Nurturer Guardian Profile
What is the 5 Voices?
Everyone Speaks. Not Everyone is heard.
Everyone has a leadership voice, whether they know it or not. From the most quiet to the most gregarious, we all have the ability to lead others.
The problem is most people don't know their leadership voice or how to use it. Some don't know what it is, others are insecure in their voice and have been told it is unimportant, and others immaturely overuse their voice and dominate the airwaves.
The 5 Voices is designed to help every individual discover their leadership voice and be empowered to use it effectively.
Can you imagine a team of people who were self-aware, knew how to communicate, and were able to bring their best to the table everyday? What would that do for culture? For productivity? For Profitability?
In short, a lot.
We believe teams and whole organizations can be transformed when everyone operates securely in their own voice and learns to value the voices of others.
The 5 Voices helps achieve the following objectives:
Greater Self Awareness
Learn your voice and understand what it's like to be on the other side of your leadership.
Discover the sweet spots of those on your team, get better aligned, and reach higher levels of performance.
Communicate what you mean without people taking it the wrong way and getting offended.
Delegate more effectively to save time and increase productivity.
Quicker Decision Making
Learn how to listen better, ask helpful questions, and make quicker decisions.
The 5 Voices Assumptions
Our "Voice" is made up of all 5 Voices
Some voices are more natural to us than others
Maturity allows us to value the contribution each voice brings
Nature, Nurture, and Choice have all played a part
Don't assume you know what someone else's foundational voice is
Don't assume you know what each word means
Your Foundational Voice
The Nurturer Guardian
Nurturers intuitively feel how an organization will react to a new idea.
They defend values - people will always come before profit.
They function as the relational oil inside teams and organizations.
They are pragmatic realists who ask "has this really been thought through?"
They take genuine delight in celebrating the achievements of others.
They are natural team players.
They can become overly resistant to change & demonstrate passive aggressive tendencies.
They rarely value the contribution they make.
People, relational harmony, and values.
What to watch out for
Nurturers have a fear of conflict and often won't speak out; beware of silence.
You make up 43% of the global population.
How to empower them
Let them speak first, affirm their competence and the genuine value of their contribution.
Your Voice Order
Your foundational Voice is Nurturer. The Nurturer Voice is the champion of people, relational harmony, and values, which we explained in more detail in the previous section. This is your strongest Voice through which you view the world, and the Voice through which all other Voices are expressed.
Your secondary Voice is Guardian. Guardians are the champions of due diligence, resources, and efficient systems and processes.
In the 5 Voices model, the secondary Voice plays a crucial role in how you express your overall “Voice”, which is why your Voice combination is referred to as “Nurturer Guardian”.
Your Guardian Voice is highly adept at using logic, creating order, designing efficient systems, and establishing repeatable processes. It is also important to note that your Guardian Voice is expressed through the lens of your Nurturer Voice, which means that you leverage the Guardian Voice to create organization and alignment among the people and resources for which you are responsible.
The combination of these two Voices as your top two strengths means that you are extremely present-oriented, and you balance your relational focus with a sense of logic, rationale, and effective systems-thinking. Discipline and productivity are hallmarks of your approach to leading yourself, and you apply these skills to caring for others.
Connector is your tertiary Voice, sometimes referred to as your third Voice. The Connector Voice is the champion of relational networks, internal collaboration, and effective communication.
In the 5 Voices model, the tertiary Voice is typically a Voice that you value and can access when it’s helpful, but might be more of a learned strength than a natural one.
Also, because it’s third on the list, your expression of the Connector Voice will be shaped through the filter of your first two Voices (the Nurturer and Guardian). It will not be the same as a first Voice Connector.
In fact, you tend to utilize your Connector Voice in specific situations to support your first two Voices. For example, you might tap into the Connector Voice to help you communicate and sell the Nurturer/Guardian efficient systems and processes you’ve developed to other people.
Your 4th Voice, also known as your blindspot, is Creative. The Creative Voice is the most future-oriented Voice, and is the champion of new ideas, innovation, and integrity.
In the 5 Voices model, your 4th Voice is your blindspot because it’s typically the Voice (of the 5) that you might assume you are better at than you really are.
For example, you may align with the Creative’s commitment to integrity as well as their desire to solve problems and drive positive change for people. But whereas the first Voice Creative will naturally spend time coming up with new, out of the box ideas in very abstract ways, you will find yourself focused on taking small, incremental, and concrete steps to facilitate change for those you care deeply about. Your tendency to maintain and preserve the status quo may prevent you from valuing the true value first Voice Creatives bring to the table.
Take time to understand the value of the Creative Voice and identify ways for you to step into maturing in this Voice over time.
Your 5th Voice, also known as your Nemesis, is the Pioneer. The Pioneer Voice is the champion of strategic vision, results, and problem-solving. The reason we call this your nemesis Voice is because Pioneers see the world in a way that is diametrically opposed from how you see the world.
This doesn’t mean that you cannot tap into the strength and values of the Pioneer Voice, it just means it will typically be the most difficult Voice for you to access and appreciate.
How does this manifest in your Voice? Well, it means that the typical strengths of the Pioneer - roles or tasks that involve a high degree of objectivity, strategic intuition, or heavy reliance on data and meeting numeric metrics - can wear you out quickly. Instead, Nurturer / Guardians will usually struggle to appreciate and utilize the Pioneer Voice because their focus on winning, strong future-oriented visioning, and strategic decisions that separate emotion from decision-making often feels at odds with the Nurturer’s value of people, maintaining relational harmony, and caring for the needs and challenges of people in the present.
However, this is an area of growth for the Nurturer / Guardians. Learning some simple frameworks to help you think strategically about the problems of people and the care you want to provide, as well as embracing the Pioneer’s willingness and ability to have hard conversations (with tact of course) will go a long way toward helping you achieve the goals of your Nurturer Voice.
By taking time to understand how Pioneers view the world as well as how they process information, and make decisions, it will help you increase your maturity and effectiveness in using this Voice.
Strengths & Challenges
Selfless and self-sacrificial, they take genuine delight in the success of others. They oil the wheels of relationships inside families, teams and organizations. Highly competent, incredibly conscientious and hard working. natural mediators, people trust their judgment and character.
Nurturer/Guardians have perfectionist tendencies. Sleep is the one place they are able to truly rest. They tend to be their own harshest critics - always wondering whether they could have done more. They can find it difficult to assert their own needs in a combative team environment. They struggle to bring appropriate challenge even when it’s required.
Suggested Growth Opportunities
Create a daily and weekly rhythm that allows time to recharge your batteries and care for your own needs. Recognize you don’t have to care for everyone in need - there are others who are prepared to share the caring load even if you can’t see them! Receive compliments and start to see yourself as the competent professional that others do. Enjoy being in the present with those you love and not feeling guilty that you should be doing something!
Stress & Triggers
What happens under moderate stress?
You begin to seek solace in bringing order to the world most immediate to you. Prepare meals, bake, buy presents months in advance of when needed. You struggle to take time for yourself and become physically worn out and ill.
What happens under extreme stress?
Start to catastrophize the future. Push away from those closest to you and internalize your own sense of failure. Question whether you can do anything well - easily becomes a downward spiral.
The Danger Zone represents the potential we all have to hurt others with our words and actions when we are frustrated, unaware, accidental, or immature. Like weapons that can hurt others, these are harmful patterns of behavior that can be triggered by certain things that are unique to each Voice. It's important that we are aware of these things so that we can know ourselves to lead ourselves in a healthier direction. If we do not, we risk undermining ourselves, our relationships, and the team at large.
When a Nurturer Guardian enters the Danger Zone, the damage they can do can be thought of like a Medic who is giving up and withdrawing their care, expertise, and healing powers from the battlefield.
• Withdrawing Care
• Revoke their support and resources
• Become cold and distant
• Contrary to typical warmth and concern for others, they withdraw their care and support treating them with disdain or indifference
Understanding Your Triggers
There are certain things that can trigger you to step into the danger zone. It's important that you are aware of these and spot them before it's too late.
• You feel taken for granted
• You are not heard
• Your values are being ignored
• People you care about are being treated unfairly
What does a healthy Nurturer Guardian look like?
They have the capacity to store tremendous amounts of data about people and the things they care deeply about. They have the capacity to care, be fully present, competent and people focused. They have the capacity to know what people need and meet their practical, emotional and relational needs.
How do they stay healthy?
They need to carefully manage the relational load they are carrying. They need to schedule time to clean, tidy and bring health and order to their immediate physical world. They need to schedule time to care for their own physical and emotional needs. They need to schedule time to enjoy being present with the people they care most about in the world.
What does an unhealthy Nurturer Guardian look like?
When they become overwhelmed by the number of people needing their care and attention, feeling unable to care well enough for anyone. When they find themselves on a task/people treadmill and unable to take time out to care for their own physical and emotional needs. When they look at the apparent chaos of their internal and immediate external world and feel like they have failed. When they feel guilty, they continue to drive themselves and eventually become ill.
I need you to value my contribution and take the time to draw out what I really think. Invest and believe in me even if I struggle to believe I’m good enough. Spend quality time with me, get to know me, and join me in caring for others even when you don’t perceive it as important.
Connecting with Others
One of the most powerful uses of the 5 Voices is learning how to connect with others in an effective and productive way. To help you understand how to do that, take a look at the 5 Voices Dynamics tool, and learn the rules of engagement for each of the other Voices below.
[Warning: Do not assume you know what someone else's Voice is. Let them tell you what Voice they connect with before using these methods of connection]
The 5 Voices Dynamics is a powerful tool for understanding the primary differences between each of the 5 Voices. The simple, visual way it displays these differences allows us to easily facilitate conversations about significant team dynamics like team synergies, core strengths, key differences, and potential conflicts.
We start by defining the two axes that highlight the core functions/perspectives of each Voice.
The horizontal axis defines how people Process Information.
The vertical axis defines how people Make Decisions.
The two ends of the spectrum on each axis represent the primary differences in the Voices.
For the horizontal axis we discuss the dynamic of processing information from either a Present Oriented or Future Oriented perspective.
Present Oriented processors are focused on what they can touch, taste, see, hear, and feel. They live in the present and immediate world of today.
Future Oriented processors are focused on what is possible. They live in the future and more abstract world of possibilities that "could be" for tomorrow.
For the vertical axis we discuss the dynamic of decision making from either a Systems & Logic or People & Values perspective. Those who prefer to make decisions based on Systems & Logic will prefer using logical, rational, fact-based criteria that makes strategic sense within a particular system or framework. They value the "objective truth" as more important than feelings, emotions, or relational harmony. Separating their decisions from emotions and relational considerations enables them to make hard decisions. However, without developing a high level of emotional intelligence, this can leave others with the feeling that they are cold, calculating, or impersonal.
On the other hand, those who prefer to make decisions based on People & Values will prioritize relational harmony, impact on people, and alignment with core values. They value the health and betterment of people and relationships as the definition of success. This makes them strong champions of people and culture, but it can undermine the effectiveness of their decisions or influence with others if they don't support their position with a basis in fact and logical reasoning.
The location of each Voice is significant in how it informs our understanding of Team Dynamics.
Understanding that the Voices positioned opposite one another are diametrically opposed in their perspectives of how they take in information and make decisions is a key insight.
We call them Nemesis Voices. Nemesis does not mean they must be enemies, just that these people are wired to think opposite of each other. They must watch out for conflict and be intentional to recognize the value each brings.
In summary, these two axes represent the two most fundamental dynamics of personality that most significantly influence behavior.
Using this tool to better understand our team and ourselves will help us become stronger and more intentional resulting in higher performing teams.
Connecting with Pioneers
When connecting with Pioneers, it’s important to remember that they are the champions of strategic vision, results-focus, and problem solving. As a Nurturer, you are the champion of people, relational harmony, and values.
It’s important to understand that Pioneers are directly opposite of you in how they process information, and how they make decisions. For this reason, they are your “Nemesis Voice”. This doesn’t mean they have to be your enemy, it just means they see the world in a way that is diametrically opposed from how you see the world.
Neither view is better or worse than the other, they are simply different. Each Voice is valuable and brings a certain perspective and skill that the other does not have. It is crucial that you are aware of these differences as you seek to connect with Pioneers.
Pioneers are very future-oriented, which means they process information with an eye toward the future state of things, using their strategic thinking skills to map out a plan to help them achieve their objectives and win. They prefer to move through the world in an intuitive, big-picture way, starting with asking “what's possible”, articulating a compelling vision, and then drilling down into the details needed to achieve that vision.
Nurturers are very present-oriented, which means they process information with an eye toward the present state of things, absorbing all the details of what is happening in the here and the now, especially as it relates to people. They prefer to move through the world in a sequential way, starting with “what is” and then moving forward one step at a time.
When interacting with Pioneers, you may find their desire to win regardless of the cost violates your values, which can be challenging. Take time to affirm and appreciate their strategic focus. From there, invite them to build the bridge with you to the present, pragmatic, and people-related needs you see.
When it comes to decision making, Nurturers tend to make decisions based on what will maintain or strengthen the relational harmony with those around them. Your sense of personal alignment with your values and care for people override profit every time in the decision-making process. Therefore it may be difficult for you to separate your emotions, and the impact of decisions on the relational harmony of the people around you from the decision itself.
Pioneers on the other hand tend to make decisions based on what seems logical, rational, objectively true, and strategically effective. It doesn’t mean that they don’t like people, or that they don’t have deeply held values. What it does mean, however, is that they find it easier to separate people, emotions, and the relational impact of actions and decisions from the decision-making process. When push comes to shove, Pioneers tend to value objective, logical truth or strategic effectiveness over relational harmony.
When interacting with Pioneers, be prepared for their critique and forceful style of communicating. Remember that their primary objective is strategic victory. If you can help them see how important people are to helping them achieve their objectives, then you’ll find them much more receptive to your perspective.
Rules of Engagement for Connecting with Pioneers
• Encourage the Pioneer to bring their strategic insights.
• Commit to providing challenge to the Pioneer’s views and opinions when appropriate.
• Affirm the Pioneer’s commitment to winning and achieving the objectives at hand.
Connecting with Creatives
When connecting with Creatives, it’s important to remember that they are the champions of future ideas, innovation, and organizational integrity. As a Nurturer, you are the champion of people, relational harmony, and values.
Creatives see the world in a very different way than Nurturers. Some Creatives are directly opposite of you in how they process information and how they make decisions. Other Creatives make decisions in a similar manner to you, but process information in a drastically different way than you. We’ll explore both types of Creatives in the next few sections.
Neither view is better or worse than the other, they are simply different. Each Voice is valuable and brings a certain perspective and skill that the other does not have. It is crucial that you are aware of these differences as you seek to connect with Creatives.
Creatives are extremely future-oriented where-as you are very present-oriented. When processing information, they start by looking at the big picture. For them, if the vision is compelling enough, they assume they can find a way to achieve it.
More than any other Voice, the Creative spends time thinking about and imagining a world that does not yet exist. Creatives are very comfortable with abstract concepts and ideas, and they aren’t bothered by the lack of specific details when dreaming of something new. Oftentimes their ideas seem disconnected from pragmatism or reality, which might concern or even frustrate you. Allow the Creatives in your life to spend time dreaming of possibilities before asking them for practical details. Use your question-asking skills to help Creatives hone their ideas into a clear and concrete plan.
When it comes to decision making, there are two types of Creatives you will encounter.
The first is the “Creative Pioneer”, who is more logical by nature. Creative Pioneers prefer to make decisions based on logic, rationale, and fairness. When interacting with these types of Creatives, you will find it more difficult to understand and appreciate their approach to decision making because this is less aligned with how you make decisions.
The second is the “Creative Connector”, who is more relational by nature. Creative Connectors prefer to make decisions based on relational harmony, and tend to prioritize how the decision will affect the people involved. This does not mean that they avoid using logic when making decisions, simply that their default starting point is based on relationships. When interacting with these types of Creatives, you will find it easier to understand and appreciate their approach to decision making because this is highly aligned with how you make decisions.
Rules of Engagement for Connecting with Creatives
• Encourage Creatives to dream big, letting them know it’s okay to be wrong sometimes - no one is perfect.
• Ask clarifying questions and commit to drawing out the Creative’s thought process before critiquing their ideas. Sometimes it takes a few rounds of questioning to mine out the gold in what they are trying to communicate.
• Affirm the Creative’s commitment to integrity and the ability to see the future in a way others can’t.
Connecting with Connectors
When connecting with Connectors, it’s important to remember that they are the champions of relational networks, internal collaboration, and effective communication. As a Nurturer, you are the champion of people, relational harmony, and values.
Connectors are very future-oriented, whereas you are very present-oriented. They have a high capacity to understand abstract concepts, and love innovation. They prefer to move through the world in an intuitive, big-picture way, starting with asking “what's possible”, establishing a compelling vision, and then leveraging connections and resources to achieve the vision.
As a Nurturer, you are very present-oriented, which means you process information with an eye toward the present state of things, absorbing all the details of what is happening in the here and the now, especially as it relates to people. You prefer to move through the world in a sequential way, starting with “what is” and then moving forward one step at a time.
Whenever you are working with a Connector, allow space for them to brainstorm ideas, new possibilities, and envision the future. Be mindful of your bent towards pragmatism and concreteness, especially when the Connector is in ""ideation mode"".
Connectors are highly relational by nature, just like you. They prefer to make decisions based on relational harmony, prioritizing how the decision will affect the people involved. This does not mean that they avoid using logic when making decisions, simply that their default starting point is based on relationships.
When interacting with Connectors, you will find it easy to understand and appreciate their approach to decision making because this is highly aligned with how you make decisions.
Rules of Engagement for Connecting with Connectors
• Encourage Connectors to sell their ideas as passionately as they can.
• When Connectors share a new idea with you, don’t critique it at first. Start by celebrating, and only begin collaborating if asked. Remind them that your practical and detailed questions are not personal.
• Affirm their energy, passion, and ability to communicate in a way that connects with others.
Connecting with Guardians
When connecting with Guardians, it’s important to remember that they are the champions of due diligence, resources, and efficient systems and processes. As a Nurturer, you are the champion of people, relational harmony, and values.
Like you, Guardians are very present-oriented, which means they process information with an eye toward the present state of things, absorbing all the details of what is happening in the here and the now, especially as it relates to systems and processes. They move through the world in a sequential way, starting by considering “what is” and then moving forward one step at a time. When interacting with Guardians, you will appreciate their attention to detail and concrete approach to operating.
When it comes to decision making, Nurturers tend to make decisions based on what will maintain or strengthen the relational harmony with those around them. Their sense of personal alignment with their values and care for people override profit every time in the decision-making process. Therefore it is difficult for them to separate their emotions, and the impact of decisions on the relational harmony of the people around them from the decision itself.
Guardians on the other hand tend to make decisions based on what seems logical, rational, objectively true, and operationally effective. It doesn’t mean that they don’t like people, or that they don’t have deeply held values. What it does mean, however, is that they find it easier to separate people, emotions, and the relational impact of actions and decisions from the decision-making process. When push comes to shove, Guardians tend to value objective, logical truth over relational harmony.
When interacting with Guardians, remember to incorporate clear logic and rationale into the conversation. If you can help them see how something makes people’s lives better through a concrete, tangible plan of action then you’ll find them much more receptive to your perspective.
Rules of Engagement for Connecting with Guardians
• Encourage and invite Guardians to keep asking the difficult questions - it’ll save you a lot of time, money, and hassle in the end.
• Commit to staying engaged with the Guardian’s questions for as long as you can - they are the champions of due diligence and this is how they protect resources, systems, and processes.
• Affirm the Guardian’s commitment to the truth and stewardship of financial resources.
Connecting with other Nurturers
When it comes to connecting with other Nurturers, it’s important to remember that you both process and make decisions in a very similar manner. However, this doesn’t always mean that you will align. The most common misalignment between Nurturers may arise from differences in how reflective (introverted) vs. expressive (extroverted) they are, as well as differences in how structured vs. adaptable they are. Disagreements between two Nurturers typically do not escalate into combative arguments, but may drift towards passive aggressive actions. Leverage the following rules of engagement when connecting with other Nurturers.
Rules of Engagement for Connecting with Nurturers
• Invite other Nurturers to give their view or opinion before stating yours.
• Encourage other Nurturers to share their honest opinion, even if it opposes the viewpoints of others.
• Be mindful of their preference for how reflective or expressive they are, as well as how adaptive or structured they are.
• Commit to giving Nurturers space and authority to care for the practical needs of others - don’t micromanage them.
• Affirm the value they bring to the team.