Gretchen Rubin

The Four Tendencies

The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin

Fast Company named The Four Tendencies one of the Top Business and Leadership Books of 2017. The book describes the culmination of work from years of Gretchen Rubin's efforts to understand a profound question, "How do I respond to expectations?"  She discovered through upwards of 1 million personality survey responses that people tend to fit into one of four Tendencies: Upholder, Obliger, Questioner, and Rebel.

“The happiest, most successful people are those that have figured out how to exploit their Tendency to their benefit.”

— Gretchen Rubin

Rubin argues that she has uncovered a definitive framework specific to understanding a person’s tendency when responding to expectations. She makes an important distinction that expectations differ from motivation and desires, because desires do not necessarily compel action.  It’s a nuanced aspect of a person’s thought and behavior pattern, but an important one.

UPHOLDERS want to know what should be done, they value self-command and performance

QUESTIONERS want justification, they value purpose

OBLIGERS need accountability, they value teamwork and duty

REBELS want freedom to do something their own way, they value self-identity

We are quite taken with this approach to understanding how people respond to expectations and would encourage you to check our our article in Tangents: Using the Four Tendencies to Maximize Customer Research to see how we are applying the framework to customer research.

So for you Upholders - Get this checked off your list and sign up for a call with us.

For you Questioners - Let's discuss a customized approach that works for your project's goals.

For you Obligers -  Be the role model for your company by setting up some face time with our team.

For you Rebels - If you want to challenge the status quo, we're here to help you make it happen.