Affiliation

Troubling news (for me) from the latest in cod psychology last week, as I discover I am low on ‘Affiliation’. It transpires that although my beliefs and values place people in great esteem, my ‘revealed’ self can sometimes take them or leave them. Ouch!

For some reason that hurts. A workplace survey is to blame. Sure ‘we are what we repeatedly do’, and as someone said to me about five years ago ‘behaviour is my saviour’. But to discover I’m more motivated by ‘achievement’ and worst of all ‘power’ has really naffed me off.

Still, if the truth hurts, maybe it’s still worth knowing. I put a lot of effort into people at work and sometimes I get little back. I also tire myself out listening to other people’s problems and frequently ‘go round the houses’ to avoid ‘imposing’ or ‘forcing the issue’. Perhaps there’s something to be said for ‘route one’ and just getting it done. I know my own mind and sometimes I should just speak it. I used to.

On a work trip today I was pleasant and engaged. But I did three things I wouldn’t have pre my latest ‘test results’. First, I stopped myself from sending an email afterwards saying everything was great, because some of it wasn’t. Second, I ruthlessly deployed a friend’s trick of navigating a busy station by staring fixedly at the floor ten feet ahead. Miraculously people part like the Red Sea, the opposite of what happens if you make ‘Affiliative’ eye contact. And third I’ve just ignored a taxi driver who obviously was up for a natter (which I wasn’t) by sitting quietly tapping this on my iPhone.

Selfish? Maybe. But perhaps I’ve been giving too much of myself too heedlessly. The beneficiaries of this lapse in ‘Affiliation’? My family, who will get Dad in good time and with batteries a bit more charged. Not bad given the early start.

I’m still smarting from the test, but perhaps the diagnosis is right. It seems good ‘Affiliation’ for me is using my ‘people energy’ more wisely – with the people who matter the most.

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