The four orientations

Supporting

Key word: Excellence

Characteristics:

  • important to feel is a worthwhile person, 'doing their bit'
  • trying to be responsive and co-operative
  • likes to feel others think of them as trustworthy
  • belief that others are fundamentally good
  • having ideals and living up to them are very important
  • feels personally responsible for any difficulties
  • reluctant to engage in emotional confrontations.

Typical behaviours

  • listens to what people have to say
  • appreciates others' problem-solving abilities
  • provides resources for others to get things done
  • encourages others when they meet difficulties
  • removes obstacles to others' achievements
  • 'lends a hand'
  • anticipates others' needs; and taking care of them in advance
  • co-operates and collaborates to make a task easier or more fun
  • gives advice when asked
  • emphasises the importance of having goals and values
  • helps others to develop
  • trusts other people.

Controlling

Key word: Action

Characteristics:

  • important to get things accomplished, quickly
  • believes that problems can be solved by dedication, energy and imagination
  • likes to seize opportunities
  • trusts their own instincts
  • loves a challenge
  • believes in taking responsibility
  • handles conflict confidently: actively enjoys working towards resolution.

Typical behaviours

  • communicates desires clearly to eliminate confusion
  • tells others exactly where they stand
  • expresses confidence that the other person can deliver what is requested
  • makes decisions quickly
  • takes action to show what is needed
  • gathers resources to tackle a task
  • willing to take risks
  • confronts differences as they arise
  • takes the initiative
  • acts independently.

Conserving

Key word: Reason

Characteristics:

  • likes to minimise loss, optimise gains
  • interested in getting things done accurately and thoroughly
  • attention to detail
  • likes rigorous documentation and information retrieval systems
  • very attentive to facts and accurate information in conflict situations
  • slow, deliberate and analytical approach
  • prefers long-term solutions to immediate relief.

Typical behaviours:

  • establishes a clear structure for projects
  • sticks to policies and procedures
  • analyses carefully what is involved before taking action
  • documents what happens
  • makes sure instructions are clear
  • adheres to schedules and budgets
  • double-checks facts and details
  • keeps calm and objective in a crisis
  • behaves consistently.

Adapting

Key word: Harmony

Characteristics:

  • loves to be liked and admired
  • enjoys working with others and tuning into their needs
  • likes networking
  • understands that social acceptance is key to getting things done
  • is flexible and willing to try new experiences
  • likes to negotiate, happy to give and take
  • generous with compliments and appreciation
  • positive and optimistic.

Typical behaviours:

  • expresses appreciation for others' efforts
  • is sensitive to others' feelings
  • takes time to build harmonious and friendly relationships
  • listens to new ideas in a positive way
  • is willing to see the other side of an issue
  • is enthusiastic
  • often sees the lighter side of situations
  • adjusts behaviour according to what other people need
  • is tactful when dealing with delicate situations.
t: +44 (0)1628 633101 | e: action@lifeorientations.com