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My life as a PI Scholar

My name is Kristy Sheikh and I’m a Scholar. I am also the administrative project coordinator for The Predictive Index (PI) Certified Partner R.H. Sweeney Associates. I spend my time partially as an executive assistant and office manager and mostly preparing training materials for R.H. Sweeney’s PI workshops all over the country.

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My key responsibilities focus on assisting our clients with the PI software and supporting our trainers and sales team. I’ll admit, I’m a bit of a nerd so being able to make the PI software come alive for someone makes me smile!

My behavioral pattern

The PI Behavioral Assessment™ essentially reveals where you fall on the spectrum of four workplace behavioral drives:

1. Dominance: Dominance is the drive to exert one’s influence on people or events.

2. Extraversion: Extraversion is the drive for social interaction with other people.

3. Patience: Patience is the drive for consistency and stability.

4. Formality: Formality is the drive to conform to rules and structure.

Here’s my pattern:

 Screen Shot 2018-05-21 at 11.29.50 AMMy Reference Profile is Scholar

A Scholar is accurate, reserved, imaginative, and seeks a high level of technical expertise.

Initially, I thought my Reference Profile was fairly accurate. I found myself nodding along with a silly smile during my initial readback, specifically in regard to my extraversion and formality drive; It takes time for me to connect with others and they must earn my trust before I will delegate anything to them. Also discussed in my readback was my need to know all the facts first before agreeing to anything. I was told how Scholars tend to be anxious to avoid conflict, which reflects perfectly when I am unsure of something—my argument becomes softer and I have a more tentative, I-don’t-know type answer. After my full readback I remember thinking to myself, how could just a few checkboxes on an assessment nail me so well?

Scholar coming through!

Scholars are data-driven and analytical. Our strong discipline and execution make us organized individuals who are pretty thorough with our follow-up.

I am a problem solver and tend to be very task-oriented. Because of this, my team counts on me to herd the cats with all the simultaneous and varied projects in play at any one time. I take the initiative to move projects forward while being thorough, precise, and disciplined. Scholars often time feel uncomfortable in new environments. It takes me time to connect with others but I tend to open up once I get to know folks…as long as I deem I can trust them!

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You can often find me mulling over a situation or problem in my mind. It must look as though something is upsetting me, as I’ve had several people ask me if I’m OK! But all is fine, us Scholars just need time to reflect. 

“Do NOT micromanage a Scholar as we can and (probably will) end up resenting your management ability.”

The dark side of being a Scholar

One of the Scholar’s identifying factors is our low extraversion drive. I tend to be a very literal individual and it always takes me a beat or two when colleagues quip, it leaves me feeling a little out of sorts and I don’t initially get it. Because of our low extraversion, Scholars typically take a little bit of time to connect with others and will usually send an email rather than making a phone call. We are often uncomfortable in social situations, as well. I remember a time when someone told me that they had a bone to pick with me. I’d never heard that phrase before so in my mind, I was wondering why two humans would be picking a bone (the literal interpretation). I was quite embarrassed in the social situation I was in when I found out what it really meant!

Part of work culture is to connect to those you spend the majority of your waking hours with and since I’m often seen as out of touch and unapproachable in a group setting (think Sheldon of The Big Bang Theory), this makes connecting to a workplace culture even more difficult.

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How to work with (and manage) this profile

Scholars are introspective and autonomous workers. When working with us, give us time. We’ll need to be able to do a thorough analysis of things before proceeding. Scholars want to develop their expertise so don’t be surprised when we want the full responsibility for our own work.

Don’t give up on the Scholars! We like being part of the group but at our own pace. I can be pretty reserved but keep sending the invitations to meetings, lunches, etc. I tend to connect to one or two folks before opening up to the larger group while working closely with a small team is a dream environment. Also, be sure to keep feeding our high formality drive. We like rules and structure, this will allow us to move forward confidently to get the job done right.

Do NOT micromanage a Scholar, as we can and (probably will) end up resenting your management ability. When you show me you don’t trust me to do the job that you’ve hired me to do, you lose my trust; I cannot work for someone I do not trust. This was the exact situation for the last two positions I left—a new manager came on board who wanted to direct how things got done rather than trusting the staff to get the job done…needless to say, that manager and company was not a good match for me or the Scholar in me. 

“I no longer feel like my behaviors are abnormal despite being away from the norm!”

PI has explained and shed light on quite a few of my behaviors and the ‘why’ behind them. I no longer feel like my behaviors are abnormal. Knowing my Reference Profile has allowed me to become more aware of the volume of my behaviors while working on projects and with team members. I have an understanding of how I work best and how my team members’ Reference Profiles will react to my natural drives and behaviors. This cognizance allows me to be more self-aware in order to ensure my message is being received correctly.

Since working with PI I’ve noticed tons of improvement in my communication style when explaining technical information to those who are a novice in a specific area. I may be excited to share my knowledge with all the associated jargon, but I’m aware that my audience, based on their Reference Profile, may not share this enthusiasm. Knowing that I can easily adjust my speed of delivery, the wording used, and pause frequently to ensure they understand my message and give them the opportunity to ask clarifying questions.

Kristy is the administrative project coordinator at R.H. Sweeney Associates.

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