Complementary Traits: Encourager/Facilitator

By Mark Vickers, Ph.D.

My friend Dennis played for twelve years as a lineman with the Los Angeles Rams. He was expected to be as tough and gritty as “North Dallas Forty,” ready to knock you on your butt if you even dared to look at him funny. However, ¬†even though that was the expectation, the reality is that Dennis is just a really nice guy. He is tough and, I suppose, a bit gritty, but ready to knock you on your butt? I don’t think so.

Why? Because he is an Encourager/Facilitator. These two complementary traits are the “people” traits. The first is fun and gregarious while the second is kind and gentle. When these two traits are high, it makes for a really nice person.

Complementary traits are relatively rare, as there are only two sets (the other being Decision Maker/Tracker – the task traits). Though the Encourager and Facilitator are complimentary in the sense that they are people traits, they still have a bit of a pull on one another. Each trait wants its own way and they fight to some degree to get it. Aditionally, as with all trait combinations, there are some communication blindspots.

For Dennis, the challenge is to be fun and crazy, but not offend. Yet, it is this dynamic tension that makes these two traits interesting and what makes people want to be around Dennis.


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