Thursday, November 5, 2009

Leverage Behavioural Diversity

The most common question I get when facilitating conversations around behavioural metaphors is "Which animal am I?" This is of course the wrong question. People need to think outside the box when it comes to behaviours. So many profiles try to put you into a box, when they should be highlighting behavioural strengths and potential opportunities. This is where the adaptability of the animal metaphors work their magic. The key is to be the right animal in the right context (or ecosystem) as this enables you to fit the niche better.

Even more important is to think about which animal (behavioural style) you need to be to achieve your desired outcome (without compromising your values). Adaptability of behavioural style enables you to generate a stronger link with others and engage them around your aims. Provided you are doing this for the "right reasons" (can one ever be completely objective about this?), or perhaps the "common good" it is a great approach. Sometimes, if you have not yet mastered the art of a particular style, you can engage someone in your network with that strength to assist you. For example if you are a mouse, you are unlikely to engage a lion. If you have a colleague who is a robust hyena, they will have the attention and respect of the lion without being a threat. By engaging the hyena and leveraging their relationship with the lion you greatly increase your chance of achieving what you want. We are as powerful as our networks, providing we invest in building spocial capital for constructive means. This develops our trust levels and also our ability to lead from behind.

Ultimately, we make a greater difference by developing our own behavioural diversity and also leveraging the behaviours of those in our domain of influence. Test your behavioural strengths for free: