Behavioral Scale Deep Dive: High Self-Control

Self Control: The need to manage one’s own impulses. 

Do you tend to avoid risk? Are you dutiful and reliable? If so, you may be a high scorer in self-control. Let’s take a look at the behavioral traits of someone with a high score in self-control and what managers can do to best encourage their growth. 

High Self-Control

Meet Kyle. Kyle is always on time to his accounting office and gets really stressed when the subway isn’t on time. He’s a hard worker who you can always rely on to get things done. He often keeps to his own desk and doesn’t leave for the day until he’s finished the project he’s been working on. Because he’s so busy finishing tasks, he doesn’t go out with friends much and hardly ever takes a spontaneous trip to get away. He has worked at the same accounting firm for nearly 10 years and doesn’t like when the company implements big changes right away.

Kyle is a good example of someone who likely has a high self-control score. He:

  • Tends to be dutiful, restrained, diligent and reliable
  • Favors conservative values and tries to avoid risk
  • Is reserved, quiet, unassuming, patient and modest
  • Is steady

Tips for Managing High Scorers

Although high scorers in self-control are reliable and diligent employees, sometimes their more conservative tendency to avoid risk and “over-control” can have negative consequences in their personal and work life. High scorers in Self-Control may unnecessarily delay gratification and spontaneity for obligation and responsibility. Likewise, this person may be hesitant to share opinions and fail to provide valuable feedback. 

Whether you’re a manager of a high self-control scorer or wanting to learn how to better understand a colleague’s behavior, here are some ideas on how to effectively manage this behavioral trait. 

  • High scorers benefit from consistently sharing their thoughts and opinions. Challenge them to speak up and give their opinion at least once every day.
  • Encourage them to make eye contact when speaking, smile, lean slightly
    forward and speak a little bit louder than they might normally.
  • Low change, consistency, and routine motivate this person. Because of this, you need to give them as much notice as possible when changes are coming because the threat of being “out of control” is perhaps their greatest fear.
  • Creative, high-energy environments are likely threatening to this person. The high scorer in Self-Control desires a quiet, reserved and conservative atmosphere.
  • Encourage them to practice acting on a new idea, rather than hesitating.

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