Functional typology


    Why are the same working methods easily implemented in one team, but do not take root in another? Why, having received the same final result, one can experience a different degree of satisfaction from the work done. Of course, there are many possible answers to these questions. In this article I want to talk about the functional typology of the personality, which helps me answer such questions, and the usefulness of which I have repeatedly been convinced from my own experience.

    What you will find under the cut:
    • Description of functional typology
    • An explanation of the working mechanisms of several well-known practices
    • Examples from my own experience

    I do not know what the typology that I am going to describe is actually called. One person told me about this typology, in turn, found out about it by visiting some kind of training. The source is unknown to me, but I will call this typology functional. If someone can give a link or say the correct name, I will be very grateful to you.

    Description of functional typology


    The notation of psychogeometric typology S. Dellinger is taken as a basis.


    This symbol denotes leadership, the desire for power, the attitude towards victory, self-confidence, decisiveness, risk appetite.


    Characteristic features of the square: punctuality, strict adherence to rules, instructions, analytical thinking, orientation to facts, accuracy, rationality, pragmatism, firmness in decisions, caution.

    A circle

    High need for communication, contact, caring for others, the ability to empathize, developed intuition, indecision, the ability to convince others, a flexible daily routine.


    The need for change, new knowledge, creativity, enthusiasm, impracticality, inconstancy, craving for new things, aversion to routine.


    Each of the listed figures defines one of the following functions in human behavior:
    1. The goal is what a person wants to achieve, what makes him act.
    2. Means of achieving the goal. The figure performing this function determines the set of tools that a person uses to achieve his goal.
    3. A role function is who the person wants to seem, or how others perceive him.
    4. Pain function. What a person lacks, where he experiences the greatest difficulties.

    I would like to note that pain function does not mean that a person is not at all capable of performing the corresponding role. Just to fulfill this role, he will need more effort and energy than for everyone else. In addition, the level of each function for different people is different, and it may be that a figure in the role of a pain function for one person is stronger than the same figure in the role of a goal for another.

    Let's look at a few examples.

    Peter I is perhaps the most popular tsar in Russian history. Peter's goal was to build a strong state. The state is an order, a law. That is, the square performs the function of the target.

    The means of achieving the goal was power: according to the tsar’s order, centuries-old traditions were broken, serfs were massively sent to hard and grueling work, to the army. Riots brutally suppressed.

    Despite the fact that many people were killed and executed, devastating taxes, even under the Soviet regime, the image of Peter I was evaluated very positively. He received the love of the people, first of all, because he worked on an equal footing with men and distributed the ranks according to their deserts, and not by origin. Although it must be understood that Peter I simply physically could not engage in constant rough work, otherwise he would not have had enough time for everything else, and the serfs were not given out of a sense of justice, but because it was necessary to achieve the goal. This is how a circle works in a role function.

    Peter I did not have enough of his own ideas for the development of Russia, so he took the path of completely copying the Western model. Sometimes, it came to the point of absurdity. When he forced the boyars to shave their beards and wear wigs, this went against the centuries-old traditions, but who could object?

    “Connections are everything” - a slogan for those with a circle - a means to an end.

    A large leather chair that stands out from the rest, the scepter and orb are the visible attributes of power, and the scarf on the neck instead of a tie is a creative person.

    The relationship between functions

    One of the key ideas of a functional typology that distinguishes it from the same psycho-geometric one is that the figures are distributed in roles in a strictly defined sequence. The easiest way to demonstrate this is in the figure:
    To the left is a triangle, to the right is a zigzag, above is a square, and below is a circle. Having fixed any of the figures as a target, all other functions are determined either by going around clockwise or counterclockwise. For example, Peter I in this typology - it
    is easy to calculate that in this way there are 8 options corresponding to different types of people. In fact, in the functional typology there are 16 types - for each of the 8 options there are still extrovert and introvert subtypes, but this is not essential for this article.

    Rational vs irrational

    Most programmers are irrational types. This is explained simply. There are two types of activity: analysis and synthesis.

    Synthesis is the process of combining or combining previously disparate things or concepts into a whole or set.

    Analysis is a logical method of defining a concept, when a given concept is decomposed according to signs into its component parts, so as to make its cognition clear in its entirety.

    Synthesis is irrational activity, and analysis is rational, and programming is synthesis.
    This means the most likely types for programmers:
    In this article I will not describe the features of each of these personality types, I only note that for them the circle is either a goal or a function of achieving a goal.

    How do practitioners work?


    Let me remind you, Agile manifest:
    • People and interaction are more important than processes and tools
    • A working product is more important than comprehensive documentation
    • Collaboration with the customer is more important than negotiating the terms of the contract
    • Preparedness for change is more important than following the original plan.

    Agile's listed values ​​put people (circle) above rules (square), relationships (circle) above contracts, authority (triangle), volatility (zig-zag) above plans (square). product above documentation (square). No wonder Agile is so hotly received by developers.

    Cookies, Xbox and other stuff in the office

    Obviously, programmers cannot work all 8 hours in a row with the same efficiency. There are times when it’s just not working. How to increase the efficiency of programmers?

    You can gather everyone and say: “Guys - we are all adults. The company buys from you 40 hours of your time per week, and if you understand that you spent an hour and did nothing, please, be late to work and work this hour honestly! "Maybe I’m out of luck, but I myself attended such conversations 2 times. Relying on the rules, calling for order is the toolkit of the square. It is not difficult to predict the consequences of this conversation.

    Instead, companies buy board games, consoles in the office, and come up with other ways to organize free time. Here I originally wanted to write that it would never occur to a person, to consider the time of the game on the console as their working time. But a colleague suggested that there are companies where this time is really working. Therefore, I can only speak for myself - it is much easier to explain that playing tennis is not working hours than to appeal to the labor code. My colleague, who introduced the amendment, used to work in such a company. This approach is from the circle tools.

    There is only one promise in both cases, but the form of presentation is completely different, as is the result.

    Planning poker

    People who have been working with programmers for quite some time can accurately predict the time it takes to complete a task. But, if programmers announce these estimates, then they will most likely disagree with them, and, most importantly, they will not feel responsible for their implementation.
    Planning Poker is a practice that makes a person feel like his own rating. Giving scores is a triangle tool, and Planning Poker a circle tool.

    Company executives

    Of course, I can’t say that this is a general situation, but most of the leaders of the IT companies that I met with are of two types:

    I wanted to talk about them separately.

    For both types, a circle is a function of achieving a goal. They are characterized by statements: “People are our main capital”, “We are a team of professionals”, etc. Management style can be described by the phrase: “The right person in the right place.” That is, their main task is to find a person who will perform the necessary functions. Further - this is the concern of this person himself. They are unlikely to help you: “Well, you are a professional!” On the other hand, you get complete freedom of action and you simply cannot find the best opportunity for your professional growth and experiments. You will not be limited in anything until you contradict the goals of such a leader with your actions. When you hear compliments from him that you are a cool and wonderful specialist, don’t take it to heart - remember that you are a tool and you are tuned to the working mood.

    I will make a reservation that I am not trying to file one of the types in a negative light. These are not flaws, but behavioral features that any other types have. In general, one of the advantages of a functional typology is that it allows you not to divide people into good and bad, but to accept them pricelessly, understanding and taking into account their characteristics of their behavior. This approach allows you to achieve a more effective interaction.

    The two types described are distinguished only by the goals that they want to achieve.

    One of my friends the head of the company is simply obsessed with the idea of ​​open source. Around this idea is built his company. This is not just a beautiful sign - I saw how I refused the project more than once if the customer did not like the open source solution. On the other hand, he has another idea - mental workers work effectively only under stress. And, believe me, these stresses are created with enviable regularity. For example, he may come to the department after lunch, ask everyone what they did during the day, then sit in a chair in the middle of the office and say: “Guys! I had such a filthy mood in the morning that I wanted to fire one of you! But! Well done! They pleased me, so I won’t fire anyone. ”Such statements are shocking for newcomers, but experienced novices know that he rarely completes his undertakings. By the way

    Another friend of mine is of type:
    He gives the impression of a very creative and progressive leader who attracts the same creative and talented people to his team as he does. In fact, such employees are needed by the company so that they can work independently without any external direction. Work style: do something already so that I can earn. The retention of employees is due to various retention schemes. The standard practice, the salary required by the candidate, is divided into two parts: compulsory and bonus, which is paid once every few months and is lost if you leave before the next period ends. As soon as you voice the desire to leave the company, you immediately turn into a "bad", "lazy", "knowing nothing" employee. It `s naturally, for dismissal is a denial of the leadership of the leader of the triangle. This company also has employees who work for 10-15 years. You just need to remember that when such a company gives you something else other than a salary (a separate office, a high-profile position, an official car for personal use, etc.), this is not a recognition of your current results, but a hook with which to I will manage you in the future.

    My own experience

    Once I worked in an outsourcing company. This company has already gone through several stages of development. At one of the first stages, the implementation of a project management system and time tracking was carried out. Everyone was simply told: “Work!” And so that everything was! ”There were a lot of layoffs and simply displeased people.
    The implementation itself took about a year. A few years later, the company decided to introduce an ERP system. Remembering their past experience, we decided this time to do otherwise.
    We gathered all the employees, talked about the tasks that the company faces, why these tasks need to be addressed, how it will affect employees, why we need an ERP system to solve these problems. After that, they organized a vote: whether to introduce the ERP system or not, while they promised that if the majority said no, the company would refuse to implement it and would look for a different way. Result: 90% voted for the implementation, there was not a single dismissal, and the implementation phase itself took only 1 month.

    I had two subordinates: a guy and a girl. They seriously conflicted with each other. There was not a single week when they would not come to me in turn with a complaint against each other and a proposal to fire my opponent. The girl’s arguments were: “He violates all agreements. Encourages other employees to sabotage decisions. ”Arguments guy:“ In the team they do not like her for being too tough. ” If you look at them from the point of view of functional typology, then the guy:
    and the girl.
    The reason for their conflict, speaking abstractly, is the struggle for influence in the same sphere. After the cause of their conflict was eliminated in principle, their relationship returned to normal. Now they continue to work in the same company.

    Another company decided to introduce monthly bonuses for its programmers in the amount of 15% of payroll. Problem: if everyone is paid in proportion to wages, then this is no different from the usual increase in wages and the meaning is lost - encouragement. If the head of the department distributes the bonuses, then there will constantly be a problem with justifying the size of the bonuses and will be dissatisfied.

    We decided to do this: remembering that mainly developers are irrational, then they left them to determine the size of each person’s bonus. To do this, each is given a leaflet with the names of all employees of the department. On this leaflet, opposite each one, you need to put% of the total contribution to the result. You can’t bet yourself and the amount of each deposit should be 100%. Anonymous voting. After all the papers have been handed over, the general results of each contribution to the overall result are summed up and the size of the bonus is calculated.
    The guys decided not to know the general voting results, but only their own. Therefore, according to the results of voting, each person is given a leaflet with his bonus and the number 1,2,3 if, according to the results of the vote, this person’s contribution was in the first, second or third place, respectively.

    What the company received from this procedure: there are no conflicts regarding the accrual of bonuses. Interestingly, the opinion of management and employees themselves regarding the three “best” and the three “worst” often coincide. And they were able to find a couple of underrated programmers who perform a large amount of useful work, but colleagues simply do not know about it.

    A person with the type was appointed as the head of the created auto-direction of one of the regional free classified sites.
    Since the direction was just being created, a lot of organizational work was required: to develop rules for receiving and processing ads, hiring and training moderators, monitoring the work of moderators and developing new rules, etc. . It was clear that work required
    which for this person was a pain function. Three months later, he quit with the words: “I feel like not a leader, but a content manager.” Now,

    another example works at this place. An analyst - a girl who graduated from the Faculty of Philology with
    JSON type , version control systems and even automatic tests is not a problem for her. Prior to that, she worked in a call center and had never dealt with IT at all.
    Well, a competent statement of thoughts and the correct Russian language have become a pleasant bonus for us.

    Also popular now: