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Stimulus To Responce

Stimulus To Responce

Have you noticed in your workplace how you get different results from different people when you have the same discussion with them, or issue the same set of tasks to them. This may be due to the stimulus to responce theory.

Every human being has different levels of sensitivities to language used. People have different levels of emotional intelligence and respond differently to conversation or circumstance. Lets face it, what a boring old world it would be if we were all the same.

This is a very diverse conversation to have, and can be seen from many different viewpoints. However we will keep the topic brief and relevant to what we see in our line of work. Our observation is there are generally 3 different personalities in the workplace that make this theory relevant.

  • The Agressor
    • This personality generally takes the form of the person in the workplace that takes charge of most situations, is always on the front foot and is very confident and assertive on their daily plan. They make quick decisions and deal with the results afterwards. There stimulus to responce is that in discussion with them, they prefer straight talk, no procrastinating and respond generally in a very short responce. You are not left guessing what they think, and workplace conflict is something that they are not adverse to and infant sometimes enjoy.
  • I Don’t Care Either Way
    • This personality generally gets in and gets the job done. They take a little more time to weigh up situations and decisions are made in a more considered way than the agressor. The stimulus to responce is they generally listen to a conversation and might slightly debate a situation but continue on with their path anyway trying to avoid to much conversation or conflict over a conversation. Basically their responce is to listen, but carry on their merry way anyway. This person in the workplace has a fairly neutral stimulus to responce profile and avoids getting involved in office politics and conflict.
  • Conscientious & Helpfull.
    • This personality type is always looking to please and get recognition for good work done. They are polite and well mannered, like perfection, order and always obliging, however very perceptive to things that are not quite right and want to make sure others around them know it wasn’t them that caused problems or issues.  Their stimulus to responce is the opposite of the agressor and respond in a much more delicate way. They generally take a long time to make a decision, and procrastinate and worry about if the decision was the correct one. Where an agressor will respond to direct order, strong language and focus – a conscientious & helpfull person will require carefull explanation, softer language and will react to the tone in the conversation. They will only contribute to the conversation and be willing to please if they feel included and prefer one on one conversations. They avoid conflict at any cost, and will become withdrawn in the workplace or conversation if the debate escalates.

Understanding people to their strengths is an important part of management to make your workplace harmonious. Most workplaces have people that exhibit these personalities and stimulus to responce profiles. If people are not tolerant of each other and understand what makes people react the way they do to conversation, your workplace culture and productivity will suffer. If the agressor, the laid back go with the flow, and the conscientious that needs positive re enforcement all learn a little bit bout each other, then the stimulus to responce reactions will make them perform as a team. This will make your workplace a joy to work in and yield some great results and efficiencies.

I do not confess to be anyone who knows anything about physiology, or human behaviour. I am however lucky enough to work in many workplaces and observe what causes disruption in the workplace – and I get to see the stimulus to responce fallout time after time. With a little bit of time spent on greater awareness of emotional intelligence and understanding – performance wins hands down.

Jarrod Clowes
Senior Consultant
Fusion Business Innovation & Technology Consultants.


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