Why are some high B’s so quiet?


In my travels, it is somewhat common for clients to comment that one of their “Highest B” (extroverted) people is somewhat reserved or downright quiet. They point to the PI and say, “She’s not like that at all!” So, what is going on? When I first heard that question 20 years ago, it did take a few minutes to digest, but then the ‘ah-hah!’ popped into my head. When most people think of PI survey results, they think about observable behaviors. Even the PI reports generated by the PI software focus much on the observable behaviors.  The secret (well, it’s not really a secret) lies within the motivating needs of each individual. Recall the following:

Look in your PI Toolkit (page 4 in the current Toolkit). High B motivating needs include “opportunities to interact, social acceptance, connection with others, and so on. But, what happens if those motivating needs are NOT met? There is going to be some type of reaction. But, we don’t know what that reaction is going to be. Circumstances will cause different people to react differently. For instance, if the High B person truly does not have interest in getting to know you, she might just ignore you and move on. Or, if the High B is someone who craves attention from everyone in the office, he might get his feelings hurt and sulk or, otherwise, disengage. But what about those High B’s who never seem to display an outgoing, enthusiastic manner? Well, back to the motivating needs we go, which also includes “visible signs of accomplishments”, or items that project “status and image”. If those things are important to the person and they don’t believe they have such things to show, then it is possible they will hold back from engaging. The following statement has been attributed to Abraham Lincoln, although there is no proof he actually said it. “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and to remove all doubt.” The High B might not want to risk “looking bad”.

Going a bit deeper into the topic, remember there are three other factors affecting the High B, as well. Those motivating needs will impact that High B. The Low A/High B might be quiet due to a company culture of aggressiveness caused by rambunctious High A’s. Or, the Low D/High B might have been brought up by Miss Manners, and learned certain rules that dictate when it is appropriate to speak. By now, I hope you get the point! And, if you don’t…well, SPEAK UP!

PS – Within the PI report, the section titled “Management Strategies” does address motivating needs. But if you are a trained PI Analyst, you don’t need to read that report, since you know how to read the graphs. And, if you are shaking your head ‘no’, call your PI consultant immediately. It is time for a refresher.