Most entry-level and mid-level employees fall into the Accepters category, the largest of the groups (39 percent). They are extremely concerned about details, but this attention to detail can be a positive quality, ensuring that careless mistakes are avoided. Rather than lashing out like Spouters, Acccepters keep their emotions hidden. Like Spouters, Accepters admit to feeling anxious and depressed.
Accepters, like Spouters, tend to view the world more pessimistically, but do not consider themselves as creative or as possessed of natural leadership qualities as do Spouters. They assume bad things are going to happen, they often don’t feel control of their environment, and they are reluctant to take risks, hedging their bets rather than coming down firmly on one side or another in a disagreement. Given these feelings, it is unsurprising that Accepters tend to procrastinate. They believe it is more important to be diplomatic than it is to be candid. Accepters feel underappreciated and are people who colleagues tend to consider “passive aggressive.” Extenuating circumstances, office politics, and client relations often create intense pressure on people, driving tem to behave as Accepters.
Accepters need help to put into words what they are feeling. While we were able to capture their attitudes in the anonymous survey, in the one-on-one interviews, it was hard to get Accepters to tell illustrative personal stories about themselves at work – after all, they are people who tend not to reveal their feelings. Many of the interviewees who felt the most despondent about their inability to effect change at work described in vivid detail how supportive and effective talking with a good friend or partner had been in helping them manage their emotions.