My name is Blanka and I’m a Guardian. What’s a Guardian you ask? I’m not guarding any sort of fortress or defending the universe. The Predictive Index (PI) Guardian is way cooler than that. I’ll go into who us Guardians are in a bit.
For now, I’ll set the stage by telling you about my role. I am the localization program manager here at PI. I manage all of our localization efforts, which includes our software and training, marketing, and legal materials. Primarily, I make sure that our products and content can be easily localized and are locally relevant in international markets.
At PI I’m considered the localization subject matter expert in a variety of meetings, providing input on product design, user interface, communication plans, and cultural sensitivity by partnering with cross-functional teams. My responsibilities are to ensure that science, technology, marketing, legal, training products, and content are localized into as many as 80 languages for use in a variety of global markets.
My behavioral pattern
The PI Behavioral Assessment essentially reveals where you fall on the spectrum of four workplace behavioral drives:
- Dominance: Dominance is the drive to exert one’s influence on people or events.
- Extraversion: Extraversion is the drive for social interaction with other people.
- Patience: Patience is the drive for consistency and stability.
- Formality: Formality is the drive to conform to rules and structure.
Here’s my pattern:
To the uninitiated, that behavioral pattern may not mean a whole lot, which is where Reference Profiles come in. All behavioral patterns map most closely to one of our 17 Reference Profiles, which gives us a way to paint the picture of someone’s behavioral drives in broad strokes. You can think of these as easy-to-reference groupings of the characteristics of people who have similar drives.
“It now made sense why a 2-day conference full of networking and face-to-face interaction would leave me drained and in need of some recharge time.”
My Reference Profile is a Guardian.
I mentioned that PI Guardians don’t guard any sort of fortress or defend the universe, but rather PI Guardians are an unselfish and approachable bunch, with a preference for detailed, skill-based work.
I still remember when I found out I was a Guardian three years ago. I felt like my closest family members and friends were interviewed and provided PI with deep insight into my personality and behaviors, who I was, and the inner workings of Blanka.
It was a very reaffirming feeling. I was now able to understand why I behaved in a certain way, the type of working environments that I excel in, who I am as a team member, and who I can be as a leader.
It now made sense why a 2-day conference full of networking and face-to-face interaction would leave me drained and in need of some recharge time.
Guardian coming through!
When it comes to running localization projects, certain skills and qualities of the Guardian Reference Profile come in handy. The high Formality driver associated with things like detail orientation certainly pays off in my day-to-day. I see this drive kick into overdrive when monitoring projects, ensuring that from start to finish no one is dropping the ball. Some of these projects can get complex and involve lots of moving parts. Thanks to the Guardian’s high Patience driver, which features strong discipline, I can easily run, progress, and stay excited about a project that’s set to span over the course of a few months. Compared to other Reference Profiles, this sort of steady, stable, and patient approach can make them stir-crazy.
With Guardians, it’s all about diligence, being precise, and 100% thorough; I’m guarding the projects or tasks that I have the responsibility of. For example, I remember a time when our training materials were ready for translation and they consisted of five books and five PowerPoints, plus additional supporting files like fonts, images, etc. My responsibility was to go through those files one by one, check them for any ambiguous terms that linguists might need clarification on, and ensure those minute details were accounted for. Next, I had to put together detailed instructions for linguists how to handle specific terminology and organize with the engineers what format to deliver the translated files in.
Upon receipt of finalized files, that multiplied by 20 languages, I had to go through them all, one-by-one to confirm there were no mistakes, nothing is missing and that they’re in the right format. As you can imagine, this takes deep concentration and a few hours to complete. If you are looking for an organized yet calm, patient but cautious project planner, look to the Guardians in the room.
The dark side of being a Guardian
I may not be defending the universe from the forces of evil, but there is a dark side to being a PI Guardian.
When I sense tension between coworkers or myself and another colleague, I will do whatever it takes to avoid conflict. With Guardians, our Extroversion drive is pretty low. This is not a bad thing (remember, there is no such thing as a bad Reference Profile or behavioral pattern). Guardians are more focused on tasks rather than social matters. Having said that, we are quiet and thoughtful people, we place emphasis on cooperation and supportiveness, so although we may shy away from conflict, we want to help and have a thoughtful approach to how we communicate our concerns. One of the things I’ve found most difficult with being a Guardian is our struggle with ambiguous situations. If what needs to be done is not clear, if tasks are properly delegated, I find that situation confusing and that uncertainty of what should be done next uncomfortable.
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I remember I worked hard for several hours straight on importing some translations into a database using a brand-new tool that no one on my team was familiar with. At some point, we discovered the tool hiccuped and erased all previous work done by, not just me, but all other team members. I immediately started investigating—talking with technical support to reverse the damage done. I was panicking on the inside but I pushed forward looking for a solution. In the meantime, while I was explaining internally what had happened and what would happen next, questions were thrown at me. Although the intention of these questions was to simply understand the situation, they felt pointed and I felt like was I was being blamed. I felt like I somehow failed. Even though there might not be anything in our power to stop the mayhem, Guardians feel responsible and guilty for not being able to prevent it.
How to work with (and manage) this profile
When working with Guardians, do your best to be as thorough as possible, we appreciate that detail.
Also, be supportive. We don’t like conflict and have a tendency to take situations personally. And be sure to keep in mind, Guardians like to keep it steady. We like a stable work environment so we may not be moving as fast as you are.
Some advice for managers approaching their Guardians:
- Provide an opportunity to leverage our specialized knowledge and experience on a daily basis.
- Allow us to protect the company against risk.
- Support us in our continued search to grow our expertise and personal and professional development.
- Clearly communicate goals and work expectations
“I learned to embrace [my drives] and use them as a strength and a valuable addition to my team.”
Since I learned about my Guardian, I understand why I’m not as comfortable with risk as some people are. My need for tactical, thoroughly-thought-out planning, is not a quirk but an asset. Rather than looking at my qualities as something that can be undesirable by others who do not share the same Reference Profile or natural drives, I learned to embrace them and use them as a strength and valuable addition to my team.