Your “C” behavioral style is showing if you like to gather all the facts before you begin to offer your opinion. People with a cautious behavioral style are comfortable when others communicate logical messages. They tend to listen carefully to others so they can sort trivial messages from messages with substance. They tend to be methodical, systematic, reliable, and accurate. Cautious people are very sensitive to the emotions of others, noting when they are at peace and when they are not.
Cautious people represent about eight percent of the population. These are the people who will ask more “Why” questions than all the other behavioral styles. They keep others safe out of concern about the causes and effects of all the actions that they and others take. They are the people who think ahead before they do a task, rather than after it has happened. They tend to be reclusive. When they are on a team or participating in a group meeting, they will be the last person to speak up. They will have listened to others to gather their input, and they will have sorted the input into what they consider a logical order. Only then will they deliver a concise non-emotional message.
Many people can say correctly, that they are comfortable doing the same things that describe people with the “C” behavior style. However, a truly cautious person begins and ends each day by sorting details, and thinking about the positive and or negative outcomes of an action. At one time or another, it is necessary for all people to be cautious, to consider outcomes of actions, and to be accurate. For most people, these forms of caution are the result of a concerted effort; whereas, the cautious person is cautious almost all of the time without having to think about it.
Cautious people bring many gifts to others. For instance, they are logical thinkers, and they question others to help them develop the best possible outcomes. They are accurate in their work, follow the rules, and help others be more accurate in the efforts they make. Cautious people focus on the task, and they complete what they start. These are the people whom others rely on to creating a plan for action and have the patience to follow the plan. Cautious people are diplomatic with others. They do not need to be in the limelight.
Cautious people do face several challenges when interrelating with others. They tend to deliver chapter and verse messages that are difficult for proactive people to listen to or follow. Cautious people are perfectionists and will not complete projects until their performance is as perfect as they can make it. They require a considerable amount of detailed information to complete a task. They need proof and evidence of the statements they hear. If a statement does not make sense to them, they dismiss it. When they report to a decisive decision maker, they must deliver bottom line information and allow the other person to ask only the questions the person needs answered. Cautious people tend to believe they know the information others need is often not the case. People with this behavioral style do not accept quick changes.
Most people benefit from modifying the use of their behavioral styles. Each style has its own strengths and its limitations.
One person’s strength may induce stress in others without that being his or her intention. The cautious person needs to be prepared to increase his or her pace of communication in a meeting with active outgoing people. Cautious people tend to be reserved, and benefit from being more outgoing when meeting with outgoing people. Cautious people tend to be dogmatic about both the information they have, and how others should respond to it. They are not open to others’ new ideas, and they tend to form strong biases about methods and people.
A good rule for the “C” behavior person to follow when he or she needs to persuade and active / outgoing person is to be prepared to deliver result oriented information. This kind of communication is stressful for “C’s”, but it will produce outstanding results. After you deliver result oriented information, you need to stop talking and start listening to the questions you will receive. It is important to answer only the questions the person is asking you, even though you have more supportive information to offer.
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