Understanding the Social Styles Model

Emotional intelligence is all about how well you understand your own emotions and the emotions of others, and the ability to identify and manage them. This quiz, based on the Merrill-Reid method, will show you a working style that describes how you primarily approach and deal with people and situations at work. 

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Your Social Style measures:

  • How emotionally expressive you are
  • The degree to which you assert yourself

Your score will show which style is your preferred style:

Time to Take the Understanding Your Social Styles Quiz

Visit https://tinyurl.com/lvasocial for the Social Styles Quiz – return to this page to learn more about your preferred style.

Social Styles Descriptions

Decades of research into workplace success have shown that all people are one of four Social Styles, each with preferred ways of acting, thinking and making decisions. Understanding those preferences, and applying different communication and collaboration strategies, helps you determine the best way to successfully interact with everyone. Once you understand the Styles, you can observe a person and determine their preferences or Style. You can then use that information to moderate your behavior and make that person more comfortable.

The Analytical

The Analytical is polite but reserved, logical, fact- and task-oriented. This person’s focus is on precision and perfection. Other strengths include persistence, diligence, caution, and a systematic approach.

Weaknesses involve being withdrawn, boring, quiet, reclusive, and even sullen at times. If he or she seems indecisive, it’s because of a need to assess all the data. Perfectionism can be a fault if the Analytical pushes it too far. This person is definitely not a risk-taker.

The Analytical needs to be right, and won’t openly discuss ideas until confident in a decision. His or her pleasure is accuracy. Pain is to be wrong and criticized.

  • Wants to know how things work
  • Wants to be accurate, have accuracy with others
  • Values numbers, stats, ideas
  • Loves details
  • Fears being embarrassed or losing face
  • Often introverted and hide feelings

When communicating with an Analytical

  • Be systematic, thorough, deliberate, and precise 
  • Focus on the task 
  • Be prepared to answer many “how” questions 
  • Provide analysis and facts 
  • Don’t get too personal 
  • Recognize and acknowledge the need to be accurate and logical 

The Amiable

Devoted, consistent, dependable, and loyal, the Amiable is a hard worker and will persevere long after others have given up. He or she is a team player, cooperative and easy to get along with, trustful, sensitive and a good listener. Working in groups with cooperative individuals, the Amiable tries to avoid confrontation. He or she enjoys company, performs best in a stable environment, and often has a stabilizing effect on others.

Weaknesses include indecision and an inability to take risks. Amiables are often too focused on others, conforming, quiet, and passive. They often won’t speak up for themselves, are too compliant and nice, and often painstakingly slow to make decisions.

The Amiable’s pleasure is stability and cooperation. His or her pain is change and chaos.

  • Wants to know “why” why am I doing this?
  • Wants to build relationships
  • Loves to give support to others
  • Values suggestions for others

When communication with an Amiable 

  • Be relaxed and agreeable
  • Maintain the status quo
  • Be logical and systematic
  • Create a plan with written guidelines
  • Be prepared to answer “why” questions
  • Be predictable

The Driver

The Driver is a high achiever – a mover and shaker who is definitely not averse to risk. The individual is extroverted, strong-willed, direct, practical, organized, forceful, and decisive. Look for someone who tells it the way it is and is very persuasive. Watch out or you’ll be worn down and bowled over. A driver is task- rather than relationship-oriented and wants immediate results.

The Driver can be stubborn, domineering, impatient, insensitive, and short-tempered, with little time for formalities or niceties. He or she can also be demanding, opinionated, controlling, and uncompromising – or even overbearing, cold, and harsh.

The Driver’s pleasure is power, control, and respect. His or her pain is loss of respect, lack of results, and the feeling that he or she is being taken advantage of.

  • Wants to know “what” what will this do for me
  • Wants to save time
  • Values results
  • Loves being in control, in charge, doing it his way
  • Fears giving up control.
  • Often extroverted but do not show emotions

When communicating with a Driver 

  • Focus on the task
  • Talk about expected results
  • Be businesslike and factual
  • Provide concise, precise, and organized information
  • Discuss and answer “what” questions

The Expressive

The Expressive, a verbally adept personality, is engaging, accommodating, supportive of others, persuasive, socially adept, and relationship- rather than task-oriented. He or she loves to be one of the gang, and is always ready for something new and exciting, especially if the gang is ready to participate. Additional strengths include enthusiasm, diplomatic skills, and the ability to inspire others.

 Weaknesses involve impatience, a tendency to generalize, verbal assaults, and sometimes irrational behavior. The Expressive can also be egotistical, manipulative, undisciplined, reactive, unorganized, and abrasive.

The Expressive readily exchanges information and life experiences. His or her main need is to be appreciated and accepted. The Expressive’s pleasure is recognition and approval. His or her pain is isolation and lack of attention.

  • Wants to know “who” who else is involved
  • Values appreciation, applause a pat on the back
  • Loves social situations and parties
  • Likes to inspire others
  • Fear being rejected

When communicating with an Expressive 

  • Focus on developing a relationship
  • Try to show how your ideas will improve his or her image
  • Be enthusiastic, open, and responsive
  • Relate to the need to share information, stories, and experience

Communicating Across Social Styles

Communicating with a Driver/Action oriented person: 

  • Focus on the result first; state the conclusion at the outset.
  • State your best recommendation; do not offer many alternatives.
  • Be as brief as possible.
  • Emphasize the practicality of your ideas.
  • Use visual aids.

Communicating with a Process/Analytical oriented person: 

  • Be precise; state the facts.
  • Organize your discussions in a logical order:
    • Background
    • Present situation
    • Outcome
    • Break down your recommendations.
  • Include options and alternatives with pros and cons.
  • Do not rush a process-oriented person.
  • Outline your proposal.

Communicating with a People /Amiable oriented person: 

  • Allow for small talk; do not start the discussion right away.
  • Stress the relationship between your proposal and the people concerned.
  • Show how the ideas worked well in the past.
  • Indicate support from well-respected people.
  • Use an informal writing style.

Communicating with an Idea/Expressive oriented person: 

  • Allow enough time for discussion.
  • Do not get impatient when he or she goes off on tangents.
  • Try to relate the discussed topic to a broader concept or idea.
  • Stress the uniqueness of the idea or topic at hand.
  • Emphasize future value or relate the impact of the idea to the future.
  • If writing, try to stress the key concepts that underlie your recommendation at the outset. Start with an overall statement and work toward the particulars.

Want to Explore Your Style in Depth?

I have worked with college students, entry-level and mid-level career professionals for nearly two decades, helping them reconsider their strengths and ways to learn new skills. Let me know if there is anything I can do to support you as you develop this new skill.

Schedule an introductory meeting so we can discuss a plan that works best for you.