Why do people do what they do? Why do some people annoy us and bother us while we love other people?
One explanation might come through an interesting theory that was at first developed by the University of Michigan as well Ohio State University before being adopted and further developed.
After doing a bunch of really, really boring research… They have concluded that human beings can focus on two types of behavioral styles which are known as Task Oriented Behavior (TOB) and Relationship Oriented Behavior (ROB)
TOB & ROB – Names You Won’t Forget
TOB People derive a sense of personal satisfaction from completing tasks. They also derive an immense sense of satisfaction from scheduling things, setting deadlines and knowing and being told exactly what to do. They are highly organized and love being able to feel like they’ve accomplished something.
ROB People derive a sense of personal satisfaction by cultivating harmonious relationships with other people. Rather then being focused on task completion, ROB people focus on maintaining their relationships with other people in a positive light. ROB individuals will go to great lengths to ensure that other people like them and see them as favorable individuals. They would much rather spend their time cultivating harmonious environments then actually completing tasks and worrying about the details of projects.
ROB vs. TOB
Usually, ROB and TOB individuals have a difficult time understanding and relating to each other when it comes time to actually complete a task. ROB and TOB people might make excellent friends but terrible coworkers because they focus on 2 entirely different things.
You can find a ROB individual usually doing something at the last minute while a TOB person has what they were suppose to do completed a week ahead of time. You get the idea. If you are into Myers Briggs then you might see the relationship being similar to comparing “TJ” individuals to “FP” individuals as familiar territory.
You can find out which one you are for yourself by taking this test known as the Least Preferred Co-Worker Index. Many companies use this test either directly or indirectly to figure out who they need to hire and how they need to form teams.
The takeaway by completing this test is to understand what we are most likely to prefer doing in our personal lives and in our careers. If we have self-identified ourselves as task-oriented people then we can understand what actions we can take to increase our satisfaction. If we are relationship oriented then we can understand how our interactions with others will contribute to our happiness.
Just as it would be foolish to force a bird to learn how to swim, it can oftentimes be foolish to expect a relationship oriented person to find happiness in life through the forced complication of a bunch of mundane and routine tasks that are likely to bore the living hell out of them.
I scored a 79 on the LPC which indicates that I am relationship oriented. I would say that this is true of myself and therefore I know this is where I should focus the majority of my efforts in life. It’s difficult for me to get tasks done personally unless I know that I am liked by those who I am working with.
As Myers Briggs INFJ I scored what I would have expected to on the LPC.
With these results, I know that I need to focus my efforts into relationship building. I’ve learned to compensate in my profession by working and surrounding myself with individuals who are task-oriented. They tend to help me execute on all of my creative ideas and designs and this creates a win-win scenario for everyone.
I would suggest that once you understand your specific behavioral type, that you begin to think about this in relation to the work you do and the people you interact with. When you know what you emphasize, you better position yourself to take advantage of your natural strengths while not letting your weaknesses blindside you and your efforts.