Sprout: What’s your tendency?

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Do any of you recognise this scenario?

You know what’s good for you. You’d like to do it. But there’s something holding you back. You find yourself resisting even though you know that seminar would be worth going to or that yoga class would do you some good?

You do? Then you might be a closet rebel like me.

Yes, me … a rebel. I couldn’t quite believe it too. But it makes a lot of sense.

In The Four Tendencies, Gretchen Rubin (of ‘Happiness Project’ fame), sets out the outcomes of her research into the different ways we respond to internal and external expectations. She has concluded that most people fall into one of four categories: Upholders, Questioners, Obligers and the aforementioned Rebels. Rubin’s idea is that by knowing your tendency, you can work more effectively and achieve your aims.

I found this book insightful and enlightening. It’s a quick, relatively easy read but that shouldn’t negate the real gems it contains. I read a lot of self-help books and few stick with me beyond a few days, but I’m still thinking about The Four Tendencies months on. I understand myself and the decisions I make (or don’t make) much better. I’ve learnt to gameify my work to increase productivity and cut procrastination (all hail the mighty Pomodoro!) and I think I better understand other people and why they behave as they do. Cue considerably less frustration and conflict!

I would recommend The Four Tendencies to anyone and everyone, quite honestly. But for overworked and insecure ECRs, as Rubin says:

Knowing our Tendency can help us set up situations in the ways that make it more likely that we’ll achieve our aims. We can make better decisions, meet deadlines, meet our promises to ourselves, suffer less stress, and engage more deeply with others.

You can take The Four Tendencies quiz here.

Have you taken The Four Tendencies quiz? Are you an upholder, questioner, obliger or rebel? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

Image by Robert Anasch, via Unsplash

Sprout: nurture, grow, bloom

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