Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Are you a turtle, shark, teddy bear, fox or owl?

I know, strangest post title ever right? I had a conversation with my dad last week in Virginia about this very topic and it got me thinking. Last fall one of my professors had us each fill out a quiz about conflict resolution. We each had the same 40 or so questions and had to rate each scenario based on a scale of "very much like me" to "not like me at all"

The result was a numbered range of where our personalities naturally fall. The options are a turtle, shark, teddy bear, fox or owl. Courtesy of Google here are brief descriptions of each characteristic. Read them over, any idea where you might fit into this scale? 

The Turtle immediately backs away from conflict. Unfortunately, if people get the idea that you are a Turtle they know that you will step back, or fold, when conflict hits. Eventually, Turtles feel like doormats.

The Shark immediately steps towards the conflict. Some Sharks have a "tear it up" attitude about conflict. This works in some situations, but if you are a Shark you'd better be careful; sooner or later you'll run into a bigger Shark.

The Teddy Bear wants harmony. "We'll do it your way," should be their mantra. Somewhat like the Turtle they are often overwhelmed. But, the good thing about Teddy Bears is that they will usually stand up for the few things that really matter to them.

The Fox is the compromiser. The Fox will give up a little, if you will give up a little. The Fox is often a manipulator.

The Owl is the win-win person. The Owl is always trying to think through the conflict and find a way for everyone to win.

Now I should point out that most people fall into at least 2 categories, with one being the dominant. At first i was very surprised by my dominant characteristic, but after examining it and taking a step back I realized that it's completely accurate.

I'm a complete Teddy Bear. 

Without even realizing it, I don't make decisions on my own very well and almost always wait for someone else to decide for me. "It doesn't matter, you decide" is one of my most common phrases. I'm such a people-pleaser that I can't stand the idea of someone around me doing something they don't want to do just because I want to do it. Make sense? Something as simple as shopping with a friend and deciding which stores to go into, I will work it so that they ultimately make the decision and I can just go along with it. I don't necessarily shy away from conflict, but I will try to smooth it over with both parties involved as much as I can.

It was such an eye-opener for me. I couldn't find the actual test online, but try Googling it yourself - it's seriously fascinating. 

1 comment:

  1. You have a lovely blog, I have really enjoyed reading it