Basic behavior profile

You can identify a persons basic behavior "profile" with two simple questions. This is useful for identifying how to adapt your approach when working with them so you can be more effective together. The questions are:

1. Are they ‘open’ or ‘guarded?’

Open people:

  • share feelings and anecdotes,

  • base decisions on intuition,

  • are flexible about time.

Guarded people:

  • hide personal feelings,

  • base decisions on facts,

  • are disciplined about time.

2. Are they ‘direct’ or ‘indirect?’

Direct people:

  • make emphatic statements,

  • make swift decisions and take risks,

  • do a lot of talking.

Indirect people:

  • make tentative statements,

  • ask questions,

  • are thoughtful.

Based on the answers you can gauge if someone is a "Socializer," "Director," "Thinker" or a "Relator."





  • are ideas people and not concerned with details

  • thrive on involvement with other people

  • are very creative

  • can think quickly on their feet

When dealing with a “Socializer” be jovial and friendly, focus on the big picture rather than the details, strive to provide an interactive experience.


  • are goal oriented

  • can display stubbornness, impatience and toughness

  • tend to take control of people and situations

  • are decisive in their actions

When dealing with a “Director” be brief and direct, validate your argument with a few data points, and let them take the lead.



  • are warm, supportive and reliable

  • are slow at taking action and making decisions

  • have to know how other people feel about something before deciding

  • are good listeners

When dealing with a “Relator” be relaxed and open, walk them through your ideas step by step, listen to them, and address their concerns.


  • are systematic problem-solvers

  • are security-conscious

  • ask questions about specific details

  • prefer an organized/structured work environment

  • like to see things in writing

When dealing with a “Thinker” be tactful and sincere, provide them with in-depth data, and explain the rationale behind your statements.

It should be noted that (a) people can exhibit traits from more than one category an (b) an in depth test will give more accurate results. However this basic behavior profile should serve as a good starting point.