Podcast 024 – Aggressive LSI Action Tips

We share some tips for actions you can use with people high in Aggressive/Defensive (red) styles. Liana reflects on the realisation she had 45KM into the bike stage of an Ironman and Dominic reveals how he used to run around the park and race people… who didn’t even know they were competing.

Listen to the full episode to get all the stories which go with it and bring the tips and actions to life. A caveat for this episode: There’s no sort of absolute ‘someone’s high on competitive they should do ABC’ – it’s really situation dependent. You need to talk to the person and adapt. But, what we wanted to do – because we get this question a lot – is to put out there some thought starters for people to build off.

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Microphone Key Takeaways and Ideas from this Episode:  

About the Aggressive/Defensive Styles
With the Aggressive Defensive Styles, what sits beneath it is often quite a hush self-critic. What you will probably notice with people high on aggressive defensive Styles is that they’re preoccupied with results, tasks, and proving themselves in getting things done. Often it comes at a bit of a cost in bringing people along with them and building mutually beneficial relationships. Especially for leaders and managers, your role is to develop your people and support the team.

Slow Down to Speed Up Awareness
High task-oriented individuals in debriefs often want to move to action quite quickly. Try holding them in the reflective space a little bit longer. You want them to be able to replicate in that in real life too – so they pause before taking action and take stock of what are the implications.

Have Structured Things to do After the Debrief
Task people like tasks, so giving them some concrete steps to perform following the debrief can give them a level of comfort that they’re making progress. It can be worth giving some form of action at the end of each coaching or debrief session – even if that action is to go away and read the development guide, or reflect on the ‘pay off’ and ‘trade off’ of these behaviours.

Hit Pause Before You Point Out Flaws
Leaders that are quick to jump in with the things that are wrong or flawed, or put too much attention on to them can be driving the perception of those oppositional behaviours. Hit pause, give yourself some space before you launch into it. Reframe to instead explore questions which promote curiosity or wanting to understand things more. To reframe the question, you might ask yourself “how might I build on this idea?” and then ask them a different set of open-ended questions: “What do you hope to achieve?” What needs to be true for this to be successful?” etc.

Come with an Open Mind
Instead of making decisions unilaterally and coming to meetings having already made up your mind or being final on a decision – encourage some involvement and discussion in decision-making in your team or group. Don’t lead with your view, instead ask questions to explore other’s points of view. It’s not always comfortable for Power orientated leaders to do it, but it’s one technique that has worked.

Look at the Satisfaction Outcomes
For people to change, there has to be a compelling reason for why. people won’t just do it because a report tells them to. They need to believe in it and it needs to be important to them. Often the cost of Aggressive Styles comes in their relationships at home. In the back of the LSI and look at the items around family and relationships. Use these as a conversation starter. People might be more motivated to make a change if they see how it affects their personal life – and this will have a flow on effect back to work.

Shift the Mindset
Highly competitive people spend a lot of energy comparing themselves to others and it can come from a place of not feeling good enough in themselves. Articulating what is unique and valuable to them moves them to self-actualized thinking space instead.

For Competitive, the goal is to try and change the mindset from relative performance to actual performance – from comparative to achievement. What does a high performance look like? It’s not being the number one, it’s about achieving a self-set goal.

For Perfectionists, write down all the things that they’re working on and re-evaluate what is a true priority or what is reasonable to achieve. Assess the things that you’ve got on your plate and do a temperature check with yourself – is it realistic? Usually they can point to the fact that it’s not very realistic.

Take Up A Hobby You Suck At
People high in the Perfectionistic and Competitive styles can be afraid to try something new because we’ve got to be perfect or be the best. It can be a muscle you learn to flex – so go out and learn Jiu Jitsu, take up an artistic or creative pursuit – be ok with not being the best or perfect.


Do you have a question you want us to answer? Email: podcast@human-synergistics.com.au

Listen to more Culture Podcasts:

001: Kick Starting a Passive Team
002: Dealing with Delegation
003: Telling Someone They have a Blind Spot
004: What’s Wrong with Being Competitive?
005: I have a Competitive Teammate – Help!
006: What is a Toxic Culture?
007: How Leaders Impact Culture
008: Is Culture / Climate / Engagement the same thing?
009: My Manager is Resisting Culture Change
010: How the Banks got here
011: Myth Busters: If I’m not Aggressive then I must be Passive
012: How Culture Works Pt1 – Overview
013: How Culture Works Pt2 – Mission, Philosophy, Structures
014: How Culture Works Pt3 – HR Systems
015: How Culture Works Pt4 – Job Design
016: How Culture Works Pt5 – Leadership
017: Rebecca Kardos, CEO Aurora Energy
018: Is Conflict in Teams Good or Bad?
019: Does Teamwork Work?
020: Tips and tricks for LSI Debriefs
021: Can you use the LSI for Recruitment?
022: Dear C.B., My Manager is Cold
023: Passive LSI Action Tips
024: Aggressive LSI Action Tips
025: Breaking Down Silos
026: SuperMind Neuro Science of Creativity
027: Conference Highlights
028: 8 Keys of Team Effectiveness
029: Coaching Questions for Passive Styles


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