Did you know that max 1/3 of all other people behave exactly like you under pressure? So I can guarantee you the majority will behave differently, but how and why? And what does that actually depend on? If you are responsible for change, these are enormously important questions. If you make the wrong assumptions at the beginning of the transformation, you will only achieve partial success with your efforts. If you want to shape the adaptation process for everyone, you have to keep 4 important dimensions in mind! We will look at how you can do this now!

Do you know your personal behavioural preference?

Perhaps you have also noticed this in yourself at some point: You have a certain way of doing your routine work, but under pressure you suddenly work differently. Maybe the pressure makes you focus better and work more efficiently - maybe the pressure hinders your concentration and you get headaches, become slower.

Each of us deals with change a little differently. Depending on what is important to us, where our strengths lie, what enhances our abilities and what experiences we have already had. Our brain is trained to keep us at our optimum. Every change is therefore first a danger and potential aggravation and is actively fought against by our brain. The effective way to change is therefore only by addressing the "door openers" that are crucial for our brain. But which are these?

Studies related to the PRISM System for the identification of behavioural preferenceshave shown that essentially, we have four different behavioural profiles: Power, versatility, precision and adaptability.
Different needs are associated with each of these profiles, which means that our brain reacts to different "door openers" depending on the profile.

If our behavioural preference is performancethen we are direct, determined, strong-willed and results-oriented. We are convinced by logic, not by emotion. To become active in change, we need the picture of the whole and a good reason. Then we approach change in a task-oriented way. But the PRISM studies have shown: Only 12& of us have 12% this preference.

Bist Du vom Typ her kontaktfreudig, lebhaft, optimistisch und überzeugend, dann präferierst Du vermutlich Vielseitigkeit. Für Dich ist das Bild vom großen Ganzen ebenso relevant, wie die Beziehungen zu andern Menschen. Dir sind die persönlichen Ideen und Geschichten anderer in dieser Veränderung wichtig. Du willst wissen, wie der Change Deine Arbeit mit anderen verbessern und Spaß machen kann. Laut PRISM-Studien haben 33% von uns dieses Präferenzprofil.

Another 33% choose adaptability as their behavioural strategy. They are balanced, helpful and tactful. Their behaviour is based on relationships with other people and on data. They need to know how they can facilitate change for others in a concrete way. And they need data. Data helps them verify the meaning and likelihood of success of the new behaviour and contribute effectively.

And finally, 22% of us choose precision as our behavioural strategy. These are often analytical, cautious and systematic people who are both data-driven and task-driven. They tend to reject change initially until presented with a good, data-based reason to advocate that change. They will actively participate if they are given a clear role description and mutual expectations are clarified. They reject faits accomplis.

Was heißt das jetzt für Deine blinden Flecken im Stakeholder Management?

It is important to know your own preference profile so that you can identify what things would not normally be important to you. THESE are your blind spots, because they are important for others. If we as leaders or change enablers lead and implement this change, for example, through performance, i.e. purely rational and task-focused, we will not reach 88% of our employees and colleagues! Their brains will not be open to this approach. With the preference for high performers, we would intuitively disregard the relationship level and the detail level because we do not need it. So these are our blind spots!

Deine Strategie gegen blinde Flecken im Stakeholder Management: Bewusst alle 4 Präferenzprofile bedienen!

  1. Create the image of the big picture! 45% of people need to see the big picture and understand the context in order to change. Make sure you can explain the big picture and give more context when needed! It is important that you know the history of your stakeholders and the reasons for the upcoming changes. Explain the background! Where does the need for change come from? What is the goal? How will it make everyone's work easier or better? What role do your stakeholders play in it? If you are missing something, then ask your stakeholders directly and actively involve them. This way you make sure that everyone can see the connection between their tasks and the big picture!
  2. Pay attention to the effects on the relationship level! Relationships with others are particularly important to 66% of people. Losing or changing them scares them. Keep an eye on the relationship level between the stakeholders. Personal sympathies can also play an important role here. Consider how the change might affect contacts and cooperation. Find out which relationships are important to your stakeholders and why! Ask your stakeholders to help shape the best possible collaboration in and after the change. Strengthen relationships and collaboration where possible!
  3. Make data available! 55% of the people around you base their actions on data. Data can strengthen confidence in the project and provide security and orientation during implementation. Explain which indicators would prove a positive change and use them again and again during the change process to strengthen the connection to the goal and build trust. And make sure that your stakeholders have access to this data. If necessary, establish additional values or KPIs against which you can measure the progress of your change initiative. They should be suitable to prove the effect of the change activities and further strengthen trust in the initiative.
  4. Plan tasks in detail! 34% of people prefer to approach change in a task-oriented way. Therefore, make sure to give all stakeholders a framework in which they can actively participate. For some, "creative processes" are too non-specific and rather scary. They have a need for more structure. A timetable and detailed tasks provide orientation and security here. Find a way to also provide the creative processes with sub-goals and show how initial results are to be further processed and tested. Involve your stakeholders in defining and formulating the tasks. In this way you will achieve a sustainable action plan and prevent misunderstandings. Priorities and dependencies can be discussed and mastered together.


Consciously serving the four areas of need helps you to think beyond your own change management strategy and avoid blind spots.
The performance-oriented stakeholders will appreciate it if you keep referencing the big picture alongside the details and enable them to contribute at the right time. This can be training or a specific assignment and scope of action at the right time. Versatility-oriented stakeholders are interested in the effects on the system as a whole. It is important for them to look at the changes from the user perspective. They want to understand how individual actors work together to bring about change. Stakeholders who focus on adaptability don't need the big picture as much as concrete information about the impact on their own activities. Any functionalities or short-cuts that can be gained through change are particularly interesting for these stakeholders and can activate this group. Stakeholders who approach change through precision need to know that everything has a solid foundation, is well planned and will be followed through. Especially in large transformations, where new ideas are just developing, it is important to pay attention to the solid foundations: why this is being initiated, what effect is desired and what examples or experiences have inspired this initiative. A regular review of the positive effects - qualitative or quantitative - also provides orientation and security in a creative process.

Links to helpful tools or downloads

You can find out more about the psychometric test procedure for determining personality types here: https://www.surepeople.com/community/blog/2018/06/13/surepeople-prism-psychometric-testing/

The research that led to this approach can be found here:

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