeling of being “grilled” or given the “third degree.” Then, too,
we sometimes ask questions to fulfill our own needs, not because we are concerned for the
other person. This may disrupt their train of thought. At times we are so busy thinking up
our next question that we fail to listen to the other person’s response to our last question.
The timing of a searching response is very important. For example, consider the person
who is speaking emotionally and in fragmented sentences, describing a current experience
(e.g., something dear to them that was just stolen). Even though we have a lot of questions
to ask, we might want to use a few empathic ones first (“Sounds like you’re really at a loss”
or “You must feel awful, having lost a family heirloom”) to get their emotional level down to
the point where they can think objectively and talk coherently. Then, when you feel they
can be logical and analytical, you are ready to use the searching response.
Advising Response
The advising response is a recommendation that tells the other person what to do or not
do. When we are busy thinking of solutions while the other person is talking, we cannot lis-
ten fully to what he or she is saying.
There is a common myth that many people perpetuate: the notion that when someone
comes to us with a problem, it is our job to solve it, or at least to tell them what to do. Even
when people report on something they have done (successfully or unsuccessfully), we feel
obligated to tell them what to do next.
When we give another person advice, we deprive them of the chance to talk through the
problem or opportunity. This kind of communication mode tends to build dependency rela-
tionships. The best help we can give others is to enable them to work out their own solu-
tions. People feel more self-confident and behave more maturely (independently) when
they can plan and organize their own situations rather than have others tell them what to do.
Sometimes we give advice out of a genuine desire to help. Sometimes our recommenda-
tions are prompted by our own ego needs—for status, prestige, power, etc. But whatever
our motivation, advice is usually given at the expense of the other person’s personal and
professional development. It is okay to supply information, ideas, and facts, but we hinder
others when we give them advice on things they need to work out for themselves.
Analyzing Your Scores
The CRS assessment has been completed by thousands of people. The scores showed that the
Advising response was used most often, the Searching response was second, the Empathic
response was third, and the Critical response was last.
People in a variety of occupations make up the population that has gone through the CRS.
They evidently see their job as giving advice. However, the Advising response, like the
Critical response, can get in the way of effective listening by short-circuiting the flow of
information from the other person. In most interactions, these are not desirable responses
to use.
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MAP 2/EXCEL 2 Performance Improvement
Similarly, the Searching response can sometimes interrupt the other person’s flow of
thought or introduce personal biases (since the other person will answer your questions
with information that meets your need to know but may or may not meet his/her needs).
This leaves the Empathic response as the most useful means of drawing people out and
collecting information without distorting it. Yet this response is the least natural to most
Two of our four responses—Critical and Advising—are rarely appropriate in adult-to-
adult communications. Better results can usually be obtained by using other response
The other responses—Empathic and Searching—are responses that treat the other
person as a fellow adult. These are desirable responses. As noted earlier, the Empathic
response is appropriate whenever you want other persons to ventilate their emotions and
express their feelings. The Searching response is appropriate whenever you need
additional information and can get it without interrupting the flow or biasing the reply.
The following table shows communication response styles related to each of the 12 MAP2
Management Values/Styles
13 |
Communication Response Styles
(If Predominant Style/Possible Behaviors)
Managing and
May tend to be
May be abrupt with
May be effective
May take control of
casual time
interruptions, even
time managers in the
interruptions and
managers; easy to
hostile, but can be
moment, getting to
schedule next steps
interrupt because
good time managers.
the point quickly if
to solve problem.
they care about the
perhaps a bit too
relationship; need
to impose a time
Setting Goals
May be difficult to
May analyze and
Effective at guiding
May prefer to provide
pin down on spe-
evaluate the goals of
others to independ-
specific advice on
and Standards
cifics or metrics;
others and be openly
ent thinking on goal
how to improve goal
but good at helping
critical rather than
setting, rather than
setting, rather than
others flesh out
taking a guiding
fixing the problem
helping the other
realistic goals and
approach to improve
person do this them-
the steps needed to
achieve them.
Planning and
May be too willing
Likely to use plan-
Will seek to find the
Will offer the answer
to compromise
answer to why a
to planning/
plans in the face of
mechanisms to hold
problem or missed
scheduling issues.
adversity; may
others accountable.
project point
empathize with
others like failings.
Identifying and
Will likely want to
Will analyze the
Good at fleshing out
Prefers to jump to
hear and offer all
options for solutions;
the problem and
solutions and offers
perspectives on a
quick to identify
ensuring that all
opinions freely.
problem and how
facets are considered.
to approach it.
May make deci-
More likely to probe
May probe for deci-
Prefers decisiveness
Decisions and
sions and weigh risk
for “unturned stones”
sion rationale or
and will offer a deci-
in a more open,
in responding to the
more information to
sion when confronted
Weighing Risk
decisions of others.
understand decisions/
by uncertainty; may
gloss over weighing
Thinking Clearly
Approach may be
Will be quick to point
Will seek more facts,
May jump to conclu-
and Analytically
to gently guide
out or correct faulty
attempting to
sions too quickly;
others’ analysis by
premises or other
identify faulty and
needs to advise based
nurturing open
flaws in thinking or
true premises; needs
on facts and other
disclosure of
opinions of others.
to keep the objective
verifiable factors and
others’ thinking.
in mind.
Listening and
Likely good listen-
Need to listen more
Will focus on organ-
Favors organizing to
ers but may need
for emotional content
izing so will probe for
get to the point and
to consider the
to avoid an overly
more information in
get to action. Needs
business objective
critical response. First
an attempt to under-
to listen more and
as well as relating
think, “What’s right?”
stand; may cross
lead instead of
to another’s issues.
not “What’s wrong?”
providing answers.
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MAP 2/EXCEL 2 Performance Improvement
Communication Response Styles (concluded)
Giving Clear
Possibly not a
A strength, but needs
Probably not a
Needs to stop, collect
strength, focus is
to stop and think first
strength. Needs to
thoughts, and provide
on relationship.
in order to give
recognize when to
clear information
Needs to learn to
rounded feedback as
provide information
rather than opinion
recognize when
opposed to critical
based information.
simple facts are
called for. May
guide other person
to seeing more
clearly on their own.
Effective drawing
Needs to be careful
Likely a strength, but
Desire to jump to
others out but
not to put others on
also needs to be
solutions can lead to
needs to keep the
the defensive, which
aware that question-
biased approach.
objective in the
will make achieving
ing can eventually
Needs to guard
forefront to shape
this competency
result in a defensive,
against asking for
questions that will
especially challenging.
less disclosive
information to sup-
achieve the purpose.
port preconceived
Likely to be stronger
Needs to stay positive
Needs to keep unit
Likely to want to
Coaching, and
building relation-
and reward achieve-
objectives in the
over-manage, needs
ships and less strong
ment. May tend
forefront and use
to hold back and
toward Theory X
questioning, two-
lead/ guide direct
others toward
behaviors and views.
way communication
reports toward goals.
achieving goals.
to engage direct
May be overly posi-
May use appraisals to
Will be effective
Likely a strength, but
People and
tive and fall short
unintentionally pun-
seeking causes for
needs to lead the
on requiring hard
ish. Needs to lead
direct report in a self-
steps and goals to
discussion with recap
but needs to stick to
examination rather
achieve over the
of successes and keep
a system to ensure
than doing all the
next time frame.
a positive forward-
that appraisals
thinking outlook.
satisfy their purpose.
Disciplining and
Likely to resist this
Likely a strength but
Could be successful
Likely a strength, but
competency, but
should endeavor to
getting to root
needs to focus on
can use relationship
employ the carrot as
causes of issues but
providing very clear
strength to help
a motivator since the
needs to focus on
parameters in this
influence the
objective is to correct
the unambiguous
kind of discussion.
desired changes.
problem performance.
nature of correcting
the problem.
Management Values/Styles
15 |
On-the-Job Activities to Consider
Personal Interpretation and Plan of Action
My most frequent response is the ______________________________________________________ response.
My next most frequent style is the _____________________________________________________ response.
My next to least frequent style is the __________________________________________________ response.
My least frequent style is the ___________________________________________________________ response.
Based on the order of responses noted above, I would conclude that my communication
response style might best be described as follows:
The implication of my response style is that in my communication with others, I will have
to make a conscious effort to:
I will know that I’ve been successful when the other person I’m communicating with begins to:
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MAP 2/EXCEL 2 Performance Improvement
Personal Style Assessment
The four behavior patterns explored here were first recognized and researched by the
Swiss psychoanalyst, Carl Jung, whose book, Psychological Types, set forth a remarkably
advanced theory of personality.
According to Jung, what really accounts for our personality differences is the mixture of
four patterns of behavior that each of us possesses. We are all a combination of Intuitor,
Thinker, Feeler, and Sensor. This mixture is genetically determined, Jung believed, and can
be seen in infants at an early age. Teachers in the elementary grades have no difficulty in
identifying the mixture in their students. Here is what each of the four children typically
looks like:
The Intuitor sits alone, seemingly daydreaming. In reality, this child is forming
global concepts, integrating experience in different ways, looking for meaning in each,
and constantly searching to know the “why” behind each “what.” Being told that
something is true is not enough; the intuitor must discover it from personal
The Thinker has a strong need to be correct. This child demonstrates a structured
and systematic approach to learning, gathering facts rather than ideas. The thinker
is logical, organized, and systematic, and enjoys collecting and processing infor-
mation and giving much attention to detail and precision.
The Feeler enjoys dealing with the moods, feelings, and emotions of self and others.
Learning is visceral as much as verbal. This child is empathetic, sentimental, and in
tune with the feelings of others. Feelers are more concerned with the reactions of
others than with objective reality.
The Sensor is a here-and-now, action-oriented, learn-by-doing child who must grab
the rock or the frog and hold it to know it is reality. This student dissipates anxiety
through action rather than by imagining, analyzing, or feeling. Restless and squirmy,
the Sensor is tapping feet or fingers while the mind races ahead at 75 mph.
Although your mixture of these four behavior patterns might change slightly over time,
they are inborn and relatively stable. Thus, the same characteristics that we just observed
in children will be equally apparent as they grow into adults.
The value of knowing your stronger and weaker styles is explained by the concept known
as styleflexing. Simply put, we will be much more effective in understanding others and
helping them to understand us if we are able to flex, or modify, a natural style when we rec-
ognize that the person with whom we are communicating has a different mixture from our
own. Suppose you are a high Sensor and are trying to sell an idea to someone who is a low
Sensor but a high Feeler. You will probably do better if you flex your natural tendency to
“come on strong.” Instead of overwhelming a Feeler by listing all the advantages of your
idea, you do better by appealing to the Feeler’s natural tendency to talk about the feelings
that your idea elicits, and perhaps discuss how others have reacted to it.
Management Values/Styles
17 |
As you can see in the table on the following page (middle and right columns), every charac-
teristic associated with the four personality styles can be viewed as either a strength or a
weakness. Your strengths, if carried to extremes, will be seen as weaknesses.
No one style is better or worse than the others, and all four styles are present in each of us.
Some people have a fairly even balance over the four styles. Such a person should find it
easier to styleflex than would, say, a low Intuitor who is trying to communicate with a high
Intuitor; there is less distance to move. Most people, however, have a primary style that
they have developed over the years. This style has little to do with intelligence or profes-
sional competence. All of us draw on all four styles in our communication with others.
However, our primary style is our most “natural”—the style we use most often and feel
most comfortable with.
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MAP 2/EXCEL 2 Performance Improvement
Worthy but aloof. Impersonal. Goes
Intuitors are likely to demonstrate
off on tangents. Not mindful of your
their imagination in their selection of
new-wave furnishings and decor.
Those in "think" occupations and
professions have offices resembling
many mini think-tanks: round
conference tables, chalkboard or
notes pinned to walls, offbeat
"Business like" but lackluster. Little
Thinkers like their work surroundings
voice inflection. Ticks off specifics.
to be correct and non-distracting.
Ordered, measured manner.
They select furnishings that are
Sometimes suggests ground-rules for
tasteful but conventional. Likely to
phone conversation, i.e., "Shall we
have charts for business use, reports,
begin with your agenda or mine?"
and reference works nearby. Few
touches of informality and color.
Warm and friendly, sometimes
Feelers tend to personalize their
seemingly too much so. Doesn't seem
surroundings, make their offices
to distinguish between business and
informal and somewhat "homey."
personal calls in the sense that he’s
They like warm colors, antiques; big,
likely to be quite informal. Interjects
live plants, mementos, snapshots
humor, personal associations,
rather than formal photographs of
question about one's well-being, etc.
family. Papers and files, etc., are likely
Likes to "gossip." Talks incessantly.
to be messy on the surface,
Feels rude if hangs up fast.
"organized" underneath in a personal
way only they can understand.
Abrupt. Staccato. Gets to the point,
Sensors generate atmosphere of hard-
expects others do the same.
charging clutter. Mementos, if any,
Interrupts. Needs to control the
connote action. Desk is likely to be big,
messy. Sensor is too busy being neat,
too action-oriented to be concerned
with image unless coupled with a
strong thinker back-up style.
Management Values/Styles
19 |
Typical Style
When Seen as
When Seen as
of Dress
Hard to predict. May be like
“absent-minded professor,” more
into ideas than image, a la Howard
Hughes. May be too wrapped up in
future goals to think about daily
appearance. Alternatively may
have imaginative self-concept that
intellectually tenacious
may reflect in clothes from
stunning to outlandish.
Conservative, “proper.” Unas-
effective communicator
suming, understated. Dress
invariably appropriate to circum-
stance. Business-like in office: well-
weighs alternatives
tailored, “correct” in non-work
atmosphere. Coordinated and
tasteful but without color or
controlled and controlling
over-serious, rigid
Dress is more according to own
mood than to suit others’ expecta-
tions. Likes colorful, informal
clothes. Often has sentimental,
grasps traditional values
favorite articles of clothing. Some-
times shows a hankering for old-
fashioned touches or “costume”
draws out feelings of others
stirs up conflict
Informal, simple, functional clothes
doesn’t see long-range
are the order of the day. Wants to
status seeking
be neat but not fancy. Tends to
categorize: everyday or dress-up. If
acts first then thinks
Sensors see the occasion as being
lacks trust in others
“special,” they throw simplicity to
the wind; their competitive zeal
then rises to the surface, and they
may “out-class” everyone.
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MAP 2/EXCEL 2 Performance Improvement
There are two premises that underlie the value of learning about the four personal styles.
One is that by knowing our own primary and secondary styles, we can become less
sensitive to the way others see us, as just discussed. The other premise is even more valua-
ble: by determining the primary style of any party we are talking with, we can then com-
municate with them in their own style and be that much more likely to be understood and
accepted. This is the concept of styleflexing, mentioned earlier.
Thus, if you just presented an idea and need feedback on how you have come across, here is
how you might word your question for each of the four styles:
To the
How does this concept strike you? What do you think of the direc-
tion I’m heading?
To the
Based on your own analysis of the situation, how would you weigh
the facts I’ve presented?
To the
At this point, I have a need to know how you feel we’re tracking
and what kind of reaction you’ve got so far…
To the
I hope I haven’t bored you with more detail than you need. What
do you see as the payoff here? And what action comes next?
Although most people take to the concept of styleflexing the way a duck takes to water,
there are those who see it as “phony.” The usual reason goes something like this: “if two
people want to understand one another, they can listen and ask questions and communi-
cate in their own natural styles. Trying to guess the style of another person and then mimic
it can get in the way and be distracting to both parties.”
This may be true. But it is also true that the successful styleflexer will get comments like
this: “Thanks for being open enough to share your analysis of the pros and cons”… “I appre-
ciate your taking the time to boil it down for me”… “Now we’re on the same wavelength.”
In fact, most of us have difficulty communicating with some people. We feel that “the
chemistry just isn’t right” or that “we’re talking past one another.” Jung’s four communica-
tion styles offer a possible explanation for the difficulty: one person’s high primary style
was low for the other person. If either party had been able to styleflex to meet the other’s
primary style, then communication might have been more successful.
The following table shows personal styles related to each of the 12 MAP2 competencies.
Management Values/Styles
21 |
Personal Styles
(If Predominant Style/Possible Behaviors)
Managing and
Likely not the best
Likely a strength; will
Likely to be a weak
Strength is prioritiz-
Prioritizing Time
time manager;
use time manage-
time manager, needs
ing and focusing on
needs to impose a
ment when the need
to use objectives to
results, but may fall
few key time man-
arises, but may sacri-
stay on track and
short of completing
agement principles
fice relations to some
manage time against
tasks. Needs to com-
to keep the impor-
extent to keep self
own tendencies.
plete objectives
tant things on track.
efficiently on track.
before jumping to
the next key thing.
Setting Goals and
May bite off more
Can be effective but
Must guard against
Needs to will self to
than they can chew.
needs to push past
perceptions of col-
consider strategy
Needs to rein in
indecisiveness/fear of
lateral, interpersonal
first, and then dive
enthusiasm and
failure and commit to
damage from inter-
into the goals and
keep goals attaina-
goals that are chal-
fering with setting
actions that are
ble and concrete.
lenging to achieve.
goals and standards.
needed to achieve
results now.
Planning and
Knows what needs
A real strength. Once
Really needs to self-
May act first, without
Scheduling Work
to get done but may
goals are accepted
impose some plan-
planning. Will benefit
resist using disci-
will be deliberate and
ning mechanisms.
from imposing a few
plined mechanisms
effective in planning
Works more natu-
key planning princi-
to systematize get-
but needs to guard
rally as the lubricant
ples on own and
ting from A to Z.
against over-analyzing.
to ensuring others’
others’ work.
plans move along in
the right direction.
Identifying and
Likely a strength;
Likely a strength, for
Likely to bring
A strength; clarifies
Solving Problems
seeing problems and
dealing with complex
important perspec-
and focuses well,
identifying alterna-
problems but may
tive to team prob-
needs to force self to
tives. May need help
over-analyze simple
lems but may benefit
take a little extra
selecting best solu-
problems to the point
from a problem-
time evaluating
tion and following
of slowing action.
solving methodology
alternatives before
for individual
forcing to action.
Making Decisions
May be idealistic in
Strong analytical
Will benefit from
Strong, action-
and Weighing
making decisions,
decision maker, but
oriented decision
should employ prac-
needs to guard
tools and techniques
maker. Needs to slow
tical decision-
against analysis-
to ensure considera-
down enough to
making tools and
tion of objective,
ensure nothing criti-
practical business
cal is overlooked.
Thinking Clearly
Resists a disciplined
A strength; likely
May act as the con-
Prefers action to
and Analytically
approach to consid-
brings a rational,
science in team deci-
analysis. Will benefit
ering issues, but
deliberate thought
sion processes. May
from imposing a best
creative bent can
process that is less
have a political per-
practice for analyzing
pull in factors others
likely to overlook key
spective that can be
complex decisions,
may overlook.
valuable in assessing
situations, or strate-
business situations.
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MAP 2/EXCEL 2 Performance Improvement
Personal Styles (concluded)
Listening and
Usually a good lis-
A strength, will draw
Not a strength; needs
bent may influence
tener; will harvest
others out through.
to take a disciplined
a high need to con-
information efficiently
approach to listening
sciously decide to
but may need to
as part of general
focus in order to
apply feedback skills
strategy to rein in a
listen well.
to help get the most
nearly impulsive need
complete picture.
to take action.
Giving Clear
Can be clear and
A strength, but may
Naturally persuasive,
Can be overwhelm-
persuasive, but may
use a lackluster,
needs to use emo-
ing. Would be better
take a creative
mechanical delivery.
tional appeal as ap-
served to provide
approach and may
Needs to think about
propriate but strive
more rationale prior
go off track.
and communicate the
to include hard facts
to jumping to action.
motivating factors.
in communication.
Getting Unbiased
Needs to withhold
Should be an effec-
Good at drawing
Needs to avoid lead-
judgment and con-
tive interviewer but
others out, but
ing other person into
sider information on
needs to avoid a cross-
needs to use this skill
providing the infor-
its own merits.
examination style
to focus on getting
mation that justifies
Needs to learn to
that could put the
facts and hard
one’s own precon-
probe for objective
other person on the
ception. Avoiding
information not just
defensive and inhibit
self- bias is as impor-
that which supports
the information pro-
tant as avoiding bias
in the other person.
May have some dif-
May delegate drudg-
Can be strong relat-
May tend toward
Coaching, and
ficulty with dele-
ery rather than
ing to others,
Theory X. Excellent
gating. Needs to use
therefore needs to
coach in urgent situa-
management by
Needs to accept
make an effort to
tions but needs to
objectives to keep
imperfection in
keep coaching
provide direction
business actions
others and keep the
focused on
without micro-
focused where they
end goal of improving
performance in mind.
May not like the
May excel with
Probably as uncom-
Likely prefers fast,
People and
nitty-gritty details of
appraisals as with
fortable with apprais-
continuous feedback
most structured exer-
als as his/her direct
as opposed to struc-
appraisal but under-
cises but needs to
reports. Important
tured episodes that
stand its need for
guard against rigidly
for him/her to
may not reflect per-
progressing toward
imposing a system of
embrace fast, con-
formance in action.
evaluation that at
tinuous feedback to
May believe they are
times might miss
create a habit of
not worth the
important facets of
analytical effort.
Disciplining and
Needs to be careful
Will follow ground
May be good at get-
Likely to be practical,
to follow procedure
rules and may be
ting others perspec-
direct, and forceful,
here and should
somewhat cold and
tive on an issue
leaving little room for
avoid overreacting.
detached in a disci-
requiring discipline.
misinterpreting con-
May not be tolerant
plinary situation.
Needs to follow pro-
sequences if an issue
of transgressions
cedure and draw
is not resolved.
that fall outside own
clear lines for cor-
recting behavior.
Management Values/Styles
23 |
On-the-Job Activities to Consider
Your Personal Style
Based on your scores, describe your personal style below:
How would others who know you well describe your personal style? Would they agree
fully with your description above? Or would they emphasize other attributes or traits?
(If you have had other people evaluate your style, compare their raw score ratings with
your own self-ratings.)
Based on your answers to numbers 1 and 2, list three to four of your greatest strengths
and weaknesses.
Greatest Strengths
Greatest Weaknesses
4. What actions might be taken by you and/or your immediate work group to get full mileage
from your strengths and to deal with your weaknesses?
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MAP 2/EXCEL 2 Performance Improvement