Creating Good Characters – Personality (Compliance)

For the past few weeks I have been sharing occasionally what I’ve learned from personal research and the ebook Four Secrets to Liking Your Work, part of the Career Survival Kit Collection, specifically, how it helps me develop my characters. Today’s post is the last of four on personality: Compliance.

So far, I’ve talked about the two types of personalities with assertive approaches, Dominance (task focused) and Influence (people focused), and one type of personality with a reflective approach, the Steadiness personality (people + reflective).  Like Steadiness, the Compliance personality is reflective, meaning it is more likely to adapt to something rather than change it.  Steadiness, however, is task focused.

Those with the Compliance personality are cool-headed and patient, restrained and mature, accurate, conscientious, and analytical. They are perfectionists with very high standards. They are diplomatic and very polite.  They are rules followers and enforcers who like clear boundaries, guidelines, and expectations. They are thorough problem solvers giving attention to the details. They enjoy technical work and appreciation for their quality and accuracy. They usually have a dry wit.

Weaknesses of this personality include being overly critical of not only others but themselves. They will agonize over their own mistakes. Sometimes they can be indecisive since they don’t feel like they’ve gathered enough facts.  They also get defensive when questioned, taking criticism as a personal attack on their abilities and integrity. Under extreme stress, they react with emotional attacks. And though they have the discipline to develop extremely creative skills, they are often hampered in their creativity by their need to follow the rules.

Mannerisms of High-C people include fast walking with minor adjustments to barely avoid obstacles at the last moment. When talking to someone, they rarely directly face them, but rather stand at an angle with arms crossed and grasping their chin (they like to touch their face a lot). While sitting, they sit all sorts of directions and cross their legs with little or no movement. To blow off steam they like quiet time to think and reflect.

High-C’s best connect on a personal level with Steadies and other Complaints. They can’t stand Dominants, whose direct style and desire for quick results clashes spectacularly with the High-C personality.  They don’t connect well with Influencers either for their direct style and lack of appreciation for anything orderly or accurate. For many of the same reasons they don’t work well with Dominants, though they tend to work better with Influencers than anyone else – possibly since they can help organize them.

For writers, using High-C’s are easier than others.  As I mentioned last time, most authors are reflective rather than assertive. Many writers are High-C, especially non-fiction authors. As with High-S’s, since it is easier to relate to High-C’s we tend to overly portray this type of character.  And that can be a problem since only 8% of the U.S. population are High-C’s.  Also, we tend to infuse High-C traits in other personalities, when that might not be realistic.

Question: What are your thoughts about the High-C personality?


P.S.  If you are interested in taking a DISC profile, here is one I recommend… look for “48 Days Profiles”.

About EDC

EDC is an award-winning author with a passion for telling imaginative stories resonating with universal truths. His latest novel, Runaway, is a futuristic action/adventure inspired by the book of Philemon. EDC was born in Georgia, growing up in the suburbs of Atlanta, where he now lives with his wife, Amy, and daughter, Emma. Besides writing and being employed as an analyst in the airline industry, he has worked as a volunteer with youth, church planting, and Compassion International. He enjoys landscape gardening, listening to alternative rock, and playing the swordfight game on Wii Sports Resort.
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2 Responses to Creating Good Characters – Personality (Compliance)

  1. hawleywood40 says:

    I really enjoyed this series – I’ve always loved personality theories and typing (my favorite has always been MBTI, so this was something new and different!

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