Myers-Briggs^TM^ Types and the “Social Style®” Model
By Norbert Grygar
Copyright 2016 Norbert Grygar
Myers-Briggs^TM^ Types and the “Social Style®” Model
By Norbert Grygar
Copyright 2016 Norbert Grygar
Myers-BriggsTM Types and the “Social Style®” Model
The Social Style® Model presented here is the personality style model developed by David W. Merrill, PhD and Roger H. Reid and described in their book “Personal Styles & Effective Performance”. Their model also groups personality into sixteen different types, as does the Myers-Briggs model.
These behavioral researchers started their research using adjective word lists and looked at a number of general categories but they ended up using assertiveness and responsiveness.
Before proceeding, I suggest that you use this exercise to help apply this information to yourself. Assume you are in a situation where you need something or some information from someone who is neither your boss nor your subordinate. You are familiar with this person, however, and you know that they can get what you need, so you approach them. Would you ask them or tell them to get you what you want.
On the assertiveness scale with following choices:
Where would you place yourself? When categorizing yourself, here are two clues:
Using the word “please” at the end is not asking
25% of the population will fall into each of the four choices.
Now assuming you are the recipient of such a request how much emotion is likely to accompany your reply? The ranges for your response are
very controlled (14%)
mostly controlled (37%)
mostly emoting (13%)
very emoting (36%).
Here are two more clues:
An absolute poker face could be seen as very controlled
A large smile and body motions including hand or arm movement or head nodding or shaking could be seen as very emoting.
Make a note of each of your selections.
The Social Style® Model
In the Social Style® model, these main driving elements were used to develop a grid. One side denotes assertiveness ranging from asking to telling. The other side of the grid denotes responsiveness ranging from controlled to emoting. Using these elements, they came up with four main Social Style groups as follows:
Asking + Controlled = Analytical
Telling + Controlled = Driver
Asking + Emoting = Amiable
Telling + Emoting = Expressive
Merrill and Reid determined that 25% of the population fell into each group. They also determined that along the assertiveness axis, there were four groups each containing 25% of the population. They did not tell us how the many groups they saw in the controlled versus emotional results. They did, however, produce a grid showing that there were also four segments. In arranging Myers-Briggs types into the Social Style® grid, the result would need to reflect the above percentages by quadrant and by assertiveness range. In addition, the result would need to be logical as taken as a whole. See the exhibit below:
All four quadrants contain within 1% of the expected or match exactly and the same is true of the four columns that make up the assertiveness measurement.
The MBTI© percentages are from the book “Do What You Are” © 1992 by Paul Tieger and Barbara Barron-Tieger. Similar percentages are also found in the book “Please Understand Me” © 1978 by David Kiersey and Marilyn Bates.
Now for your Exercise
Now go back to the hypothetical situation used at the top of this article and look at your choices. Look at the above exhibit. Your Myers-BriggsTM type preference should be at the intersection of your two choices. If not, then look for your Myers BriggsTM type should be in the same quadrant. There is a 50:50 chance of a perfect match.
These relationships were not seen by others before because it appears that the commercial product sold by the copyright holders was using a sub-quadrant placement method that would not match up well to Myers-BriggsTM types. 6.25% of the population was placed arbitrarily into each sub-quadrant and quantification could not handle four Myers-Briggs TM types with only 1% and four others with 13%. How did I come up with the arrangement presented? I had numbers that presented population percentages for each the Myers-Briggs TM type and I had Social Style information by quadrant (25% of population in each quadrant) and I was given information that 25% of the population was in each Assertiveness category. I also knew that there were clearly opposite types with both Myers-Briggs TM when all of the Letters in one group were different from those of another group and Social Style groups were across the diagonal from each other. I then tried many arrangements using type description details found in the Appendix descriptions found by Kiersey and Bates in “Please Understand Me”, the type descriptions provided by Kroeger and Thuesen in “Type Talk” and the type descriptions found Tieger and Barron-Tieger in “Do What you Are” until I began to see symmetry as the pieces were falling into place. A check of the numbers showed a fit. Next, I tested with a small group of individuals around me.
It is important to look at Social Style® because clashes in Social Style® can be as intense as clashes between MBTITM types without being seen as MBTI major differences. Note that each Social Style® quadrant is dominated by a MBTI type beginning with ES and that no two ES types are in the same quadrant. Therefore, when two ES types with a different judging choice and/or different perception/judging choice, each will be following different Social Style paths completely. Also note that where any of the first MBTI three letters are the same but the perception/judging choice is different, the two will be in different social style quadrants and each may have more in common with their Social Style quadrant mates when it comes to living choices than with their first three letter match. The Social Style interactions are most intense (create the most tension) with styles across the grid diagonal. Drivers have the greatest difficulty in dealing with Amiables and Expressives with Analyticals and vice versa. And, note that the complete opposite MBTI type or Social Style type is not across the diagonal but opposite vertically or horizontally. For each MBTI type, the type that will be the most difficult to deal with is that type where the first three MBTI letters are different but the perception judging option is the same. For example, INTPs will have the most trouble with ESFPs. If a MBTI analysis does not work to explain perceived differences, then try looking at the Social Style implications using the Major Social Style® Comparison chart.
Below is a chart showing a comparison of some of the key components of the Social Style® model.
To use the two tables, begin by locating your Myers-Briggs type on the first chart. If you are an ISTJ, look in the Asking/ Controlled or the Analytical Quadrant. You will see this type labeled “Driving Analytical”. Next, go to the Major Style Comparisons chart and find the Asking Controlled column (middle of the page). Then, insert each of the terms in the Asking Controlled column in the blank to the far left and read as follows:
“A person with the Analytical Style exhibits , (and) is concerned about the time frame. Reaction is and tending to reject . The style is said to be oriented, and minimum concern is shown for . In the primary backup style, one becomes an and if this option is not available then one of the other three choices. Their actions toward others support . In problem solving, the individual will offer in counseling others toward a decision.”
To see more what the Social Style type means to you, see the description of Chapter 3 below or, better yet, get an electronic copy of my book and read the whole chapter as well as Chapter 5 of my book.
My book, “Putting the Pieces Together” is in two parts with the first part containing chapters 1-6 and the second part, chapters 7 and 8. It will be available for free in the electronic copy edition during the months of May through September 2016 to any and all that may want a copy in your choice of reader formats at Shakespir.com. You will need to use coupon code MA33H where it is requested. Below is a brief description of the contents of the book by chapter.
Chapter 1 – Life Positions and Memories
This chapter is developed from the world of Transactional Analysis. There are four life positions beginning with I’m Not Okay-You’re Okay as a beginning position for all newborn humans. Hopefully, we all progress to the stage of I’m Okay – You’re Okay (at least most of the time). The other major element is that of memories. When we create new memories, the whole learning experience is recorded as if two channels are present. One channel contains the factual/logical data and the other channel includes the background information coming into our senses including emotional information within us as well that coming from the other or others present, sights surrounding the data, smells present, body language, pleasure of pain, etc.
Chapter 2 – Transactional Analysis
Within each of us, there are three states of being noted: the Parent, the Adult and the Child. The Child most likely became active first and, after birth, the Parent and Adult became active as well shortly afterward. In the Child, we find our emotional selves. In the Parent, we find our taught selves. And, in the Adult we find our thought selves. “Thought” is used in the sense that, when we are in the Adult state of being, we can compare and contrast, experiment, and make our own decisions. By observing, we can watch others and usually tell which state of being is in charge at the moment. When Eric Berne, M.D. wrote “Games People Play” and Thomas A. Harris, M.D. wrote “I’m Okay – You’re Okay” they saw that only one of the three states of being was in charge at an one time and that the data being presented by either the Child or the Parent was immature and archaic in nature. Conversations between individuals initially begin with a transactional stimulus followed by a transactional response will continue as long as the states of being between those involved are in sync with each other and information is being exchanged or an agreement reached. Most of the time the exchanges will be Adult to Adult. I would carry forward and say that when the Adult is in charge, the Parent is providing factual information and the Child is also present and providing all of the other non-verbal actions that we are presenting and evaluating and understanding the non-verbal information from the other person or persons with whom our Adult is interacting.
Chapter 3 – Social Style
“Social Style” is the Registered Trademark of the Tracom Corporation is the name that was given to program devised by David W. Merrill, PhD and Roger H. Reid and presented in their book “Personal Styles & Effective Performance”. Social Style system is based entirely on word lists and what its originators observed in watching individual relate to each other in normal daily activities. The program is based upon using assertiveness (ranging from very asking to mostly asking to mostly telling to very telling) and responsiveness (ranging from very controlled to mostly controlled to mostly emoting to very emotional) to develop a system with four major personality groups. These four groups are Analytical, Amiable, Driver, and Expressive. Each of the four groups is found to contain commonalities. Each of the four groups differs in approach to many situations and each has their own minimum and maximum areas of concern. In solving problems of their own or in advising others, they will take different approaches in how to reach a conclusion. Last, each group has its own primary backup style. The normal social style is paired with a backup as follows: Analytical and Avoider, Amiable and Acquiescer, Expressive and Attacker, and, last, Driver and Autocrat. Also included are style management plans for each style to better communicate with all four styles and it here where a third element, versatility, comes into the discussion. Versatility is, basically, accepting tension within ourselves in order that we may reach out and successfully communicate with others. With training, we can better understand others to communicate better.
Chapter 4 – Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
The Myers-Briggs social style program of personality types was developed by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers and is described in the book ‘Gifts Differing” by Isabel Briggs Myers and her son, Peter B. Myers. This program is based upon viewing or questioning individuals in order to determine three different internal choices and then seeing what their individual preference is between two specific choices. The first pair choice is between Extraversion (E) and Introversion (I). The second choice is seen in how we perceive with the options being between Sensing (S) and iNtuition (N). Third choice is seen in how we judge with the choices being between Thinking (T) and Feeling (F). And, last, we have a preference to be made as to whether we would rather be Perceiving (P) or Judging (J) and we cannot do both at once. The word “choice” has been used in this paragraph, but, that there is probably a genetic basis and we do as our genes (or alleles) direct us generally. Each of the sixteen types is discussed briefly.
Chapter 5 – Theory Unification
This chapter brings the first four chapters together and explains how the different theories converge to present a better understanding of normal human behavior. Both Social Style typing and the Myers-Briggs system have two unspoken pre-conditions. First, the individual must be in an “I’m Okay-You’re Okay” life position and, second, the individual must be viewed or described in Adult-to-Adult transactions. The Social Style model is to be recognized as extension of transactional analysis in that it is predicated upon an extension of the two parts of a transaction being the stimulus or assertion and the response. Sixteen social types were identified by the originators of the Social Style model, but the beauty of their program was based upon one being a member of a quadrant and not at any specific position in a quadrant. The Myers-Briggs system also has sixteen types and these do match up and are mapped into the Social Style model. The key to matching the pieces together has to do with the work of some of the proponents of the Myers-Briggs system who then acted like behavioral psychologists and described characteristics not directly related to MBTI type. This marriage of the two systems provides a much better broad view of actions to be expected from a person of a specific MBTI type. In addition, the back-up styles noted provide the explanation of the “Shadow Styles” noted by Myers-Briggs but which Myers-Briggs could not explain.
Chapter 6 – Play – Changing Styles
In the analysis of the two social style systems found in chapters 3 and 4 mentioned above, it was found that the descriptions of personality type was from a point of each being in their Adult State of Being and in their everyday work mode. By “work mode” is meant not playing and not acting or otherwise under stress caused by outside pressures or by mind-altering drugs or chemicals. When we start to play, we move out of our work mode or basic type, usually in steps. And, in the final step of full play mode, we are actually in our opposite type. For example, an ESTJ in full play mode would be described as appearing to be an INFP. Only a privileged few will normally see this last step. We will be seen moving toward full play in stages and, the individual could appear to be any one of the other fourteen types at some time in play process by changing one letter or label at a time.
Chapter 7 – Love and Loving
This chapter and the one that follows contain minimal references to personality type, but because they are included in the book, a brief explanation of each chapter follows. Chapter 7 is based on two books, “The Art of Loving” by Erich Fromm and “Emotional Literacy: Intelligence with a Heart” by Claude Steiner, and, generally combines the key concepts of each work into one very abbreviated whole.
Chapter 8 – Words and Games
This chapter looks at the topic of protecting our inner Child from non-physical abuse. Two works by Suzette Haden Elgin, “The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense” and “The Last Word on The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense”, form the basis of this chapter with a final passing reference to “Games People Play” by Eric Berne, M.D.
There are two areas that I do not approach, a detailed look at the various emotions and a detailed look at expressions of love. Both of these are impacted heavily by social and societal norms as well as personality style. Acting and play add to the complexity of each.
“Personal Styles & Effective Performance” © 1981 The TRACOM Corporation written by David W. Merrill, PhD and Roger H. Reid and published by Chilton Publishing Company.
“Please Understand Me” © 1968 by David Kiersey and Marilyn Bates original publisher not listed.
“Type Talk” © 1988 by Otto Kroeger and Janet M. Thuesen published by Tildon Press.
“Do What you Are” © 1992 by Paul D. Tieger and Barbara Barron Tieger and published by Little, Brown and Company.
This article Combines the MBTI types created by Catherine Briggs and Isabel Briggs-Myers into the Social Style model proposed by David W. Merrill and Roger H. Reid in their book "Personal Styles and Effective Performance". By using assertiveness and responsiveness. one's MBTI style can be predicted and then located in a particular quadrant in the model. The Social Style Model is known for using terms including Amiable, Analytical, Expressive, and Driver in categorizing personality types.