Blog of Sara Jakša

Figuring Out the Model Behind Theory by Combining Different Models

When I found out about the communication theory, mentioned in the previous article, the first thing that I wanted to do, was to find out the model behind it. I mean, I had three pieces of information: the communication style, the personality and advice how to deal with these types. I am going to copy this information again down here:

  • Communication style:
Type Communication Style
Direct This style is decisive, competitive, independent, and confident. Because the person with a Direct communication style is focused, results-oriented, ambitious, goal-oriented, and driven, others may perceive her as strong-willed or demanding. She can be seen as impatient when bored.
Initiating This style is sociable, enthusiastic, energetic, spontaneous, and fun-loving. Due to the gregarious nature of the person with an Initiating communication style, he may be perceived as someone who talks more than listens. He is often perceived as self-assured, innovative, and persuasive.
Supportive This style is calm, steady, approachable, sincere, and gentle. Because the person with a Supportive communication style dislikes change, she may appear indecisive. More often she is perceived as careful, patient, and amiable. Due to her active listening skills, others see her as cooperative, dependable, and loyal.
Analytical This style is precise, exact, analytical, and logical. Because the person with an Analytical communication style is systematic and task-oriented, he is sometimes perceived as a perfectionist. He is organized, self-reliant, purposeful, and diplomatic.
  • Personality
Type Personality
Direct She likes to feel in control and may become frustrated if dependent on others. She measures progress by achievements and successes and is motivated by challenges. At work she displays more concern for results than relationships and does not easily share feelings. Her pace is fast and decisive and she likes a busy, efficient, structured, and formal environment.
Initiating He likes to feel accepted and is motivated by relationships. He responds strongly to praise and approval. His pace is fast and he may appear impulsive at times. He prefers a stimulating, personal, and friendly work environment.
Supportive She is often modest and prefers praise be given privately. Patient and slow-paced, she likes a personal, relaxed, no-tension environment. She puts high priority on close relationships and does not like conflict, but may mediate if necessary.
Analytical He is motivated by certainty and will rarely give an opinion unless asked. He is slow and cautious in his pace and likes a structured, ordered, and functional environment. Because he needs to feel sure of his position and others’ expectations, he is often private with personal information and does not easily express emotions.
  • Advice
Type Advice
Direct Direct communicators prefer when you get to the point quickly and in a succinct manner. When dealing with these communicators, be specific and avoid over-explaining or repeating yourself. Focus on solutions and only provide details when asked.
Initiating Initiating communicators value interacting with others and sharing stories. Allow time for socializing at the beginning of meetings and create a friendly, non-threatening environment. Provide time for them to express their feelings and opinions.
Supportive Supportive communicators appreciate a calm, steady approach. Earn their trust by providing them with plenty of reassurance. When seeking their opinions and ideas, encourage them to express their concerns and allow them time to make decisions.
Analytical Analytical communicators like facts and figures. Present information to them in an organized manner and be prepared to answer questions. Be patient while they think through and process new information.

So, I have come up with a couple of different ideas. Because there are 4 types, I expected that there were two axes to them.

Since the descriptions had a lot of personality descriptions, I figured out that this model could be simply translated to the personality model. Since the Big Five in the personality model, that is the most used in science, I tried to figure out, how to transform one model into another. The problem was, that since there was not a lot of data, I was not sure, if I got the exact axis.

So, this was my first try (the ones in the parenthesis are the possible substitutions):

Low agreeableness (or low neuroticism) High agreeableness (or high neuroticism)
High extroversion (or high openness) DIRECT INITIATING
Low extroversion (or low openness) ANALYTICAL SUPPORTIVE

But I was not really satisfied with this solution. So next, I tried to map them to the 4 humors from Ancient Greece. I mean, the direct one seems to be a lot like direct type of style. So, this was my next try:

_ _
Direct = Choleric Initiating = Sanguine
Analytical = Melancholic Supportive = Phlegmatic

But this was not the exact one either. I mean, it is quite accurate, but the description for the supportive person does not reflect the phlegmatic type. So there, instead of being unclear about axes, it is one of the quadrants, that does not make much sense.

Then I remembered one of the internet articles, where they tried to show the differences in the communication style. There the difference was between open-closed communication (how much interest a person has in humans as human beings) and direct-indirect communication (energy level and speed of the communication). This one did give me a much better fit.

_ _ Open Communication Closed Communication
Direct Communication Initiating Direct
Indirect Communication Supportive Analytical

Well, the open-closed relationship could also be described as systemizing vs. empathizing theory.

Something about this description reminded me of the Gray's model of personality. The open-closed could be maybe transformed into BAS system (approach system) and the direct-indirect into FFFS system (avoidance system). So, then we would get a very similar system, this time with the personality.

_ _ high BAS low BAS
low FFFS Initiating Direct
high FFFS Supportive Analytical

But there is a relation between the BAS-FFFS-BIS system and the big five. It is a bit moved, so high extroversion is high BAS and high FFFS, while high neuroticism is high FFFS and low BAS. But this still would not give us a good model. On the other hand, the system could be transformed to the 4 humors:

_ _ high BAS low BAS
low FFFS sanguine phlegmatic
high FFFS choleric melancholic

So, since we are talking about the models, that can also be personality models, I could not go over the MBTI system. I went to a lot of iterations, and was not satisfied with any of them:

_ _ F T
S Initiating Direct
N Supportive Analytical

Then a friend of mine, which introduced me to this specific rabbit hole, mentioned that she thinks that it is similar to the Insight. Well, I did not really know, what this is, so I went to read about it. When I realized that it is based on DISC, I realized that long ago I already read a book about it (though I have no idea, what the title was). And she was right, it makes for quite a good fit. What is interesting, that just a short read into the theory, it was clear that it is a theory based on emotional models. So, these types are most likely to feel these emotions:

_ _ Unfavorable environment Favorable environment
In-Control Direct = Dominance Initiating = Inducement (persuasion)
Lack-Of-Control Analytical = Compliance Supportive = Submission

I even took a test, which puts me mostly in the direct quadrant (51 for dominance, 30 for compliance, 11 for inducement and 7 for submission). Which is interesting, because when I took a more relationship-based dominance-submissions test, then I am a switch.

For some reason, this reminded me back to the Jung's theory of functions. So, this is my hypothesis, of how they relate to each other:

_ _
Direct = Te Initiating = Fe
Analytical = Ti Supportive = Fi

And I would take this, but in this case, my Jung's type (INTP Ti-Ne) would not be similar to my DISC type, which is similar to the communication style (Direct = Te). So, this would need to be something that would be resolved.

The only way to check, if any of them are true, are to empirically test it. Since I already have problems searching for people to do my questionary for my master thesis, I am not really going to attempt this. But it was a good mental exercise for me.