We’re often asked whether it’s worthwhile to practice Versatility? This is purely an individual choice, of course. It all comes down to our own motivations, values, and beliefs about our behavior and how we want to relate to others.
But I want to point out some specific benefits of high Versatility and relate these to each Style. The career advantages mentioned before are nice, but they can seem ambiguous or maybe even out-of-reach for some people. It is the smaller benefits that, when added up over time, help people achieve those larger goals. I also want to be realistic about the natural challenges that each Style faces when working on Versatility, so those are discussed as well.
So scroll to your Style below and, who knows, maybe you’ll find that taking small Versatility steps is something you will maintain longer than your new year’s resolutions.
In order for Driving Style people to act in ways that lead to high Versatility, they have to diminish many of their natural tendencies. They want to dominate discussions, but they have to make sure to involve others. They want to control things, but they have to give up some of that control. They want to move quickly, but they have to slow down. Inevitably, all of these behaviors help them achieve their need for results, so it can be difficult for them to restrain these tendencies.
Acting with high Versatility has two primary benefits for these individuals. First, relationships with co-workers will be much stronger, and this in turn will have ongoing benefits. People will trust the individual and will be more willing to actively collaborate with him or her. Second, the person’s decisions and work effectiveness will be improved. This happens by considering other viewpoints and information, resulting in more informed decisions and higher quality work.
Expressive Style people like to be outgoing, which can sometimes come across as verbose and off-putting to others. They create problems for themselves by failing to apply their Style “brakes.” Remember that their growth action is to check their behavior. They want to be outgoing and fun, but they need to understand that not everyone responds well to these behaviors, so they have to restrain these tendencies. They want to be spontaneous and funny, but they need to realize that humor is not always appropriate or appreciated. They want to be the center of attention, but they need to allow other people to have the spotlight sometimes.
As with all Styles, acting with high Versatility will benefit these people by improving their working relationships and personal effectiveness. Relationships will be improved because others will be able to interact with them without feeling overwhelmed. Instead of constantly walking on pins, wondering when the Expressive person is going to go on the attack, others can interact with the person without being overly cautious or fearful of retribution. Their personal effectiveness will improve because others will see substance behind the dramatic displays. Instead of relying solely on their ability to network with others, they will garner recognition through their skills and competence.
Their focus on maintaining friendly relationships is often what keeps Amiable Style people from behaving in ways that lead to higher Versatility. They want to get along well with everyone, but they need to realize that professional disagreements are acceptable and are not taken personally by most people. They may prefer to maintain the status quo, but sometimes change is necessary, and it is better to have some influence on the matter than to go along unwillingly. They want to be helpful to others, but there are times when this is not possible. Taking these actions is difficult because they are contrary to these individuals’ fundamental behaviors.
High Versatility is beneficial for relationships and overall effectiveness. Relationships can be improved because people will actually have greater trust in the Amiable Style person. If Amiable Style people are forthright in their opinions, others will be clear about where they stand and will have a better understanding of how to approach and interact with them. Likewise, their personal effectiveness will increase for many of the same reasons. By appropriately asserting themselves, they will have greater influence within the team or organization. Inevitably this can increase not only their effectiveness, but also their own personal satisfaction.
In order to act in ways that lead to high Versatility, Analytical Style people have to temper their need to be right. They want to act cautiously and slowly, but they need to take more risks and be quicker to act. They want to take a methodical approach to problems and tasks, but they sometimes need to be less systematic. They prefer to stay in the background, but they need to be more upfront in stating their opinions. These behaviors are outside of these individuals’ comfort zones, and this is why it can be difficult for them to act in ways that lead to high Versatility.
The benefits of behaving with high Versatility are improved relationships and greater effectiveness. These individuals can improve their relationships by allowing others to interact with them on a more personal level. By showing the more human side of themselves, others will feel closer to them and have a greater understanding of their needs. This can lead to the many benefits of trusting relationships, both personal and professional. These individuals can increase their personal effectiveness because using more directive behaviors provides others with information they need, and also opens up resources that can help Analytical Style people succeed in their jobs. For example, by providing their input directly and making quicker decisions, work can be accomplished more efficiently. This is particularly true if the person involves other people in the process, instead of trying to do things alone.