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by James Waldroop Ph.D.
and Timothy Butler Ph.D.

Directors of MBA Career Development at the Harvard Business School. Twenty years relevant experience. Business Psychologists, Psychotherapists, Executive Coaches to many Fortune 500 companies, helping individuals work to their highest level of potential.

Part II: Introduction


In the twelve failure behaviors discussed in Part I, four psychodynamic 'recipes' - four fundamental underlying psychological processes - operate :

  1. Coming To Terms With People - not seeing the perspectives of others
  2. Coming To Terms With Authority - your stance toward authority, permission to act
  3. Coming To Terms With Power - difficulty using power, the capacity to act
  4. Coming To Terms With Your Self - having a self-perceives inadequacy, a negative self-image

In Part II Waldroop and Butler discuss these dynamics, these four primary causal elements - and by understanding them what you can do about them to change the twelve career-fatal habits.

OVERTAKE® says: You can't know too much about these dynamics, these four primary causes that, in varying combinations, are at the root of each individual failure behavior; about how they can damage you and your colleagues - and how you can change them.

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Coming to Terms with People

Your 1st Essential Career Development Step



The single most common skill deficit in business.

YOU LACK EMPATHY - the ability to identify with and understanding another's situation, feelings, and motives. You're unable to see others' perspectives. You can't see it as others see it. You don't cultivate relationships with the people involved in your business and your career. You don't learn about their interests, motivations, goals, values and personalities. Because of that you can't develop the insights you need to get the full 'buy-in' you must have to accomplish what you want to do. In plain language you're not a sufficiently good psychologist to be a successful business professional.

Like so many people your problem is that of projection. You don't see people for who they actually are: rather, you see your own psychology - your own wishes, values, interests and feelings - reflected in them. Wrong! We are not the same. The other person is different. Every individual is unique. Know that - and make it your business to get to know her or him.

LEARNING EMPATHY - GETTING TO KNOW YOU: You gather knowledge of other people from three sources:

  1. Observe. To know a person, you must spend time with her or him at work - in meetings, in crises, during conflict, - and socially. Be objective.
  2. Listen. Active, deliberate  listening with no preconceptions is the greatest tool of business and psychology alike. Real listening is hard. With the art of pure listening you can listen without bias, without an agenda, without a goal, even when the other person is wrong. When you can do this you can hear his or her point of view, know the needs of a customer, see the unseen inner perspective of a boss, understand the world.
  3. Imagine. Use your informed imagination to integrate all your knowledge of a person, to enter his or her world and to come to understand his or her point of view. Select carefully the five adjectives that you think best describe this person. Now write a brief impression of her or him. What do you most admire, what most repels you about him or her? What is his or her most significant weakness at work? How are you most alike and most different?

OVERTAKE® says: Take care. So many look but do not see, listen but do not hear. So many more neither look nor listen. Neither be - nor be led by - one who chooses to be blind and/or deaf.


Use these two models of personality and behavior to understand where other people are coming from, and by knowing that to see their perspective and thereby to fix your problem.

We call this psytech tool 'The People Reader.'


A. The Work-Reward Profile     B. The Work-Mode.

Now that you know better how to get to know a colleague, Waldroop and Butler give you two powerful models for thinking about the personality and behavior of colleagues:

A. WORK-REWARD PROFILE: All people work for rewards. But all people don't work for the same rewards. The value people put on their rewards varies substantially from one person to the next. Do not assume another wants what you want. To do so is yet another serious, career-damaging projection error. We are not the same.

People work for one or more of these 13 work-rewards:

  1. Financial Gain. Not just standard compensation but exceptional financial gain. Accumulation of wealth is a central purpose of your career.
  2. Power and Influence. You have to be a 'player.' A real decision maker - making an impact. Your reward is to make things happen.
  3. Variety. You need different types of activities, not predictable routine. You prefer project-oriented to steady-state work environments.
  4. Lifestyle. Other aspects of your life, such as your family, sport, study, are as important, if not more important to you, than your job.
  5. Autonomy. You don't like to be closely supervised or managed. Like many sales-people, senior managers and entrepreneurs.
  6. Intellectual Challenge. You like to think, to solve problems, to exercise your analytical reasoning.
  7. Altruism. You want your job to directly benefit others. If you cannot do that in your chosen career you may volunteer to help after work.
  8. Security. You don't want to have to worry about whether you have enough money to meet your needs.
  9. Prestige. You want your job to give you a sense of status and pride. You work for a prestigious company, an industry-leader or some other prominent organization.
  10. Affiliation. You want and need to work with people who share share similar interests, values, enthusiasms, and frames of reference.
  11. Positioning. You want this job to set you up for the next job and that job in turn to get you to your ultimate goal, for which you are, at this time, not qualified.
  12. Managing People. You enjoy the interpersonal - the 'people' not the 'power' - aspects of leading and directing the activities of others.
  13. Recognition. You need explicit personal recognition for work you have done well. Your compensation does not suffice; you also need your work to be noticed, appreciated, acknowledged.

Your Own Work-Reward Profile: To develop your own work-reward profile write each of the 13 work-rewards above on one of 13 index cards. Arrange them in the order in which you value those work-rewards. Review. Now take the top three cards - the three work-rewards you value most - and arrange them so that the spaces between the cards represent the difference in importance to you of the two work-rewards you are comparing. You now have a visual representation of your own work-rewards profile - your three most important work rewards and their value relative to each other from your perspective.

Your Colleagues' Work-Reward Profiles: Now that you have analyzed your own motivational values you can analyze those of your colleagues. The better you know each individual, the more accurate your analysis will be. When you know what motivates each colleague, and particularly, those whose work-reward profiles are dissimilar to yours, the less likely you are to make further projection errors and the easier it becomes to frame proposals, to conduct meetings, to manage projects, to lead teams, to achieve results.

OVERTAKE® says: The Work-Reward Profile is a very powerful - almost Machiavellian - tool.

B. WORK MODE: Your overall orientation toward work is your work mode. This orientation comes from your perception and your attitude - two of the three dimensions (the third is judgment) of human personality identified by Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961), the Swiss psychiatrist and founder of analytical psychology.

Along each dimension of human personality there are two extremes and you come into the world with a predilection toward the dominant use of one or the other of the two poles on each of these three dimensions. It's similar to handedness - you favor your left or your right hand. It's the way that you are.

On the perception dimension - the way in which you take in information about the world - the two poles are known as the 'sensing-function' and the 'intuitive-function.' The sensing-dominant person focuses on facts, details, practical realities, contact with the physical world. The intuitive-dominant person relies on hunches, intuitions, ideas, possibilities, principles, unseen connections, tendencies and guesses.

On the attitude dimension - your experience of your most immediate reality - the two poles are extroversion and introversion. The extrovert lives by connecting with the immediate environment, interacting with people, doing 'real work'  - the daily pragmatic, practical and tangible accomplishments. The introvert resides in the subjective experience of existence. It is not what is happening now, but how what is happening changes personal experience, that is important to the introvert.

OVERTAKE® says: We find it helpful to think of these personality attributes as 'styles' -

• the 'attitude' dimension as a person's social style - extroverted or introverted

• the 'perception' dimension as an individual's style of perceiving;

a sensing individual through the senses - any of the faculties such as sight, sound, smell, taste, hearing or equilibrium by which physical stimuli are received and felt,

an intuitive person through the mental faculties of ideas, tendencies, lines of thought and conclusions - the powers and capacities of the human mind.

There are four possible combinations of the perception and attitude dimensions: extroverted sensing, extroverted intuition, introverted intuition and introverted sensing. These are the four work modes. In each of those four styles of working, individuals approach work, even define what work is, in predictable ways:

  1. Extroverted Sensing. Pragmatic doers. Statistically the most common work mode among business managers and sales people. They are motivated to implement strategy, focusing on measurable results that improve the bottom line.
  2. Extroverted Intuition. Innovative implementers. The most common work mode among entrepreneurs. They identify possibilities (the hallmark of the intuitive function) and then act (the hallmark of the extroverted attitude) on them. They want to find a new and better way.
  3. Introverted Intuition. Visionaries. Business development. Management consultants. Marketeers. Advertising gurus. Strategic planners. New Product Developer. They want to come up with the answer, not implement it. They thrive in the world of ideas, imagination, concepts, strategy and theory.
  4. Introverted Sensing. Hands-on thinkers. Engineers. Accountants. Drawn to pragmatic intellectual challenge. Detailed, methodical solvers of problems that require a depth of focus.

OVERTAKE® says: Know each colleague's, customer's and business ally's Jungian Work Mode - the way s/he thinks about getting work done. File them in their correct MEDA (Manager, Entrepreneur, Developer, Accountant) style.

You should now be able to think, feel, sense and intuit the differences between your colleagues' points of view and your own - to see it through their eyes. Now fit the job or proposal or meeting or tactic to their work-reward profiles and work modes.

But also take into account what is going on in each person's life right now. That too always affects a person's current perspective. With this more complete picture of each individual you know what motivates - and why - and who does what best.


You Too Can Be A Better Business Psychologist. People do business - not systems, not drive, not knowledge. Business can be done only with other people. In any business situation you must be able to see other people's points of view. And respond to them.

Organizations develop 'personalities' and these too you can analyze productively. In any organization you must be able to work effectively with fellow workers who have their own needs, agendas and objectives.

It is necessary, but not sufficient, to be highly competent in your own specialty. For maximum success in business and in your career you must also learn - and then apply - superb people skills. You can learn, or cultivate, empathy - the ability to identify with and understanding another's situation,  feelings, and motives. You can't afford not to. The tools above give you sharper insights to any other person's point of view.

Remember this is a vital part of your work - of business life. Business is a social enterprise; commerce is an exchange between people. You assess people every day, however well or badly. You cannot escape being a business psychologist. With these tools you will, over time, become a far better business psychologist with instincts so finely honed that you can read the fascinating variations of human personality.

When you can see the other's point of view you can act appropriately with the knowledge to be far more effective at what you do. When you know what drives people, you can more effectively guide, steer, manage, lead people.

In team sports the great players have a sense of the whole field of play, where everyone is, what they need to do, what they can do and where they're coming from. Business is a team battle. So you must know not only your own motivations and perspective but also those of your colleagues and your customers if you are to make things happen in your field.

When you can come to terms with people, i.e., when you can see other people's perspectives, then your empathy - your identification with and understanding of other people's situations, feelings and emotions - is your competitive advantage. Your merit is your ability to understand and persuade. Your worth is the agreements you reach - the deals you bring together. Your value is exceptional. Because you are a better business psychologist - truly a higher performance person.

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