GO-TEAM! Get the Right Mix of Tendencies in the Workplace


I thought it would be fun for the Beautifully Organized Team to take the Four Tendencies quiz. If you are new to the blog, the Four Tendencies is a framework created by Gretchen Rubin to explain how we respond to inner and outer expectations. You can find out what I’m talking about by clicking here to take the quiz.

After taking the quiz here is what we found out. We have two obligers and a questioner/rebel on our team. This isn’t a total surprise, your tendency revels itself, even if you don’t know what you are.

I am an obliger, I require a great deal of external accountability to help me complete tasks. I feel immense pressure when I know someone is depending on me. When left to my own devices I will procrastinate, never do it or completely forget it needs to get done. As a business owner this can be problematic. I have a laundry list of things to do most days and not getting them done isn’t usually an option. To counter my own tendency, I have people in my life, like Robynn and Pauline that keep me focused. Robynn will remind me that I promised a certain number of blogs each month or that I have a pending, self imposed, deadline coming up, so I better get in gear to complete it. Setting up this accountability at work keep me on the productivity train.

Robynn is also an obliger. No surprise here. Robynn has worked in customer service for 25 years and has now found her calling working as an assistant, helping business owners GET THINGS DONE! Robynn also experiences something we obligers feel from time to time – obliger rebellion! We push ourselves to the limit – often going above and beyond the call – and while we are on our march for perfection we burn out, then we rebel. Rebellion is common among obligers as we often put ourselves last and expect unsolicited recognition from others for our work – external accountability. Robynn combats this with her unwavering positivity, allowing her to often rise above the rebellion looking at the extra work, effort and time as translation of her own success, qualification and drive. Obligers are a positive bunch!

Pauline is the questioner. Every good business needs one of these. Pauline has been my sounding board since day 1. She often listens to me rattle off my dilemma in far too many words, then she quickly and succinctly given me an honest response, every single time. Without the pressure of thinking about everyone’s feelings or is it the “right” thing to say, I know Pauline will always be straight with me. Pauline is also a little bit of a rebel, but that means Pauline does amazing things like spend the whole summer at the cottage, because that’s what makes her happy and as a questioner/rebel she follows that path well. Questioners help to keep an obliger’s perspective in check. Their natural ability to question allows the obliger to look at their own expectations differently, do I really need to do xyz… why?

Most of us fall into the obliger and questioner categories and it seems Beautifully Organized is no different. Any tendency can do anything. There are no jobs obligers, rebels, questions and upholders can’t excel in, but when you get the right mix in your own workplace, the benefits you can provide each other are immense. Take the quiz and start understanding those you work for and with a little bit better.