Behaviors Uncovered: Leadership, Communication, Conflict Management and Team Contribution

How can employers understand how someone will behave in a professional context? Do organizations have to rely on a trial-and-error approach to hiring and management, or is there a way to make better informed decisions based on science?

Thankfully, years of behavioral modeling have left a strong legacy in various fields of psychological research, from social psychology to behavioral economics. Using the progress in this area as a knowledge base, we were able to combine two key areas of results from our MyPrint® questionnaire — personality and motivational traits — to uncover the likely behaviors of individuals in professional settings.

From Personality and Motivations to Behaviors

  • MyPrint reports consist of three main areas of focus: Personality, Motivations and Behaviors:
  • Personality traits correspond to the attitudinal & emotional characteristics underlying people’s stable behaviors.
  • Motivations correspond to the desires and needs triggering, orienting and maintaining an individual’s behaviors towards a given objective.
    Behaviors represent the ranges of observable actions made by individuals in conjunction with their environment.

The 11 behavioral dimensions of MyPrint are displayed as score matrices resulting from the combination of personality and motivation dimensions of the assessment. Therefore, the behavioral styles of MyPrint are predicted based on the scores (high or low) that an individual has obtained on the personality and motivation dimensions crossed together. In short, these analytical grids give insights for understanding why an individual tends to foster a particular pattern of actions and how they maintain it.

As we uncover the science behind predicting behaviors in the workplace, we begin with four key dimensions for employers focusing on better understanding group dynamics within their teams: Leadership Style, Communication Style, Conflict Management and Team Contribution.

Leadership Style

Leadership Style can be described as the way that a person motivates their peers to contribute to the effectiveness of their organization. This applies to individuals formal leadership positions, information leadership positions, or people who might not appear to have any leadership roles at all. Anyone can influence their peers and impact their organization.

There are four styles of leadership, derived from the combination of the “Empathy” dimension of personality and the “Need for Responsibility” dimension of motivation:

  • Mentor (Empathetic, Need for Sharing Responsibility): Individuals who are Mentor Leaders build emotional bonds by empowering others and offering plenty of positive feedback.
  • Inclusive (Empathetic, Need for Taking Personal Responsibility): Individuals who are Inclusive Leaders drive necessary changes by mobilizing everyone toward a common vision.
  • Democratic (Individualistic, Need for Sharing Responsibility): Individuals who are Democratic Leaders guard themselves against backlash by letting others give their inputs upstream.
  • Authoritative (Individualistic, Need for Taking Personal Responsibility): Individuals who are Authoritative Leaders tend to demand compliance since they would take full responsibility for issues that may arise.

Communication Style

Communication Style can be summarized as the way that a person sends a message to one or many peers, verbally or otherwise. For employees, there’s an ever-growing number of ways to communicate beyond just face-to-face interaction. Understanding the way an individual tends to express their thoughts and opinions during in-person conversations, emails, video calls and more can help predict their future interactions in the workplace.

There are four styles of communication, derived from the combination of the “Dominance” dimension of personality and the “Need to Influence” dimension of motivation:

  • Straightforward (Assertive, Need to Open Up to Others’ Opinions): Individuals who are Straightforward Communicators are inclined to clearly state their ideas while keeping a neutral tone and being respectful of others’ views.
  • Persuasive (Assertive, Need to Sway Others’ Opinions): Individuals who are Persuasive Communicators are inclined to dominate others in interactions by openly convincing them to see things their way.
  • Receptive (Compliant, Need to Open Up to Others’ Opinions): Individuals who are Receptive Communicators are inclined to speak softly in interactions, and mostly listen to others’ points of views in order to please them.
  • Diplomatic (Compliant, Need to Sway Others’ Opinions): Individuals who are Diplomatic Communicators are inclined to control the course of discussions to their advantage by placing underlying messages in their spoken words.

Conflict Management

Conflict Management can be described as the way that a person tries to limit the negative aspects of a confrontation while increasing its positive impacts. Conflict doesn’t always take place in the form of direct confrontation. Being aware of the ways in which individuals will handle situations where there are differing opinions — both big and small — can help leaders facilitate as needed so that certain individuals’ voices and opinions are being heard over the individuals who might be more confident and determined to win.

There are four behavior types when it comes to conflict management, derived from the combination of the “Self-Esteem” dimension of personality and the “Need for Competition” dimension of motivation:

  • Appeasing (Confident, Need to Cooperate): Individuals who are Appeasing in Conflict tend to dig into the underlying concerns and consider the views of others.
  • Decisive (Confident, Need to Win): Individuals who are Decisive in Conflict tend to settle it by asserting their own solution.
  • Accommodating (Modest, Need to Cooperate): Individuals who are Accommodating in Conflict put aside their own needs in order to keep the peace with others.
  • Compromising (Modest, Need to Win): Individuals who are Compromising in Conflict tend to ignore or withdraw from it rather than facing it.

Team Contribution

Team Contribution can be summarized as the way that an individual cooperates and works with others in a group setting in order to achieve organizational goals. This is not only useful for individuals who work in the same department or formal team, but for understanding the role a person tends to play even in the informal group projects and activities that occur in the workplace.

There are four ways individuals can approach team contribution, derived from the combination of the “Extraversion” dimension of personality and the “Need for Relation” dimension of motivation:

  • Coordinating (Extroverted, Need for Privacy): Individuals who are Coordinating teammates expect efficiency, focus on goals and coordinate people together
  • Energizing (Extroverted, Need to Socialize): Individuals who are Energizing teammates get excited and draw others in with enthusiasm, while showing a relatively short attention span.
  • Observant (Introverted, Need for Privacy): Individuals who are Observant teammates focus on content, and are likely to ask others about their expectations regarding their role in the process.
  • Supportive (Introverted, Need for Socialize): Individuals who are Supportive teammates are loyal team players, by actively listening, discussing and defending the different views of others.

The behaviors results of MyPrint help in understanding the ways in which individuals actually act or conduct themselves, especially toward others. This knowledge can be invaluable in building a more productive workplace.

In our next entry in our three-part Behaviors Uncovered series, we investigate three areas that are critical to the development of highly-effective problem solving teams — creativity, work and learning styles.

Interested in uncovering more about how behavior profiles can help you understand how someone will act in a professional setting? Discover the science behind MyPrint by clicking here.


People don’t leave companies they leave managers.

7 Keys to Long Term Employee Happiness

When employees quit, it’s not their company they’ve had enough of, it’s their managers.

Forbes reports from multiple data sources like Gallup and Dale Carnegie that 60–70% of employees are not working to their full potential or engaged with the work they’re doing. That’s a frightening majority! And worse, the cost in lost productivity to U.S. companies is more than $450 billion.

There are reasons beyond the boss relationship that might cause an employee to become disengaged and quit. From personal reasons (Harvard Business Review reports a 16% job hunting spike surrounding when people attend school reunions!) to changes in an organization, like layoffs, which can create insecurity. But the key relationship that will make or break an employee’s success at a company is the one he has with his boss. As Harvard Business Review points out, “in general, people leave their jobs because they don’t like their boss”.

The disengagement numbers are shocking, but it’s also an incredible opportunity to increase productivity through making some positive changes.

  1. Analyze the flight risk of employees, before they leave. Some companies use an outside firm like Joberate to track who employees are connecting with on social media to predict who might be thinking of leaving.
  2. Create an open dialogue around motivation and job satisfaction. Conduct “stay” interviews to touch base with employees regularly.
  3. Get data that delves deeply into a person’s motivations with a tool like the Talentoday Manager.
  4. Offer internal position openings to employees thinking of leaving. Harvard Business Review highlighted Credit Suisse as using this tactic to reduce attrition of 300 employees and saving the company at least $75 million.
  5. Give employees more freedom. A study of job satisfaction done by Tiny News showed that “those unfortunate souls whose hands are regularly tied are 28% more likely to think about finding a new employer.”
  6. Don’t work employees to death. Also according to Tiny News’ research, “employees that are tired and burnt out are 31% more likely to think about looking for a new job”.
  7. Most importantly: hire the right managers. As Gallup CEO Jim Clifton said, “The single biggest decision you make in your job — bigger than all the rest — is who you name manager. When you name the wrong person manager, nothing fixes that bad decision. Not compensation, not benefits — nothing.”

Every employee is motivated differently, and companies need to know what inspires its team. It’s not correct to assume that a raise or a promotion will always work. In fact, research done by CEB shows that “50% of employees who accept a counter offer leave within 12 months.” When you know what motivates your employees, using a tool like Talentoday’s, you’ll know best how to keep your talent happily in their seats.

Curious to find out if your employees are happy? Start your free trial today to see if you are motivating your team the right way. And if you like this post, please hit the ❤️ button below or give me a shout on Twitter.


What’s your management style? Infographic with women vs. men comparison

One day we may all be promoted to a management position. Experience and career advancement push us towards positions with more responsibilities, so what kind of managers will we be? Depending on our personalities, we will adopt different types of attitudes and behaviors.

A leader’s personality varies widely. In fact, there are as many different ways to manage people as there are people on earth. Management style is the result of the manager’s environment as well as his or her true character. In order to be most effective, the style must be adapted to each situation*. Adopting the same behavior for each situation could be a real problem for people leading teams and projects.

Paul Hersey and Kenneth Blanchard proposed a typology of 4 main management styles. To understand the different types, we need to take various factors into account, such as the natural tendency to lead of the people, or the manager’s ability to open up to other people’s ideas.

Let’s take a look at the four types introduced by Hersey and Blanchard, and how they can exist in the workplace:

  • Autocratic Management: The manager makes decisions within the team, acting as an example for others. Especially in times of stress, employees may enjoy working with an autocratic leader. They may enjoy being told exactly what to do and having someone step up, take initiative, and take control of the situation. This management style can be especially effective when decisions are needed on an urgent basis, but can be somewhat stressful for some employees when the added pressure plays against them, hindering their performance and the overall atmosphere in the workplace.
  • Paternalistic Management: The manager devotes time to pedagogy, taking the time to explain decisions and coach the team. In this style of management, the relationship between leaders and their employees is similar to the relationship between the head of a family and the members of the family. The manager in this sense is guiding and protecting his employees as if they are members of his own family. This approach can be difficult when used with senior professionals, who may not like their own interests looked after so attentively. Instead of gratitude, it may bring about resentment among senior-level employees, so may be a more successful style for use with entry-level employees who are in need of a more hands-on approach. The relationships between these coworkers and their leader are extremely solid.
    Democratic Management: The manager encourages the participation of the team and includes their point of view in the final decision. This style is a very open way of organizing a team. Ideas are encouraged, and are openly discussed within the group. Everyone is encouraged to share their point of view. With situations of frequent change, this form of management allows for a great deal of flexibility in order to adapt and improve. Democratic management may bring out the best in a highly-experienced team, capitalizing on their skills, talents and experience, allowing them to share their views, rather than expecting employees to conform to one idea. This style may be inefficient in times of emergency or rush, as the decision-making process is longer.
  • Delegative Management: The manager leaves decisions up to the team, empowering others to develop and grow their ideas. This style is also known as laissez-faire or hands-off, as it empowers employees to strengthen their own management and personal leadership skills during the process. The leader assigns tasks to employees, while providing adequate support and resources to complete them, and the employees are responsible for each of their own projects. While the manager is still held responsible for the final product, this style expresses trust in employees, and allows the manager to be available to employees for feedback and growth. When the team needs too much reassurance or encouragement, the style might not be adapted, especially during stressful situations or with entry-level employees.

So, what’s your management style?

With data collected through Talentoday’s analytical tools, we developed the following infographic illustrating the preferred management styles of men and women around the world.

What’s your management style?

*The Situational Leadership Theory, Paul Hersey and Kenneth Blanchard (1967)
Learn more about Talentoday and take the scientifically designed assessment:www.talentoday.com