Lighting a fire under the Steady – is it possible?

Motivating the Steady Style

It is easy to overlook the motivational environment required by the high S (Green) style because they tend to be somewhat quiet and reserved. Although very people oriented, warm and friendly, patient and calm, the Steady style can be over accommodating particularly with those in more senior positions. They don’t lead the rush in demanding changes, but they are quite capable of harboring resentment, quietly, until given an opportunity to vent anonymously. Then grievances may pour out, much to the amazement of the Director Style who had no idea how the Steady felt about his/her management style.

The type of environment which is most motivating for a high Steady style is one where things are predictable, calm, cooperative, and one in which there are opportunities to help others. They are the consummate team players and can spend a great deal of their time helping out team mates with the consequences that they can fall behind in their own work. It is hugely demotivating for a manager to tell them to “Just do your own work” and let others take care of their jobs.” They believe that helping team mates is job 1.

Overly competitive environments, especially those where there is overt conflict is particularly de-motivating for people with this style. While the high D style can find arguments and vigorous disagreements invigorating and stimulating, the Steady will tend to withdraw, over personalize the comments and worry that people are upset or angry with them. Fearing that that they themselves may become a target of displeasure they will take fewer risks, try fewer new things, or do anything except what they have been specifically told to do.

They don’t like being rushed into quick decisions, especially if someone may be upset with the decision that is made. This can lead them into a pattern of indecisiveness and reluctance to move forward until consensus is reached. This, of course, drives the High D types into hyper aggressive mode, but the more they try and push the S into a quick decision, the more reluctant the S appears to be. High Influencers will want to watch that they don’t overwhelm the S with their enthusiasm and high level planning that does not take concrete detailed actions into consideration.

The frequent changes which serve as a major motivating tools for the Ds and Is are not motivating for the Ss. The Director style Managers will want to cultivate a lot more patience, and spend sufficient time with the S to ensure that the steps are clear and the S is comfortable with moving ahead. Rather than simply telling the S to come and see him/her if they experience any problems, the D manager will be better to drop by often to see how the S is proceeding with a new task until the S is comfortable proceeding on his/her own. Both the S and the C styles tend to follow rules (unlike the Ds who follow rules when it suits their purposes), so telling an S “I don’t care how you do it, just get it done” is NOT a motivational approach.

If you can’t work with an S then you probably can’t work well with anyone very well. But if your idea of motivating people with this style is to able to produce an individual who will grab the reins for new and risky projects, or forge ahead regardless of the opposition and conflict they face, then you are doomed to failure as a motivator. The S more resembles the glowing embers that keep things warm rather than the raging inferno that sets everything alight. They prefer a more low key approach to getting their job done. Remember, the S believes that “they can’t fire you if they can’t find you!”

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