SOCIAL STYLEs of United States Presidents

Over the coming months the 2016 Presidential Election candidates will be attempting to persuade voters in their efforts to become president. So what kind of person makes the best presidential candidate? Is it better to influence others by asking questions or stating opinions? What about showing your emotions and passions versus being calm and controlled?

Which SOCIAL STYLE® is most likely to become the President of the United States? Is it the Driving Style people? What about those Expressive Style individuals?

When those questions are presented to individuals who have never experienced SOCIAL STYLE training, many times they believe that the best way of doing things is the way they prefer, which makes sense. It’s natural to think the way you do things is the best way or else you wouldn’t do it that way. This is a person’s SOCIAL STYLE – their preferred behavioral tendencies.

Other people assume that all CEOs or Presidents are Driving Style or sometimes Expressive Style people, but this isn’t true either.

What’s interesting is that research shows us it doesn’t matter what your SOCIAL STYLE is. What matters is your Versatility. Versatility is a measurable way to determine someone’s probability for success. TRACOM research shows that leaders with higher Versatility are 27% more effective as a team leader, 22% better at managing conflict and are 19% more likely to be promoted. The likelihood of a person to reach the top ranks of presidency is very unlikely without high Versatility.

And to prove that all Presidents aren’t Driving Style or Expressive Style people, listed below is a president representing each SOCIAL STYLE.

Amiable – The 40th President of the United States, Ronald Raegan, was an Amiable Style individual. How do we know? He was a very relationship-focused man, interpreting the world on a personal basis and getting involved in the feelings and relationships between people. He was slower in speech with a relaxed use of hands and eye contact. He was facially animated, with a more inflected voice and explains his points of view using opinions and stories. He was described by many as approachable, concerned and supportive.

Ronald Reagan also demonstrated a talented ability to be Versatile. The WSJ article points out another of his strongest assets – “a combination of integrity and political courage—the commitment to do the right thing regardless of its potential impact on his personal political fortunes.” This demonstrates true Versatility because as an Amiable Style, one of the biggest emotional threats is the fear of not being liked or accepted. Reagan pushed this fear aside and did what he knew to be right. He consistently demonstrated a great deal of Versatility through his daily actions and interactions with others and his ability to demonstrate growth actions through initiating change.

Analytical – Our current President, Barack Obama is viewed as an Analytical Style person and we can assess him based on his observable behavioral cues. His language is slower in pace with less inflection in his voice, he has a relaxed use of hand gestures and is more rigid in body posture. He is also less direct with his eye contact and has controlled facial expressions and he uses facts and data to make decisions and is less influenced by opinions or intuition.

Barack Obama also demonstrates a high degree of Versatility. According to a Gallup survey, “Of seven personal characteristics, Americans rate Barack Obama most highly for those that reflect on his leadership skills. As an Analytical Style person, his growth action is to declare, which, according to this survey, the general public believes he demonstrates a clear ability to do. As a Versatile, Analytical Style person, Obama also shows his ability to express opinions and, instead of holding back he states his ideas and is a vocal member of all group discussions. He also works at adding more emotion to his behaviors to counteract his normally controlled exterior, allowing others to see the more animated side of him.

Expressive – The 42nd President of the United States, President Bill Clinton was an Expressive Style. President Clinton’s Expressive Style giveaways include; his loud, fast-paced speech and also the large quantities of his speaking. He tends to be more direct with his eye contact and is facially animated and leans in when speaking to others as well as uses a great deal of hand-motions. He is seen as direct and seeking to know what is going on. He is also seen as active, spontaneous and makes his presence known. He is more emotive than controlling and is reactive and impulsive. He is quick to decide and uses an assertive approach to influence others.

Clinton also demonstrates a strong level of Versatility. He has developed strategies to allow him to check his Expressive nature and has utilized these strengths to remain a public political figure even past presidency.

According to a USA Today article, Clinton is a master at Emotional Intelligence. Author of the article, Steve Straus says “Emotional intelligence is the ability to intuit a situation, respond appropriately and maturely, empathize and connect with others in a way that resonates. President Bill Clinton is a master.” Versatility and Emotional Intelligence are closely related. Click here to learn more.

Driving – George W. Bush represents a great example of an observable Driving Style President. He has a faster, louder pace of speech and he usually doesn’t lack in quantity of speech. He has direct eye contact and tends to lean in when speaking. He has less inflection in his voice and his subjects of speech are tasks rather than people. He uses facts and data to make decisions and has somewhat controlled facial expressions. He is seen as direct and focuses efforts on goals and objectives that need to get done now. He is not reluctant to challenge the ideas of others and is certainly not afraid to take risks.  Quickly decisive, he can get impatient with others if things don’t move as quickly as he would like. According to an Associated Press article, “Bush demands punctuality and disdains inefficiency. Every meeting better have a clear purpose. And it better not repeat what he already knows… When Bush wants answers, guessing isn’t advised. ‘He can sniff it out a mile away if you don’t have the goods,’ said White House communications director Kevin Sullivan.”

But, just as every other president, George W. Bush demonstrates a high level of Versatility. He frequently demonstrates listening, a growth action for the Driving Style individual. Aware of his impact on others, he is continuously monitoring his behavior. He takes time to get to know people on a personal level and listen to their stories. According to a recent article “The toughest moments for him come when he meets the grieving families of the troops he sent to war. Or when he meets severely wounded troops in recovery. Many of the hurting tell Bush they want to get back out in active duty. He is moved by the sacrifice. ‘I do a lot of crying in this job,’ Bush once acknowledged.” President Bush understands the different skills and values that others bring forward and he supports others to succeed. He is also an optimist and demonstrates Versatility through his cheery disposition and finding opportunities were challenges emerge. The AP article says, “When former press secretary Scott McClellan wrote a scathing book about Bush’s leadership, the president told his senior aides to let it go. ‘Find a way to forgive, because that’s the way to lead your life,’ White House press secretary Dana Perino remembers Bush advising her.

For any of the above presidents, their SOCIAL STYLE isn’t what lead them to become the President of the United States, it was how they used their Style to be Versatile. So next time, remember, just because someone does things differently than you, doesn’t mean that their way is wrong. They’re just different, and have developed different preferential behaviors and ways of doing things. What truly leads to success is a person’s ability to be Versatile.

Watch the Pros and Cons of Each SOCIAL STYLE Video below or learn more about SOCIAL STYLE & Versatility here.

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