Breath of Clarity

Social Style

My Working Style Inventory results are a 5 in amiable, a 5 in expressive, a 5 in analytical and a 3 in driver. Considering my range of scores between the four different styles is quite low, I do not have a dominant style. However, I do consistently exhibit specific characteristics that are present in the various styles.

The analytical part of me brought complexity to this answer. I know that I am part-analytical because I am a persistent problem solver. I am critical, particularly of my own performance, and it translates into being harsh on others. I also need intellectual to be a key feature of my work environment. I definitely prefer to see things in writing. Finally, organization is one of my biggest strengths (EBS University 2018). According to Scott Schwefel (2014), simply not choosing one style from the get go would indicate that analytical is my dominant style. However, I do not agree with his claim because other characteristics that equally define me are from the other styles.

For instance, having friendly, close personal, relationships with others is one of my most important objectives. Moreover, I know I am part-amiable because I definitely give off a warm ambiance in terms of the way I display my work area. Moreover, in a social environment, I definitely like for myself and others to be genuine and friendly. Additionally, I dislike interpersonal conflict so much that I say what I think other people want to hear. While it makes people feel supported, a weakness of it is that I feed into ramblers who are self-centered. Or, if I admire someone, I tend to get shy because I only want to say what they want to hear. To develop behavioral flexibility, my challenge is to complete tasks without being over-sensitive to the feelings of others (EBS University 2018).

When no one else is around, I am such a driver. I exhibit great administrative and operational skills. I definitely have a tendency to put things into piles. My strength is getting things done. I can have a low tolerance for inadequacies in others. I also need tangible evidence of progress. I tend to juggle many things at once, put a lot on my plate, and keep adding more until the pressure builds to the point where I let everything drop and immediately start the whole process over again. To develop behavioral flexibility, my challenge is to pace myself to look more relaxed (EBS University 2018).

In line with having trouble pacing myself, I am a part-expressive as I take quick actions that are spontaneous. I am often not concerned about the facts and details and try to avoid them as much as possible to gather the main idea. My bosses have told me that enthusiasm is one of my strengths. I do well in the expressive occupations, such as sales. To develop behavioral flexibility, my challenge is to control my emotions, develop a more detail-oriented mindset, and take a more logical rather than emotional approach to issues (EBS University 2018).

A major challenge I have observed in interacting with other styles is derived from how I handle having a diverse set of characteristics. Even though it is illogical, I have been critical of others by determining my action based upon the weaknesses that exist in their low-range dominant styles. I unconsciously aim to balance others out by radiating characteristics that are opposite of their styles. As Schwefel (n.d.) mentioned, people who have the opposite energy as me see my non-overboard version as too far.

Schwefel (n.d.) gave great advice to think about the energy that the others lead with and embody their characteristics. For example, a way I challenge myself to adjust my spontaneous expressive characteristic for the analytical followers is by being prepared with facts, examples, and reference material (Canseco n.d.). I challenge myself to adjust my critical analytical characteristic for the amiable followers by using the sandwich technique when giving feedback (Canseco n.d.). I have witnessed myself mirror the styles of clients in order to succeed. Now, it is a matter of wiring my brain to do the same with folks inside of the company.



Canseco, Michelle Marchand. Year (n.d.) “How to Motivate the 4 Personality Types | How to Speak The Secret Language of Personality Styles.” MichelleMotivateMe. YouTube. Sept 18, 2011. Video, 6:40.

Schwefel, Scott. Year (n.d.) “Your Personality and Your Brain.” TEDxBrookings. YouTube. Dec 15, 2014. Video, 15:53.

Comment by Professor Robert Gnuse:

Hi Mary, nice post. It sounds like you are almost a perfect balance of the four personality types. Schwefel advises to first know yourself and then understand others to create the best framework for effectively communicating with others. Based on your results, you could be a good Situational Leader, having the ability to adjust your style to be more acceptable to others styles.

How did you see yourself on the Color scale Schwefel used in his Ted Talk? How did that correlate with your Social Style?

My Reply:

Hi Professor,

Yes, I am so glad to have the opportunity to be a Situational Leader. It makes it easier to having empathy because I can relate with at least part of a follower’s style. Great question regarding Schwefel’s Ted Talk. I definitely resonate least with blue as the only characteristic that describes me from that box is questioning. The characteristic also only slightly describes me as I enjoy intellectual exploration but am typically decisive and take spontaneous action. In terms of the yellow characteristics, I see myself as totally dynamic and enthusiastic. Then, I am sometimes sociable and sometimes persuasive. I am either all of the green or all of the red characteristics depending on the context.

The examples he gave helped me further understand where I fall in the colors. In terms of red, I am all about getting things done, but I totally do not tell someone to go when the traffic light changes. Then, I focus on people and relationships because I see that as such a fruit of life but also know that I cannot be a full yellow because I do not talk people’s ears off. The examples he gave for green resonated with me the most. I can be patient, caring, relaxed, and a brilliant listener of what is said and is not said. However, I can definitely get frustrated or impatient and take on a fiery red way of being. Sometimes, I exhibit blue traits of analyzing and wanting to go deeper when I become a persistent problem solver. It might go along with my tendency to be red and want to get things done. I was green in that I was a little bit slower and more cautious to lean to the right or left to share my color. It was not because I was hesitant to invite the other person in. Rather, it was because I was exhibiting blue characteristics in that I needed more time and logic to figure out my answer. I resonate with the same amount of traits from each color in the bad days graphic as the good days graphic: all of the green, all of the red, some of the yellow and few of the blue. I’m glad that matches up. I feel as though there is a consistency in characteristics, but all of my characteristics just happen to fall in multiple colors.

What I ultimately learned from his Ted Talk is that I need to base when I use my energies on who I am communicating with. I would rather respond to others than react to whatever my nervous puts out there. I have the potential to empathize with people or act opposite from them in every situation. So, if I choose the characteristics and style that do well in communication with the other, then that interaction will go smooth.

Reply by Lisa Neuberger:

Hi Mary,

I love that you know yourself so well and your descriptions of your personality traits are delightful! I can tell just by reading your post that you are a good leader to work for because you respond to each member of your team as an individual. I think it’s interesting that you find yourself trying to “balance out” someone else’s style when you interact with that person. You said that was a challenge for you, but I wonder if you also think you could turn that tendency into a strength, as you are so easily able to identify other people’s styles.

My Reply:

Hi Lisa,

Thanks for recognizing the light in me. That is a crucial trait of a leader, as well. I can have sympathy for followers who also hold traits from multiple categories, even if the specific traits are different from my own, because we can bond over not being dominant in one single category. Also, it’s funny that I am already unconsciously easily able to identify other people’s styles. It definitely is a strength, and I am glad that I do not have to work on external observation as much as the actions I implement after knowing their styles. Perhaps, as Schwefel (n.d.) mentioned, I am identifying their traits as overboard because they are traits that I do not have. As a person who is amiable in terms of the way I value human connection, I am so interested in getting to know people on a personal level (EBS University 2018). So, I need to leverage that trait into developing a curiosity about others who hold traits different from my own. It is similar to the examples from your post about getting to know the women coworkers and eventually seeing their traits as assets to the team.



Schwefel, Scott. Year (n.d.) “Your Personality and Your Brain.” TEDxBrookings. YouTube. Dec 15, 2014. Video, 15:53.