Beyond Superpowers: Behavioral Styles® of Superheroes

It’s summer blockbuster season and the superheroes are taking over. These action figures have amazing super powers, but sometimes their behaviors speak louder than their brawn. Here’s how four superheroes stack up in our quick take on Behavioral Styles® of Superheroes! 

Talker: Iron Man

“I’m Tony Stark. I build neat stuff, got a great girl, occasionally save the world.”

Talkers are charming and outgoing. They engage people in conversation while always keeping them on task and moving forward toward a workable solution. The epitome of the Talker in the superhero world is Iron Man.

Like most Talkers, Iron Man is charismatic, social and fun loving, someone who loves the spotlight and has a knack for inspiring people through his own enthusiasm and energy. And unlike most other superheroes, he’s fine with you knowing who he really is, Tony Stark. Why not be famous for it? But with his preference for collegiality and recognition over security and logic, he can be impulsive and lose interest when things stop being fun.

Doer: Wonder Woman

“If it means interfering in an ensconced, outdated system, to help just one woman, man or child…I’m willing to accept the consequences.”

Doers get to the point quickly, but they avoid telling the person what they want to hear just because an immediate answer is expected. They have high standards of behavior and performance for themselves, and expect the same of others. Some might call them “born to lead,” and Wonder Woman certainly fits that description.

The daughter of a queen, she’s an ambassador and warrior who fights for peace, justice and truth. Like most Doers, Wonder Woman demonstrates the ability to meet needs quickly. She can disarm human opponents of their weapons instantly and immobilize them in the blink of an eye. Trained in the martial society of Amazons, she is a self-sufficient fighter and athlete with sharp reflexes and strong resilience.

Controller: Batman

 “Justice is about more than revenge.”

Controllers value thoroughness, documentation and facts. With precise, careful consideration and research—usually conducted alone— they validate the potential success of a solution by providing a rationale for how/why it will work. Batman, that quiet, introspective superhero, is a good example of the Controller Behavioral Style.

Unlike the gregarious, outgoing Iron Man, Batman is guarded, meticulous and brooding. He doesn’t court risk. Instead, like most Controllers, he comes prepared with “just-in-case” gadgets and tools and a well-thought-out plan of action. He retreats to the bat cave to strategize and work through problems so he knows exactly what his next move will be.

Supporter: Superman

“If you want to get your hands on my friends, you’re going to have to kill me first!”

Hardworking and reliable, Supporters are sincere and thorough, able to get things done by establishing credibility and trust. And as the name implies, they often put others’ needs over their own. Superman, the brave and kind-hearted hero with a strong sense of right and wrong, is the Superhero Supporter.

Superman is known for his extraordinary strength and powers, but also for his idealism and humanitarianism. Like most Supporters, playing by the rules is important to him. He follows a strict moral code and serves as an example and role model for others. He is also acutely aware of his own vulnerabilities.

Now it’s your turn! Do you agree with these assessments? Has this inspired you to identify the Behavioral Styles of some of your favorite superheroes? Share your thoughts or comments.



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