Work Traits


Pragmatism means you live in the present moment and make decisions based on what’s happening right now.
Take the Assessment

What is pragmatism?

Pragmatism means you focus on the present situation and make decisions for the ‘here and now’. It’s a realistic, practical viewpoint that means you want to know what’s happening today, this week or this month.

You’re concerned with current realities, rather than past experiences or future goals: What resources do we have in place right now? What do we need to do today? What’s the most pressing matter for an immediate result?

Rooted in the present moment, you’ll be highly attuned to what you’re seeing, hearing and feeling in the present moment. Roles you might flourish in could be customer service, operational management and anything focused on live decision-making (like air-traffic control).

We call it: Present

Your motivation to reference the present moment, the 'here and now' in your work and in business.

The only true thing is what's in front of you right now.

Ramona Ausubel

The benefits of pragmatism


Tempering dreamy expectations means pragmatists usually don’t waste time on unrealistic goals.


This trait comes with a high aptitude for allocating time, resources and people to where they’re needed most in the moment.


Making decisions under pressure is your forté, because you’ve got all the information you need at hand.

The blind spots of pragmatism


A focus on the realism of the current situation can be perceived as a negative viewpoint to have by more future-oriented folk.


Bringing your present focus to a group can be seen as restraining ambition and tempering lofty goals.

Short-term thinking

The here-and-now being top of mind means you might not be great at mapping out future visions to achieve your full potential.

Divider imageDivider image

Featuring a huge library of coaching programs

How to be a pragmatic leader

1) Use current-centric language.

A simple linguistic switch can put you in a more pragmatic frame of mind. Try to use phrases like ‘here and now’, ‘in the moment’, ’today’s agenda’, and ‘immediately’ in your notes and messages. These can help you focus on what’s happening now that you should pay attention to.

2) Reduce forward-oriented phrases.

If you’re tempted to use phrases like ‘future’, ‘ahead’, ‘eventually’ and the like, you’re probably paying little attention to the useful present data in front of you. Remember to check your communication towards others to avoid the downsides of this, like a lack of specificity.

3) Structure your day.

It might be helpful to systematize your decision-making more to help you return to the present. Creatives and visionaries are especially prone to losing focus in favour of ideating and ruminating. So try to build in time blocks each day for looking at information, considering reports, and letting others know what you’re up to.

4) Use data to your advantage.

Sure, you might be reining in the visionary talk a little, but just because you’re being more present-focused and realistic it doesn’t mean you can’t still inspire. Think about how you can present current data in an exciting way to illustrate positive trajectories that you and your team are on.

Divider imageDivider image

Loved By:


Sign up for free

Measure your traits and discover your unique talents.

Get started now

Discover your top talents & unique strengths

Loved by Canva, Atlassian, KPMG, and more!
Take free assessment

Discover your top talents & unique strengths

Loved by Canva, Atlassian, KPMG, and more!
Take free assessment