Style of Influence™ is the convergence of personal, relational and organizational life dynamics. It is not a measurement of what you know or what you believe, but how you will act… it is best defined as ‘inherent traits that motivate actions’.
The SOI identifies “Your Style”. The convergence of your Personal, Relational and Organizational behaviors and reveals how these behaviors impact your life and those around you. This is the exciting part of self discovery: Seeing all that you are and all that you can be.
To identify and understand your unique “Style”, the Style of Influence™ Assessment surveys four key behaviors that are consistent indicators of influencing characteristics. Once the “style characteristics” are identified, the information is statistically combined and interpreted as an influencing pattern, which reliability studies have proven to be highly consistent. These characteristics identify a baseline of behavioral drives within the person… they are not the only such characteristics within the personality but they are highly valid ones that tend to show themselves whenever the person engages, or influences, others.
The “You and Your Style” Report presents a framework that defines what people need or desire from one another. The results bring greater understanding and the possibility that communication, from them and back to them, becomes more effective. Our intent, and the word choices we make, in interacting with others is driven by the factors measured by the Style of Influence™ Assessment. The insights gained from the “You and Your Style” Report help people to realize a joyful, productive role in life… one in which their primary responsibilities can be more effectively centered around their primary behaviors.
There are three bases from which our personal influencing behaviors flow. The SOI primarily measures the influencing behaviors related to our Inherent Traits. We influence with:
Experiential Knowledge: Things we have experienced and data we have collected, of which we are consciously aware.
Personal Maturity: Moral, ethical, or value-driven equations through which we assess, determine, and evaluate.
Inherent Traits: thoughts, beliefs, actions and desires that emerge from our personality and behavioral aptitudes.
It is important to note, each of the bases can be overridden when the other two “gang up” on it and shut it down.
You are 100% of each of the four scales. For instance, you are 100% Cognitive because you hear and consider data and facts. How you process them is your “default behavior” and the SOI identifies that through analysis of your questionnaire responses. The SOI takes your individual scores, in pie chart form, and converts them to a graph to identify your overall “line”… the compilation of your four individual scale scores.
Your score, based on your questionnaire analysis, identifies your default behavior in each of four scales.
The assessment measures each influencing behavior relative to the other influencing behaviors to present a true 360 view of your Style of Influence™.
Answers to the SOI questionnaire are analyzed and given a numerical value which is then translated into a percentage score. The primary behavior identified by the score is then placed on the scale and will fall into one of five segments. The segments, with their associated breakpoints, have been developed through the analysis of thousands of profiles over the past twenty-five years.
The “You and Your Style” Report you will receive gives great depth to your individual segment scores on each of the four scales. Collectively, your scores are placed on your graph and form a line which identifies your overall “Profile”. A description is given to identify the default behaviors associated with your Profile and your “Positive Strengths” and “Negative Potentials” are identified in bullet-points.
When you have completed the Style of Influence™ Questionnaire you will receive two Reports:
“Snapshot” – 3-page summary Report
“You and Your Style” – 15-page detailed Report of your Profile
The SOI questionnaire quantifies four different, natural constructs of influence and a person’s particular style mix. Because all three elements of the HRD model described above are interdependent, the SOI also helps to determine character to a degree. The SOI’s ability to asses character is due to the fact that one of the key measures of character is self-restraint, thus the test clearly identifies what unrestrained behavior looks like. If the person acts according to the negative potentials of their SOI profile, then they are rarely exercising self-restraint and good character. The SOI’s usage in training is to help people identify how to use their native aptitudes to the best advantage of the company. In addition to providing insight into the character of the person the SOI gives the Wired Within professional direct information about the skills that need to be developed in the employee because even with this inference to the character area the SOI is still primarily a Role/Aptitude behavior defining tool.
One of the tests used by Wired Within is the Style of Influence (SOI) Questionnaire. Dr. Doug Wilson developed it primarily, with some assistance from Dr. Gene Getz, as part of Wilson’s PhD studies. After completing the research study and the assessment tool, both doctors continued their respective careers, giving little time or effort to the development of the tool. Although both men knew the technical soundness of the test, it simply was not part of the core efforts of either man.
Dr. Getz, however, an author of over 40 books himself, proceeded to produce and sell the test booklets in their original form for over 15 years. Slowly, and in spite of little promotion, the use of the questionnaire continued to expand and impact people. Subsequently, Vinny Gerace, a business consultant who had studied under Dr. Getz became interested in the test. He obtained a license to work with the test and initially began offering it to the business community. After utilizing it in this application for many years, Gerace had overlap with clients using the constructs and understanding also in their personal relationships outside of work.
The last “count” viewed in print from a valid source stated there were over 1200 tests of some type claiming to measure or predict human behavior so the question is simply “Why do you use this one”?
Of the 1200+ tests out there less than 100 make ANY claim to be scientifically valid and less than 20 have had enough secondary research to validate or challenge the findings of the original creators. The SOI is one of these 20. Most of the SOI’s competitors are trying to define human behavior by the “content” of our choices. The SOI whose origins are of a sociological bent comes from a perspective of HOW those choices work themselves out in behaviors and how those behaviors are perceived and reacted to by others. In addition the SOI looks at the influence those behaviors have on the “work” that a person or group accomplishes and the manner (style) in which that work is accomplished. Ease of understanding and the longevity of use are two of the greatest hallmarks of the SOI information. The efficacy of the information gained through any of these tools comes down to these two factors. Because the SOI is based in “observable behavior” not psychological theory people find it memorable and useful in the work environment. In short it is a “work describing” tool designed to measure “work dynamics” for the “work environment”.
The SOI is comprised of 84 questions. The questions are meant to be answered instinctively and quickly. It takes approximately 5-10 minutes to fill out the questionnaire electronically using the link we provide after you purchase the test. Each question relates to a scale (described below) and each answer corresponds to a value on that scale. Through a simple method of calculation, each scale produces a Raw Score. This Raw Score is ranked against the statistical information of the SOI and translated into a percentage. Because each scale has two opposing values, this percentage represents a mixture of the opposing values at either end of the scale.
Having the questionnaire results is only the tip of the iceberg. Our desire is to see the information be of significant value to a person in reshaping the environment and the expectations that surround him or her. The best way to do this is to gather people together and talk about the way they see the described behaviors effecting the person or group. When these behaviors have been explored and consensus is reached concerning differing needs and desires, misunderstanding decreases and the value for what people DO produce increases. When a person takes the test and receives a report via e-mail, he or she should seriously consider discussing the content with a group of peers, friends or family members.
All natural aptitudes must still be trained. The discovery of a design-based skill still necessitates cultivation for proper use in a group of people. The maximizing of this human potential is an effort that the leader, group, and individual should all be focused on achieving. Building positive behaviors is a matter of inspiration and incentive, modeling and teaching, and positively and negatively reinforced accountability – all of which exist with any group involved in an achievement process together.
Join our membership to have access to our library of teaching and training that explains how to apply this information and how to use it within yourself, a team environment, a family or a business. If you need further or more individualized training or group training, we can take it one step further.
In the best of situations a person can call Wired Within and speak to a consultant about their SOI (or how multiple SOI impact each other) or a team dynamics seminar can be held to bring these styles to light for a whole group.
Wired Within advises individuals and groups in the ways they can capitalize on the SOI discussion to maximize the positive potential of each team member. This training is available to a manager looking to improve team performance or a leader looking to better their impact with the organization. Through Wired Within’s consulting services these insights can be gained and plans can be forged to improve their organization and the individual’s satisfaction with their role.
You are going to measure the “default” influencing behaviors of people. The SOI does this on four measurement scales. It also has a motivational distortion scale that measures any bias (negative or positive) that a person may have toward themselves and/or the world around them. Each of the four measurement scales is made up of two opposing values; one at the top and one at the bottom. Correspondingly, each score is made up of both values; a score of 50% would be an equal mix of both values. For the sake of simplicity each score is presented in only one (the value at the top of the scale) of the two values. There are no distinct advantages to the upper values as can be seen in the Scale Descriptions below. However, the higher scale values are more proactively used and resistant to outside stimulus while the lower scale values tend to be more responsive to outside stimulus and wait for the opportunity to be expressed.
The scale also measures positive and negative bias. A score that shows a negative bias would indicate that the person might be in personal distress, have a poor self-perception, or they may believe that the world is a critical or harsh place. Regardless of why there is a negative bias, it indicates that the person’s scores on the other four scales may be accentuated toward the negative end of the scale. The negative end of the scale is whichever end of the scale the person feels it is least good to be. For example: If a negatively biased person believes it is good to be freedom oriented (indicated at the bottom of the Detail scale) and bad to be controlled (the top of the Detail scale) then their score will be accentuated toward the control end (the top) of the Detail scale. Positively Biased people will work in the same way except their scores will be accentuated toward the end of the scale they value as good or positive.
Measures how emotionally empathetic or insulated a person is to the non-rational input and influence of the emotions in the environment around them. It does not measure the sociability, compassion, nature, or volume of emotions that a person has. It only measures how much their emotions are affected by the emotions around them and how oriented they are to that input. The high empathy person is likely to respond to others emotional needs because they themselves are personally impacted by the emotions of others. The value of this personal impact on those around them is constantly measured and evaluated, creating behavior that is designed not to cause emotional disturbance. Non-rational impact, or any of a wide range of emotions, has a key role in the decision making process, causing the highly relational person to act in a way that builds non-rational commitment to themselves or others. People with low relational scores may have an equal cognitive understanding of emotional impact on people, but they do not weight it the same in their decision making process. Lower relational people tend to see things from a position of emotional detachment; this allows them a freedom to act for the benefit of an idea, a goal or a process apart from the people involved with it. When misused, the high relational person becomes manipulative and the low relational person can be emotionally abusive.
Measures how abstractly or concretely one ingests, processes, and expresses ideas. It does not measure intelligence, communication ability, or creativity, it only measures the form that ideas will most often take when being understood and expressed. An “abstract” person understands the value of an idea intuitively from a principle or value driven perspective, because of this he or she is more likely to grasp how one idea can affect another, changing the meaning of both. The “concrete” person understands the value of an idea on a practical or pragmatic level, therefore, they are more likely to understand the real or physical world expression of an idea and how the actions associated with that idea will impact other actions. Both values are equally important and each has a distinct advantage over the other. If misused, both are equally destructive.
Measures a person’s affinity for the level of control that they will likely maintain over the physical environment around them through their own abilities. This is opposed to the orientation toward freedom, delegation of details, chaos, and independence from ongoing task responsibility that one may have. Those who are high on this scale require order in their world and can become quite disturbed by disorganized and unaccounted for details. Those who are low on this scale are actually more comfortable in a chaotic environment, where little is defined and organized. They tend to be outstanding project-oriented leaders. This scale does not measure skill in organizing but it does measure, in part, a preference for maintaining organization.
Measures how closure/task vs. process/people minded a person is while engaged in any activity. The scale does not present a person’s work ethic or how strong their will is, nor does it measure ability to lead; it only measures how externally or internally expressive or how active or responsive their will is to the will of others engaged in the achievement process with them. People with high goal scores feel tremendous internal pressure to close on the goal. The work does not necessarily have to be complete, but it does have to become someone else’s responsibility. Because of this, they tend to take and wield authority readily, and when authority is ambiguous, they will tend to define it, giving to them adequate authority to direct the people involved. Those who score low on this scale tend to abdicate their goals for the goals of others and therefore seem more responsive. Although they are just as strong willed as others, those who score lower on this scale tend to reserve their strongest expressions of will for themselves and can be more self determining than those who are higher on this scale.
A person with a high Cognitive Scale score is very abstract and may listen to concrete people with an air of arrogance and/or impatience. This is because abstract people spend a great deal of effort taking what seems like random action and building sophisticated philosophies about why certain events did/had to/were supposed to happen. They create meaning for actions and tend to be very creative in the process. Concrete people speak according to time tested methods and they talk about HOW things get done not WHY. Therefore, communication between people with scores on opposite ends of the scale may be misunderstood. For example, when a more concrete person speaks to someone more abstract, the abstract person may feel frustration, almost as though the concrete speaker were thinking him or her unaware of the simplest things.
A person with a high Relational Scale score is very empathetic, meaning they actually feel the same emotions you are feeling. Therefore, they have a vested interest in you having happy, kind, generous emotions since that is what they would then experience. People from the insulated, or lower, end of the scale act according to the principle of emotional freedom, which means if you have an emotion you should feel free to express it according to its level of intensity. Obviously, if they express something freely that creates bad feelings in others the high relational scorer may see that as harsh or insensitive.
A person with a high Goal Achievement Scale score is very driven for closure, meaning they will push themselves and others to get the objective completed. Therefore, they feel comfortable giving directives to others and they tend to think beyond the set of resources that they have personally. They are personally excited about achievement and expect others to be excited about it as well. People at the other end of the scale tend to think in terms of processes and roles. They tend to define what can be done in terms of what they can do themselves. It is not excitement that they feel toward the goal, it is a sense of responsibility. Those with a higher goal achievement score will tend to rearrange priorities and assume they have the right to absorb the time and resources of others. Although they often use motivational tactics to get others to contribute to their achievement efforts, those at the other end of the scale don’t tend to respond well to this and could seem unresponsive. Since those at the low end of this scale are not motivated by the vision, this might cause the high goal person to see them as resistant to leadership or as an unproductive team member. Although this type of reaction does happen, most of the time, conflict on this particular scale comes from those with similar scores, not different ones. This is the only scale on which, as a rule, similarity will cause more conflict than difference. Two high goal scores will compete for resources, time, energy, and focus of a group of people. Two people with high goal scores will compete for dominance, consciously or unconsciously.
A person with a high Detail Scale score is very controlling of task details and has a high desire for perfection. Therefore, people who are more chaos oriented can be seen as bringing disorder to the high detail person’s life. A person with higher detail than another will think the other is unorganized, with unfocused and sloppy habits. Because the high detail person cannot abide the disorder, he or she will find themselves finishing tasks started by the lower detail person. This will be particularly irritating to the person who is responsibility oriented (low goal score), because it hinders them from achieving excellence in their own endeavors by taking up time and energy.
A person who is on the low end of the Cognitive scale is described as concrete, meaning they think about the present, and are always thinking about how to get things done. When the Concrete person listens to the abstract person they will often have an impatient reaction. This impatience stems from a seeming lack of process in the large volume of words produced by the abstract speaker. Basically, they wonder when the abstract speaker will get to the main point; to the concrete person, there is no reason for excess words. In the interest of efficiency, they tend to believe that meetings are not good places to make decisions, but only places to communicate those decisions.
A person with a low Relational Scale score is very freedom oriented and when they look at people at the high end of the scale they see people who are too sensitive. They see people who change emotions to match the dominant emotion that is being expressed. To them, people on the high end of the scale seem emotionally weak.
A person with a low Goal Achievement Scale score is driven by the responsibility of their role in the process of achieving the larger goal; they see and understand the processes that make up the main goal better than they understand the main goal itself. Therefore, when a high closure, high goal achievement person starts rearranging priorities, as discussed above, the person on the lower end of the scale feels that they are being pushed. This, in turn, appears as though they are apathetic to the person who is higher on the scale.
A person with a low Detail Scale score is very chaos oriented, meaning they are drawn to what is broken, unorganized, and inefficient. They tend to be more project-oriented; they like tasks that are short term in nature and tasks in which the finished product can be visualized in their minds before they begin. The high control person wants every step to be clear in the process of achievement, while the low detail person might think that behavior is unnecessarily controlling.
Wired Within uses the Style of Influence (SOI) questionnaire and it’s You and Your Style Report because in researching thousands of tests we found that the way Dr.’s Getz and Wilson produced their questionnaire was an exemplary model of good psychological and statistical practices. The SOI has “Internal Reliability” ratings that are in the high to excellent range within the Psychometric testing industry; it has Alpha scores (Cronbach’s Alpha was used as a criterion) ranging from .82 to .87 on the four scales. Scores over .8 are considered “very high” by industry standards (for reference a 1.0 would represent a “perfect” correlation to reality). While some popular tests on the market will get rating this good for 1 or 2 scales the SOI scales are ALL in the “very high” category. The SOI also has “Construct Validity”. Through standard practices of evaluation (convergent and divergent methodologies were used) the similar trait ratings converged with given scale scores and different trait ratings diverged from the same scales scores. All deviation ratings were significant at the .05 level or less, demonstrating that each scale does have very high construct validity.
Due to the advent of computers and the internet the number of assessments that can hit “good” statistical numbers is growing so we also looked at how the SOI handled the writing of descriptions. Many assessment producers today work to get their scales accurate and then fall back to anecdotal information to produce the actual materials and descriptions released to the public in their trainings and documents. However, to produce an exemplary assessment, the results must correlate to more than a theory or a scale, they must correlate to an observable reality. Call us picky, but we are looking for something that can be seen, heard, touched, and tangibly validated. ALL the assessments we endorse meet this criteria; including the SOI. In fact, the SOI behavioral descriptions were validated in a tertiary level study of 600 people on 5 subject matters, where each person was evaluated by 3 independent assessors, who were in turn each evaluated by 2 other assessors in order to eliminate bias from the direct observation reporting. Through this study the actual words in your report and the content of your trainings were validated! In an age when agencies will promote a test based on statistic only the behavioral study of the SOI correlated all 5 subject matters of the training materials and reports to tangible observable behaviors with 95% accuracy or higher, in addition to the statistical work done on the scales. Due to this tangible behavioral confirmation, Wired Within would consider the SOI an exemplary assessment.
You may be tempted to draw conclusions which this report is not designed to make. This could happen in the areas of judgment, limitations or irresponsibility.
Judgment can happen if you somehow miss the point that all scores have both positive and negative behaviors attached. Due to his fact we want to reiterate, no Score is any better or worse than any other score, nor is any profile better or worse than any other profile.
Limiting people by creating a “behavioral caricature” is also a negative outcome. When people say, “let’s leave them out of the planning meeting, they are just a big picture person”, they characterize by exaggerating the behavior identified in the person’s SOI. This is not only unfortunate but also untrue. The SOI identifies general patterns of behavior that, by conscious effort, can be adjusted temporarily to perform a function.
Irresponsibility challenges sound something like this, “Well, I guess I don’t have to fill out the paper work anymore because I am low detail.” Knowing your attributes of behavior does not change your role or responsibilities and while we encourage alignment of these attributes to your role, we do not excuse a lack of performance by them.
At some point in promoting the SOI either internally in a company or externally to a client you will be asked to explain a specific statement from an SOI report or you will be asked to explain a person’s SOI to them. Here are a few tips to remember.
You must understand your bias. We will have a bias toward the behaviors that comes from our SOI line and we must remember that people with different education (practical and academic) from us can fill roles in an organization much different from ours that we might not even like even though they have the same SOI as we do. In addition not everyone with an SOI like ours would flourish in the role we flourish in due to these other factors.
Knowing what the SOI says about the person you can watch for “best” and “worst” behaviors from the person. People who are mature will (even under pressure) manifest mature behaviors from their SOI scores. Immature people will manifest “worst case” behaviors and attitudes from their SOI even when not directly challenged. Understanding the character level of those you are dealing with will help you understand what to say. Immaturity is rarely self-disclosing (unless it is indiscriminately so). Immature people tend toward secrecy and can be enamored with the idea of having “secret” or “hidden” knowledge. Maturity will protect from this sort of behavior by setting limits to access information or creating an atmosphere where information such as this can’t be used as a weapon. In either case we need to be moving the people toward the mature reasonable position of controlled “openness” and non-judgmental atmosphere.
We are showing people that they are different without making that difference “wrong” and without making that difference “god like” either. Overly positive or overly negative reactions to behavioral descriptions need to be tempered. Wired Within’s objective is a better understanding of the dynamics between these behaviors – this necessitates reasoned judgment not egotistical pride or depressed self esteem. Your involvement in sharing any SOI information will be to prepare the receivers of the information to be mature and reasonable about the information and to temper wild expectations. The SOI is not a crystal ball nor is it a baseless horoscope. It is in-depth psychometric information that can be used to benefit both the individual and the company.
Much of the discussion concerning SOI results comes back to understanding others through our own subjective “style”. This human element cannot be completely removed from reactions to people and circumstances, nor would we want it to be. However, all these reactions need to have their destructive and unproductive potentials controlled and their positive up-building elements strengthened. In light of this, we must attempt to separate perception from reality in order to recognize when we are being led astray by our own perceptions. Therefore, it is profitable to hear the stereotypical unproductive reactions from the opposite ends of each scale. This is not saying that people who score at the ends of the scale will say such things, only that these reactions will sound something like what is described. Because all people like to believe in the rightness of their own subjective reactions, the more two scores move toward each other the easier it is to accept the thinking of the other person. People whose scores are close together tend to agree quickly, however, this obviously does not mean they are right, it just means they agree.