How to make your personality style work in your favor

Do you set goals then fight against them?

Do you find that you work hard to meet other’s expectations but fail to live up to your own?

Maybe you question whether setting goals is even useful or necessary at all…

In her fascinating book, Better Than Before: What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habits–to Sleep More, Quit Sugar, Procrastinate Less, and Generally Build a Happier Life , Gretchen Rubin identifies four tendencies that shape how we approach not only goals, but everyday choices and challenges.

Which tendency describes you best?

Upholder– An upholder is someone who follows the rules.  They respond well to both the expectations of others and to their own goals and intentions.  They avoid making mistakes and feel like they’ve let themselves and others down when they mess up.  They tend to be self-directed and achievement oriented.  Being an upholder can lead to success at whatever you attempt, unless you find yourself upholding and meeting expectations that are meaningless or that don’t serve you well.

Questioners– Just as the name implies, questioners investigate and question all expectations, both external and internal. They respond positively only if the expectation makes sense.  Questioners are motivated by reason, logic and fairness.  They don’t just look at their agenda and think, “What needs to be done today?” They also ask the question, “Why?” before they decide to do it.

Obligers– An obliger readily meets external expectations but struggles to meet goals and intentions that they set for themselves, no matter how worthwhile they may be.  They make loyal colleagues, family members and friends but have great difficulty with self-motivation.  While they hate to let others down, they don’t feel the same responsibility to themselves.

Rebels-Rebels resist all expectations both those from others and from themselves.  They highly value freedom and a sense of choice, finding that expectations, goals or intentions tie them down too much. Instead of starting their day with “What should I do today?”, they being with “What do I want to do today?”

What next?

Now that you know your tendency, how can you use that knowledge to create success?

Upholder– Upholders have the easiest time setting goals and intentions.  In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if it was an Upholder somewhere who came up with the whole idea of New Years Resolutions just so they could point out to others where they were going astray.  Nevertheless, even Upholders must work at establishing habits and following through to be successful.

Questioners– Because they like reason and fairness, Questioners resist resolutions that seem arbitrary. To engage a questioner in a goal, make sure it is logical and taps into their need for a rational reason to follow through.  Questioners need to know the why behind the goal for it to challenge them.

Obligers-Since obligers are committed to meeting other’s expectations more than their own, they can ensure they will follow though on a goal by setting up an accountability partner or joining a community to motivate them. Turning internal goals into external expectations will work best for them.

Rebels-The best way to get a rebel to follow through on a goal or expectation whether external or internal is to incorporate the power of choice into the mix.  Give them the necessary information then allow them the freedom to chose, otherwise you will encounter great resistance.

If we understand ourselves better, we can not only manage ourselves but also understand and relate better to others.

Wow! Lynne’s expertise in personality styles, mindset and priority management is a powerful combination.  The interactive and personalized format was engaging and gave me tools I can use and actions I can take right away. I am able to more clearly articulate what my business is (What do you do?) and who it serves (Who is your ideal client?), and I have come away with a system for building my business (How do I do it?) Erin Shaw

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