Developing strategies according to your tendencies
According to a nationally representative sample for the US, Rubin’s research found that, the US population roughly breaks down along the four tendencies:
- 41% Obligers,
- 24% Questioners
- 19% Upholders
- 17% Rebels
If we have some insights into what our tendencies are, it’s easier for us to make a leadership development plan that we actually stick with. Understanding other people's tendencies can help us understand how to best support them in their development. Here are some strategies to consider for different people with different tendencies, that can help them stick with their development goals.
Scheduling (most important for Upholders)
Scheduling is a powerful tool for Upholders. They love to keep a schedule and march through every item. They can make time for leadership development by putting it on the calendar. Upholders can meet inner expectations, but only when those inner expectations are articulated. This means that it’s important to schedule a time for self reflection or coaching to help articulate their development goals.
Clarity (most important for Questioners)
For Questioners, creating Clarity is key to starting a new habit. They want to know exactly what they’re doing, and why. They won’t meet an expectation if they don’t understand the reason. They need robust answers and must clearly see and trust the authority and expertise of the person asking them to meet that expectation.
Identity (most important for Rebels)
For Rebels, the most effective habit-change strategy is to connect the new habit to their identity. Because Rebels place great value on being true to themselves, they can embrace a habit if they view it as a way to express their identity. Creating Clarity is also helpful to Rebels, because it focuses on why a habit might have personal value for them. The more Rebels think about what they want, and why they want it, the more effectively they pursue it.
Accountability (most important for Obligers)
All Four Tendencies (even, under certain circumstances, Rebels) find accountability to be useful for developing habits, but Obligers absolutely require structures of external accountability. If you (like me and 41% of people) are an obliger, it can be difficult to meet your goals in the absence of external accountability. That means you need to build that external accountability into your leadership development.
One programme that taps into people's need for accountability to help organise their development is Clore Social’s new programme called Peer Journey. Recently, a cohort of social leaders have kicked off their journey. They’ve all picked a leadership challenge they are faced with that they will work to address over the next 10 weeks. They are grouped into smaller peer groups that they’ll regularly check in with to help support each other, learn from each other and (importantly) hold each other accountable.
The Peer Journey Programme can work for Upholders (if they schedule time for it), Questioners (if they understand why) and Rebels (if they identify with it) alike - but it’s especially helpful to Obligers. One of the previous participants put their finger on it by saying: