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Do you know your true work style?

Knowing how you get things done is half the battle of developing productive work habits. Take this self-scoring quiz to determine just how you measure up.

The following twenty-one questions will give you a quick and easy assessment of your preferred work style. In each case, circle the response that most closely approximates the way you really are. Choose only one response for each question. Base your response to each question on what you would do first in relation to that question. 1. If you are starting a new task at work, do you tend to:

a. find out from others how it's done.

b. imagine the final outcome.

c. focus on the first step.

d. outline all the steps before starting. 2. If you are trying to teach someone a new task and help them to

feel comfortable with it, do you:

a. have them try the first step.

b. have them talk about how they feel about the task.

c. have them imagine the outcome.

d. help them develop a plan for completing the task. 3. If you are presented with a manual of a new problem area and told

to study it, would you:

a. read it from cover to cover.

b. talk to others familiar with it as you read.

c. scan it and read the most interesting parts.

d. figure out what's most important and read that first. 4. If you and a co-worker had an argument, would you tend to:

a. ignore them and do your own work.

b. talk about your feelings with them.

c. ask them to brainstorm alternatives with you.

d. analyze the problem and decide who was right. 5. If someone you're working with is having a personal problem, do

you tend to:

a. ignore it.

b. distract them by focusing on something else.

c. talk with them about it.

d. help them solve it. 6. If you were asked to create a budget for a project, would you:

a. approximate costs.

b. develop a system for pinpointing costs.

c. find a similar budget for comparison.

d. get direct quotes from vendors. 7. If you were given responsibility for appraising the performance of

subordinates, would you:

a. complete a brief questionnaire on each one periodically.

b. hold regular meetings with them to discuss performance.

c. work with them to establish a system of appraisal.

d. implement a comprehensive performance management

system that measures every aspect of their performance. 8. If the equipment you're working with breaks down, do you:

a. try to fix it yourself.

b. ask advice from people around you.

c. call the repair shop.

d. find out if it happens often. 9. At committee meetings, do you tend to:

a. get involved in conversation.

b. observe the group.

c. maintain order.

d. focus the group's attention on the problem at hand. 10. If the committee you're working on is not getting the job done, do

you tend to:

a. stop showing up.

b. get the group to rethink the task.

c. suggest a new approach to solving the problem.

d. discuss the group's process and its impact on the completion

of the task.

11. Given the choice of working alone or on a team, would you:

a. choose to work alone.

b. talk to potential teammates to get a feel for their attitudes

before deciding.

c. choose to work on a team.

d. examine the backgrounds of potential teammates before


12. If your boss suddenly took ill, would you:

a. keep doing what you were doing.

b. see how others felt about it.

c. offer to follow through on his/her projects.

d. get people to volunteer to help on projects. 13. If your organization was suddenly bought out or incorporated into

a larger organization, would you:

a. outline a plan for how they could use you.

b. begin talking with the new bosses about your role.

c. continue doing good work.

d. think about options for you in the new organization. 14. If you were asked to describe what your responsibilities are to

new management, would you:

a. give them a formal report.

b. talk with them about it informally.

c. show them.

d. ask them to complete an assignment typical of yours. 15. If you were asked to join a union, would you:

a. find out what others think about it.

b. ask to see its track record.

c. ask about the benefits.

d. ask to be a guest at a union meeting. 16. If you were interviewing someone for a position in your

organization, would you tend to focus on their:

a. style of interaction.

b. prior experience.

c. problem-solving skills.

d. understanding of themselves. 17. If you were forced to fire someone, would you focus first on:

a. getting them the best-possible severance package.

b. making sure they had plenty of personal support.

c. helping them figure out what to do next.

d. making sure you've carefully documented the process. 18. When faced with an unreasonable deadline, do you tend to:

a. talk about it to relieve the pressure.

b. do as much as you can as quickly as you can.

c. try to find a quicker way to do the task.

d. ask others to help. 19. If you were to start your own business, would you:

a. thoroughly research the field first.

b. start small and build up.

c. focus on promotion and marketing.

d. find a unique market niche and dive in. 20. If you were suddenly fired, would you:

a. immediately start looking for new work.

b. talk the situation over with your boss.

c. brainstorm possible options.

d. retrace the steps leading up to it to see if the damage could

be undone.

21. When answering questionnaires such as this one, do you tend to:

a. choose the response that feels right.

b. finish as quickly as possible.

c. look for a pattern to the response sequence.

d. try to figure out what it all means.


To determine your preferred work style, circle the response you gave for each question. Next, add the number of responses for each column. Your highest score indicates your preferred style.
Question Interactive Practical Creative Methodical
 1 A C B D
 2 B A C D
 3 B D C A
 4 B A C D
 5 C A B D
 6 A D C B
 7 B A C D
 8 B C A D
 9 A D B C
 10 D A B C
 11 B A C D
 12 B A D C
 13 B C D A
 14 B C D A
 15 A C D B
 16 A C D B
 17 B A C D
 18 A B D C
 19 D B C A
 20 B A C D
 21 A B D C

Score Analysis: A high score in any one column (8 or above) means that this style is a strong preference. Two close scores or a tie indicates a strong secondary style as well as a primary style. To break a tie, read the descriptions in the Style Explanation Chart and see which of the two styles best fits the way you operate.


The assessment questionnaire is a tool for understanding your behavior at work. It is one of several models based on research in learning styles conducted by David Kolb at Case Western Reserve University. Although these various models differ in scope and perspective, there are a few things to keep in mind about them all:

* No style is inherently better than any other.

* Each style has its strengths and weaknesses.

* Though we all use all the styles to varying degrees, each of us has

a preferred style.

Now, keeping these points in mind, take a few minutes to read about your preferred style on the Preferred Style Explanation Chart.


The concept of preferred work style has many implications. The one that is most relevant here concerns matching your job/role with your preferred style. People engaged in work that does not allow them to use their preferred style to a reasonable degree generally become very frustrated. In addition, there are important implications for work relationships and organizational success.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Earl G. Graves Publishing Co., Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:B.E. Quiz
Author:Yeager, Neil
Publication:Black Enterprise
Date:Feb 1, 1992
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