Opposing Traits: Decision Maker/Facilitator

d-f opposition

By Mark Vickers, Ph.D.

I have only met one person who I believe really had Decision Maker and Facilitator as his two highest traits. He was a business owner with about six staff and he had challenges trying to satisfy the needs of both traits. The Decision Maker wants to lead and be in control, but the Facilitator wants to serve and avoid offending others. His staff recognized this seemingly irrational style and it wasn’t until they all took WorkTraits that they understood the “why” behind their boss’s behavior.

One trait was fighting the other and neither was winning. This is often the challenge with opposing traits (side note, Encourager/Tracker is the most common set of opposing traits). However, when an individual is able to recognize the strength of each trait and engage each trait in an appropriate context, it can be a winning combination.

Each trait needs to be expressed. So, how do you do that? The answer is in what I call secondary motivators. When a primary trait (in this instance Decision-Maker) needs to be tempered because of circumstance, it also needs to be engaged at some level. The secondary motivator is a way to tell ourselves that we haven’t left the primary trait behind. So, with the example of Decision Maker/Facilitator, the business owner should tell himself that even when he utilizes his Facilitator trait, he is still providing “direction” (the secondary motivator) to his staff. In other words, by serving them (Facilitator) he is also giving them direction and purpose because of his example.

Check back Tuesday for the next post as we will discuss secondary motivators at greater length and look at the opposing traits of an Encourager/Tracker.


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