Behavioral Scale Deep Dive: Low Support

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

We all have different ways of showing Support to others, whether it be through thoughtful gift giving, going the extra mile at work, or by taking a moment to share a cup of coffee with a colleague to catch up. However, we also all vary in the amount that we naturally exude this kind of support or how much we personally need it. Low scorers in support don’t tend to prioritize these kind of actions as much because they aren’t personally motivated by them. They tend to be more cautious of situations and people and often don’t find it necessary to be overly affectionate or affirming. Let’s take a deeper look.

Low Support

Meet Rebecca. Rebecca prefers to keep her distance from people and doesn’t have too many close relationships. She’d rather work alone on projects and is always the person to point out any flaws or holes in a plan. She loves when projects are well thought out and thrives in competitions. She’s not usually the one to compliment another colleague but would rather focus on her own work.

Rebecca is an example of someone who likely has a low support score. She:

  • Tends to be cautious of situations and people.
  • Has few very close friends and prefers to keep most people at a safe distance.
  • May at many times seem moody, dissatisfied, and sarcastic.
  • May also, at times, have difficulty dealing effectively with stress.
  • Has a more critical nature that can stave off potential dangers while recognizing the “holes” in plans, projects and/or activities.
  • Prefers working alone
  • Doesn’t feel a need to be overly affectionate
  • Tends to be more action oriented
  • Is motivated by well thought out plans and initiatives.
  • Is motivated by competition and environments that elicit critical feedback. 

Tips for Managing Low Scorers:

Although having a low support score can be beneficial when it comes to individual projects, planning and critical feedback, it can also sometimes come across as being a little “cold” to people who may need more supportive affirmation. People may not feel like low scorers in support are personally invested in them, which can damage loyalty, trust and morale. However, by helping them to realize that the highest performing individuals and teams balance “heart” with high standards, you can help them and those around them perform at a higher level. 

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

  • Encourage them to invest time in getting to know people
    • Encourage them to take a genuine interest in people’s lives and offer to help them in any way that you can by asking questions,  deeply listening and remembering the things that are important to them
  • Encourage them to Show Appreciation & Gratitude
    • Bringing out the best in other people and appreciating it is how you bring out the best in yourself.  Encourage them to clearly tell people (and often) the impact they make and that their work is appreciated and valued. 
  • Prioritize relationships and make time for people
    • Encourage them to have regular conversations with their friends, family and colleagues and ask them about important things they have told you (i.e- birthdays, family members, etc. ) By doing this, the people around them will feel valued and respected. 
  • Encourage them to compliment others and engage everyone they see with a smile.
  • Encourage them to curb their sarcasm, send an occasional positive emoticon, and smile at others genuinely. 

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