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How The “Tightrope Walker” Personality Type Deals With Career Change

Background:

The circus Tightrope Walker defies danger and death itself, walking carefully on a thin wire from one side of the tent to the other. Even with the added burden of props – sometimes even other high-wire artists on his back! – a talented Tightrope Walker knows that a very slow and cautious speed is the key. Close attention to every detail diminishes the likelihood of disaster.

The Tightrope Walker Personality:

Tightrope Walkers are skeptics by nature. They’ve had to find balance on some very thin lines over the years, and desire hard facts to support any kind of change to what already works. They must firmly plant each step before considering the next.

How The Tightrope Walker Deals With Change:

For the Tightrope Walker, the devil is always in the details! These individuals will move toward change only if they thoroughly understand all the implications of it. Tightrope Walkers will always prefer rolling out a complex plan in stages so that it can be checked along the way.

They always ask why a change is happening and insist on straight answers. They won’t be swayed by a supervisor’s expression of hope or inspiration. Even the blind faith of coworkers will not be persuasive. Facts and details are what work for the Tightrope Walker.

Knowing that, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Tightrope Walkers resist change that is happening fast. They may even take steps to slow things down so they have time to define and digest the details of the situation. This sometimes manifests in their being divisive in a team setting, especially if they do not have all the details, much less the time they want to mentally process the proposed changes. If not given both, they will often challenge the situation and the people bringing rapid change into their lives.

When Confronted With Unexpected Change, Tightrope Walkers Are Likely To:

THINK: “I’m really skeptical this change is right.”

SAY: “Why is this change so important? I need more details about why this is happening.”

DO: Gather information.

The speed with which they process most changes: Slow.

When faced with RISK, they will: Gather facts to control the situation and then “test” the convictions and logic of the person driving the change.

How Managers Can Utilize And Encourage Tightrope Walkers:

You have to give Tightrope Walkers every bit of information and detail that you can. Details equal empowerment for this personality. And as was the case with the Juggler, give them time to process before expecting action. In doing so, you’ll create a “safety net” of detail and time under the Tightrope Walker, getting them to venture one step at a time. By creating the net, you’ve provided assurance, allowing them to rethink any step that doesn’t work out as planned, and thereby minimizing their risk.