The Circumplex

The Human Synergistics International Circumplex provides a way to “see,” measure, and change the thinking and behavioral styles proven to drive the performance of not only individuals, but also groups and organizations. It breaks down the factors underlying effectiveness into 12 specific styles that are grouped into three general clusters and arranged in a circular manner based on their similarity: Constructive, Passive/Defensive, and Aggressive/Defensive.

The Constructive styles are highly effective and promote individual, group, and organizational performance. In contrast, the Aggressive/Defensive styles have an inconsistent and potentially negative impact on performance, and the Passive/Defensive styles consistently detract from overall effectiveness. The styles describe what’s happening and what’s expected in organizations and, given their impact on performance, provide a direction for change and development.

Originally developed in 1971 by Dr. J. Clayton Lafferty for the Life Styles Inventory™, Dr. Robert A. Cooke has carried out numerous projects on the Circumplex to assess its validity, modify and improve it, and develop surveys around it for groups, leaders, and organizations. The power of the Circumplex is found in this integrated, multi-level set of measures as well as the provision of a common language that people can use to describe and redirect the cultures of their organizations.

The Circumplex