I have been part of SOCIAL STYLE and Versatility training for thousands of people and it’s always interesting to see people’s reactions when they receive their Social Style Profile. Receiving this information inevitably will either confirm their assumptions about themselves, or more likely give them new information to consider as they realize that others view their behavior differently than they view it themselves. Being an insider I get to see the research and it consistently shows that more than half of the time, people see their Social Style differently than others do and it plays out this way in almost every single class I have been a part of.
What most people don’t fully realize is that these differences in perceptions aren’t limited to just our own view of our behavior. Inevitably in every training program the topic of occupation and Social Style comes up. When the conversation starts and opinions are expressed you typically find that most people assume that certain job functions are dominated by a particular Social Style. You will hear people say things like “Almost all accountants are Analytical Style people and of course all sales people must be Expressive Style.”
While this is a common thought, TRACOM’s research has never found an occupation where more than 50% of the people have a single Social Style. For example, our research shows that 37% of engineers have an Analytical Style. And while that is the most common Style, it still leaves nearly two-thirds of Engieers with one of the other three Styles.
What is true, is that people can be attracted to roles that require behavioral styles that are comfortable for them. It is, however, very important to understand that all Styles can be successful in any given occupation. An individual’s success is far more dependent on how they use their Style (Versatility) when they interact with others than by their specific Style itself.
This research also shows the need to watch for behavioral clues to identify a person’s Style rather than making assumptions based on a person’s job.
Here are the results from our latest Occupational Breakout by Social Style research. What do you think?