[Replication of a private session for DianeHB on July 7, 2016]
DianeHB: Michael, in my last session you mentioned: "There are definitive dynamics in the work place that arise as positive and negative roles/positions. Understanding how to navigate these as they arise can be quite empowering." Can you elaborate what these positive and negative roles/positions are?
There are a number of ways to understand the dynamics of a work place. In workplaces with fewer than 12, the roles can be best understood by looking to Configurations to match the number of fragments involved. In workplaces where there are more than 12, the dynamic shifts back to a default of 7 that reflects the overleaf system.
For workplaces involving more than 12, the tendency is for the descriptions of the GOALS to come into play. These do not necessarily correspond to the individual's own Goal, but knowing the Goal of an individual can help. The reason the individual Goal is not always as insightful is because of the closed system of a workplace.
In a closed system such as that, the personal Goals would still be intact and motivating the individual on a personal level, but behaviors in the workplace may reflect more of the sub-personalities that must come forth in order to be in that closed system.
To help differentiate these workplace roles from the Goals, we will describe them in a different way and you can correlate these to the corresponding overleaves.
THE FRAGILE ONE - this is the individual who must keep things simple in order to function. Complications, distractions, challenges, etc. can be very difficult for this individual to navigate. When expectations and tasks are clear and simple, they can be of tremendous help. Fragility is not a fault. It is a nature. If it can be honored, it can become a strength.
POSITIVE POLE - FOCUS / NEGATIVE POLE - PANIC
THE CAREFUL ONE - this is the individual who watches closely, evaluates, assesses, gauges, and cares very much about the details. They will tend to offer feedback, ideas, suggestions, etc. and this can be quite helpful and insightful. However, it can "come across" as complaining, bitching, combative, and defiant depending on how that individual presents her assessments.
POSITIVE POLE - INFORMATIVE / NEGATIVE POLE - UNDERMINING
THE EAGER ONE - this is the "people pleaser" among you who simply wants to be useful and effective. He is eager to please, volunteer, stay late, come in early, etc. However, because of this, he is also the fastest to fall into victimhood and shift into manipulation, guilting, resentment, and even anger.
POSITIVE POLE - HELPFUL / NEGATIVE POLE - MANIPULATIVE
THE WORKER - this is the person who simply does his job, comes in, listens, does what is expected, quietly goes along, and leaves work at work. However, he is rightfully not willing to work outside of a job description, will not respond well to these requests or expectations, and does not do well when there is change, redirection, or upheaval.
POSITIVE POLE - RELIABLE / NEGATIVE POLE - INVISIBLE
THE FUN ONE - this is the person who may or may not get the job done or done well, but who tends to receive a great deal of leniency because he is key to keeping up morale, levity, and spirits. However, he can also become easily distracted with this position of keeping others happy and either find himself as a counselor, performer, comforter, or just an obnoxious distraction that makes it difficult for others to focus. He may be first to come forth "on behalf" of others if there are problems. If his tactics are sound, he makes a great Human Resources counselor.
POSITIVE POLE - HEALER / NEGATIVE POLE - DISTRACTION
THE INVESTOR - this is the individual who is deeply invested in the well-being of the company, and can often be in positions where his role is key to that success. The investment does not have to be in terms of money, but time, energy, passion, vision, etc. However, he can easily lose sight of the details and of the joy and original motivation and enthusiasm if he feels threatened. He can shift into a disconnect from the environment and the soul of the company as he focuses only on the survival of it.
POSITIVE POLE - COMMITMENT / NEGATIVE POLE - DEFENSIVE
THE BOSS - this is the individual who is usually in a position as "boss," but is not always in this position in any official capacity. This is the individual who steps up and helps direct, manage, control and focus others toward the project or point at hand. However, because his role is one of control, he can sometimes become demanding, shaming, distant, dismissive, and take for granted the humanity of those who he expects to be focused and available.
POSITIVE POLE - GUIDE / NEGATIVE POLE - HURTFUL (or "ASSHOLE")
We know our time is run out here for this format, but this is a glimpse of these positions. There is more to say, of course.
Note: You can comment on this material in the original post. See Michael on Roles in the Workplace.
Edited by Janet