What Is Q4 Behavior? And Why Does It Matter?


You may notice the Q4 in our logo, and wonder what Q4 has to do with talent development. But to understand Q4, you first need to see it in the context of our Dimensional® Model of Behavior™.

The Q4 Dimensional Model of Behavior

In 1965, PA’s founders, Dr. Robert Lefton and Dr. Victor Buzzotta, developed our exclusive model of business behavior. Based on the Managerial Grid developed by psychologists Robert Blake and Jane Mouton, our Model focuses on observable behavior that can be examined in a much more objective way than people tend to think of it.

The Dimensional Model is helpful because it provides an easy-to-follow structure for categorizing behavior into logical categories. The better we understand behavior (which is different from personality), the more effectively we can respond to it.

We call our Model “dimensional” because of its two intersecting dimensions.

Dimensional Model of Behavior

The vertical line measures an individual’s initiative on Tasks.

At the upper end of the spectrum, the employee shows a high level of initiative. This person tends to take charge, display creativity, works to develop solutions, and focuses on results. At the lower end, the individual is content to let others take the lead; this person is more passive, and is more interested in maintaining the status quo than on making change.

The horizontal line measures an employee’s view toward Relationships with others.

Toward the left of this continuum, the person is more Me-Focused. An individual here might be internally motivated by ego or self-protection. As we move to the right side of the spectrum, an individual becomes We-Focused. This person wants to get along with others, showing respect for communication, collaboration, and even community.

Accounting for human complexity, we combine these two dimensions into a matrix that allows us to see individuals in terms of how they relate to others AND to the task at hand.

Q1 Behavior: Initiates/Low Regard

Q1 behavior is domineering and insensitive to others. Getting results comes first, and so Q1 tends to use intimidation and pressure when working with others.

Q2 Behavior: Avoids/Low Regard

Q2 behavior tends to be unresponsive and reluctant to try new things. Usually reluctant to deal with others, Q2 will postpone anything perceived as risky and will often resist the spotlight.

Q3 Behavior: Avoids/High Regard

While Q3 behavior is more focused on others, that focus is more about being social than about getting things done. Passive and easygoing, Q3 tends to be loose and unstructured when it comes to the task at hand.

Q4 Behavior: Initiates/High Regard

Finally, we return to Q4 behavior. Q4 behavior is proven to generate long-term business success because of its ability to balance a strong drive for accomplishment with a high regard for others.

Why Does Q4 Matter?

You may look at the other behavior types and ask what’s wrong with them. Q1 certainly seems to get things done. Q2 may not be ideal, but it doesn’t ruffle any feathers, either. Q3 just wants to get along with everyone; what’s so bad about that?

Q1 behavior may get things done in the short-term, but in the long-term, it could lead to burnout and turnover among coworkers and direct reports. Q2 behavior can’t ever seem to accomplish much in terms of innovation or collaboration. And Q3 behavior is more interested in friendships than productivity.

Q4 is energized to make things happen — while also working to challenge and involve others. Because Q4 behavior simultaneously values results and respect, it yields sustained commitment from others. Q4’s ability to be responsive; involve people; and encourage open, direct, and candid communication can inspire the same kind of behavior in others.

So why does Q4 matter? In addition to getting great results, Q4 behavior ends up inspiring Q4 behavior in others, and creating a high-performance culture of excellence. It’s hard to argue with results like that.

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