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Book Review: The Four Tendencies

When I work with my clients, I’m always interested in how they respond to my coaching advice.

Some clients take detailed notes during our calls, and then immediately start implementing their new ideas. Some clients text or email me daily to get confirmation that they’re on the right path and to get a little pep talk.

Some clients ask me a million questions or do hours of research before they take their first steps. And yes, some of my clients like to challenge everything I say and refuse to do the work until they “feel like it.”

They all believe in life editing and want to make positive changes, and it’s my job to find a way to inspire these very different personality types. Thankfully, my job got a lot easier when I read a transformative new book, The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin.

In today’s video, you’ll learn how our different personalities affect our willingness to create new good habits.

The video transcript is below for your convenience.

PS, Want to mingle with Life Editors with your tendency? Come to Life Editor Weekend!

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Video Transcript

When I work with my clients, I’m always interested in how they respond to my coaching advice.

Some clients take detailed notes during our calls, and then immediately start implementing all their new ideas. Some clients text or email me daily to get confirmation that they’re on the right path and to get a little pep talk.

Some clients ask me a million questions or do hours of research before they’re ready to take their first steps. And yes, some of my clients like to challenge everything I say and refuse to do the work until they feel like it.

They all believe in life editing and want to make positive changes, and it’s my job to find a way to inspire these very different personality types. Thankfully, my job got a lot easier when I read a transformative new book.

Today, I’m reviewing The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin. Let’s go!

Hey there! I’m Sage Grayson, a former book editor turned life coach. I help ambitious career women edit their habits, routines, and mindsets to balance their happiness at work and home. I’m a Life Editor and so are you!

It’s no surprise that as a former book editor, I read a lot. We have a monthly book club in my Life Editor Academy mastermind group, and I’m constantly recommending books to everyone I meet.

My favorite author by far is Gretchen Rubin. She’s a writer in New York City who studies happiness, habits, and human nature. You’ve probably heard of her bestselling memoir The Happiness Project.

Over the years, Gretchen has scratched the surface of how different personalities function and in her book Better Than Before, she first mentions her framework The Four Tendencies. It was a such huge hit on her blog and podcast that she has released a new book solely focusing on the framework.

What are The Four Tendencies?

The Four Tendencies are different personality types and how each of them relates to expectations. Every day we’re faced with inner expectations (from ourselves) and outer expectations (from other people and the world).

Upholders easily meet inner and outer expectations. They are the classic teacher’s pet, and they readily do things that they want to do and the things that other people want them to do.

Obligers meet outer expectations but resist inner expectations. They are the stereotypical soccer moms who do everything for their kids but rarely take care of their own needs.

Questioners meet inner expectations but resist outer expectations. They’re the researchers who need to be completely convinced that something is the right choice before they’ll take action.

And finally, Rebels resist both inner and outer expectations. They can’t force themselves to do anything, even if they really want to or if they know it’s in their best interest.

Once you know your tendency and the tendency of the people around you, then you can use specific tactics to get them to take action that might not work for other tendencies. Adding good habits is Step 3 of the Life Editing Process.

Here’s what I liked about this book.

The Four Tendencies framework make complete sense to me. I instantly can see how my clients fit into the different personality types. I’m an Upholder, and I love rules and guidelines to follow.

The real life examples from Gretchen’s friends and readers were super helpful, and it was nice to see an example of how to relate to a Questioner or a Rebel.

No one tendency is made to seem better than the others. We’re all unique human beings, and we should embrace what makes us special instead of pretending to be someone we’re not and feeling bad when we fail.

Here’s what I didn’t like about this book.

If anything, the book is a little too short. I could read about Gretchen’s research for hours, but maybe that’s just me.

Another thing that stuck out to me was how difficult it is to interact with Rebels. They’re the type who will only do something if they “feel like it,” and the world doesn’t cater to them.

They want to do things in their own time, and that doesn’t fit well in structured work environments or in romantic relationships when one partner might want to take things to the next level.

That’s it! This week grab your copy of The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin. I’ll leave a link below this video.

Understanding your unique personality and how you relate to the world will help you reach your goals faster.

If you like this video, please be sure to hit that subscribe button. Then come on over to SageGrayson.com/LEAP and sign up for my free 5-day video series, your Life Editing Action Plan. You’ll learn the 5 keys to life editing and how to set and achieve your biggest life and career goals this year. Go to SageGrayson.com/LEAP.

Thanks for watching. I’ll see you soon.

This post focuses on Step 3 of the Life Editing Process, Add Good Habits and Routines. For more about life editing and what it can do for you, click here.

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