The Four Tendencies: Obligers as Investors

Obligers are the most common of the Four Tendencies.  They tend to make fabulous friends, co-workers, family members, and spouses.  That is because, “they tend to meet deadlines, keep their promises and follow through for others.”


Where Obligers struggle is in setting expectations that might fall under the category of self-care and following through.  So, Obliger Jim knows he should exercise more, but if his boss asks him to work 10-hour days, the Jim will sacrifice his own health (inner expectation) to satisfy his boss (outer expectation).


What might keep Jim exercising despite his boss’ demands is that Jim’s dog Tank (a Questioner) demands to be walked twice a day.  Tank’s outer expectation of Jim helps keep Jim’s exercise consistent.


As a financial adviser, Obliger clients are great!  If an Obliger sees me as an accountability partner or someone they don’t want to disappoint, they will complete the tasks we set out together.  That may be consolidating accounts from three different investment companies, raising their 401(k) contribution percentage, or giving the boot to an old expensive annuity.


However, Obligers can let other’s needs get in the way of their own tasks.  As a financial adviser, I need to offer a follow up e-mail to an Obliger after every meeting.  Sooner than later, perhaps, so the client has a deadline to meet.  We can say the deadline is for me, but really, it’s for the client.


An Obliger client is one I need to visualize when thinking of an alternative business model to my current ad hoc hourly, come-when-you-feel-like-it business model.  That works great for Upholders, but Obligers would thrive with more of a scheduled approach.  More on that to come around the end of 2021.


Next up, the Questioner!



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