The Trait and Style Guide (TSG) has been developed
to help you understand and remember the habitual, instinctive
behavior patterns known as personality traits. Traits
should not be viewed as either positive or negative. They simply
are descriptive, and none are better or worse to possess.
Awareness of our traits helps us understand
why we behave the way we do, how we perceive others and are perceived
by them. This permits us to make choices about our behavior,
rather than act instinctively from our traits. We then can choose
the people and situations that allow us to function most effectively.
PRESSURE-ORIENTED and NON-PRESSURE-ORIENTED
These traits are about different paths to peak productivity.
These individuals produce their best work under pressured circumstances.
They tend to leave things for the last moment, then swing into
action working at a highly intense pace (up-time). Once started,
they don't like to stop work until it's complete. Only then can
they switch into a rest mode (down-time), which is essential
for preventing burn-out. Pressure-Oriented individuals require
deadlines for motivation. They are the college students who start
the term paper a few days before it's due or, if they start earlier,
revise the whole thing the night before the deadline.
works intensely for periods of time
These individuals do their best work with plenty of lead time
and frequent breaks during the day. Their optimal work mode is
paced and consistent, with no peaks or valleys. Short breaks
(with some food intake) replenish their energy, keeping performance
levels at their best. Pacing themselves helps prevent burn-out.
Non-Pressure-Oriented individuals are the college students who
start working on the term paper the day it's assigned, then do
a little every day until it's finished.
works at a steady pace
QUIET/INTERNAL and INTERACTIVE/EXTERNAL
These traits explain how people develop and express ideas.
3) QUIET/INTERNAL THINKERS:
These individuals formulate, develop, and preview ideas in their
heads. They wait to present ideas until thoroughly developed.
Once the idea is complete, however, Quiet/Internal people expect
immediate implementation. They tend to be oriented to the present
and focused on operational issues. They take things literally
and like immediate, tangible results.
develops ideas in their mind
4) INTERACTIVE/EXTERNAL THINKERS:
These individuals verbalize ideas in raw unfinished form, then
need time and interaction with others to fully develop them.
Interactive/External Thinkers love batting around ideas, and
don't expect immediate fulfillment. They tend to be future-oriented,
and comfortable with strategic issues and long-term results.
develops ideas by talking them through
INTERNAL DIRECTION and EXTERNAL
These traits indicate how people set goals and direction.
5) INTERNAL DIRECTION:
A high score means that individuals tend to establish goals,
direction or alternatives on their own, and can design the path
to achieve their objective. People high on this trait often are
natural leaders. Others recognize them as capable of making decisions
and suggesting what should be done.
makes own decisions
6) EXTERNAL DIRECTION:
Individuals with this trait need an outside source (other people)
to help them establish goals, direction or alternatives. Without
assistance to determine and clarify what needs to be done, they
can vacillate on decisions. Those with moderate scores in External
Direction work best in situations involving peer relationships
and consensus decision-making.
gets direction from others
These traits explain how people approach and deal with ideas.
When these individuals are presented with an idea, they think
first about the feasibility and practicality of using that idea
in their environment. They do more of what's been done before
- only faster, better and smoother - but not fundamentally different.
Conventional/Factual people use existing ideas creatively, but
they don't invent new ideas. They might think of more ways to
penetrate and increase market share, rather than creating new
products to attract fresh markets. They think "in the box."
within an idea
When these individuals are presented with an idea, they immediately
think of alternatives and other possibilities. They wonder about
what else could be done. Alternative/Visual people are considered
innovative because they create something others have not envisioned.
They come up with original ideas for new product rather than
improving on existing products. They think "out of the box."
outside the idea
ANALYTICAL AND EXPERIENTIAL
These traits explain how people learn and work out problems.
Individuals with this trait will break down ideas, problems or
situations into parts (either in their mind or verbally), weigh
the pros and cons, and then assess what will or will not work.
These people hate making mistakes and have little tolerance for
error, so they don't act until they are certain of what to do.
When a situation arises, Analytical people take time to figure
it out before taking any action. They don't disrupt things by
making immediate changes, but rather study the situation until
they are sure how to proceed. Analytical people don't trust you
until you prove yourself trustworthy.
out the problem
Individuals with this trait will first think back to their past
experiences and assess what did or did not work. This information
is then applied to the current problem or situation; it takes
very little time for them to react. If none of their experience
relates to the current issue, then they problem-solve or learn through trial
and error. These people are more tolerant of mistakes, viewing
them as educational opportunities. When a situation arises, Experiential
individuals act immediately, either applying knowledge from past
experience or using a "try and see how it works" approach.
Experiential types tend to trust you until you prove yourself
out the problem
SITUATION/FOCUSER and CONTEXT/SCANNER
These traits explain why some people set priorities so differently
and disagree about what is important in a situation.
This trait indicates the degree to which individuals concentrate
on a specific situation and weigh their priorities in the context
of that situation. These individuals see the world as though
they are looking through a telephoto lens. They notice the quality
specifics of things first, and may not notice the larger context
outside the lens. A Situation/Focuser orchestra conductor would
get off the podium and go listen to each player for quality,
but be unaware that the violins and woodwinds are playing a completely
different melody. Similarly, a CEO might focus attention on one
division, without noticing that another division is in trouble
- or that the entire company is functioning poorly.
sees individual detail
This trait indicates the degree to which individuals concentrate
on a broad view and weigh their priorities in the context of
that view. These individuals see the world as though they are
a wide angle lens. A Context /Scanner conductor notices if different
sections are not playing together, but not that a particular
player is weak. A CEO realizes if the predictions for production
and manufacturing make sense in relation to sales and marketing
forecasts, but will be unaware that one of the production managers
is having personal problems and is not functioning well on the
sees the big picture
THOROUGH and SKIMMER
These traits explain how individuals approach tasks.
These individuals tend to approach a task with the attitude that
if something is going to be done, it ought to be done right.
Consequently, they like to do
things themselves. When they generate ideas, they prefer to work
out each one in elaborate detail, often causing them to generate
fewer ideas. Since Thorough individuals view everything as important
and requiring their best efforts, it may be difficult for them
These individuals get to a point in a task where they believe
it is good enough - and move on. They usually are quicker to
delegate, allowing them to move on to something else. Skimmers
generate more ideas than Thorough types, but the ideas are less
Skimmer goes broader,
This trait indicates how people relate to
responsibility, supervision, accomplishments, and others' ideas.
15a) High AUTONOMY:
These individuals convey a feeling of ownership over their area
of responsibility, as well as toward everyone who works for them.
However, they hate close supervision. They don't want anyone
have control over them. Every project must bear their mark, and
they need to be involved in every decision remotely affecting
them or their department. They like to be the center of attraction,
need to feel important, and usually think they are right. Because
of their belief in themselves and their cause or product, they
inspire others toward a belief or course of action. As self-promoters,
they like to have the power, align with the power person, or
stay as far away from the power person as possible.
has strong feeling of personal ownership
15b) Low AUTONOMY:
These individuals lack a "take charge" attitude or
a sense of ownership toward their area of responsibility. Supervision is accepted as a fact
of life. Those with Low Autonomy may be extraordinarily brilliant
or capable, but they prefer being behind-the-scenes rather than
in the spotlight. Since recognition is unimportant, they often
accomplish things more smoothly. They are not well-versed in
self-promotion, and therefore may be overlooked and outshined
by more skilled self-promoters.
Low Autonomy has
strong feeling of joint ownership
This trait explains how people will relate to agreements
and adjust to change.
16a) High STRUCTURE:
These individuals like to know what to expect. Changes imposed
by others are difficult for them and cause anxiety. The anxiety
will be expressed by two behaviors: resistance to the change
followed by a period of emotional adjustment. Afterwards, they
are able to accept the change. High Structure individuals are
creatures of habit, prefer the familiar, speak in specifics,
and believe in accountability. When they work out an agreement,
they expect it to be carried out to the letter.
High Structure thinks specifically.
Change produces anxiety.
16b) Low STRUCTURE:
These individuals don't have much anxiety about change. They
like flexibility, speak in generalities, and generally "go
with the flow." They believe that a general idea or goal
is important, not the specifics or means. When Low Structure
individuals work out an agreement, they expect modifications.
Low Structure thinks generally.
Change is no problem.
This trait indicates how selective an individual is in establishing
17a) High CORE:
Individuals with this trait have favorites and establish close
relationships with a selected few, rarely more than two or three
people in a given situation. They may form different "core
groups" in different areas of their life or work. In a work
situation where they cannot form a core group, they may work
less effectively. These individuals feel comfortable with and
rely more heavily on their "favorites," who may not
be high on this same trait. Core Group people like being productive,
and will focus on the one or two people they believe will help
them learn or yield results. They prefer small groups or one-on-one
High Core bonds
to a select few.
17b) Low CORE:
People low on this trait don't require a group of close associates,
or "favorites," in order to work well. They generally
are successful working with a wide variety of people in large
or small groups, treating all equally.
Low Core bonds
This trait indicates how an individual's self-esteem
established and maintained.
18a) High SENSITIVITY:
Everyone wants to be liked, but those with High Sensitivity need
approval - or their self-esteem plummets. They judge their worth
by the reactions and opinions of others, so they perceive criticism of their performance
as indicating that they are inadequate. At the same time, they
believe praise and flattery. Because they are so vulnerable to
negative reactions, a supportive atmosphere is vital to their
happiness, self-esteem, confidence and productivity.
bases self-esteem on others' opinion
18b) Low SENSITIVITY:
Those with Low Sensitivity base their self-esteem on how they
measure up to their own standards. They are not swayed by praise,
and do not respond to criticism unless they agree. Even then,
criticism doesn't change their evaluation of themselves, just
bases self-esteem on own opinion
This trait indicates how firm a foundation an individual
feels necessary before seeking greater challenges.
19a) High AMBITION:
These individuals are constantly concerned with improving a situation,
either for themselves or their company. What they do now doesn't
count, because things could always be better. They are the runners
who just ran two miles for the first time today, but tomorrow
will try for three. They run up the corporate ladder.
always going for more
19b) Mid-range AMBITION:
These individuals want to be sure that the foundation is firm
before they seek to upgrade. These people are like runners who
wait to see whether they can run two miles without much stress
before trying two and a half. They are concerned with stabilizing
systems, people and finances before they think of growing the
company. They walk up the corporate ladder.
Mid-range Ambition: prefers
19c) Low AMBITION:
These individuals are rarely found in management, except in small
family businesses, because they seek to maintain the status quo.
They make solid and reliable employees, however, since they will
remain in their jobs long enough to know everything. They can
be satisfied in the same job for many years, sometimes even turning
down promotions. They usually stay on the same rung of the corporate
content to be where they are
This trait indicates what is more important to an individual's
productivity: the ability to accomplish or a pleasant working
20a) High TASK-ORIENTED:
In order to be happy, these people need to feel they and others
are accomplishing goals or tasks. They may or may not notice
the physical and emotional atmosphere at work, as long as things
are getting done.
High Task-Oriented: accomplishment
20b) Low TASK-ORIENTED:
In order to be productive, these people need to feel happy. A
pleasant office atmosphere, including kind and understanding
management, allows them to perform well. For their own satisfaction,
as well as for optimal productivity, they need to be in the right
Low Task-Oriented: happiness
These traits indicate how much time is optimal for people to
be around other individuals, and whether they will be oriented
first to their own or to others' role in a situation.
These individuals need to be around people, although they don't
require constant interaction. They can be with people all day
and not feel drained; in fact, too much time alone may cause
stress and interfere with productivity.
Team oriented needs to work
These individuals absolutely must have some time alone. Without
time away from others, they will become stressed, sometimes interfering
with their interactive skills and productivity. They can work
alone quite happily for long periods.
Reflective needs to work alone
This trait indicates the degree of novelty or variation individuals
seek in people, places and situations.
23a) High VARIETY:
Individuals high on this trait need variety, both in people and
activities. They must have new and different experiences on a
regular basis, not just a rotation of the same 10 or 20. Those
high on variety like to work with diverse people, different types
of projects, and to see new places.
High Variety needs
different kinds of experiences
23b) Low VARIETY:
Individuals low on this trait can work comfortably with the same
people all the time and do the same kind of work continually.
Low Variety is content with
similar kinds of experiences
This trait indicates how easily and pleasantly an
individual works with others.
24) People skills:
High people skills
Low people skills repels others
Trait & Style Guide (TSG)
If you are high on this trait (over 6), everyone wants to work
with you. If you are low (under 4), even your relatives may want
to leave when you enter the room! People Skills does not refer
to superficial charm. Rather, it reflects the kind of emotional
intelligence and social skills that make people who have worked
with you for a long time look forward to continuing that relationship.
If you are in the average range on People Skills, some people
like you - others don't.
© Piani & Company