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May 6, 2019

What’s your working style?

The Breakthrough team has been exploring each of our working styles which have led to some very constructive, valuable and hilarious conversations.

The four styles defined in the research* are:
  • Pioneer – explorers, like new possibilities, big picture, radical
  • Integrator – people person, likes consensus and alignment, team focus
  • Driver – make things happen, analytical, get results
  • Guardian – detail, stability, conservative

Put simply, Pioneers and Drivers are more strategic, Integrators and Guardians are more operational. Drivers and Guardians tend to be more focused. Pioneers and Integrators are more comfortable with ambiguity. This means that Pioneers and Guardians tend to clash because they’re opposites on these scales, as do Drivers and Integrators. You can learn heaps more in our AMP programme TOPIC 4. Working with your team

Put even more simply, Wendy came up with this example:

  • Pioneer – what
  • Integrator – who
  • Driver – when
  • Guardian – how

Take a look at the examples above. What do you think your working style is? What about the people you work closely with? Make a list of those people and note down what you think their style is, and why. It’s even an interesting exercise to do with our family and friends. Once we learn and understand each other’s styles, we know why each other react, respond and engage the way we do.

We’ve discovered at the Breakthrough that having a mix of styles creates a balanced team and harnesses our diverse strengths. We make the most progress if we pull our opposites closer, appreciate the other’s perspective, openly discuss our differences and ask for their views – and it sheds light on our blind spots.

Please share your style with us in the comments or email!

*FROM “PIONEERS, DRIVERS, INTEGRATORS & GUARDIANS,” BY SUZANNE M. JOHNSON VICKBERG AND KIM CHRISTFORT, MARCH-APRIL 2017 © HBR.ORG

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