Stress Triggers by Peoplemap Type

Hi, Everyone!

Recently, I posted an entry here on the blog about using the ChangeGrid as a natural follow-up to the use of a traditional psychometric tool — and subsequently held a discussion on the subject during a Forum call.

During the call, Peter Metzner mentioned an article he’d written about stress triggers for each of the four types revealed by the Peoplemap profile.  Below, you’ll find that article, courtesy of Peter.

Just as a reference for the closest comparisons:

Leader = D / Driver / Director

Free Spirit = I / Expressive / Socializer

People = S / Amiable / Relater

Task = C / Analytical / Thinker

Here is Peter’s article:

Stress and Triggers by Peoplemap Types

Peter Metzner, April 26, 2010

Under stress each type tends to overuse their strengths –  potentially triggering defensive behaviors of the other types around them.  This in turn escalates conflict and tension in working relationships thus adversely impacting productivity and morale.  Note: each type can trigger the others by staying in their relative comfort zones.

When triggered into their fight or flight response (real or imagined threat) individuals naturally react to the other according to their type: thus the very thing they want most is pushed away.    The likelihood of each moving to their stress or danger zone is increased, further raising the likelihood for non productive behaviors and outcomes.

Leader type triggers (Perceived) —

  • Non-productive workers
  • Non-efficiency
  • Repeated mistakes
  • Loss of control
    • Incompetence
    • Passive aggressive behaviors.
    • Irrationality (Emotional response.)
    • Lack of logical basis for decisions
    • Failure to address competence after it has been identified
    • Not working hard

When angry regarding those aspects above, Leader types can have a no holds barred approach to conflict. Tempers may flare in either soft or loud tones.  Either way, others know of their displeasure and may retreat or cower from their anger or irritation.

People type triggers (Perceived) —

  • Not feeling valued or respected
  • Being taken advantage of
  • Not being listened to
  • Feeling unjustly criticized
  • Failure to respond to personal inquiry
  • Lack of attention to personal needs
  • Perceived condescension, insensitivity.
  • Focus on “it” or “task” rather than on the individual’s needs
  • Failure to acknowledge efforts
  • Judgmental

When angry…..People types often become passive aggressive (The power of the powerless) turn inward, so communication they crave becomes beyond their reach.  They are not good at expressing their emotions when under “assault” so their tendency is to shut down.  Their brain ceases to “exist” as it normally does and it almost is if they retreat and become numb to what is being said.

Task type triggers (Perceived) —

  • Work, work, work, and work some more…
  • Feeling dumped on continuously as others know they will do what it takes to get the job done
    • Lack of attention to detail
    • Not given enough direction
    • Lack of verification of information
    • Failure to follow through as specifically described
    • Inefficiency
    • Laziness

When angry….Task types also tend to shut down and throw themselves even more into their work – sometimes losing track of the big picture.  They can be perceived as being critical, inflexible and judgmental.

Free Spirit type triggers (Perceived) —

  • Feeling ridiculed for their contributions
  • Not appreciated
  • Not having ideas listened to.
  • Demeaned if not part of status quo
  • Being micromanaged and questioned
  • Not having room or enough freedom to innovate
  • Over emphasis on rules
  • Others not being able to see the “big picture”

Free Spirits will likely rebel or leave a situation…they may simply walk away. What may be worse; they stay and remain unhappy: not feeling valued or appreciated.


If you found this article beneficial, please let Peter know by posting a comment here on the blog or sending him an email to

Thank you, Peter!!



3 Responses to Stress Triggers by Peoplemap Type

  1. Sairamesh G says:

    Must thank Peter for his articulation. BTW, in an independent study which was conducted sometime earlier it was established that the people styles under stress or tension are as follows;

    D – Drivers/ Dominant – have a tendency to Dominate, Attack, Push the envelope – (My way or highway)

    I – Expressive – have a tendency to Blame, Criticize, Be sarcastic, Or even acquiesce

    S – Amiable / Steadiness – have a tendency to withdraw, oblige or tolerate (these are kind of fence sitters or lost souls)

    C – Analytic / Compliant – have a tendency to Avoid, Justify or even complain.

    Pity that I am not able to locate the source.

    However, with this contribution I should be able to refine the data which I have had in my possession.

    Thanks again Peter, acknowledge your wonderful contribution.

    Thanks T, as always resourceful.

    Rgds – Sai

  2. Thank you, Peter, for your contribution here. What you shared sure resonates with me and I appreciate how succinct and clear it all is.

    My best,


  3. Thank you t for posting and I appreciate the great comments. Thanks too for sharing this independent study Sal.
    Best wishes,

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