Emotions Into Actions

by Unre Visagie

Be aware of behavioral types and turn emotions into chosen actions

Chapter 4 p.4

The other day I heard somebody say that his team leader “is a true elephant”. Now, was that a compliment or a negative remark? Somebody once said to me that I must be careful not to lapse into ostrich behavior. What is it with all these animals ? Are we a business or a zoo?

I Answer

Various models and topologies exist that can be used to describe human personalities and behavioral types. Mike Matulovich divides behavioral types into three main categories, which he calls the Elephant, Ostrich and Rhinoceros. The names give us clues to the type of person and behavioral style we can expect to find in each category.

I Ask

I can guess what the behavior of an ostrich and a rhinoceros could be like, but what makes a person an elephant?

I Ask

Let me give you a summary, then I will explain it fully in the diagram after the summary.

The Rhinoceros
Positional Power
The Elephant
Personal Power
The Ostrich
Lack of Power
This type of person is characterized by the use of external control. This type of person is characterized by the use of personal control. This type of person is characterized by lack of control.
They are emotionally immature and use the power of position, title, etc. They enjoy the respect of others. They exhibit a low self – worth and self-esteem.
Insecure since they are constantly “in debt”. They attempt to hide their insecurity from themselves and others by using aggressive means. They are able to negotiate. Ruled by a Scarcity Mentality and that they are a born losers.
Ruled by a Scarcity Mentality and hence have difficulty in sharing recognition, credit, power, success or information. Secure in themselves since their power is based on internal control and not on the external control of position, seniority or title. They expect to be cheated, stepped on and to be unappreciated by others.
They are threatened by the success and development of other people. Abundant mentality – there is enough for everybody – they can share credit, power, information,
ideas, etc.
Expect the worst, invite it and usually get the worst.
They believe that in every transaction there must be a winner and a loser and are determined to win at all costs. Have confidence in themselves and are therefore not threatened by the success of others. They defend themselves by hiding behind a wall of apathy and indifference towards themselves and others.
They need to control others that report to them. Emotionally mature. “Reside” almost permanently in the victim’s corner.
They build weaknesses in themselves by becoming dependent on external factors to get things done. Curious. Either give up, give in or get out. They will not attempt to problem solve and very often will not even acknowledge that there is a problem.
They create weaknesses in others by causing them to react on the basis of fear or conformity; thus stunting their own reasoning, freedom, growth and internal discipline. Have courage and compassion. They avoid having to take personal responsibility for anything and uses six strategies to achieve this:
Build weaknesses in their relationships. They become strained; fear replaces co-operation; each person involved becomes a little more arbitrary, a little more agitated and a little more defensive. They ask for, welcome and listen to feedback.
  1. Don’t play.
  2. Keep others from winning.
  3. Don’t complete anything.
  4. Destroy the game.
  5. Play the nice guy routine.
  6. Become a problem.
Avoid certainty at all costs. Plead
No control
Not Deserving
Use their imagination to create a vision of the future, focusing on solutions as opposed to being caught up in past problems.

I Ask

That’s interesting! I won’t tell you where I see myself… But can you give me an idea of the behavior that I can expect from each type in the work environment?

I Answer

The three behavioral types most often manifest themselves in the work environment in terms of ‘Assertiveness’. Take note of how the degree of assertiveness corresponds with the core characteristics of each type, as explained in the diagram below.

Assertiveness = Aggression Assertiveness =Assertiveness Assertiveness = Submission
They force and threaten, and control and manipulate others. They encourage others to be self-controlled, motivated and to achieve results of which they can be proud. They allow others to control and manipulate them. They plead and abdicate.
Believe that they have rights and that others do not have equal rights, therefore they often violate others’ rights. Believe that all have Equal rights, stand up for their own rights and respect rights of others. Believe they have few rights and that others on same level also have few rights. They believe they must remain submissive.
Express their ideas and feelings in a manner that might be hurtful to others and do not allow others to express their ideas or feeling, unless they are in agreement with their own. Express ideas and feelings openly and honestly and encourage others to do the same. Reluctant to express ideas and feelings.
Demand more information and accuse the source of poor clarification. Ask for information and clarification in order to understand and succeed. They give up easily if ideas are challenged.
Will not ask for more information or clarification for fear of criticism or rejection.
Question and challenge in an attacking and personal style and will not allow others to question and challenge them. Question and Challenge in a constructive and non-threatening manner in order to arrive at the truth. Afraid to question and challenge
Encourage others to question and challenge and they learn from the process.

I Advise

I’d say that a high Emotional Awareness and Inter-dependence are Elephant characteristics…

About Unre Visagie
I am a master coach with 30 years of career and business coaching experience. I have built and sold many of my own multi-million dollar companies. I have always built my companies based on the principle of successful people make a successful company. I invest in people. As your coach you get 30 years of experience to help you do the work you love and earn the salary you want.

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