As the merry bunch of celebrity ballroom beginners are about to dance us into Christmas with a dubious range of steps and shapes, I thought I’d take a look at our Autumnal accompaniment through a rater different lens: the Risk Type Compass.
The Risk Type Compass, or the glitterball of psychometrics, casts light on our differing predispositions to risk from the very risk averse to the very risk tolerant; and in a Strictly world we might see the following Risk Types sparkle…
The Wary Type
The most risk averse of them all, currently wondering why on Earth they ever agreed to do the show. Well-organised and methodical, they will have timetabled training and be the most compliant of all students as the fear of doing things wrong on Saturday will be keeping them up at night. Great for the outtakes, the ‘Warys’ will be candid and overshare their fears, including everything else that’s gone wrong previously for them! The world might well end at the start of each new week when they have to learn a new dance; brace yourself for exclamations of ‘there isn’t time to get this right!’
Having watched the boxset of all the previous series and read the dancing manuals to minimise their risk of failure, the Prudent will understand all the technical requirements; whether their body allows them to or not is another matter. 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3; they might dance more by numbers than by feel or rhythm. They’re certainly not freestylers and are likely to have thought about learning a Plan B should they forget their steps.
Equally prepared and detailed in their research, the Deliberates will, however, be altogether calmer about matters. More confident and self-assured, they won’t let anxiety get in the way of learning what they need to, but will tend to seek exhaustive information to ensure they are in charge of all the facts. Ruthless analysers of their own performance, they’ll seem unflappable about Craig’s ‘2’ and will want to know what it will take to give them a 5 or more.
These dancers will probably wonder what all the fuss is about. Cool-headed, calm and optimistic, they may be the journalist who’s continued to commentate whilst under gun-fire. When they lose their steps, they’ll wait to pick up the beat and rhythm again and regard the judges’ marks as part of some kind of audience necessity rather than any personal judgement on them.
Impulsive, fearless and wanting to get straight into the ‘Paso’ and doing lifts by week two, and by choice, they’ll be the first ones dancing on the judges’ table. Probably criticised for a lack of control on occasions but really not too bothered about the exact precision of their ‘armography’…after all, they’re too busy getting excited about the next dance.
These are the freestylers of the group, and can be the professional dancers’ nightmares…because they don’t listen and might forget to turn up to training as something else has taken their fancy. Not big on the small details, they’ll seem somewhat resistant to being told the same old feedback and more likely to ask the judges to appreciate their novelty rather than their technique. Watch out for the interviews; no one knows what they’ll say, least of all them!
Bouncing all over the training room and red carpet this week the Excitables will be desperate for public attention but equally catastrophizing about what might go wrong. Their internal monologue is likely to include: ‘I can’t wait, I’m going to be terrible’; ‘I’m going to be voted out first week, but what if I win’; ‘I’ll be back on prime time, what if I fall down the stairs’. Just watch their faces when the 8 from Bruno is followed by the 3 from Craig… that’s how their life feels!
Highly strung, nervous and riddled with self-doubt, their professional dancers will have succeeded simply by getting them onto the dancefloor. Sensitive and self-deprecating, they’ll be haunted by the failings of the previous Saturday and desperate to criticise their own performance first in the vain hope they don’t have to hear personal criticism from the judges. Kept being voted in by a compassionate public, just watch their face when they get a 10: it’ll be like watching their life-long exhausting worry suddenly become all worthwhile; and tears…yes, there’ll be plenty of tears!
So, enjoy the show if you’re a fan. It’s bound to be emotional, or perhaps less so if you have a more Prudent or Composed predisposition!
Nick Slade, 2017
The Risk Type Compass is sensitive to over 200 risk dispositions across a continuum of the 8 caricatured Types here. Used across a number of industries from Finance to Aviation, get in touch to find out how it can help your organisation.