Understanding Behavioral Styles and Personality Types

Understanding behavior styles will help you understand your style of behavior and the style of others. It will help you manage relationships in your workplace AND at home. These Behavior Styles are not designed to change a person. It is a tool for building productive relationships and working better with the differences.


The model is based on four style types:
• Driver
• Expressive
• Analytical
• Amiable


As we begin to discuss the different styles, it is important to keep in mind that the behaviors represented are neutral. There are no strong, weak, effective, or ineffective styles. There is just observation and then a choice on how you want to interact with the different styles.


What is a social style?
A social style is a particular pattern of actions which others can observe and agree upon for describing a person’s behavior. What you’ll find today is that you’ll have a tendency to fall into one of the four social styles. Each style has a pattern of actions that can be observed, described, and agreed upon by others for describing a person’s behavior. If you have a greater awareness of your style, and those around you, you will be able to communicate with others more effectively.

Having an awareness of your style and having the skill in determining the style needs of others will improve your effectiveness to communicate with everyone.



The 4 dimensions of the Behavior Styles are the tendency to dominate or yield to others and the tendency to be socially reserved or outgoing. There is no right, wrong, good or bad place to be on the scale. Each has its own aspects and liabilities. Think of your boss. Where would you put him or her on the scale? Is he/she more or less reserved than you? People who are on the yield side of the scale tend to ASK questions whereas people on the dominant side of the scale TELL people rather than ASK.


The Assertive Scale
The assertive scale is determined by the degree to which a person is seen as attempting to influence the thoughts and actions of others.

Tendency to Yield
Slow paced
Minimizes risks
Goes along
Asks questions

Tendency to Dominate
Fast paced
Takes risks
Takes charge
Makes statements


The Sociability Scale
The sociability scale is determined by how you show or hide feelings in interpersonal interactions. This can sometimes give you a false impression of a person. For example, someone who is extremely reserved may come across as being cold, and yet they may be very warm hearted people—they just don’t show it.

Intense Sociability
Exhibits Feelings
Involved with Others
People Oriented

Limited Sociability
Controls Feelings
Can be Aloof
Cool and Calm
Task Oriented

The red circle is about where you should be in your ability to understand and communicate with people. Your job is to be able to understand each behavioral style and then to mirror that style for maximum communication. We call it “flexing” your style: being flexible in your behavior.



Characteristics of behavioral styles


• Sales Manager
• Get to the point/wants facts now
• No small talk
• Controls meetings
• Results oriented
• Values time
• Bottom line thinkers
• May be overly impatient/competitive
• Can lack sensitivity to others’ feelings

Driver's Strengths:
• Decisive
• Tends to get things done
• Tough minded

Driver's Weaknesses:
• Poor listener
• Unyielding
• Insensitive to others feelings


• Accountant-Bookkeeper
• Likes details/figures
• Slow to decide
• Thinkers
• Likes charts/graphs
• Not big on hugging
• Likes working alone
• May be overly impatient/competitive
• Keeps a distance (invented the desk)

Analytical's Strengths:
• Thorough
• Critical thinker
• Gives attention to detail

Analytical's Weaknesses
• Interpersonally aloof
• Poor improviser
• Slow decision-maker


• Teacher-Social Worker-Psychologist
• Asks questions
• Likes to talk
• Homey office/pictures of kids
• Concerned how it affects others
• Decisions based on how others feel/think
• Reluctant to initiate discussions
• Dislikes detail work

Amiable's Strengths:
• Desire to help others
• Good listener
• Flexible working with others

Amiable's Weaknesses:
• Can’t make decisions alone
• Difficulty confronting others
• Gullible


• Salesperson-Actor
• Outgoing-Open-Friendly
• Not big on details (5% of facts)
• Does not like to read
• Uses gut feelings
• Big picture only
• Likes acknowledgement
• Tends to procrastinate

Expresive's Strengths:
• Able to inspire others
• Persuasive
• Enthusiastic

Expressive's Weaknesses
• Impulsive
• Careless
• Lacks critical thinking


For more on communication skills, check out our instant download training package: Communicating With Clairty & Impact.