I thought I was...

"The goal at my old employer was just to bite people to death or beat them down. I'm extremely conditioned by the culture I worked in for twenty years. That's why I thought I was competitive - when I'm not!"

That was my client's core insight - a real eye-opener after we had listened to her...


How it all started

The coaching assignment was: "How do I manage to meet even so-called 'foam whippersnappers' with self-confidence and get my competitive orientation across? In the first step, Monika R. did the LINC Personality Profiler, the online personality tool that creates a very differentiated profile of character traits, motives, and competencies. The individual results give her a completely new and detailed view of her personality and thus become the starting point for authentic, further sustainable development in combination with executive coaching.

One result from the LPP that completely surprised her at first was the high expression of her cooperation characteristics. "I am very competitive on the road. How else could I have made it to the board in a classic man's world? This is where the LPP is not right, in my estimation." We took a closer look at her results. Competitive orientation? Not at all. She had a powerful one in cooperation.

The analysis

The facets that belong to the character pair "cooperation-competition" are in detail:

  • Trust orientation - Social skepticism
  • Candour - Strategic communication
  • Altruism - Self-care
  • Indulgence - Low indulgence
  • Humility - Positive self-promotion
  • Empathy - Social rationality

Competitive people are influential on the right side of the facet pairs. In social relationships, they do not focus on a particularly pronounced harmony or their popularity ratings with the other team members. Instead, they represent their interests and goals first. This does not mean that they fundamentally take advantage of others; they simply do not put their needs behind those of others or rely on others but personally ensure that their interests are taken into account. They prefer a fair competition to what they see as a half-baked compromise.

Monika R. did not find herself in this description at all. On the contrary. She could very well find herself in the cooperative characteristics: People with a pronounced collaborative orientation are usually perceived as very friendly and benevolent towards others. They are helpful, supportive, and willing to compromise, and tend to trust other people and expect good things from them. They have a high degree of helpfulness, are willing to compromise and rather shy of conflict, etc.

Only in the two "pairs" compliance - low compliance/modesty - positive self-presentation did she also show a tendency towards competitive orientation.


Here are her comments from the coaching:

Compliance - Low compliance: I can certainly defend my point of view, but I am also ready to compromise at any time - that is in the balance.

Modesty - Positive self-expression: I don't necessarily have to be the center of attention, but it doesn't bother me either. I can always point to my successes - but showing off is not my thing. An average value fits.

So much for the " average values". For the other pairs of characteristics, the swing was clearly in the direction of cooperation.

Trust is, for me, the basis of cooperation. When I meet people, I first pour out a trust bucket and assume that it is good in people. That suits me!

Outspokenness – here I also find myself. I always communicate without ulterior motives and openly share my opinion with others. That is very important to me!

The high score in altruism is also fine with me. I am very concerned about the well-being of others and also care at all times without being asked. I am also called 'Mother Theresa'.

Empathy - yes, that is me, that is mine. I empathize with other people's feelings myself and make my decisions based on this 'empathy' - sometimes, I participate too much in the fate of my fellow human beings. Anyway, everyone always comes to me and expresses their tears.

The realization

"My character is not competitive at all, but very cooperative. That's why I always act out of my weakness when I meet 'frothers'. I have to be careful not to fall into my cooperation trap!" Monika R. had trained a so-called persona in business. We all have a core personality - our personality profile in terms of character traits, motives, and competencies. However, we naturally cannot live out this personality one hundred percent in every situation and every area of life. Instead, we adapt to our environment to a certain degree to act successfully. If we do this over a more extended period in a particular area - e.g. at our workplace - we form a so-called persona, which lays itself over our core personality like a mask..." writes Dr. Ronald Franke (LINC Institute) about this in his blog. A persona was exactly what Monika R. had developed over the years, with the result that she was constantly stressed and dissatisfied.

[Translate to English:] shutterstock.com | pathdoc