Too often, in a ‘take the initiative’ world, the Cautious Type personality is perceived as lacking enterprise, even something of a coward. This sad misrepresentation means that leadership teams often lose out on the expertise and insight of those who can provide deep analysis and perceive challenges and pitfalls in the near and distant future. These people, reserved and task focused on the DISC axes, are a beautiful jewel in the crown of a truly great leadership team.
We’ve looked at the way in which D Type folk can help a team get where it’s going, leading from the front and often crashing through roadblocks. The I Type is great at gathering people around them, leading from the centre and making the going fun. S Type people promote collegiality and consensus, helping the team to hang together and shepherding from the back – no one left behind. The C Type is on the flanks, constantly assessing, picking up details others miss, the master of spotting the unintended consequence.
It’s this last quality I particularly want to dwell on today, before a brief look at a couple of the challenges the C Type faces, and others face working with them. While I sit fairly neatly on the dividing line between task and people focus, over the years my profile has shifted from leaning towards the people side to a slant towards a task focus – I measure as a CS. Along with this has come a growing appreciation of how naturally I look at decisions that are made and think, didn’t you see that doing that would have this consequence. The answer is, no the person didn’t, because that kind of analysis doesn’t come naturally. The thing is, typically, those making up leadership teams tend to be on the outgoing side of the spectrum, D and I Type personalities. Their motors run at a faster speed to S and C type folk. There might be space for an S type; most organisations and work places now recognise the importance of the people side of things. But the C Types can often be relegated to the level of analyst who reports, when asked, to the leadership team. While their work may be used to inform a decision, they are rarely able to reflect upon a decision until after it’s implemented. By then it’s too late to utilise effectively their ability to foresee unintended consequences of a decision. That’s why a truly great leadership team needs C Type people on it, not just reporting to it.
When a C Type person does something, they take the time and effort to do it right. This is great, and also a potential pitfall. While not all people who suffer from performance anxiety are C Type personalities, the natural bent of the C Type towards doing the job well can fairly easily manifest as perfectionism that leads to refusal to produce something unless it is the best it can possibly be. As a teacher it breaks my heart to watch incredibly able students fall into the frustration of not being able to complete anything because they are constantly second-guessing themselves as to whether they could do it better with a bit more time. They stop being involved because they don’t want to let otters or themselves down with second-rate work. Helping them connect with they personality preferences can be a powerful tool in breaking the cycle and moving on.
To others, the C Type can appear pedantic and nit-picking. Often, because they see details others miss, they are perceived as worrywarts who paralyse teams and promote inactivity. While this can be an issue, it’s important that the skills of a C Type be recognised and incorporated into the decision making process. If a C Type sees that a team is doing its best to do it right, they will willing give 150% to ensure they do.
Don’t miss out on the wonders of the C Type in your team. Perhaps it’s time to find out how to enrich your team. Connect with us via the links below and let’s have a conversation about what we can offer you.
Fast Paced Task Focused: The D Advantage
Influencing and Fun: The I Advantage
Supportive and Sensitive: The S Advantage