What’s the Difference Between Styles & Personalities? (Influences)

This is the second of a 4-part series focusing on the the unique characteristics between each Market Force Style. In this article, we focus on the nature of Influences.

People often ask us what makes the Market Force Style assessment different from some of the other profiling tools that they may be more familiar with, like DiSC or Myers-Briggs. While all of these assessments are used to predict behavior in the subject, it’s important to understand that different parts of your brain are responsible for different types of behavior patterns.

Market Force Styles is a biological assessment, not a psychological or personality-based one, like many of the other tools. The biological distinction means that your Style is NOT what you think about, or even how you think. Your Style is, in fact, the thing that operates (on your behalf) when you aren’t thinking at all!

Normal business stress has a significant impact on your ability to operate productively. Coming up against the slightest challenge, like facing an impending deadline or receiving a proposal rejection, can trigger you into your hard-wired, fight or flight response, completely without your permission. And, when find yourself in the throes of an “Amygdala hijack”, your primitive, lizard brain has taken over control of your more-evolved neocortex in order to run your habitual patterns of behavior (predetermined by your survival wiring) in an attempt to save your life.

Your Style lives in your limbic system, along with your other involuntary bodily functions. Since your biology’s job is to fight for your survival, your Market Force Style always sits behind the scenes shaping your world view, ready to jump into action at any sign of threat. Your personality, on the other hand, sits in the part of your brain associated with higher reasoning and is a pretty good indicator of how you will react to and approach these situations as they arise.

So, while all people who share the same Style will likely become triggered and react when exposed to the same types of stimuli, each will behave somewhat differently under pressure depending on the nature of their individual personalities.


Under pressure, all Influences will lean toward evasiveness, driven by their incessant need for freedom. When Influences perceive that condition to be lacking in their environment, their biology compels them to generate their own version of freedom through the creation of distractions and diversions, often in the form of promising that they (or others) will get something done or in the form of new ideas. But, remember, this behavior is simply intended to calm their biological reaction, they aren’t actually committing to accomplish any of the things they say. Influences just need to regain a sense of independence and spaciousness that allows them to calm down.

Their survival response is so effective at satisfying their concern for freedom that once their pressure is relieved (and because they live so much in the “now” timeframe), Influences can often forget the promises that they had previously made so emphatically. This is why other Styles can judge them for being unreliable and unpredictable.

Now, Influences with different personalities will play out their migrate strategies with their own flavors. The most obvious way is employing dramatics and theatrics as a means of influencing others to move in a particular direction, away from the triggering situation. Others will become aggressive in an attempt to take control of the situation, causing discomfort in the moment. While others will take a light-hearted approach, diminishing the seriousness of the situation and entertaining everyone in the process.

Once again, their biology makes them do it, but their personality shapes their approach.

Stay tuned for articles on two other Market Force Styles: Power and Authority. Click to here learn more about Controls if you missed that article.

About the Author / Tony Cooper
Tony instigates breakthrough performance for businesses through his fascination of playing the “game behind the game”. He brings out the best in business leaders by helping them simplify complicated issues and supporting them to gain new skills and insights quickly. Tony has been training, coaching, and consulting since 2002, serving his passion of supporting the entrepreneurial spirit. He graduated with distinction from Cornell University, earning a BS in Mechanical Engineering. In Tony's youth he was a nationally-ranked diver and Tae Kwon Do martial artist. And now after a lifetime of city dwelling, he is raising his family on a farm in Davis, California.