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The Four Orientations

Supporting-Giving — 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 behaviors:
    • 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
    • emphasizes the importance of having goals and values
    • helps others to develop
    • trusts other people

Controlling-Taking — 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 behaviors:
    • 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-Holding — 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 behaviors:
    • 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-Dealing — 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 behaviors:
    • 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 behavior according to what other people need
    • is tactful when dealing with delicate situations.