Hello all! I thought I’d share with you today some of the extra perks of being in the MBA program at Iowa.
Last week, they brought in a company called Proteus who introduced us to social styles. They had our peers judge us based on our assertiveness and responsiveness, which is how well someone can keep their emotions from showing. They used these to put us into one of four main categories. The titles are somewhat self-explanatory, but you can find a more in-depth explanation here. You can see in the picture here where I fit.
When I heard the description of my style (Expressive) I was a little disappointed. Here was my first reaction after reading the labels:
- Driver: A CEO, on the front lines getting things done and making decisions
- Analytical: An accountant or engineer who plays billiards with a protractor, ruler and calculator and uses them before every shot.
- Amiable: A doormat or push-over.
- Expressive: The typical New York artist. Emotionally unstable and heads off in seemingly random directions. I imagine that any time someone questions them, they respond by screaming “I have a vision!!”
So with that in mind, I was a little disappointed. I was hoping to be a driver; assertive and in control of myself. I thought, “great, I guess I’ll have to go buy a loft in the city and start making art out of scrap metal.” I guess that’s just the high responsiveness in me being over-emotional.
As we continued on though, I began to see some of myself in all four quadrants but Expressive did actually describe me the best. I do focus on relationships more than tasks when describing my job; I do have more enthusiasm and love of life than your typical engineer; I also do have quite a few great ideas that lead to half-finished projects (whether due to taking on too much or lack of follow-through). So an Expressive isn’t all that bad. I guess it is better than a Driver, focusing only on the tasks you think are important while completely disregarding others’ opinions.
As if this self-reflection wasn’t great enough, Proteus went on to show us the typical types of conflict for each type and how to bridge the gap between styles. I’m glad to know the analytical people in my groups will now know not to show me every single spreadsheet of supporting evidence. I’ll also know that to get their buy in, I’ll have to show more than a pretty power point.
Although it filled an otherwise-classless Friday, I’m very thankful that we were given this experience. I’m looking forward to trying to test my skills in the real world, determining what type people are and tailoring my approach in order to make the experience more productive for both of us.
These are the experiences that make an MBA more than just a masters in business. I’m not just for finance or marketing frameworks. I’m learning to be a leader, and that’s what an MBA is about. You don’t agree with me? Well….. I have a vision!!