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The Three Primary Determinants to Human Interaction – Part Three

The following article is from “Get Unstuck, Stay Unstuck and Do What You are

The Three Primary Determinants to Interpersonal Interaction

Individual Behaviour Model: Three Determinants Make People Do What They Do


 1.      System: Determines how everybody tends to act and react all the time

Everybody stops at a red light and so forth.

2.      Situation: Determines how most people tend to act and react most of the time

People will generally fit in with the social or team situations and so forth

3.      Self: Our Temperament – Determines how each individual tends to act and react all the time

Individual people have unique biological preferences; a default position.

All things being considered, this is how they would like their life to be.



The “Me” that is my “Situation”

In the previous two posts we analyzed the Three Determinant Behavior Model and the fist and most powerful Determinant, the System in which you find yourself.

In other words, systems tend to cause their own behavior and make everybody do what they do; stop at the red light and so forth.

Now let’s look at the second most powerful Determinant, the Situations, socially and otherwise in which we find ourselves.


The second determinant is your “Situation”.

Said succinctly, a Situation is a relationship(s) that is:

1. Intricate and ongoing (not necessarily of your own choosing, co-worker, boss, family, in-laws, child, spouse)

2. You also need something from them; in other words, you are stuck.

It is the different circumstances, issues, tasks, happenstances that determine how most people tend to act and react most of the time.

It represents the issue, task or problem in the moment; its’ affect on us and our response to it.

It is our interpretation of and our response to what is currently happening in our life.

In other words, my situation is my “Self”, what I am like except when I am not.

The fact is that is “Situations” do affect us.

They change us for the moment sometimes for a lot longer.

They represent how “most reasonable people” would tend to react most of the time, such as team, social and family situations and so forth.

It makes no sense to say that a person is always the same mode.

Unlike the “Me” that is my “Self” the “Situational” you is not a descriptions of a distinct personality style.

It is not a type or category but a description of ways in which people experience and thus perceive their immediate, specific situations.

Situations show where people are coming from in relation to the specific changes in their lives.

In other words, given the situation, sometimes we do what we or most reasonable (folks with a healthy sense of self interest and social acumen) people would or “should” do.



Your Manager and the “You” that is your “Situation”


A manager, if he wants to be really good, needs to know three things about his team and its individual members.

Is there agreement and consensus on:

1. What is the “Self”, core nature, inclinations and style of each person on his team; in a formal, experiential and judicious sense, who they really are, what are their strengths and weaknesses and what do they enjoy doing and being.

2. What is the “Situation”, the current set of circumstances they are facing as they see it.

3. What is their role in the “System”, the overarching expectations (the “What”) they feel as it relates to their individual goals, roles and resposnibilities.

A good manager will also know how they are informally and formally being rewarded and measured (the “How”).

A Leader (CEO) Does Three (Main) Things


  1. He must find a way to solve somebody’s problem(s) profitably.
  2. He must get people to help him to solve customer’s problem(s), profitably.
  3. He must predict the future better than the competition; get to the future before the future gets to him.

Otherwise, being a leader is a piece of cake.

So of course, a leader is ultimately judged or measured by how successful he was at finding a way to solve customer’s problem(s) profitably.

So let’s be clear, the ultimate and final measurement for a leader is of course profit.

But the process to accomplishing number two, getting people to help you solve customer’s problem(s).



A Good Leader Manages Two Things


Means you need to know how to manage two things:

  1. “What” people do
  2. “How” people feel

Helping people do good (being “Organized”) and helping people feel good (being “Together”) is how a group becomes really productive.

Like two intertwining strands of a rope, the better you do, the better you feel and the better you feel, the better you do and so forth.

Each Determinant has its own Language

The key word for the “Me” that is my “Self” is “I want/don’t want…” The key word for the “Me” that is my “Self” is “I should/shouldn’t…” The key word for the “Me” that is my “System” is “I can/can’t…”



Nobody Determines or Controls That Process More than the Manager


So in the second “Situation” circle the manager is primary.

Employee’s situation in the workplace is based upon their developmental level in their job, that is to say, how much competence (skill) and confidence (will) they have with respect to their current role and responsibilities.

The key here is the extent to which their immediate supervisor is able to “Situationalize” (adapt) his/her management style to where they are at in their will (how they feel) and their skill (what they you do).

Your supervisor must be able adapt to and manage what you do and how you feel on a continuous basis.



That Is Why People Don’t Quit Bad Companies; They Quit Bad Managers


The problem is of course, that managers are usually better and more comfortable with the one side of the coin than the other and tend to overdo their strengths.

What did Maslow say, if all you have in your hand is a hammer, them everything starts to look like a nail?

This is the dirty little secret, the 800 pound gorilla in the room so to speak, in management that nobody is willing to admit.

Managers tend to do what is comfortable for them, not what is right for the group.

They overdo their strengths and under-do their weaknesses.

The little dichotomous problem is of course that you should build on or primarily do what you are.

To resolve that issue, we need to stop doing ourselves in.

But how do you do that?

We need to first understand the third Determinant, the “Me” that is my “Self”.

And that is exactly what we will do in Part Four of this article.

So please do read on.

For more on this topic, we recommend the following


Get Unstuck, Stay Unstuck
and do What you are

Why People Do What They Do (In Your Organization)
and What You Can Do About It

Click Here For Video and Full Description


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