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Triangle Smart Divorce

Triangle Smart Divorce

Dating After Divorce Episode 6

Chapter 6: The Predictive Index

Attorney Jenny Bradley

The Predictive Index


You’ll be hard pressed to find a management consultant, CEO, or Founder who doesn’t agree that 90% of business problems are people problems. Mountains of business leadership books have been written on this topic and they all have this basic premise: the solution is not “fixing the people,” it’s understanding why they behave the way they do, and then figuring out how to address them.

Guess what? Almost every relationship problem stems from the same thing that these business problems do: people not understanding their partner’s basic innate drives. We don’t go into relationships thinking about the other person’s “drives.” While people’s actions and opinions can change, their basic way of dealing with life and issues, these “drives” we are talking about, don’t ever change. We are who we are.

After a few bad first dates, we wonder, “What is wrong with all these people?” After a string of relationships which start with a bang and end in a fizzle, we wonder, “What happened to them? They’re not who I thought they were.” We’ve even gone so far as to say, “If I could just change this one thing about them, I know we could make it work.” But in almost all cases we can’t “fix” people. They are who they are.

But what if I told you that what was really going wrong was that your “system” for picking a good match was broken? That looks, online profiles, and how someone acts in the first few dates rarely predict their future behavior. But how can you more accurately predict a person’s behavior based on their innate drives? And how does understanding a person’s innate drives reduce incompatibility or irreconcilable differences? What’s the secret sauce?

Knowing what you are looking for and knowing if your expectations of the other person are reasonable is not as easy as it sounds, right? Except for more than 60 years, thousands of businesses have used the behavioral assessment of The Predictive Index to understand how someone is hardwired and reliably predict how they will behave. There’s no reason this same science can’t be applied in the dating world. We all have innate drives. Drives create needs, and our responses to our needs show up in our behaviors and how we satisfy those needs. But chemistry is still key. Just like how a perfect candidate on paper can be a nightmare if a person’s drives don’t match those required to do a job the way the employer wants it done, chemistry needs to be there too. Simply understanding a person’s drives, needs, and behavior won’t keep people together.

Shared goals, values, preferences, and a heavy dose of chemistry is absolutely critical for a successful relationship. But, understanding your own drives is also critical. When you start any new relationship, you need to understand what motivates you and how you like to be communicated with before even trying to understand the other person. Taking the Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment will help you gain more insight and better self-understanding.

Let’s say you find your Predictive Index skews to the right on the Dominance and Formality drives. You are likely to not only think your ideas are the best, but there are rules which should be followed in a relationship and that everyone should know these rules, whether you have communicated them or not.

You may find that you often over-talk your partner, think that you are always right, or get frustrated when they don’t do something the way you think it “should be done.” Not being mindful of these drives is very likely to cause your relationship to go down in flames. If you are overbearing, controlling, and a perfectionist, it is very difficult to be in a healthy relationship with you if you don’t bend and flex some and meet your partner where they are. By first understanding yourself and how you are wired, you can then better spot patterns and identify areas for improvement in your relationships.

The Predictive Index measures four unique drives:
  • Dominance is the drive to exert one’s influence on people or events
  • Extraversion is the drive for social interaction with other people
  • Patience is the drive for consistency and stability
  • Formality is the drive to conform to rules and structure

Understanding where you land on these four drives provides a framework to understand one’s core needs and the behavior we’ll experience. Understanding these things also allows you to assess compatibility more accurately.

While the Predictive Index is a great tool, it is only one data point for assessing yourself and future dating prospects. The whole person shows up: experience, resume, education, passions, that elusive chemistry match I mentioned, and of course a person’s aforementioned drives. You can take lots of online quizzes and assessments to learn more about your personality and your likes and dislikes, but the Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment is the only one with 60 years of science standing behind it, and because of hundreds of validations studies, and the fact the survey takes about 5-minutes, it’s most widely used.

There are 17 Reference Profiles, which are easy-to-reference grouping characteristics of people with similar drives. Knowing your Reference Profile gives you valuable insight into what resonates with you and what drives you crazy. A Reference Profile tells you in one sentence how someone prefers to communicate and “be” in the world. If you know a person’s Reference Profile, you have a massive advantage because you will be aware of their tendencies and whether they jive with yours. Once you have your Reference Profile, you can use it to help craft your online dating profile to communicate your authentic self. You will have major insight into what you need from a partner.

As noted, in addition to learning about behavioral tendencies and giving you the right words for your dating profile, the Reference Profiles and your PI pattern can help you understand your preferred communication style. Do you need time to process, or do you say the first thing that comes to mind? Do you tell animated stories to large groups, or do you prefer to quietly listen to a friend telling a story to a small group? Do you love face-to-face communications, or do you like texts and emails? If you know your partner’s preferred communication style, you can make decisions about how to communicate and how to have fewer frustrations in your communications. In the workplace, understanding communication styles results in more engaged employees and increased productivity and profitability. In all relationships, understanding a person’s natural motivations, how “they roll,” and their communications style results in better connection and less frustration.

The Reference Profiles are grouped into four groups: Analytical, Social, Stabilizing, and Persistent. There is no bad Profile. Every Profile is beautiful and different in its own way, but some Profiles may better complement your Profile. Here are some tips about how to interact with each profile that should give you a little insight into how the PI system can help you in your personal relationships:

  • Analyzer
    • Give them room for introspection
    • Don’t micromanage them
    • Understand that they are intense and thorough and need lots of information
    • Recognize that they can come across as perfectionists
  • Controller
    • Be on time as they are impatient and precise
    • Keep conversations on track
    • Understand that they need specifics
    • Recognize that they can come across as matter-of-fact
  • Specialist
    • Be clear in your communications
    • Give encouragement
    • Understand that they need time to trust you
    • Understand they can over communicate based on a need to do things right, without mistakes
  • Strategist
    • Give them the big picture
    • Understand they need variety and flexibility
    • Be prepared for their decisiveness and the need to be “right”
    • Recognize that they can come across as intolerant
  • Venturer
    • Give them space to exercise independence
    • Be ready to be fast-paced with them
    • Understand that they care more about the goal than the details
    • Recognize that they can come across as a big risk-taker
  • Altruist
    • Give them variety
    • Define the responsibilities in the relationship
    • Understand that they are very optimistic and friendly
    • Recognize that they can be a persuasive talker
  • Captain
    • Give them opportunities to lead
    • Be ready for their struggles with structure
    • Understand that they are competitive
    • Recognize that they may come across as authoritative
  • Collaborator
    • Show them consistent love and support
    • Don’t interject competition into the relationship
    • Understand how much they love routines
    • Recognize that they can be very risk-averse
  • Maverick
    • Get out of the way and let them lead
    • Give them opportunities to tell stories
    • Be prepared for their impatience
    • Understand that they can be direct and forceful
  • Persuader
    • Acknowledge that they love opportunities to interact with others
    • Don’t lock them into routines
    • Be ready for their ambition
    • Understand that they can be very talkative
  • Promoter
    • Understand that they think outside the box
    • Do not pressure them
    • Schedule group activities
    • Recognize that they can seem superficial or too casual
  • Adapter
    • Understand they are hard to read
    • Be ready to be flexible
    • Be ready to be empathetic
    • Recognize that they can be challenging to get to know
  • Craftsman
    • Understand they are cautious
    • Be sure your feedback is positive and constructive
    • Be prepared for them to be quiet and reserved
    • Recognize that they can be overly sensitive to criticism
  • Guardian
    • Understand that they like consensus
    • Be prepared for them to be risk-averse
    • Understand that they love attention to details
    • Recognize that they can be conflict-avoidant
  • Operator
    • Understand they dislike ambiguous situations
    • Provide them with reassurance
    • Understand they don’t like time pressure
    • Recognize that they can appear too accepting of others’ decisions
  • Individualist
    • Give them space to think
    • Understand they speak with conviction
    • Be prepared for their high need for facts
    • Recognize they can appear opinionated and stubborn
  • Scholar
    • Understand that they love data and are analytical
    • Be ready to give them opportunities to reflect
    • Understand they respond poorly to micromanagement
    • Recognize they can appear anxious and cautious

As you can imagine, some Reference Profiles pair better than others. For instance, if they are not mindful of their drives and needs, a Controller and a Maverick could drive each other crazy. The Controller has to be on time and is very precise in relating details. The Maverick, on the other hand, has a loose relationship with time, is a fantastic storyteller, and may subscribe to the belief that there is reality, there is perception, and there is the story I’m telling. Any exaggeration or augmented detail will unnerve a Controller. The Controllers’ need for concise and precise details will frustrate a Maverick’s storytelling to no end.

How could this situation be improved? It first starts with both parties being mindful of how they are wired and giving the other the space to be themselves. For instance, if it’s a dinner party and the precise details don’t matter for the point of the story, then the Controller might relax their need for precision a little bit. On the other hand, if the Maverick knows that the details matter to the Controller on a particular story, they might check in as they are telling the story and ask the Controller if
they got that right or if the Controller wants to add anything.

Take another example. A Guardian loves consensus and an Operator doesn’t like ambiguous situations. These two might go around in circles deciding where to eat for a first date or just not respond in an effort to not upset the other. The Operator will be frustrated that a decision hasn’t been made.

An idea here is for each person to propose 4 or 5 places and see if any of them match up. If so, you have a consensus and no ambiguity and both people have their needs met.

The same thing happens with communication styles. One person might be a one or two line texter and would prefer to meet in person to get to know each other. Another might want long texts, phone calls, or emails to get to know each other before meeting. There’s no right or wrong, but they may miss out on a connection if they aren’t willing to bend and flex and communicate with the other the way that person prefers. Then again, if they aren’t willing to blend their communication styles, maybe it is best if they don’t meet as most all relationship failures can be traced back to communication failures.

No rational individual wants a toxic relationship, and, yet, sometimes our clients find themselves in them. Sometimes it is not a bad actor or bad intent that causes the toxicity. It’s more about trust, or the lack thereof. When you don’t feel comfortable in a relationship sharing your ideas, your thoughts, and your dreams, communication breaks down. More often than not, this lead to fighting, withdrawal, and ultimately neglect of the relationship. Learning how your dating partner likes to communicate and how they approach the world helps you bring out the best in each other.

Are you curious about your Reference Profile? It takes about 5 minutes to do the survey. Find out how you are hardwired here:

The Predictive Index

Once you take the quick assessment, I’ll send you your PI snapshot with a scheduling link to meet with me for a complimentary readback of your pattern if that’s something you want. I believe that by understanding ourselves better, we can understand and think about what we need and want in our relationships, which ultimately leads to more fulfilling and successful relationships. I’m excited for you to take this important next step to become more self-aware!

Have questions? Contact us!

Dr. Katrina Kuzyszyn-Jones

In this chapter, Dr. Katrina Kuzyszyn-Jones offers guidance to divorcees experiencing the aftermath of separation or divorce. She explains the importance of going through the grieving process and the value of self-reflection, self-growth, forgiveness, and compassion. By taking the time to reflect on your emotions and needs, you can better understand what you’re looking for in a partner and when you’re truly ready to pursue a new relationship. Dr. Kuzyszyn-Jones is a national forensic and clinical psychology expert who has counseled thousands of families going through separation and divorce. Her purpose is to help you find your purpose.

Attorney Jenny Bradley

Can dating during separation, or even after divorce, affect your legal case? Attorney Jenny Bradley answers that question and more in this chapter. She goes over what you need to tell your ex, what your lawyer needs to know, and how to avoid making mistakes that could lead to unintended consequences! Jenny Bradley is the Founder of Triangle Smart Divorce and aims to stop smart people from screwing up their divorces. Not handling dating appropriately is definitely one way to screw up your divorce.

Lee Hayward

How you think about yourself and present yourself to others has a significant impact on the results you get in life, personally and professionally. In this chapter, Lee Heyward gives you practical advice on making a good first impression, both in person and on dating apps. Anyone looking to rediscover their authentic selves and rebuild their confidence needs to read this chapter! Lee Heyward is a highly sought-after image and brand consultant who helps business owners look and feel great, which in turn grows their businesses exponentially.

Mackenzie Gokey

This chapter provides a beginner’s guide to online dating for those who are separated or divorced and may not have used dating apps before or have not used them in a long time. Mackenzie Gokey summarizes six popular apps and offers tips on how to create a profile, get a great picture, and stay safe. She wants to take away the mystery behind dating apps and provide valuable tools and tips to make online dating a more enjoyable experience! Mackenzie Gokey is an accomplished marketing professional who has assisted company growth with her keen eye on positioning and “words that sell,” which she’s translated into the augmentation and improvement of many online dating profiles throughout the past ten years.  

Dr. Lori Thomas

In this chapter, Dr. Lori Thomas offers unique insight into how children are positively and negatively affected when their parents begin dating after divorce. She provides the tools and support needed to successfully integrate dating into your life as a parent, including tips for how and when to introduce dating partners to your children. Dr. Thomas is a frequently called-upon expert in clinical psychology who has worked with hundreds of children and teenagers adjusting to their parents’ divorces.