Style shift

Last week, I went on a desk-drawing cleaning out binge.

I’ve been at  my current job for almost 18 months now and the desk drawers were becoming a receptacle for all kinds of odds-and-ends.

During one of those afternoons when the project I was working on reached at stopping point at 4:22 and I needed something to do until 5, I decided a desk drawer tidying up was an acceptable project.

Buried in one drawer was a “DecideX: Strategic Decision Making Instrument” test that I’d taken at the last job. I’m a nut for personality inventories like this, so I looked back over my results. This test analyzes how you make decisions on a matrix of four choices — Reactive Stimulator, Logical Processor, Hypothetical Analyzer and Relational Innovator.

I read the description for how my scores turned around (back in July 2012) and had a gut reaction that I am not that person.

I had the instrument and the score card, so I took it again.

In July 2012, I was an off-the-charts Hypothetical Analyzer with a little bit of Logical Processor thrown in. This type is basically about conserving processes and wanting clear expectations and predictability. My last position changed things all the time. We’d make a decision and then change it and change it again. Nothing would get settled until the last minute. The more that happened, the more my need for consistency grew.

This time, my Hypothetical Anaylzer score decreased (14 points to 10, so did my Logical Processor (6 to 3) score. From July ’12, I had a ZERO in Reactive Stimulator; now my score was  5 and my Relational Innovator score also went up (4 to 6).

This type, the Hypothetical Analyzer/Relational Innovator is about new ideas, about doing things in a new ways, with flexibility and autonomy because the combination lets you have new ideas and analyze how to best execute them. The Reactive Stimulator is also about new ideas and autonomy.

YES! I thought. This is me. This is who I am. 

This HA/RI score has all the strengths of the INTJ I am.

So why the shift?

The environment and the people.

In my fundraising classes, we talked about learning how to flex our personality or communication styles and recognize the styles of others to communicate the most effectively. Also, from other personality workshops, I’ve been in plenty of discussions about how stress changes people and how you act in other styles when stressors mount. So, at the previous job, the more things were stressful, the more my need for stability kicked in as a way to manage.

Now that I’m a position where practice is stable and we have a way we do things, my new ideas drive is kicked into high gear. I spent a day last week working on a new marketing ideas. I am so revved up for this project because it’s new and helpful and a good mix of autonomous and in a group. It’s a me kind of project.

Work should be a place where you can be who you are. Yes, it’s a place where we all must adapt, but if you’re shifting your style there too much — too much away from the kind of decision-maker, or the kind of person, you are — it could be a pretty clear sign that you’re in the wrong place.



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