Flexible Behavior: The ability to change one’s behavioral style and/or views in order to attain a set goal.
has clear objectives
distinguishes between process and content
is able to question his/her own approach
holds on to an objective but is able to change his/her approach, view or behavior
recognizes obstructions
understands when a chosen approach is ineffective
is able to alternate between logical arguments against resistance and an inventory of its cause
does not fixate on a certain approach or argument in order to attain a goal
adjusts readily to unexpected turns of events
is able to go along with someone else without losing his/her own objectives
is able to change his/her approach when facing persistent resistance (other point of view, new argumentation)
is flexible in his/her use of argumentation and style
is able to redefine problems
adjusts his/her tactics to the amount and kind of resistance
uses various techniques to influence others (lobbies, approaches decision makers, finds sponsors)
uses other people`s ideas and subtle signals to guide a conversation into a desired direction
alternates various behavioral styles in order to influence others effectively
Flexible behavior can be easily developed if the candidate has a more than average score (7,8,9) on the drive Purposiveness and a less than average score (1,2,3) on the drives Conformity and Order & structure.
Have you experienced circumstances over the last month that made it difficult for you to reach your targets? Could you give examples of negative influences these circumstances had on you?
Have you ever been put under pressure in order to change your plan or views? What did that do to you?
Describe a situation in which another person refused to do what you wanted. How did you win this person over to do what mattered to you?
Do you easily adapt to changes? Could you give a few examples that illustrate how you deal with change?
Have you recently had a conversation in which you did not achieve your goals? What did you do?
Investigate what is keeping you from changing. Do want to hold on to what is familiar? What exactly do you resist? Do you want to stick to plans you once made? Do you like a tested approach in your work? Does it still work?
Try to think of more than one solution to your problem.
If your circumstances are changing, ask yourself regularly if and how you can attain your goal in a different (better) way.
When facing adversity or resistance, reflect on what happens exactly en let go of your initial plans where and when necessary. Try and understand the other party’s perspective by asking them questions, ask what their objections are and deal with them accordingly.
Be open to other people’s ideas; do not be quick to dismiss them.
Switch coaching styles regularly and discuss your candidate’s reaction to those switches.
Encourage your candidate to practise situations he finds difficult to handle or avoids, for instance in a role play.
Set certain difficulties for your candidate in a role play (“this cannot happen; you cannot do this; this does not work like this”) and encourage your candidate to deal with these problems strategically.
If your candidate has a managing position, bring up situational leadership. All kinds of interviews are good moments to practise these skills, especially when resistance is expected.
Encourage your candidate to ask others for 360º feedback regarding his flexibility. What are his strengths and what could be improved? Discuss the results with the candidate.
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