Encouraging Behavioral Change


Different people have different perspective of viewing things and situations. In the midst of a problem, a person’s first thought would be “how will this affect me?” it’s creditable that one puts the interests of others before one’s own, but it may so happen that self-interest and self-preservation may come into existence. And, these efforts may develop the difficult behaviors like anger, denial, aggressiveness, defensiveness, sabotage, change resistance, jealousy and withdrawal.

To keep in mind, you cannot change people, their behaviors because they have their own perspective and may see situations differently. They do things for themselves and it depends on them when they want to change and what sort of behavior they might develop next.

An attempt to change might resort to the use of fear and punishment. This may well change the behavior for a short term but the underlying attitude won’t ever change. The only person who can change the difficult person is him- or herself. What can be done by us now?

One thing that can be done is change yourself in a positive way so as to motivate your employees. “Why should I change? It’s all because of him that this happened. Why shouldn’t he change?” this may be common but what you want to do is change the difficult people but not by forcing them. They will only change if the change will favor them and will be in their best interest. You need to find the interest and find best possible and reasonable way to achieve them.

Identifying Dominant Traits

These kind of people are more easily identified and about 15% of the general population are of this type. Listed below are some of their basic traits −

  • Dominants are aware of what they have to do, they know their goals and work and, this drives them to success. Dominant people are well known for their creativity, they tend to think even when they are asleep. They have enough ideas to keep everyone busy with implementation.

  • They are open to changes and believe that changes will open new ways to implement things. Dominants believe in action as soon as they get an idea. They are the leaders who lead by examples.

  • Dominants become even more productive when they are in stress, they tend to encounter the obstacles by hitting them hard.

  • They are risk takers, they enjoy taking risks. Their cycle of activity is : situation problem → risk → challenge → effort → accomplishment → satisfaction.

  • They are born leaders and believe that they need to control people to accomplish a task.

  • They are always confident in their approach and re natural problem solvers and decision makers. They are fast, assertive and active

  • They believe in facts and logics to communicate.

The career choices of dominants are supervision, sales, trial, attorneys, law of enforcement, military, coaching, construction, firefighting, and manufacturing and communication based on facts and logic.

Facts and Logics

Identifying Extrovert Traits

You should ask for their ideas and inputs and if they do not engage in decision making and problem solving, they are most likely to reject the outcome.

  • They will test your convictions by making absurd statements. You shouldn’t agree to agree. And, you need to show some respect and judgement as long you do not have to compromise with your position.

  • They are impatient people and do not prefer long written or verbal communication. They prefer factual and logical summaries.

  • You should show your full support and cooperation. You might actually see them delivering their ideas on the spot. They will like it if you confront issues boldly. You should provide situations where you include competitions.

  • They like to follow a bottom line approach. So, you need not give a detailed approach. They do not like being controlled. Do not control. Their actions and responses.

  • They do not like wasting time. You shouldn’t make excuses on emotional grounds. They dislike whining. You should not resist change until you have facts to support them.

Identifying Patient Traits

Patients are very focused regarding their work, and may do whatever is required. Patients should be made aware of how others may have perceived them.

  • Talk to them and show them concerns, and if they understand the problem, they will be apologetic about it.

  • In the process of getting accomplishment, they may even forget or may ignore the authority above them. This may be disruptive for a supervisor.

  • You need to speak about how proper ways should be followed in an organization else, it may be disruptive. They are usually apologetic when they understand the problems.

  • But, they may use their physical strength to show their anger. In this case, check your own defensiveness and see how they will help you. Also, notice the behavior in this case.

  • It may so happen that these people in the process of leading may do something defensive that may irritate others who also wish to lead. You need to talk to the patients about how their actions may be sabotaging others desire. Ask them to opt of the leadership while giving others their chance too.

Identifying Conformist Traits

Conformists usually use their physical strength to show their anger, their response to the ones who act as obstacles in the way to success is direct confrontation which may be verbal or physical.

  • They tend to get red-faced when usually in anger. You need to act like an umpire and should not back out. Backing up may increase their difficult behavior and stepping forward may cause to accelerate even before impact. You should be calm and composed at this point of time.

  • Wait for them to cool down, and then talk to them slowly and quietly. And, it may happen they may apologize and forget what had happened within 15 minutes. Conformists are risk takers and love challenges. However, in this process they make the others uncomfortable, anxious, uncertain, and overly careful.

  • You need to talk to them and inform them that what they are doing may turn disruptive to others. You should also state that they do not support any of the sides and you aren’t participating. Give them every possible reason as long as they sound like you are giving excuses.

Making Hasty Decisions

They may at times will not know that what they’re doing might be wrong. They may look confident but they are wrong. Alterative solutions can be provided to them in this scenario. Ask them to provide facts and figures to back up their position, and ask them to provide alternatives. They are known for their creativity and will surely come up with many alternatives.

Conformists people are impatient, and their manners may be imposing, most of them make direct eye contact, with their arms folded or hands on their hips. They are always hasty in their approach. You need to focus on their content more than their body language. You should not impose behavior as this may lead to insecurities.


Employees may sometimes be rude in their approach, they may at once present the facts and figures of a case without actually explaining them. They may even state that they have already discussed the issue when they haven’t. It is difficult to understand employees when you are a supervisor. It’s important to not let personal issues and personality egos clash or else productivity will suffer. We hope this tutorial will give you ample scope to understand the different personalities and extract the best out of them.