How we change what others think, feel, believe and do

| Menu | Quick | Books | Share | Search | Settings |

Control-Identity types


Explanations > Preferences > Control-Identity types

Leader | Follower | Independent | Drifter | Balanced | So what?


People typically get their sense of control in one of two ways:

  • Taking control, 'driving the car', being in charge.
  • Ceding control, 'trusting the driver', letting others take control.

They may get their sense of identity in two ways:

  • By themselves, from internal processes.
  • From others, being recognized, belonging.

Depending on preferences for how people get their sense of control and sense of identity, they may fall into four different types.



(taking controlling)



(I define myself)








(Others define me)


(ceding control)




Leaders like others to look up to them and like to be in charge. At parties they are the 'life and soul' and are typically surrounded by others as they hold court. They may be social leaders, work managers or both.


Followers need recognition from others, but do so by ceding control and trusting that leaders will help them succeed. In parties, they circulate and chat, happily listening or talking, enjoying the company of others. At work, they are good team players and contribute to overall business success.


Independents are fiercely their own people. They go their own way and do their own thing. At parties, they may listen and argue, not really caring whether people agree with them. They may also stand confidently to the side watching the proceedings. At work, they like to find the best work for them and succeed on their own terms. In teams they can be argumentative or separate.


Drifters withdraw from the world where they can, living in their own internal world. In the real world, they generally do as they are told, though not from any desire to be liked. At parties, they sit miserably in the corner and leave as soon as possible. At work, they keep their heads down and do their jobs but do not really participate in team activities.


Someone whose comfort zone is fairly central may have a balanced position, giving or taking control as seems appropriate, and being with others or sitting alone with ease.

So what?

Remember that this is not four types, but two axes along which a person can vary infinitely. They may also be different in different contexts.

Understand where you are on this scale and either deliberate stretch your comfort zone or find contentment where you are.

With others, go to their zone. For example, with non-social people, you can email them whilst for social people a face-face meeting is often better. Let those who need control to make decisions, whilst telling others what needs doing.

You can also use their comfort position as a reward, perhaps taking them out of this zone to create persuasive tension.

See also

Control, Identity, Style vs. Substance

Site Menu

| Home | Top | Quick Links | Settings |

Main sections: | Disciplines | Techniques | Principles | Explanations | Theories |

Other sections: | Blog! | Quotes | Guest articles | Analysis | Books | Help |

More pages: | Contact | Caveat | About | Students | Webmasters | Awards | Guestbook | Feedback | Sitemap | Changes |

Settings: | Computer layout | Mobile layout | Small font | Medium font | Large font | Translate |



Please help and share:


Quick links


* Argument
* Brand management
* Change Management
* Coaching
* Communication
* Counseling
* Game Design
* Human Resources
* Job-finding
* Leadership
* Marketing
* Politics
* Propaganda
* Rhetoric
* Negotiation
* Psychoanalysis
* Sales
* Sociology
* Storytelling
* Teaching
* Warfare
* Workplace design


* Assertiveness
* Body language
* Change techniques
* Closing techniques
* Conversation
* Confidence tricks
* Conversion
* Creative techniques
* General techniques
* Happiness
* Hypnotism
* Interrogation
* Language
* Listening
* Negotiation tactics
* Objection handling
* Propaganda
* Problem-solving
* Public speaking
* Questioning
* Using repetition
* Resisting persuasion
* Self-development
* Sequential requests
* Storytelling
* Stress Management
* Tipping
* Using humor
* Willpower


+ Principles


* Behaviors
* Beliefs
* Brain stuff
* Conditioning
* Coping Mechanisms
* Critical Theory
* Culture
* Decisions
* Emotions
* Evolution
* Gender
* Games
* Groups
* Habit
* Identity
* Learning
* Meaning
* Memory
* Motivation
* Models
* Needs
* Personality
* Power
* Preferences
* Research
* Relationships
* SIFT Model
* Social Research
* Stress
* Trust
* Values


* Alphabetic list
* Theory types


Guest Articles


| Home | Top | Menu | Quick Links |

© Changing Works 2002-
Massive Content — Maximum Speed