The interaction between the Will and Control factors of the Facet5 personality profile is an interesting one.
Will is the domain associated with the promotion and defence of a person’s own ideas. People with High Will are determined, independent and decisive, where as people with Low Will are more consultative, collaborative, and interested in maintaining harmony. Will maps to Agreeableness on the Big 5 model of personality.
Control measures the amount of self-discipline a person has, as well as their sense of responsibility. It maps to Conscientiousness on the Big 5 model of personality. Conscientiousness, reliance on process and a preference for structure and order are key features of High Control, whereas autonomy, creativity and longer term, ‘big picture’ thinking are attributes associated with Low Control.
So what can these factor combinations tell us about how people are likely to think, feel, and behave in the workplace?
High Will and High Control
People who score high on both Will and Control are ambitious, detailed and goal-oriented. Their determination and assertiveness means they stick to their guns and will push projects through, and their high Control means they'll see those projects through to the end. In a team they will expect others to contribute ideas but can become frustrated when people don’t deal with issues head on and resolve them quickly.
As a manager, they are likely to have strong views on both what should be achieved and how it should be implemented. Their conscientiousness and commitment to outcomes means they will monitor performance closely. You can rely on them to see the job through to the end. A watch out is that their dedication and diligence may sometimes be perceived as being autocratic or overbearing.
Facet5 Families: Producer, Entrepreneur, Traditionalist, Generalist
Low Will and Low Control
People who score low on both Will and Control are free thinking and creative, flexible and adaptable. In a team they will listen to others’ ideas and adapt their thinking to suit. They can become frustrated by people who don’t respect the wishes of the team and when too many rules and processes are imposed, restricting their creativity or freedom.
As a manager, they prefer people to self-manage and tend not to be proactive in providing feedback. They will listen and encourage people but won’t challenge them, preferring them to find their own way. This relaxed style has pros and cons. On one hand it gives people autonomy and control over their own work without the fear of a manager peering over their shoulder. On the other hand, a lack of structure and planning can mean things don’t always get done, or can be frustrating for people with High Control.
Facet5 Families: Explorer, Supporter, Facilitator, Specialist
High Will and Low Control
High Will and Low Control individuals have a strong goal focus and make decisions based on instincts. They are flexible, creative and will push the status quo, using rules and process as a guideline only. Some colleagues may find them inspiring, while less upfront people may find their style intimidating. They can be frustrated by people who overly insist on consensus and agreement, or when having to focus on tasks they don’t feel are important.
As a manager, they are goal focused and determined, but those goals may be subject to change over the course of a project or as situations change. When it comes to managing people, they are non-judgemental and tend to leave people to their own devices. A watch out is that they may be very inspirational and motivational when coming up with new initiatives, but might fail to see them through, which can cause frustration in the people they lead.
Facet5 Families: Architect, Promoter, Advocate, Idealist
Low Will and High Control
Low Will and High Control people aren’t usually the ones to set the direction, but once a direction is set are great at pursuing tasks and following processes. They insist on high standards and integrity always, and are very detail-oriented, meaning they often achieve a quality result. They can be relied upon to get the job done. However, they may be seen as too conservative or formal for some. They themselves can become frustrated when work has poorly defined goals or shifting priorities, or when others don’t meet their exacting expectations.
As a manager, they set goals and monitor performance closely to ensure objectives and outcomes are met. They make decisions diligently and only after having considered all the evidence available. This means decision making may sometimes be drawn out, which some may find frustrating.
Facet5 Families: Controller, Coach, Developer, Presenter
A balance of different strengths and weaknesses is important for any company, which is why organisations need a mix of different personalities.
In the case of Will and Control, if everyone was High Will and Low Control, you’d have a lot of determined and assertive people, which can be great for quick decision making. However, if everyone involved has different viewpoints there is likely to be conflict as everyone tries to get their voice heard. Then when they finally come to an agreement, with no High Control team members there would be no one to follow through on the chosen direction. At the other extreme, if everyone was Low Will and High Control, you’d have a group of people who are great at completing tasks to a high standard - but the effect is redundant without anyone to set the direction in the first place.
Exploring what the Facet5 factor combinations mean can be incredibly useful for organisations wanting to understand how to build diverse teams who can complement each other. It’s also useful for helping people to understand their own style compared to others, so that they can spot (and stop) the potential for conflict before it becomes an issue.