Paul Nielsen

62% of your core value energy comes from Power and Wisdom.

Paul, the CVI assessment found you are a BUILDER-INNOVATOR.

What does this mean? This means your primary core value is Builder –A Builder’s core value energy is Power. Power is personal energy invested to make a positive difference. You consistently take action to get results. Your secondary core value is Innovator – An Innovator’s core value energy is Wisdom. Wisdom is the ability to see the way things are, and discern what to do about it. You accurately assess situations and provide solutions.

You have been sent an email with a link to this report. Come back often – the information provided below is continually updated with exciting new insights. Lastly, Share the CVI with others. We encourage you to gift others with this unique, life changing assessment. How would your life be better if you truly understood how you and those around you naturally participate in this world?

CVI Results

Before you read your CVI results…

CVI results can be applied in a number of ways.

For Companies looking to make a hire, evaluate existing teams or ignite leadership, CVI scores showcase the ideal balance of energies needed to feel fulfilled and be highly productive in the work of a given job. This is done in conjunction with our Top Performer Profile, Human Capital Audit, and Leadership Team Profile tools. We give leaders the insight they need to run their organization more effectively, reduce turnover and increase revenues. Hire only guaranteed top performers and reposition existing staff for greater outcomes.

For Executive and Life Coaches, the CVI helps coaches guide their clients toward a fulfilling career path based on how they are innately wired to contribute. Help clients find work that is a natural expression of who they are. Improve communication among individuals and entire teams with core-values based training and coaching. Help everyone understand what they can and cannot expect of themselves and one another. Increase your value as a coach.

For Individuals, understand who you are and how you are meant to contribute in the world. The CVI is frequently reported to provide “the clearest description of myself I’ve ever read.” Learn the core motivational drivers, unique learning styles, conflict strategies, and communication techniques of yourself and those around you.

Who I Am

Your scores indicate you have BUILDER/INNOVATOR tendencies. When you enter a room there is more power and wisdom energy suddenly in that room. You are the presence of wise power. This is your assignment, to be the effective presence of wise power. You look at the circumstances and situations around you through the eyes of faith and compassion. You operate from pure intuition knowing without hesitation what needs to be done and immediately taking action in order to create a positive result. This power energy is balanced by your reasoning and intuitive capacity to see the way things are and to know what to do from this place of understanding, providing wise strategies and solutions to others. Your highest and best contribution can only be made in situations in which there is a significant and constant need for wise power.

Who you are at the deepest innate level of your human nature is the most important element in your life. Who you are at this deep level, is, after all, the only thing you really contribute to this world. It is through right assignment and effective choices that you make your highest and best contribution. This is the universal mission of all people.

The more you learn about who you really are, and how to optimize your presence in this world, the greater will be your success, happiness and life effectiveness.

Your dominant Builder value energy is balanced by your Innovator secondary value energy. Your actions are routinely, almost equally, guided by these two core energies. In times of distress you will usually rely on the conflict strategies of your dominant core energy. In less critical conflicts you may use either conflict strategy given the situation.

Your unique dominant BUILDER core energy causes you to rely upon the following strategies for success and fulfillment.

Your cornerstone core value is power, the application of pure energy for Good. This primary driver is supported by a strong faith in your own ability to know what to do, your faith that your actions are for the Good, and your faith that once you create change, you will know what to do next.

Accomplishing tasks now is a primary drive for you. You are practical and willing to face the truth. You are driven to get things done. You act as soon as you know what to do. People around you know that you are generally on task. It is important for you to be self-sufficient, without boundaries. You are strongly self-motivated.

Giving directives comes naturally to you. You like to work with things that are real and tangible. You pride yourself in the energy you expend on projects. Starting new projects and ventures makes you happy. You like to set things in motion. You only work on things or projects that have real value. You want the things you do to make a tangible difference.

You like to put things and people to work. Knowing the cost and the gain for all actions is important to you. You like to work and you admire others who work. You generally feel that you have enough resources, energy, and drive to achieve your goals. It is important for you to show good results for invested energy. There are few situations in which you feel inadequate. You use your power, physical and personal, to get what you want.

It is important to you that you do the right thing.

Your unique secondary INNOVATOR core energy supports your dominant BUILDER core energy.

Your second cornerstone core value is wisdom. Understanding and compassion are central to your life strategy.

Strategic thinking is your forte. You pride yourself in seeing and understanding people and situations. Development of effective responses to situations is one of your primary contributions. You consistently observe and measure the worth of people and things. If different things can be brought together from different resources, you will do it. You like to communicate with visuals and descriptions. It is important for you to watch, look and listen before you act.

Finding the best solution is one of your primary contributions. Your tastes are varied and diverse. You like to consider all the options. Rapid and clever exchange of ideas is a personal joy and a method of work for you. You like difficult situations and challenging questions. You are able to see the ways things are, and you know what to do about it. You are seen as a valuable resource for leading people toward the right ideas and the right direction.

You like to lead through presentation of intelligent alternatives. Acting foolishly or illogically is not a common experience for you. Your use everything that is available to meet requirements. You value and rely upon your mental abilities.

BUILDERS-Your Dominant Core Energy

If you want something to get done in a business, make sure you give it to a builder. builders are the "doers" of the world; a significant percentage of entrepreneurs and business leaders are builders and without them, little would get accomplished. If you are a builder, you are successful because you get things done. You know how to take action and get results. You take personal responsibility. You don't usually make excuses, and you are generally impatient with those that do. You make decisions on the fly and like it that way. Your focus is short term and driven by the sense of accomplishment in the moment.

Builders have an internal drive that allows them to be decisive, to blow through obstacles and make decisions instantly and without hesitation. They are constantly turning their energies loose on an identified goal, and are not willing to accept defeat, at least not gracefully. The builder's drive is to see a problem and fix it immediately. They are not great problem solvers. They expect their energy and their work to be the solution.

Builders are powerful people. They act from their gut and trust their own judgment explicitly. This makes them very decisive. This can be very intimidating to others. In fact, intimidation is often inherently the builder's primary way of getting control in any situation. If the sheer power of their personality and decisiveness is not sufficient to maintain control, they may resort to anger or hostility. When a builder is out of control, intimidation is an effective tool to reclaim authority.

Builders can take the vision of merchants, the solutions of innovators, the information of bankers, and put it all into action. Builders have the power to make it happen.

It is obvious why builders make good business leaders. Bankers, merchants and innovators who have strong secondary builder characteristics also succeed very well.

Builder Challenges

The first weakness of builder leaders is that they tend to do everything themselves. They are not effective at teaching others because they are too impatient. Builders are so focused on getting things done right now that they typically create an environment of crisis. They thrive as firefighters, which is useful, since their style of management may create one fire after another.

Because of the apparent strength of builders, others tend to not stand up against them, especially when the builder is the boss. Secretaries and bookkeepers are running many small companies, or even departments in large corporations, because the builder strategies of these employees are allowed to exert inappropriate control.

Builders are not highly tuned toward reading the reactions and needs of others humans. Builders are not great team players nor do their strengths lie in building a team. If a builder is good at this, he is using the merchant (relationship) strategy or the innovator (solution) strategy to accomplish the team building "project." Builders approach team building the way they approach any project or daily task -- get started, get moving, get on with it, and don't wait for someone to motivate you to do it.

Builders value action and results above all other business factors. Their mode of teaching others is to push people out of the way, take the business tool in their own hands, and say, "Just watch me do it." They then leave and expect their "student" to be as proficient at the task as the builder. This often leaves the student feeling inadequate and leaves the builder confused as to why this is the case. If builders can understand that their mode of teaching may not be the best for the job, more often than not, wasted energy and confusion can be avoided on both sides. Builders often confuse taking an action with getting a result. Although they tend to be very pragmatic people and bottom line oriented, when it comes to their own performance, they are so focused on taking action that they often forget what their mission is. They sometimes lose sight of their objectives in the heat of the moment.

Taking an action feels just as good to builders as completing a project. Given a command to get something done is a "result" for a builder. They have experienced their energy, enjoyed the work, and feel charged with new energy ready for the next task. They tend to overlook detail and often place less importance with results. They view too much information as an affront to their capabilities and are impatient with innovators who spend too long reasoning out a situation. They may also see merchants as unreliable.

Builders are impatient with the world and particularly with bankers, merchants and innovators. In other words, no one else's values or considerations are as important to a builder as his own when he is after a specific result or simply wants to take action.

Time is always paramount to a builder. Because builders consider merchants "light-weights" and "flakes," and because merchants value relationships so highly, builders are not good at motivating them. This often leads the builder to believe the merchant is wasting his valuable time.

Builders also have a low tolerance for giving instructions. They are so motivated and self-sufficient that such instruction feels like a waste. Besides, they don't know how to tell anyone how to do anything. They would rather get it done themselves.

Builders enjoy innovators immensely as long as the builder is boss. Innovators give builders solutions to problems, and builders are the best implementers around. This relationship feeds the builder's personal needs very well.

Blowing relationships up is a pastime of immature builders and has no more importance to them than blowing up ideas or disrupting systems that are too comfortable, or just commanding obedience to see if it can be obtained. Since bankers are averse to risk, want to know facts before proceeding, and hesitate with every decision, builders see bankers as brick walls that regularly need to be pushed out of the way and consigned to the "Back Forty."

Builders like action, activity, and energy, and they may sacrifice relationships, effectiveness, and stability to justify the end result they crave.


Builder/innovators are action-oriented, solution driven and independent people. Business situations that require lasting structures or systems to be built must have a builder/innovator power at the helm. Whether the requirement is to make something that is complex simple, or to take a simple system and make it more robust and responsive to current needs, the builder/innovator is the person for the job.

Builder/innovators conceive appropriate solutions and take immediate action. Implementing a solution to a problem is a rich form of reward for the builder and seeing a system put into effect is the highest acknowledgment for an innovator. So, in the builder/innovator, we have a person who designs a monument and then builds it.

These powerful personalities are good in isolation. They thrive on independence and chaff under someone else's management. If given a general idea of the problem to be solved, or the monument to build, they will find a way to get it done. But, give them their head and stand back. Without an open range to work in, their energy turns from creativity and action to clever evasion of restrictions, invisibility and possibly, even anger.

Builder/innovators are not intimidated by much of anything except intimate relationships and speaking to crowds. They are resourceful, agile, constantly in motion, clever, inventive, able to teach others (innovator), and powerful in commanding a situation to bring about its desired effect (builder). They derive their own solutions and put them into action without hesitation.

In quickly changing environments, failing situations, and extreme growth opportunities, builder/innovators are unmatched.

Builder/innovators believe they have the answer to every question and the power to do anything. Their innovator core energy develops one irrefutably valid solution after the next, and the builder in them either pushes everyone out of the way while they implement the plan, or they direct someone else in the same manner on how to get the job done expediently. In other words, if they can't do it themselves, they still expect it to be done exactly as they would have carried out the assignment.

Since builders are impatient with the world, they may consider any teaching time to be "baby-sitting." Builder/innovators are convinced they are self-sufficient. Since they are impatient, they also may find it difficult to be tutored and may feel their ideas are the only ones with any real merit.

Your third level MERCHANT core energy gives you the ability to respond appropriately to a broad spectrum of situations.

Your cornerstone core value is love. Building and sustaining relationships is central to your life's strategy. You are constantly working to know and understand the truth about yourself and others.

Your MERCHANT values are strong enough to bring balance into your life. Learning to shift your strategy to this core energy in times of high opportunity or during conflicts will contribute significantly to your success.

You enjoy being a bright light in your world. A core strategy for you is to work effectively with others. You like to work and others enjoy working with you. You are good at getting others to work for and with you. Choosing your words carefully works well for you. Feeling a sense of togetherness with people gives you confidence. You like a new charge in your life and you like to be the charge in the lives of others.

You like to trust people and to share yourself with them freely. You enjoy lots of different people and activities. Free and open discussion is a major element in your leadership style. Motivating others with your visions and ideas is very satisfying. Talking with others is your way to learn and to teach. You seldom feel defeated; you see good potential in most situations. You like to energize and motivate others to work with you.

You have the ability to help people feel hopeful and courageous. It is important for you to see people and things as they really are.

Your fourth level BANKER core energy gives you the opportunity to live a balanced and successful life.

Your cornerstone core value is knowledge, supported by your strong desire to create justice in the world.

You like to act in accordance with specific knowledge and historic evidence. Having the right information is important to you. You do what you say you will do. You work diligently to gather resources together and save them. You like steady, solid situations with limited change. Life is easier when people and things are reasonably similar. The reliability of your words and actions is critical to your sense of self-respect.

When things get messy, you may get testy. You surround yourself with facts, figures and data. Once started, you don't give up easily. You enjoy being the source of information and proven methodology. Knowing the past provides evidence for the future. Creation without effective written plans and process description is senseless. Having all of the information is important to you, even the small things.

Effective decisions are supported by analysis of similarities and differences. You like to be the one who knows; being right and being able to prove it is important to you.

Back to Top ^

CVI Values and Types Chart

Core Values and Contribution Types

Core Values
The Core Values Index (CVI) creates an accurate picture of each person's core values. The CVI quadrants describe how each person aligns with one of the corresponding core values:
Quadrant Core Value
Builder Power
Merchant Love
Innovator Wisdom
Banker Knowledge

The score in each quadrant indicates a relative strength of that core value compared to the other quadrants. Generally, a person is strongly inclined toward one Core Value strategy with a second Core Value strategy also being a very important part of their make-up. In turn, most people have two quadrant scores that are higher and closer together compared to the other two quadrants. The strongest core value is called the dominant core value. The next highest core value is called the secondary core value and the third highest is called the tertiary core value.


The core value of a Builder is Power. Power is the personal energy used to make a difference and create a positive result. This core value is supported by the catalytic value of Faith. Faith is the confidence a person has to say, "I know what to do. I know that what I am about to do is right. I will know what to do next."

Builders are a well-respected group of people. They are powerful people who tend to create lasting monuments for themselves and their businesses. Builders act, make decisions, and drive toward results. They take the aspirations of the Merchants, the ideas of the Innovators, and the facts from the Bankers and through the application of personal energy produce results. Builders lead by example and by command. Their style is to take immediate action and apply their personal energy to create a desired result.


The core value of a Merchant is Love. Love is the nurturing of core values in one's self and in others. This core value is supported by the catalytic value of Truth. Truth is the ability to see the way things are.

Merchants are amazing sales people. But more than this, they are the risk-takers, the visionaries, and the traders opening new markets. They see endless possibilities. They foster the pursuit of wealth, art, and beauty. Merchants motivate and inspire Builders, Innovators and Bankers. Merchants are team builders and deal makers. They lead through love and excitement. They ask others to help them achieve their unique vision. Their strategy is to attract others to their visions, and to nurture the core values in others.


The core value of an Innovator is Wisdom. Wisdom is the ability to see the way things work and know what to do about it. This core value is supported by the catalytic value of Compassion. Compassion is the ability to remain in situations and understand why other people react the way they do.

Innovators constantly add to society with their ability to solve problems. They observe and understand situations while striving toward effective solutions. When others around them claim, "It can't be done", Innovators come up with a possibility and they ask, "What if?" Innovators keep projects rolling by providing alternative solutions for Builders, Merchants, and Bankers. Innovators always find a better way. They lead through brainstorming, innovation, strategic thinking, and the provision of effective strategies. They lead by questioning and providing critical answers for critical situations. Their strategy is to hold back, observing everything, and then work towards a personal understanding of a given situation or problem. From this place of understanding, they are able to provide wise solutions and effective strategies.


The core value of a Banker is Knowledge. Knowledge is the "how" and "why" of things. This core value is supported by the catalytic value of Justice. Justice is the fair and equitable way.

Bankers gain and preserve the most important knowledge. They take personal responsibility for collecting and preserving the most important resources of society. They assimilate all available data in their field of endeavor. They organize thought and information to help others be more effective. They challenge the viability of new directions by showing past successes and failures. They keep balance in the system. Bankers keep Merchants, Builders and Innovators from unreasonable risk. Bankers conserve, analyze and inform. Bankers work hard for justice and appropriate behavior. Their strategy is to constantly gather knowledge, so that when the time comes, they will have the answer.

Contribution Types

People operate most of the time from their dominant and secondary core values. This is where they carry the most emotional commitment to the values, and prescribe how they are geared to generate their successes. However, an additional level of insight can be gained by considering how the core values work in combination with each other. These combinations are called contribution types. There are six contribution types. Each contribution type is derived from a unique combination of two of the core values. The contribution types help a person gain more insight concerning how their core values affect their behaviors and actions. Typically, a person will find themselves described mostly in the dominant/secondary type, but some of the qualities will be found in the other types as well. While each dominant/secondary contribution type has positive strategies that lead to success, each has its own blind spots and weaknesses as well.

1. Intuitive Type: Knowing as an instinct with sharp, eclectic insight.

The Intuitive contribution type is a combination of the Builder and Merchant core values. The Intuitive score is derived by adding the Builder score and Merchant score together. The opposite of the Intuitive type is the Cognitive type. Builders and Merchants are both intuitive in their thinking. Builders value acting from the gut, from impulse. Merchants, also intuitive, value acting from love. Both of these values rely on spontaneity. Intuitive people tend to act without a lot of thought or second-guessing. They tend to make quick decisions based upon the way things feel and the way they feel about things. They believe in their capacity to know what to do next.

2. Independent Type: Desire and ability to act autonomously, without supervision or significant restraints.

The Independent contribution type is a combination of the Builder and Innovator core values. The Independent score is derived by adding the Builder score and Innovator score together. The opposite of the Independent type is the Community type. Innovators and Builders both value monument building. Builders like to leave monuments demonstrating their powerful presence on earth in brick, stone, and tangible materials. Innovators love to leave their monuments in the form of systems, new products, and innovations. Independent people like to participate in solving problems. The Innovator wants to make an assessment and find the right solution, while the Builder instinctively knows what to do and wants to immediately fix the problem. They know how to derive a good strategy from a challenging situation, and they are willing to immediately effect the right actions. Since proof of personal power and wisdom is their driver, there is little value placed upon teamwork

3. Practical Type: Experience, practice, or use rather than theory or speculation.

The Practical contribution type is a combination of the Builder and Banker core values. The Practical score is derived by adding the Builder score and the Banker score together. The opposite of the Practical type is the Creative type. Builders and Bankers both value "being right". These people think that they are never wrong. Builders believe they're never wrong because they are acting from the gut, and who can challenge the validity of a gut instinct? Bankers believe they are never wrong because they have the data to back up their actions and conclusions. When a practical person is right in his conclusions, he is a powerful steady force that creates firm and unwavering forward motion. He will tend to set a course and hold to it, and do whatever is required to make certain they are able to do so.

4. Creative Type: Originality, expression, vision, and imagining what can be.

The Creative contribution type is a combination of the Merchant and Innovator core values. The Creative score is derived by adding the Merchant score and Innovator score together. The opposite of the Creative type is the Practical type. Merchants and Innovators both value being needed, either for their solutions and technologies, or for their humanity, creativity and love. This need to be appreciated drives them to achieve long-term relationships, and to develop products and systems which insure the longevity of the relationships which are formed. The power of an Innovator/Merchant derives from their inexhaustible well of creativity. This creates a deep sense of optimism. If the Merchant's dream is not being realized, the Innovator can kick in and come up with the appropriate solutions. When the Innovator's solutions do not align perfectly with the Merchant's vision, a new vision is deftly formed. This new vision can encompass the solutions and systems which the Innovator has conceived and still achieve all of the basic values desired by the Innovator/Merchant.

5. Community Type: Belief in teamwork and organizations of individuals as strategic tools for success.

The Community contribution type is a combination of the Merchant and Banker core values. The Community score is derived by adding the Merchant score and Banker score together. The opposite of the Community type is the Independent type. When long-term relationships and long-term results are the desired outcome, a Merchant/Banker will provide maximum assurance of a positive outcome. The worth of Merchant/Bankers is best seen in situations that require highly technical or profuse knowledge that needs to be disseminated to others, or situations in which the demand for risk is high, and the need for detail and follow-through extreme. Merchants handle risk very well and Bankers are always considering how they will survive catastrophe.

6. Cognitive Type: Process of faculty of knowledge and reasoning.

The Cognitive contribution type is a combination of the Innovator and Banker core values. The Cognitive score is derived by adding the Innovator score and Banker score together. The opposite of the Cognitive type is the Intuitive type. Innovators and Bankers both value making decisions based upon assessment and analysis. They make decisions based upon what they think or know versus what they feel. Banker/Innovators are rationally based, working from fact, provable systems, and logical flow. A person with a strong Cognitive type can rapidly assess a situation, and come up with multiple solutions or systems to support the stated objectives. Once conceived, the ideas are analyzed, organized, proven on paper, and perfected in documentation.

Back to Top ^

Where I Tend to be Vulnerable, and Why

Let's face it, everyone has their weak spots, their undermining thoughts, their occasional slips of logic, and ineffective behavioral responses that are embarrassing, ineffective, and sometimes destructive to ourselves and others.

We have learned that most of these Achilles Heel kinds of mistakes in behavior and attitude most often come out of our most dominant Core Value Energies, out of our most precious and important human energy. As Dan Cox likes to say, "We are most vulnerable when we are operating in our most dominant Core Value Energy."

Bankers have vulnerable heels in their core value, knowledge. Builders lose their strength when they most need their core value, power. Love fails the best of us merchants just when relationships are most in need of thoughtful responses and a little more maturity in our interactions. Innovators, who are most needed for their wisdom and their constant effort to understand and provide solutions, find themselves in a loop of logic and intuitive blocks that make the best of us look a little foolish at times.

This may not be the most fun topic for any of us, but it is one that may help us most to master our own lives and create our greatest contribution. One admonishment; be very slow to say to yourself, "this doesn't apply to me." The only way any of us humans make progress is when we allow ourselves to feel uncomfortable with the way we are choosing to show up. As a last resort to keep yourself honest ask your spouse or other Core Relationship™ people, whether you occasionally display a little Achilles Heel in your daily activities.

Your dominant Core Value Energy is, Builder. If you have more than 26 points of this Core Value Energy, you are almost certain to wrestle with the following challenges on a regular basis. If you have 19-25 points, you are likely to have some of the challenges.

When builders find themselves frustrated and sliding down the slippery slope toward intimidation, is it often caused by their strong commitment to being the power in the room. They have a deep emotional sense that they should be able to make things happen from their own power. They are required by their value structure to maintain faith in their intuition, in the sufficiency of their power and in their confidence that they will always know what to do next, so they can take fearless action and created dramatic instantaneous results.

The Achilles Heel becomes active when the builder finds himself making more mistakes than usual, creating more fires that he is able to put out, facing business or personal obstacles that require more than his own power to surmount. The shift to intimidation happens when someone in authority decides this builder is not allowed to make intuitive decisions or take intuitive unchecked action autonomously.

When the builder power is not causing a positive change, making a positive contribution, their faith in their own power begins to be diminished. They started feeling anxious that maybe their power is insufficient, that their intuition may be faulty. This causes an increasing anxiety. This anxiety works like the dimmer switch in your dining room at home.

When the dimmer switch is fully open and there is no anxiety the power energy is free to flow into the room and bring light to the darkness. When the anxiety gets excited the dimmer switch begins to restrict the flow of power Core Value Energy into the situation causing further failure to make the ideal contribution of power into the room.

The effect is escalation of human power energy, trying to force it into strong influence and participation. The effect is usually that people begin resisting this effort. They begin to feel overwhelmed and not regarded as individuals. They get the sense that they have no options. They tend to believe the power person is not interested in knowledge, wisdom or love and relationships. Power people (and anyone who is operating in their power mode) tend to become ‘Just do it now" people, frustrated by a sense of urgency and their own lack of impact.

The tendency is to continue to try to be the power in the situation, long past the time then they would have benefitted and been more effective by shifting into one of their lower capacity Core Value Energies.

Note: Learn more about how to shift from one Core Value Energy to another in my book, Choices.

When the builder power person has failed to listen to his anxiety, he finds himself judging others as being unworthy of my power. The builder may become very intimidating and dismissive, judging others to be unworthy as reliable doers. This impatience and intimidation can become very controlling, causing others to give in for the moment, looking for chances to undermine the builder's future effectiveness. This causes a fear based response in the builder that is either total withdrawal or total control through micromanagement and taking over.

The best response for a builder who finds himself in this situation is to remember one simple truth, one simple fact... The most impotent thing a person can do is to continue to be the presence of power in a situation that needs more knowledge, love or wisdom.

The smart power person shifts to one of these other essential human energies and gets back into a contributing mode.

Back to Top ^

Core Values Learning Styles™

Once we understand a person’s core values, we gain great insight into the learning styles of the individual. We know that everyone is able to complete some level of learning in each learning style; but lessons learned in harmony with primary learning styles are far more easily and enjoyably learned than lessons derived from learning styles that do not come as naturally to the individual.


The Four Learning Styles

The learning style of an individual is directly related to his Core Values Profile™. When lessons are provided in a manner harmonious with a person’s core values - learning is easy, fun, and long lasting. When lessons are given in a manner that is contrary to learning style, the work of learning is arduous, boring and irritating; it takes far too much energy and disappears as soon as the lesson is ended.

We remember everything that supports our core values. We easily forget anything thatdoes not support our core values. The reason is simple. We are all geared to approach life in a specific and consistent manner, based upon our unique recipe of core values. We all have these same values, but in different degrees. Our life strategy is based upon these core values, and we intuitively know that we develop self-esteem when we work within this value structure, and that we are most likely to succeed in making our contribution when we are functioning in harmony with our core values.

When we are involved in learning things that support and relate directly to fulfillment of our core values, we are filled with enthusiasm, energy and motivation. When these lessons serve our desire to make important contributions to the world, our self-esteem is increased, our confidence is improved and we perform at our highest levels of productivity, creativity and effectiveness. Our desire and ability to learn is inherently increased when the lessons themselves come to us closely aligned with our core values.

1. Builders – The Decide and Do Style of Learning

The Decide and Do style of learning is the most difficult to accommodate in a classroom. The drive of these persons is to make gut level decisions and to take action. They want to make things different—now. They want to experience their own power in real life situations.

Create contests that involve making dozens of decisions quickly, with little information. Fast action—physical contests that create the sense of personal power and ability. Stacking blocks – large blocks—as a team—competing to build the highest stack, or the stack that can hold the most weight. Illustrations of ideas with physical games and contests. Leadership exercises—the ability to make clear commands and cause a team to work together toward a short-term goal.

The learning style of these people requires a connection to Power (The application of personal energy for good effect). Whatever happens in the classroom must either relate to a decision that promises a powerful effect, or the direct application of personal power (commands serve nicely). The balancing social cornerstone is faith (I know what to do. I will get the results I intend. I will know what to do next.) Putting Decide and Do people in a situation that requires these issues of faith, with quick decisions and physical consequences satisfies their deepest drives.

Communication Methods that Don’t Work for Builder Decide and Do People

If you make Decide and Do (power) people sit and listen they will not only not listen, but they may not remain seated. These people are action oriented. Give them physical things to do or decisions to make. Do not expect one-on-one dyad work at the intimate level, unless the work is to make specific decisions that promise concrete action and measurable results. Do not ask them to analyze data, or to solve complex problems. Don’t give them more information than they ask for. Make them ask for it.

Give Decide and Do individuals situations that require assertiveness and direct responses spontaneously. Don’t ask them to draw pretty pictures—back of the napkin strategy sessions that are directly related to decisive action is okay. Don’t ask them to do solitary research, or to participate in long (more than 10 minutes) brainstorming or lecture sessions. Promise them a chance to take action soon, before every short presentational session. Don’t show them long non-work, non-action videos or movies.

2. Merchants - The Talk and Listen Style of Learning

The Talk and Listen style of learning is a high energy, fun and team oriented experience.The most engaging methods for teaching in this style involve games, situation dramas,group and individual presentations—lots of pictures, drawing exercises, illustrations, videos—short informative lectures (5-10 minutes) with instant application in a fun exercise. Personal sharing in small teams and one-on-one encounters relating to personal topics are also important and desired by people in this group.

The core value of this learning style is love (nurturing the core values in one's self and in others) and truth (seeing the way things are, the way people are relating). Anything that teaches about these things is of interest. Any method that utilizes these values is preferred. Purchase one or more of the resource guides below to develop a thorough understanding of these principles.

Communication Methods that Don’t Work for Merchant Talk and Listen People

Talk and Listen (love) people are not patient with data and information sessions. They are bored and frustrated by research and other solitary assignments. Books and literature should not be academic or highly literal. Listening to long lectures without interaction is an attention killer. If classroom sessions do not allow extended conversations, Socratic discussions and small team interactions you cannot engage these people. They think and make decisions as they talk. They work out problems through discussions. They enjoy supporting each other in the process. The best learning happens when these elements are pervasive in the learning environment. Merchants are embarrassed by direct measurement of results. They don’t like situations that involve personal conflict. They resist exercises that require them to hear personal criticism in front of other people. They like games that are high energy and competitive in a friendly way. But don’t press them to make personal responses or to speak more directly, or to rush their talk and listen decision processes with others.

3. Innovators - The Observe and Solve Style of Learning

Complex, difficult challenges must be the core of this learning experience. Situation stories with multifaceted and varied possible outcomes, brainstorming, scheming, gathering of information using all five senses (not detailed research) — these elements must be in place to capture the observant, problem-solving mind. Cleaver mysteries, puzzles, systems assessments and recommendations, real life, hard edged stories with complex, interconnected stratagems make the Observe and Solve style of learning creative and engaging.

The core value that must be honored in this learning style is Wisdom. These people need to have a complex situation to evaluate. Complex and difficult problems intrigue these people and their self-esteem is significantly based on the size, importance and difficulty of the problems they solve.

They must be asked to make individual assessments, developing their own intellectual powers. They must also be allowed to share their observations—brainstorm and derive a wise response or solution. They are competitive with their ideas, enjoy having their solutions accepted and put into practice, and they thrive on interactive "storm and solve" sessions. They are able and willing to remain compassionate with people, so discussions are generally high energy and confrontational without being combative. All lessons that require observation, understanding and wisdom will captivate this type of student.

Communication Methods that Don’t Work for Innovator Observe and Solve People

It is ineffective to give Observe and Solve people spontaneous, high-energy exercises that do not allow them to develop a comfort level for the process and environment, or time to work out a good solution (response). Don’t give them easy problems to solve. Don’t provide answers for them. Let them develop their own. Don’t give them repetitive tasks, or a simple transference of numbers into different forms-- No analysis. These people want to be creative, clever. You can talk to them for hours if there are lots of engaging questions, good Socratic dialogue and debate.

Give them ample time to make their assessments and to derive their solutions. Homework is good for these people. They need isolation and total quiet to do their best wisdom work. Don’t give these people a controlling, irrational or emotional teacher. They will simply not participate, or they will disrupt by asking embarrassing and interrogative questions. Don’t belittle their ideas or set them up to make quick decisions, then face ridicule or even thoughtful feedback. If you don’t give them time to make an assessment, ask questions, process their observations and experiments, they will feel ill-used, disrespected. They will become stubborn and unmanageable very quickly under this kind of learning system.

4. Bankers – The Read and Analyze Style of Learning

The Read and Analyze learning style is very straightforward. There should be almost no talking without details, information, charts, graphs and statistics. If you don’t give this group something concrete to memorize you won’t get high marks for teaching. Reading materials that offer hard evidence plus the opportunity to analyze, dissect and re-organize are the core ingredients. Methodology, mathematics, historic proofs, and precise experimentation cause these persons to engage and learn. All directions for activities should be in writing.

The core value that must be honored for these people is Knowledge (the how and why of things). Don’t bother trying to teach them anything if you can’t substantiate it, or better yet, if they can’t substantiate it. Read and Analyze people value justice. They like being asked to determine the level of justice and appropriate responses in situations. They also like to create a presentation of knowledge that is easily conveyed to others. Give them lots of opportunity to create their own demonstration of knowledge, or identify and prove an injustice.

Communication Methods that Don’t Work for Banker Read and Analyze People

It is not effective to ask Read and Analyze people to be highly spontaneous, to do role- playing or to make off-the-cuff presentations. They like to be perfect and right. Don’t put them in situations where they may be made to look ignorant, or foolish. Don’t give them a lot of verbal information. Put things in writing. Don’t offer information that they can’t use, or that is beneath their development level. And don’t just hand it to them. Make them work to find the data, and work to analyze and reconstruct data into an analytical form.

Don’t ask them to make snap decisions. Don’t expect dyad work at an intimate/relational level. Don’t ask for solutions to complex problems, especially abstract problems. These people like to be concrete and linear in their thinking.

Back to Top ^

Conflict Strategies

Builder Negative Conflict Strategy

The Art of Intimidation

Intimidation is an effective defense mechanism because it catches people off guard, makes them feel overwhelmed and threatened. The energy coming from the intimidator is an order of magnitude greater that what is normally expected in a given situation—especially for persons whose power core value is relatively low.

Intimidation tends to work immediately. Then it comes back to haunt the intimidator, because others harbor ill will, and use their alternative defense mechanism to defuse the intimidation strategy. Also, intimidation works best when people are face to face—on the phone is second in line for positional advantage, then written intimidation. Once people have the ability to hang up the phone, or tear up the letter (delete the email) the strategic advantages of intimidation are made somewhat impotent.

Part of the potency of intimidation comes from an overt use of shame and blame toward others. The power based person whose is resorting to intimidation will try to make his behavior completely justifiable by pointing the shame and blame finger at others. This is the nature of the power-person’s victim position. The victim posture is another social strategy that is owned by all four core value strategies. They each put a different face on their victim persona.

Another price paid by a person who occasionally or commonly uses intimidation is the loss of the ability to use clean appropriate power strategies. Since intimidation is a fear-based power strategy, persons who have been the target of intimidation or have witnessed the use of intimidation with others, will hold back, avoid confrontation, and avoid close proximity with the intimidator.

Now, every act of power can be interpreted as part of the intimidators arsenal of attack. Many people begin to resist, avoid and redirect the power based persons efforts to put his/her personal energy into work and cause others to work hard with or for him.

Once intimidation has been exercised in a group with any frequency, others begin to see that the intimidation is not all that fearful, and they begin to assume at the subconscious level, that they don’t need to respond to directives, commands, or stated expectations, until the power based person escalates into the intimidation mode. Then everyone jumps to attention and works furiously—until the intimidator leaves. Then every one sags back into a slightly less productive mode than existed before this latest round of intimidation.

People who do not use intimidation as a strategy, even when in a state of fear, are often at a loss about how to deal with someone who is using intimidation. That’s why it works—intimidation comes as a surprise, and the level of emotional, psychological energy is so great it causes people to instinctively back away and give in.

Also, many people are suckers for accepting blame and shame from others. Some are willing to accept the anger and hostility of intimidation, because they continue to believe that they may have been the legitimate cause of the other person’s emotional outburst.

Effective strategies for defusing the intimidation strategy

1.    Meet Intimidation with real Power. If you are a power based person (first or second dominant core value), you may use a counter-punch approach—meeting intimidating power with fearless power. It is very important to understand that when a person is trying to intimidate you, by allowing yourself to become fearful and going into intimidation behaviors yourself, you will not be effective--

Unless, of course, you are truly more powerful and more willing to give up self-control and allow your intimidation behaviors to win ‘no matter what.’ Otherwise an intimidating response to an intimidation behavior is only good for escalating things into a more destructive conflict.

If you have a position of authority that is superior to the intimidating person, the assertion of this authority will usually back the person down, or cause them at least to keep their behavior within reasonable (socially tolerable) bounds.

If you are personally significantly more powerful─ bigger, stronger, richer, smarter, or better connected—whatever the source of power—the power based person makes an intuitive estimate of any opponents power and chooses whether to escalate into higher conflict. Real power can work occasionally to back down a person who is trying to intimidate.

2.    Distract the Intimidator with honest questions. By shifting from the power strategy to the wisdom mode of operation, the tactic for defusing an attempt by another person to intimidate you requires you to remain passive and calm. Ask a pointed, honest question in a quiet voice, with a willingness to leave the situation if this tactic fails.

When you ask an important question calmly, the intimidator is taken off-guard. There is no returned threat or identifiable strategy to over-power or to harm. The need for intimidation begins to dissipate immediately, held onto only by the depth of fear of the intimidator, or the egotistical need to appear more powerful in front of others and self.

The assertion of intelligent questions into an emotional situation causes everyone involved to shift from the intuitive type behavior to a more cognitive behavior type. This shift into the conscious cognitive mode of operation automatically causes a loss of energy, and a reduction of the rage and fear that was driving the intimidation strategy.

3.    Defuse intimidation by asserting the value of the friendship/relationship. The shift to a love strategy also requires a calm exterior. Remain seated, arms open and non-protective and face relaxed and peaceful. In this un-intimidating posture say the person’s first name several times until there is a break in their shouting and make one of the following assertions:

A.    I don’t want to fight with you but I am unwilling to stay here with you while you are ‘shouting’ and ‘threatening.’

B.    I value our relationship and will be happy to talk again at another time. Then leave.

Note: If someone gets into an intimidating posture with you and refuses to leave your office, it is time for a restroom or coffee break. Leave your own room if that’s what it takes to defuse the situation. This is not a time for giving in to the ego’s concerns about appearances in front of others, or negative judgments you might make of yourself.

Contrary to common belief, this act of leaving is a powerful deflector and may cause the intimidator to try to follow you around to continue the conflict. If so, simply find someone else to start talking to, ignoring the intimidator. If the person is reasonably socially acceptable, and not violent or neurotic, the inappropriateness of their escalated intimidating behavior will cause them to back out of the situation.

4.    Remain emotionless and in a fixed position. The knowledge strategy is equally effective against intimidation. This generally involves continuing to remain seated or standing in a fixed position, not speaking moving, or even looking in the intimidator’s eyes; basically ignoring the individual who is deemed to be inappropriately intimidating.

This refusal to become emotional, and to disengage from the situation while remaining quiet and non-responsive can cause another escalation of shouting and even physically threatening postures(standing over, forming a fist, going nose to nose). The lack of forceful response however, causes most intimidating individuals to defuse quickly and to try another tactic. After all, the intent of intimidation is to cause the intimidator’s opponent to run or fight.

The bankerstrategy provides nothing to aim at, nothing to fight.

Merchant Negative Conflict Strategy

The Art of Manipulation

The manipulation strategy is effective because most people assume that the people around them have a good degree of integrity. The expectation is that what another person says is basically true, and that what a person appears to be wanting or trying to do is the whole and recognizable agenda.

It also works because people generally like to be liked, enjoy being an accepted part of a group. Love based people who have shifted into the manipulation defense mechanism may appear very much like a love based person who is happy, fearless and simply being an effective relationship building and relationship nurturing individual. This is the art of manipulation—to fool others into believing that the love- based person is continuing to act in a loving fashion.

Another side of manipulation is to claim the victim posture and cause people around you to see someone else as the cause of conflict and hurt feelings. This still keeps the manipulating person from appearing unloving, only wounded and undeserving of such disregard and abuse.

The strategic objectives of the manipulation strategy are many and varied, making them difficult to understand, track and defuse. When you are the target of a person who is on the defensive and using manipulation to regain composure and to get what he wants in an indirect fashion, you may find yourself feeling confused. Some talked about being slimed, or flattered and used, or suckered by a story that has worked to deflect conflict, criticism and disapproval to others.

Finally, you may find yourself talking about the past or the future avoiding talk about any criticism, measurement of performance, or reality of the current situation.

Part of the manipulator’s quiver of arrows consists of exaggeration (lying) and high energy emotionally based attempts to excite people into compliance with the manipulator’s agenda. All of this is done to make certain the world sees the manipulator as free from faults, free from accountability, free from any failure─ a person whose is innocently beyond the scope of measurement or responsibility for anything deemed by others to be negative in any way.

Once in the mode of manipulation the use of others through emotional manipulation is ordinary and effective—getting others to fight their battles so the manipulators can remain outside the fray, and appearing to be a good, happy and wonderful person.

Once a leader has used manipulative tactics within a group with any kind of regularity, his word is no longer trusted, as positive. Hopeful statements are guessed to be exaggerations and not based in fact, and the recipient devalues displays of overt emotion and compliments. In short, the love based person is not seen as a caring person, but a user, a liar and a fake.

The ability to make the primary contributions of a love based person is diminished. People are reluctant to be inspired by the leader’s vision and goals, when the trust in the relationship has been broken. As a result the expected ingredients of success─ team spirit, interdependence and sharing─ have been cut off or reduced in magnitude by the manipulative acts of a love based person who is experiencing fear and acting out old childhood scenarios in a now adult world.

Others then skeptically view the positive, inspirational, motivational and creative vision of the love based person as just a part of another kind of manipulation. The leader’s ability to excite his team, inspire and set new initiatives into motion is dramatically reduced, sometimes totally defeated. It takes a long time for trust to be re-established in a group.

Once the love based person believes he is not being loved, is being unfairly treated, disregarded, left out, blamed for failures, the people who are seen as the unfair, blaming, and un-accepting individuals are judged to be unloving and not very good people (at this moment, or for ever). Since these perpetrators of unkindness are being unfair and attacking the love based person who is trying to be a loving presence on this planet, these perpetrators must be not good—a judgment that allows the love-based person to employ manipulation freely until the sense of being loved and appreciated returns to him.

We, as individuals, no matter our Core Value Nature, do not appreciate being seen as not good. The message that we should always be a good girl, or good boy has been drilled into almost every child (appropriately or inappropriately). The judgment that I am not good sets off an alarm deep within each person that causes them to unconsciously consider using their defense mechanism to defeat this deep threat that is aimed at the soul, not just at today’s activity.

Merchants, people whose dominant core value is love, are generally the most forgiving type of person—but once slighted, offended, disregarded to an unacceptable level too often, once they have lost their sense of truth in the situation—these people become the least forgiving, least trusting. Once cut off by a merchant, the likelihood of recovering that relationship low.

Extreme acts of humility, words of apology, expressions of caring are required to begin to earn the chance to get back on their good side.

Note: It is important to separate the concept of a forgiving attitude, from a long-suffering, tolerant attitude. Love based people are generally not long-suffering, and often are quite intolerant of even perceived slights. They tend to forgive easily at the surface, but hold a count of wounds and afflictions caused by any other individuals in their mind. This roster of perceived offenses is used for two important purposes:

1. As a tool to justify attack and as proof of the badness of the perpetrator when yet another offense is received.

2. Evidence of reasons for distrust that are aimed at the protection of the love based person. Protection from being too trusting, being fooled again, and hurt by acts of others who the love based person has allowed to hurt them.

One of the best tactics of the defensive—in the manipulation mode—love based person is the rage-filled listing of the offenses perpetrated by the ‘bad’ person in the past. A diatribe of past offenses often hits the present offender with enough force to cause them to back off, or attempt to get forgiveness (overtly or covertly) from the merchant.

The individual who is now under attack from the love-based person may also be willing to use rage to manipulate compliance or relief from abuse; This individual now has sufficient evidence that they are under attack, making the love-based attacker appear ‘bad’ as well.

Anxiety and fear begin to take over both individuals who are now in the defense/attack mode, using their most practiced weapons of strategic defense to disarm, defuse or destroy the other.

Counter-manipulation. "Oh, what a web we weave, when first we practice to deceive." My unconscious decision to use manipulation causes any other love-based person to mistrust me. It gives them the proof that I am not the good person I represent myself to be. Like a good debater, they now have yet another strong argument for their position; that I cannot be trusted, that I am not worthy of being loved. Manipulation of me, a bad person, is no longer crime against love.

Effective Strategies for defusing the Manipulation strategy.

1.    Meet manipulation with assurance of love. You are not being advised to be permissive, or to let manipulation achieve it goals. This strategy is the affirming love and acceptance─ expressions of how much you value your relationship with the person currently stuck in his manipulative strategy. It is an intentional validation of the worth of this individual, a direct and earnest honoring of the core value of this person.

It offers the manipulator the opportunity to decrease his emotions, and opens the possibility for a continued good relationship—basically you are allowing him a chance to let go of the need to defend himself. Even a relatively immature love based person may be able to shift out of the manipulative posture and into a workable, effective listening and sharing mode if you honor their deepest Core Valuelove.

2.    End the situation. This power based response intuitively judges the current situation as being potentially destructive and assumes the right to call and end to the engagement. Try the statement, "I am not willing to continue with this now". This is followed by the commitment to try again at a specific time─ far enough into the future to allow the defensive love based person the chance to relax away from the need to manipulate-- but soon enough that he does not feel pushed aside.

The love based person will feel respected and honored and will have difficulty maintaining any commitment to his negative emotions. Acts of power can be received as validation of love, as long as there is no threat or intimidation, or disregard of the person─ Power based language that does not yield to manipulation, but also does not overpower or dismiss the love based individual is what is needed.

Example: "I want to have more effective communication with you than we are having. I am willing to take this up again tomorrow morning." These are strong assertive, powerful statements that can easily be interpreted by the love based (now fearful and manipulative) person as statements of commitment to a good relationship. This provides the opportunity to say yes or no to the chance to work things out in the morning. Love is honored, but the manipulation is not allowed to have any influence.

3.    Give a chance to share a positive accomplishment. Wisdom sits back and watches a person who is in the throws of manipulation, and wonders what is going on? Why is this person so agitated? The wisdom person can look past the emotion, whether it is whining or rage, and remain curious about the source of discomfort. The wise person, may, however, more easily see the manipulation—especially if he allows himself to begin questioning the love based person who is in the manipulation mode.

But great care must be taken not to ask questions that feel like interrogation, or that require a disclosure of uncomfortable truth, when the love based person is already feeling embarrassed, judged, unloved and unappreciated. Wisdom, then, looks for an honest question that can be

answered with a sure positive statement of accomplishment, success, or simply the claiming of good skills or attributes. This re-founds the manipulator in self-respect and offers them the chance to defuse the negative emotions. This may allow the love base person to be willing to stay in an uncomfortable situation without resorting to manipulation for survival.

Example: What was the strongest part of your strategy before now? Who did you most trust to help you create your success? Who could have been most helpful if you had called him in earlier? What value can we create from this current circumstance?

Once the person who is resorting to manipulation relaxes a little, he may begin to feel that a simple conversation may be okay. The sense of criticism and potential rejection or shame is relieved so this person who was embarrassing himself by lying, or whining or rage, will be able to sit quietly and explore the possibilities for improvement. The first requirement is to honor this person’s core value of love and establish a talking and listening environment that promotes continued relationship.

4.    Report to others this individuals previous personal successes. In order to establish a frame of reference, a build up of previous successes creates the sense of longevity and consistent contribution. The reporting of a love based person’s successes needs to have more than hard facts. There needs to be an enumeration of personal attributes, relationships that have been established by him, and the value that these relationships have brought to the team or group, or company. The best effect is achieved when this is done in front of a group that is important to the best-himself individual.

With a reasonable basis of facts in place, the person should be able to return to an open, posture of integrity. If not, a second, closely related strategy is recommended. Ask for a written report about the current circumstance that has created an embarrassment for this individual. Allow a cooling off period. A day or two to write things down will allow him to find the good and bad about his performance for himself. It is much easier for a love based person to tell their own foibles quietly to one person. Give this person a chance to do just that; but not under duress, and in front of the masses, and not while he is exhibiting his worst self through manipulative tactics.

Innovator Negative Conflict Strategy

The Art of Interrogation

Interrogation is the negative conflict strategy of a wisdom based person. It is a very effective ploy since it catches others off guard, reveals their ignorance or lack of ability to respond glibly. The art of interrogation is designed to use wisdom-like strategies to strip away any reasonableness from anyone else’s argument, revealing ignorance in others and making others appear to be fools.

Through cutting, vindictive questions, the interrogator causes observers to keep their distance and remain quiet for fear of undergoing a similar interrogation themselves. This tactic also establishes the superiority of the interrogator’s logic and reasoning skills, which builds the interrogator’s sense of being in control, and makes others fear and admire the cleverness and intelligence of the interrogator.

Note: This is not the same thing as having people respect and value this one’s wisdom. But the acknowledgement of reasoning skills and questioning talent by others is often sufficient to allow the wisdom based person to relax away from interrogation and slowly return to the wisdom process.

The weakness of this tactic is that often when talking about ideas, a wisdom based person will become quite excited about the ideas he is expressing. He may enjoy the parry and jab of logical argumentation, getting juice from this mental sport—a form of brainstorming that often causes another level of thinking to be reached.

But others, having witnessed or been themselves targets of this person’s interrogation, tend now to hear this positive wisdom based strategy as part of the same cruel, offensive interrogation tactic. They will tend to hold back, not venture the expression of any but the soundest ideas in open brainstorming sessions. The wisdom person is thus cut off from the interactive best thinking of others that he needs to fuel his inquiring mind.

Like the other negative conflict strategies, interrogation invites others to become fearful themselves. So, the interrogator often excites manipulation in love based persons, intimidation in the power people, and aloof judgment in knowledge people. Wisdom people who resort to interrogation invite emotional and cruelly interrogation by other wisdom based persons.

They find themselves occasionally revealed as the fool they are so afraid they just might be. This incitement of counter-interrogation causes an escalation of the intensity and a deepening of the negative, destructive intent. The counter-punching war of two or more interrogating persons is an interesting battle to watch—from a safe distance.

Effective Strategies for Defusing Interrogation

1.    Ask an Honest Question about the Intent of the Interrogator. When a wisdom based individual (innovator) slips hard into interrogation it is in defense of a perceived attack. He perceives a judgment that his ideas are not being respected or put to good use, a belief that some people may be viewing the interrogator as a fool. This incites the deeper fear that maybe "I am a Fool." So the act of interrogation is a deflection, throwing the weight of intellect into tearing someone down through interrogation rather than providing strategic guidance, solid solutions, essential wisdom.

Ask a question about the intent of the interrogator’s question(s). "What is the most important thing that needs to happen right now?" This kind of question will not necessarily stop the interrogation, but whatever integrity remains in the person underneath their fear of being seen as a fool, wants to stop and respond to an honest question. It is calling for their true wisdom to return and re-engage.

This kind of question is a surprise. What an interrogator expects is to catch you off guard, put you on the defensive and cause you to do and say foolish things, sharpening another round of interrogative questions.

Other Examples:Are you trying to hurt me with that question? This question offers the chance fore the interrogator to show leniency and mercy, and, if asked with sincerity, can break through to the deeper person who is hiding behind the interrogative strategy. After all, it looks foolish for a knight in armor to raise his sword against his page who is holding the reins of the knight’s horse. Like using an atomic bomb against people shooting arrows, the interrogative bomber wants to have his interrogation appear to be reasonable and justifiable response to the offender’s actions. Since the goal of the interrogator is to make others look and feel foolish, this tactic of asking about the degree of intent, disarms the interrogator if only for a moment.

Do you really want an answer to that question? The fact is, the only answer the interrogator is looking for is a foolish one. If you remain reasonable and calm, showing that you have no intention of becoming defensive, hysterical, or interrogative yourself, the interrogator is hard pressed not to answer a reasonable question with a reasonable response. To do otherwise would illustrate the foolishness of the interrogative strategy and ruin its intended destructiveness.

2.    Return Facts and Information for Abusive Interrogation. This knowledge based strategy is effective because the supply of facts and information is a neutral, non-emotional, non-threatening response. This can only be seen as peaceful and non-inciting by anyone watching and listening. Since the accepted legitimate purpose of any question is to obtain information or to excite new ideas, the provision of details and facts defuses the interrogator’s strategy.

Since the wisdom based person feeds his drive towards being a wise person with information and ideas, the seduction of this new information is quite often sufficient to allow him to return to his tasks of observing and asking questions that come from a place of curiosity, not hostility.

It also works to sit quietly and refuse to answer.

Look the person in the eye without hostility, or any emotion. Like the innovator’s innocent question about the intent of the interrogator, this non-response, emotion-less, non-threatening posture, provides no new fuel for the interrogative battle. Without a silly response to incite a further query the interrogator now must run on their own creative steam just to keep the questions pounding. If the pounding is producing no effect—the goal being to illustrate your foolishness—the strategy will be forsaken.

If either of these two strategies fail, turn and walk quietly away. This either ends the interrogation due to lack of proximity, or causes the interrogator to shift to a different conflict strategy, making him look and feel foolish in his pursuit of you as you exit the room.

3.    Acknowledge the Interrogator’s usual Wisdom. It should be unnecessary at this point in this book to remind you that this only works if you speak with integrity─ but there, consider yourself reminded. Assert your need for the interrogator’s wise counsel. Now more than ever, the acknowledgement of his wisdom will defuse the need to defend his wisdom. This destroys his need to make you look foolish by comparison.

This merchant strategy, then, is eloquently effective. The statements might be: "I was hoping that you would give me some good advice as always. I’m counting on that from you." Or "Maybe we can talk later, because I really need to hear your opinions and ideas."

Granted, this evasion of answering the interrogators questions and substitution of positive affirmations is difficult to accomplish, and will not easily be trusted by the interrogator. After all, if he quits his interrogation because you are using some manipulative ploy, he will look more foolish than he feels now. So, you have to sell this posture of acceptance and respect. This happens naturally if you are without emotion and earnest in your communication.

If the interrogation continues, wait for a pause, respond to the last question with a statement something like this: "I don’t believe you want an answer. I believe you want to fight and make me look foolish. I’m not interested in continuing this. Please come back later because I do need your advice and ideas."

This strategy is difficult for a merchant, love based person to use effectively. It is counter-intuitive for the love based person to be the first to call a time out, or to walk away, or separate from another person. Merchants might often be seen pursuing another person in order to continue whatever ineffective communication is happening, with the hope that a resolution can be reached now, and we can feel good together again—right now.

The love based person must learn to convert childish beliefs about what love looks like, and see the situation from an adult perspective. What is the likelihood that a person who is resorting to interrogation is not feeling good about himself right now? He is feeling fearful and attacked. The loving thing to do is to give this person space.

The innovator wisdom person, often seeks a quiet space so they can work things out in their head before continuing. It is an act of love and respect to set things up so your interrogator opponent is able to calm himself down. He will get back to a reasonable posture and try again later to achieve an effective communication with you.

4.    Name that Strategy. Power based persons can be very effective at defusing the interrogative strategy. They must not use an intimidating tone, posture or look when effecting their counter-interrogative response. Speak with a clear, unequivocal voice. Delivering a message this way is often effective: "You are trying to interrogate me. I am not interested in continuing this" Then turn and leave—even if you have to leave from your own room—Have a place to go, a meeting to attend─ "I have to meet John for a sales conference. Try me again later."

Wisdom based people are reluctant to get into open conflict. That’s why the interrogation strategy works so well for them. They appear to be simply asking questions, ducking and parrying without overt power, or attack. When confronted with real power that is not intimidating --just clean and difficult to resist-- they are hesitant to continue the interrogation. To do so would be to show a willingness to go into open conflict. This is not the art of interrogation. Situation defused.

God, I envy power based people sometimes.

Banker Negative Conflict Strategy

The Art of Aloof Judgment

Oh, the wicked, wonderful, enigmatic strategy that knowledge based people have when feeling fearful and under attack. Their response is so offsetting, so uncomfortable to fight against— in fact, there is nothing in their strategy to do battle with. All other Core Value Strategies are baffled by the knowledge person’s use of aloof judgment.

Let’s take a look at how and why the posture of aloof judgment puts the knowledge person in control of the situation. Let’s take a look at how it effectively defends against slights against knowledge, his information, his expertise, his responsible conservative actions and work.

First, most of us are painfully aware of our own inadequate supply of knowledge, expertise and ready information. When another individual demonstrates that he has knowledge and expertise that we do not have, we develop instant respect and begin to rely upon this person’s judgments and facts.

When in conflict the first reaction of the knowledge based person is to pull back and become aloof, inaccessible emotionally, mentally and physically, the first reaction is to pursue this person and try to keep them engaged. This failing, the knowledge person withholds his knowledge.

This negative strategy is further enhanced by the reality that the knowledge based person is convinced that he has the right facts and answers, that there is injustice in the current situation, and that the pronouncement of this judgment is needed to bring others to their senses. This declaration of the wrong of others and the right (correctness not goodness) of the knowledge based person causes others to step back, secretly reviewing the situation to see if they are in the wrong.

This momentary focus away from the aloof judge provides time and conserves emotional and psychic energy. Since the aloofness works to stop interaction and reduce the required energy of the aloof person, he can outlast all of the other strategies. The aloof judge can wait silently, while builders shout, merchants pout, and innovators re-route.

The longer a knowledge based person withholds his knowledge and remains aloof, the more desperate the others on the team become. They instinctively begin seeking him out, asking for his expertise and knowledge─ mission accomplished.

This tactic also serves the desire to avoid conflict, and sets up a passive aggressive tactic that can be even more effective when in full bloom. The knowledge person works in the background, presenting the truth, as he sees it-- providing proof he is right and gathering the forces in a politically astute, low visibility fashion.

Often the knowledge person in the negative conflict mode, becomes passively aggressive and is able to enlist merchants to whine and sell the banker’s point of view. This knowledge person may encourage builders to begin taking action hoping the power person will self-destruct. Or the power person may be encouraged to force results that align with the banker’s view. He may concurrently encourage innovators to develop tactics and processes that will honor the banker’s knowledge that is pertinent in the current situation.

What often backfires for the aloof judge is that a feeling of resentment develops in other team members. Since the withholding of information and the judging of others as being wrong only happens under a stressful situation, it may become commonly accepted that the banker, knowledge based person who resorts to the aloof judgment tactic cannot be counted on in a time of crisis.

Others also resent being judged and made to seem wrong. They instinctively look for faults in the one who has chosen to be, even if only momentarily, the aloof judge. So, the severe judgment that the banker uses in times of fear and duress, can become the commonly held judgment of others toward him. The best defense is sometimes a good offense.

Effective strategies for defusing Aloof Judgment

1.    Meet accusations and withdrawal with a request for information. This banker response to another knowledge based person’s aloof judgment tactic is very effective. As the aloof judge exits, or withholds information, judging others around him to be wrong, the composed banker team member simply acknowledges that this person has been correct in the past, then requests that the exiting person ‘please leave your information so I can review it and understand your position.’

Even though the intent of the aloof judge is to withhold information and avoid the conflict, this invitation to prove himself right with others (honoring his core value of knowledge) is compelling and squelches the urge to exit as rapidly and completely as previously intended. The need of the banker to be always seen as being appropriate causes the aloof judge to hesitate and to be enticed into delivering his knowledge as requested.

If he withholds his information after being acknowledged as someone who is often right, and after being told his information will be used to determine the right in the situation, it is almost impossible for the aloof judge to hold to his chosen fear-induced strategy.

Also, since the request is coming from a like spirit, another knowledge based person who generally acts appropriately and avoids open conflict, there is nothing to fight against in the acknowledgment and request. There is an opportunity to develop a political ally in defense of the aloof judge’s position. A bravura performance for the quietly perceptive fellow banker.

2.    Include reliance upon Knowledge as a key to obtaining the team Vision. The effective merchant, working from a love-based position will enjoy acknowledging the importance of a conservative, knowledgeable team member and will paint a positive picture about the current aloof judge as a reliable contributor to the team. The essential nature of the knowledge based person’s participation will develop a base for the aloof judge to let go of his need to withhold information and withdraw.

This act of acknowledgment must not be emotional or have any scent of exaggeration. There can be no urge to act or seduction to change thinking. The exchange has to be above reproach, high integrity─ done in this manner, with the real desire to connect with the knowledge person’s Spiritual Core Value─ the need to resort to aloof judgment will be eradicated.

Any vision put up as worthy of the knowledge person’s expertise and information must, by its nature be a just and fair organization, the people respected and worthy of the gift of knowledge. There should also be a clear picture of the mission of the team, and the essential materials, supplies, resources that will make the mission a success. The magnitude of the mission, the availability and importance of the resources─provide the knowledge person with the motivation to invest their life energy in conservation of resources and guidance of the team with the knowledge in this leader’s possession. Lastly, but with immeasurable importance is the requirement that the mission and the team will by their nature, and in the normal course of fulfillment of their purpose generate significant new information, new expertise for the knowledge person, new knowledge that can be put to use in an even greater mission.

3.    Attract Knowledge with a declaration of Ignorance. A truly wise innovator instinctively knows that a poignant question is a seduction impossible to resist for a strong knowledge based person. A question well expressed will offer the ignorance of the questioner as a real opportunity for the aloof judge to make a contribution. The urge to fill the ignorance void with personal knowledge will be so great that the ego driven requirement to withdraw and disengage and withhold knowledge will evaporate.

Combine this honest provocative question with a stated problem─the scarcity and critical nature of the essential resources-- and you will add to the attractiveness of ignorance in others, the knowledge person’s natural conservative passion─ so strong that he will have little motive for remaining in his aloof judgment mode. He will rise to the call for an expert’s guidance through a difficult time.

The knowledge person’s self-respect is not based in the knowledge he has; it is substantiated by the magnitude of the mission of his team, the level of importance of the preservation of resources, and the clarity of his responsibility to provide essential knowledge and control and preserve the resources. When his knowledge is requested, analyzed and applied correctly to make better decisions; when the results are better because his knowledge was use appropriately, the knowledge person is fulfilled─only then.

4.    Put the responsibility for survival and success on his shoulders. The builder’s response is naturally a power based tactic. That’s what makes him a builder. So the application of power into the effort to defuse aloof judgment must simultaneously honor the core value of the knowledge person. This is done while also staying true to the Core Valuepower. This is not difficult, once understood.

Examples:  The builder response cannot be a threat or a command. It must be a statement of intuitive fact. "I can’t do this thing without someone watching my back, protecting our resources and keeping me on track." This acknowledgment of the power person’s need for expertise, knowledge and a responsible keeper of the resources is a strong seduction to give up the aloof judgment tactic. The call to deliver support to a powerful person who is going to cause significant things to happen is what the knowledge person wants—my knowledge and expertise put to good use.

Again, the integrity of this statement must be absolute. The power person cannot be perceived as commanding, or intimidating the knowledge person into compliance. So, there needs to be a pause that allows the aloof judge to put down his defenses on his own and take up the responsibilities being put forth. The call to action can be a clear statement of requirement. "John, I need that report first thing in the morning. Whatever I have in front of me then will be the basis of my decision, and the reason for the actions I take."

If presented, not as a command, but as a clear acknowledgment of requirement, and with the promise that the information will be used to make an important decision─even if some hard personal feelings still remain─this call to put information to good use is too pure and clear to ignore.

The Positive Core Value Conflict Strategies.

The effective positive strategies for assuming leadership or making a strong contribution are:

·         Power asserts intuitive knowledge and forceful action and a commanding presence.

·         Knowledge proves right thinking and judgment and expects compliance with Rules and judgments, conserving everything possible, while gathering and analyzing information.

·         Wisdom asserts solid strategies and tactics and convinces others with reason, making astute assessments and developing good solutions and systems.

·         Love persuades morally right action, team spirit, positive vision and inspiration, building on the inclination of people to work together.

When we look at the core value types, we see an amazing elaboration of conflict strategies that can be employed, both for positive results, and for fear-based defense and taking control.

The Conflict Strategies of the Six Types of Contribution

Intuitive Type Strategies

The intuitivetype person relies upon either loving power, or powerful love when working to make a positive contribution. This shifts to manipulative intimidation or intimidating manipulation when the person has shifted to old fear-based responses.

When a positive contribution is the aim, this strategic value-based response to situations will appear as inspired, intuitive action that includes and honors the near term and long term good of the group-- Inspired Initiation. When anxiety and fear cause control to be the aim, these strategies may translate into desperate shouting, assertions of being right and good, charges that others are wrong and bad, followed by pouting and whining about disregard and threats of force or dominance—a demand for immediate obedience or surrender.

Cognitive Type Strategies

The cognitivetype person relies upon either knowledgeable wisdom, or wise knowledge when seeking to make a positive contribution. When these persons shift to their old fear based responses they will demonstrate their ability to take control through judgmental interrogation, or interrogative judgment. When a positive contribution is the aim, this strategic value-based response to situations will likely appear as careful planning and brainstorming, curiosity and research supported by a compassionate attitude and commitment to justice-- Reasoned Response. When control is the aim, these strategies revert to cold emotionless questioning, repetition of facts, withholding of information, and denial of any responsibility for the future, and accusations of injustice, ignorance and foolishness on the part of others.

Practical Type Strategies

The practicalperson relies upon powerful knowledge, or knowledgeable power to make positive contributions. To take control, they utilize judgmental intimidation, or intimidating judgment. When a positive contribution is the aim, this strategic value-based response to situations will appear as appropriately expressed demands to review the practical person’s information and to take immediate action based upon the facts— Right Action and Organization. When control is the aim, these strategies devolve to shouted intimidation, shame and blame, aloof judgment, interruption then abandonment.

Creative Type Strategies

Creative people rely upon their loving wisdom, or their wise love to make positive contributions. When seeking to take control, they use manipulative interrogation or interrogative manipulation. When a positive contribution is the aim, this strategic value based response will appear as resourceful exploration of ideas, invention and strategic thinking, supported by truth about the present and past and compassion for others. Strategic Vision. When control is the aim, these strategies revert to whining isolation, letters, emails and faxes about the wrong being done, attacks on the reputation and accusations of falseness and foolishness on the part of others.

Independent Type Strategies

The Independent Type uses powerful wisdom, or wise power to make a positive contribution. They revert to intimidating interrogation, or interrogative intimidation to take control. When a positive contribution is the aim, this strategic value-based response to situations will appear as strategic thinking and directed brainstorming, combined with immediate actions that yield measurable results and new ideas for new actions. Focused Inventive Action. When control is the aim, these strategies revert to shouted autocratic decisions, desperate invention, confusion, exaggerated crises and foolish off-focus activity.

Community Type Strategies

Community people use their loving knowledge or their knowledgeable love to contribute to their society. When taking control they revert to manipulative judgment, or judgmental manipulation. When a positive contribution is the aim, this strategic value-based response to situations will appear as development of rules, publishing of policies, informative reports and meetings, and constant team building activities. Collective Resourcefulness. When control is the aim, these strategies revert to whining and passive aggression, politicking behind the scenes, accusations of injustice/unfairness, shaming and blaming others, and denial of culpability for anything that is wrong or bad.

Back to Top ^