In 1948 Walter V Clarke and Associates was formed working in industrial psychology. This followed an extensive period of research analyzing the results from tests undertaken on over one million American servicemen as they were demobbed.
From his analysis, Clarke showed that people had 5 Vectors of behaviour and all humans displayed either a large or small amount of each of these behavioural vectors. He gave each of the vectors names, such as assertiveness, sociability, tranquility, conformance and maturity. Each vector had a scale of propensity. For example, a low assertiveness score meant that the person was meek and a high score meant that the person was aggressive in the way tasks were undertaken.
He showed that people were able to modify their behaviour but in the long run or when they were under stress or pressure, people prefered to behave naturally (as he called it), their behaviour just reverted back to the natural.
He spent his life assisting people and companies so that the right people were in the right jobs. because clearly if a job was “calling” for a particular behavioural style then it made sence to employ someone whose style matched.
Clarke identified that where there was a good match people enjoyed their work and where there wasnt people became stressed which seemed to burn up energy so that at the end of the day they were exhausted from doing simple tasks. Whats more the companies he worked with reduced their staff turnover, staff absence from illness reduced and profits increased. The Combined Insurance Company of America (now AON) used Clarkes tools to great effect and famously grew from a $100 investment to what it is today.
So this is quite a long story to get to the important point which is what behavioural style are you and does your work environment suit you?
Remember that you have some of each behaviour, and it’s a sliding scale on each one, but in my experience we get a good idea of what our preferred behavioural style is, just by looking at the above chart and thinking it through.
I was fortunate to be trained on this by Art Neimann who was himself trained by Walter v Clarke and in many cases I can identify someones preferred behaviour just by watching them walk by.
So if you start to think about ideal behaviours for roles you could think of an engineer working at a lathe all day would need to be very tranquil and conformant we don’t want him to make a component a little bit bigger because he thinks it would be better that way! An interesting one is sales because you probably need a social assertive type of behaviour.