PSIU Lesson 2 of 7: Would You Pass the Rowboat Test?

////PSIU Lesson 2 of 7: Would You Pass the Rowboat Test?
PSIU Lesson 2 of 7: Would You Pass the Rowboat Test?2021-01-21T09:40:28-08:00

Learning a new language takes practice. PSIU is the same. To make it easier for you, I’ll share a thought experiment that will help you remember and apply the PSIU styles in your own life. I call it the “rowboat” test.

Imagine that you’re standing on a dock and at your feet is a rowboat in the water. Someone approaches you. They’re moving fast and they seem a bit intense, as if they were coiled for action. If you were to speak with this person, you might have a sense that they thrive on competition, fighting hard and winning.

Can you guess their style? It’s the Producer. If you were to put them in the rowboat and say “Row!”, how would they respond? They’d start rowing! Why? Because they want to row! They like to get busy, take action, and get on with it already. They don’t ask a lot of questions other than what and by when, as they’re throwing their back into the oar stroke. “Finally,” they’re thinking, “I’m unleashed and I can execute on a specific task. This is awesome!”

Now a different person approaches you. They’re moving at a more methodical or measured pace and there’s an attentive vibe about them. If you were to speak with them, you’d get the impression that they’re analytical, attentive to details, well-organized, and thorough in their approach..

What’s their style? Stabilizer. If you were to put them in the rowboat and say “Row!”, how would they respond? They’d ask you for more information! Why? Because if you want something done right, you need to understand the plan. Where are we headed to? How long will we be gone? What’s the prevailing current and wind conditions? What about these other projects you had me working on? Once the details are known, you can count on this person to get to destination efficiently, with little wasted time or effort.

A third figure approaches you. This person is moving more quickly and energetically. If you were to speak with them, you’d have high confidence that they are future-oriented and creative, perhaps even visionary. They like to probe and push the status quo and find new approaches where they can put their stamp on things.

What’s their style? Innovator. Put them in the rowboat and say “Row!” How do they respond? They’ll respond with a new vision! Why? Because that’s what’s really exciting and different! “Sure, we can row, but you know what would be really cool? What if we put a motor on this thing? And I saw this really epic trimaran on the way. Why not take that concept but fuse it with a glass bottom?”

One last figure approaches you. They’re smiling and seem very approachable. When you speak with them, you feel instantly at ease and they seem to want to know more about you. You get the feeling that they understand people and it’s easy for them to really connect with others.

What’s their style? It’s the Unifier. When you say “Row!”, how do they respond? They put a crew together! Why? Because they are people-oriented! “Rowing sounds like fun. I know Nancy would love to get together and I can ask Frank to get involved too. We need to make sure we pack a picnic because what’s more fun and team-building than a picnic on the sea! I love this idea!”

Now, I’d like you to look at this matrix from your PSIU report again and note how I’m navigating it to determine someone’s likely style. I start at the top and focus first on their pace – measured in the left column and faster in the right column:

The PSIU Individual Assessment reveals how you tend to respond to the complexities of your

If they’re acting at a faster and more energetic pace (right column), then I know this is either a Producer or an Innovator. Now it’s just a matter of paying attention to what this person is strongest at. Are they a hard-charging fighter? That’s a Producer. Or are they a creative disruptor? That’s an Innovator.

Or, if they’re acting at a more measured pace (left column), then I know this is either a Stabilizer or a Unifier. What are they best at? Is it bringing order out of chaos and doing things in a high-quality way? That’s the Stabilizer. Or is it connecting and influencing with people and forming relationships? That’s a Unifier.

As you walk around and interact with people today, see if you can pay attention to their pace and get a sense of their style. Once you understand someone’s style, you can better anticipate their needs and blind spots and be a better friend.

To your success,

Lex Sisney
Organizational Physics

PS. Send a PSIU test to a friend of yours by clicking here. When your friend completes the test, you’ll both receive a copy of their style report. I think you’ll enjoy comparing notes together.