Behavioral Scale Deep Dive: Low Autonomy

Autonomy: The need to act independently, regardless of others’ beliefs or opinions about those actions. 

Do you often seek advice from trusted mentors? Are you open to feedback and teamwork? Do you prefer the tried and true? If so, you may be a low scorer in autonomy. Let’s take a look at the behavioral traits of someone with a low score in autonomy and what you can do to best encourage their growth. 

Low Autonomy

Meet Kendra. She always does her job the way she knows works and doesn’t stray too far from the conventional. She likes working with people and would rather make a decision in a group than independently. She is always seeking advice from trusted people in her life and what they do, think and feel often guides her decisions.

Kendra is a good example of someone who likely has a low autonomy score. She:

  •  Is a team player
  • Tends to value security, preferring the known and true
  • Welcomes advice and direction from trusted advisors
  • Is conventional and has a high need for security
  • Is open to feedback and welcomes mentors into their lives
  • Plays by the rules and avoids risk 

Tips for Managing Low Scorers

Although low scorers in autonomy can be great team players, are positively open to feedback and can provide an easygoing presence in the workplace, sometimes their tendency to stick to the tried and true and follow the pack can hold them back personally and professionally.  Also, sometimes low scorers in autonomy can react to and worry about someone else’s expectations and reactions and defer to their opinion. Because of this, they might have difficulty making decisions and taking action on their own.

Here are some tips for managing someone with a low autonomy score: 

  • Encourage them to keep an open mind to new ideas and creative
     solutions. Their first instinct may be to disregard “out-of-the-box” thinking.
  • Encourage them to spend time with creative, high energy, high autonomy people from time to time. Discuss all of the strengths of this type of person so they can learn more about them.
  • Team work, participation, collaboration, and low risk initiatives motivate the low scorer in Autonomy. Encourage them to balance this need with exposure to new things.

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