Relations - Type Q

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Type Qs in Relations are decisive and unafraid to have challenging conversations with others. Where their Type P counterparts lean heavily on empathy to build trusting relationships, Type Qs build these relationships by being straightforward with each other which leads to the building of mutual respect. These are the type of friends that you’ll say, “I don’t have to wonder what they’re thinking because they’ll be honest with me and tell me.” Type Qs build these types of relationships because they place tremendous value on truth and accuracy. It’s likely that a Type Q will feel they “have not done their duty” if they do not speak up and say the things that are hard to say.

Type Description


Elon Musk

CEO, Tesla and SpaceX


Providing Feedback

Top Strengths



“Never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.”

– Winston Churchill



Optimal Work Environment

Interview Prep

Find the team and work environment that best fit your type:

Highlight your unique strengths by thinking through these topics:

Type Qs in Relations do their best work in environments that value objectivity and “straight talk.” Voicing their opinion and concerns is a key part to a Type Q’s strengths. As a result, teammates and managers that allow for a healthy amount of disagreement and the ability to dig deeper and challenge each other are sure to get the best from Type Qs.


One caution for Type Qs is on how they deliver feedback. While usually well-meaning, it’s common for this to come off as a personal affront to other types. Consider planning out critical “tough talks” and think about how the other person might react.

•Think of a time when you’ve sacrificed being liked to do what you thought was right.

•Have you ever had to speak truth to power or have a tough conversation with a teammate?

•When have you sought out sources outside your immediate circle to ensure the path you or your team was proceeding on was the right one?

•Have other suggestions? Send us an email and we'll feature it here for other students!

Questions to Ask Yourself


How do I best receive feedback from others?

In the past, what have I been most willing to speak out about? Why does this matter so much to me?



What about me makes me persuasive? When are people most willing to listen to me?

Are there contexts where I’m less objective than usual? Why is that?




Elon Musk



Graduating with a degree in both economics and physics from the University of Pennsylvania, Elon Musk got his start in the dotcom era with his work on Zip2 and which made him a billionaire with the sale to Paypal and later Ebay. With the major cash injection he received from the sale, he changed his focus from internet and software to issues of critical importance to humanity. Today he is CEO and/or founder of 4 companies including SpaceX and Tesla. He and his team have also been instrumental in the research and support of hyperloop technology - a mass transit system that will be able to transport people in a near-vacuum up to 760 mph (that’s from Nashville to Chicago in 45 minutes).


Elon’s goals are to accelerate the use and development of sustainable energy and to one day make humans an interplanetary species. He is known as one of the most inspiring, and at times controversial, entrepreneurs.


Elon Musk is an excellent example of Relations Type Q in action. By all accounts, Musk is an incredibly transparent, straightforward person. In his biography by Ashley Vance, there are several occasions where characteristics commonly associated with Type Qs may be seen such as Elon’s writing of a very detailed and direct email to all employees mandating acronyms no longer be used at SpaceX or him approaching engineers and asking them, simply, to deliver parts at nearly 1/100th of the cost (if they could not, Elon was known to take over the project himself). From examples like this we can see Musk clearly prioritizes accuracy, efficiency, and gutsiness. If he feels an employee or one of his senior executives is not living up to these ideals, he is sure to let them know.


The mentality that Elon has is represented further in his management style. In an email to an Inc writer, he laid out 12 of his management maxims. Two of these stick out as particularly Type Q: 1) if you are not adding value to a meeting, leave and 2) any manager enforcing chain of command communication will be fired. These are vivid examples of the clear expectations he sets forth and his objectivity.


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