Behavioral Scale Deep Dive: High Aggression

Aggression: The desire to be assertive, stretch limits, test boundaries, be competitive, and push others to their limits of tolerance.

Most of us come across highly aggressive or confrontational people at some point in our lives; Someone who might interrupt you in meetings, always wants the last word and can often be very reactive. In this week’s deep dive, we look at someone who scores high in aggression and give tips on how to best manage and encourage their growth-let’s dive in!

High Aggression

Meet Kelly. Kelly is a top sales agent at her company, isn’t afraid to speak her mind and often overpowers everyone at meetings. She’s known to have a short fuse so a lot of her colleagues tip toe around her and let her do her thing in order to avoid a potential explosion. She gets annoyed if she isn’t top in sales and will do whatever she has to in order to get her top spot back, always running at full speed ahead.

Kelly is an example of someone who likely has a high aggression score. She:

  • Is courageous, forthright, powerful and tends to “want it now”
  • Is a competitor who loves to win
  • Often takes a stand for herself, others, and what she believes to be right
  • Tends to have a strong sense of right and wrong, and places a high value on loyalty
  • Will often not tolerate what she perceives as injustice.
  • Can be impatient and likes instant gratification
  • Is competitive and strong-willed
  • Often reacts from impulse, wants the last word, and insists on being “right”
  • Is action oriented- She MAKES things happen

Tips for Managing High Scorers

Although high scorers in Aggression can make things happen and aren’t afraid to speak their opinions, sometimes their intensity and confrontational tendencies can create issues, especially when paired with their low-scoring counterparts. When high scorers are stressed out or in conflict, they are likely to lash out verbally and hurt people. This makes some people afraid of them and unwilling to provide honest feedback. One might say that high scorers in Aggression “do not have a fuse; they have an igniter!” which can create tension in relationships.

Here are some ways to manage and encourage the growth of someone with a high aggression score:

  • During times of conflict, they may benefit from learning the discipline of listening well before speaking, making an extra effort to keep tones positive and body language open.
  • Encourage them to take 10 minutes of cooling down before addressing a conflict instead of instantly reacting (i.e; walking out of the room etc.)
  • The high scorer in Aggression would also benefit from admitting mistakes, apologizing, and asking forgiveness when they hurt someone. This is difficult because of their competitive nature.
  • Winning motivates them, they love a “good fight,” and they thrive in competitive environments. Encourage them to reflect on the moments when they’ve lost, and how that feels.
  • Encourage them to apologize to others they have upset. 
  • Be Assertive when bringing these things up and don’t fight fire with fire!

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