Behavioral Scale Deep Dive: High Support

Support: Being encouraging and kind in a way that attempts to benefit others.

Opposite to last week’s behavioral scale deep dive, we all know someone who cares about people deeply and is always going out of their way to be kind and encouraging. Here’s how to understand employees with a high support score, and manage them in a way that helps them succeed.

High Support

Meet Greg. Every morning, Greg walks into everyones office and says good morning and sometimes even brings them a coffee just because. Whenever someone’s having a bad day, Greg is always the one to encourage them and is always trying to help out in whatever way he can. As a manager, he often tells his employees how great they’re doing and that he really appreciates them; This sort of behavior comes completely naturally to him. He often asks them questions about their personal life and deeply listens to what they have to say.

Greg is an example of someone who likely has a high support score. He:

  • Cares about people deeply.
  • Is supportive and sensitive to the physical and emotional needs and wants of others.
  • Is thoughtful, peace-loving and warm.
  • Likes to “touch” others at the heart level.
  • People often confide in them.
  • Is an encourager who sees the good in others.
  • Prioritizes relationships.
  • Is helpful, courteous and kind.
  • Enjoys affection, touch and supporting others.
  • Verbal expressions of warmth and gratitude come easily to this person.
  • Is sensitive to the needs of others.
  • Relates well to others, and is often well liked.
  • Tends to be tactful and cooperative.

Tips for Managing High Scorers:

Having a high support score can be a great thing for many reasons, and we’ve found that it is an important behavioral trait of highly effective leaders when balanced with other scales. However, sometimes people don’t respond to someone who is always soft and nurturing and they need very clear-cut deadlines and expectations so that they can achieve at even higher levels. Sometimes, learning to be more frank and honest can make a bigger impact but this can be difficult for high scorers in support.

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

  • High Scorers in support may create dependencies and “do for others what they should be doing for themself.” Creating dependencies in this way actually DECREASES performance. Encourage them to say “no” once in a while. 
  • Encourage them to learn to “set the bar high” for the benefit of themself and the benefit of others. High standards when built on a foundation of nurturing, create great outcomes in groups.
  • Encourage them to sometimes be more frank and honest instead of always saying something nice; This can sometimes have more of a positive impact on others in the long run than always being gentle.
  • Helping others and supporting others motivates high scorers in support. They are also motivated by thoughtfulness and affection. Find opportunities for them to use these natural abilities. 

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