Tuesday, December 11, 2007

What Is Your Default Mode?

Despite education and experience, we can easily slip into habits, roles, and assumptions that were developed many years ago. Many of these are fine, but there is a danger when they become our default mode because we can adopt them with little or no analysis. Left unchecked, they can be extremely harmful and some are inherently so.

Some examples of dangerous default modes are:

The Pleaser
Operative style: Make everybody happy. Everything is on the table.
General reputation: Pleases few and is trusted by few.

The Gunslinger
Operative style: Shoot first and ask questions later.
General reputation: Direct and tough but also rash and needlessly disruptive.

The Emotional Imperialist
Operative style: If mama/daddy ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.
General reputation: Unpredictable mood swings bring down team morale.

The Martyr
Operative style: I would rather lose than to be sullied by anything that doesn't meet my impossibly high standards.
General reputation: A noble individual who works well with angels but not with people.

The Intellectual
Operative style: There's always more research to be done.
General reputation: Thorough, thoughtful, excessively cautious, and consistently behind schedule.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Michael, that's a very interesting approach. I would be really interested in reading about the opposite: could you maybe in a later post elaborate on five positive or genuinely appreciated default modes?