Finding Commonalities and Solutions With Decision-Makers

Archetypes At A Glance

"Conservative Decision-Makers" are a broad audience encompassing many different perspectives and decision-styles. To create a more detailed understanding, we researched four archetypes, which are defined as typical examples of a person or group. These are intended, without stereotypes or judgment, to provide clues about feelings, needs and core values that can advance shared understanding and productive debate.

It’s important to highlight that archetypes are not stereotypes, which are defined as “widely held but fixed and oversimplified images or ideas of a particular type of person or thing.” Where stereotypes can reduce people to a simplistic idea in order to shut down curiosity and openness, archetypes give us examples of people who may hold similar views and values, in order to increase understanding.

Review all archetypes at a glance in the table below. Click on each heading in the table to explore each archetype in detail.


Church & Country

Economic Influenced

Legacy Republican



Loyalty to chosen leaders; relate personally to those they serve; believe in finding common ground but unwilling to compromise on conservative Christian values; pride in position earned through personal hard work.

Prioritize economic strength; favor limited government and personal freedoms; financially secure, highly educated; pragmatic; passionate about policy details.

Value debate and relationships; interested in exploring other points of view; open to stepping out of party positions; passionate about details of policy; see selves as moderates but have strong traditional values.

Appeal to populist voters who are concerned about discrimination against white people; distrust institutions and experts; pro-constitution, pro-freedom; want to reverse what they see as the decline of America; see themselves as independent and different from other conservatives.


“Life is not fair. Life is hard. I’m bound by my faith in my obligations to my fellow man but I don’t want the government dictating a redistribution of resources. That’s the basis of Marxism. That does not work.”

“What is the effectiveness of existing programming? There are lots of programs. Do we have the data to know what is working?”

“Tactics and strategy matter. Those first few opening sentences should be warm and welcoming and educational vs. the sky is falling and you are to blame and you are choosing not to do anything about it. Collaborative, informative and civil.”

“When I vote on a piece of legislation, I ask myself three questions. Is it constitutional, does it grow government, does it raise taxes? If the answer to the first is yes and to the second two is no, then we can talk.”

Core Values

  • Faith

  • Caring, contribution

  • Nurturing

  • Authority, respect, loyalty (to political leaders, church)

  • Partnership

  • Tradition, order, adherence and loyalty to conservative ideals 

  • Service, leadership

  • Freedom, autonomy,  individual choice 

  • Efficiency of small government

  • Originality, innovation, addressing problems (public-private solutions)

  • Tradition, order, autonomy and sovereignty of family unit (parental decision-making)

  • Leadership

  • Focus, directness 

  • Success

  • Diligence, contribution, hard work, self-sufficiency 

  • Care, service

  • Integrity, forthrightness, respect

  • Knowledge, expertise

  • Leadership, service

  • Loyalty (to America and Constitution)

  • Diligence, hard work (and earned benefits)

  • Freedom, free will, self-determination 

  • Authority, security, leadership 

  • Directness, straightforwardness (don’t hide behind facts and experts) 

  • Efficiency, restraint and limits (of government) 

  • Originality, boldness

Motivated By

Helping families.

Helping people become self-sufficient.

Solving problems and helping people.

Being a champion for people’s rights.

How to Approach

  • Emphasize shared values. 

  • Understand that their beliefs are intrinsic; state your opinion, but don’t cross into persuasion. 

  • Remember that progressive language can feel “othering” and polarizing; choose your words carefully.

  • Approach the issue from a limited government and personal responsibility perspective. 

  • Be straightforward, clear, and succinct, while staying open to discussion.

  • Remember that progressive language can feel “virtue signaling.” Be flexible, negotiate, and find common ground.

  • Take time to build a relationship. 

  • Use facts, but be aware that they will fact-check and look for bias. They focus on the issue; understand that it is not personal to them. They know they may not agree with you today but might possibly agree tomorrow.

  • Be humble and friendly; avoid lecturing. 

  • Acknowledge their values and be realistic in your

  • Use humor and avoid getting too serious or angry.

Trusted Sources

  • Faith leaders

  • Local doctors 

  • Local small business leaders 

  • Free market advocates

  • Select mainstream media

  • Data and examples of success

  • Experts and leading organizations

  • Business leaders and professional groups

  • Data and examples of success

  • Mainstream media 

  • Their own research

  • Individuals in their own communities

  • Their own health care providers 

  • Deep distrust of data, experts, media 

Approach to PN-3 Issues

Believe mom and dad make a family, and mom should stay home; see education as a solution.

Data driven, need to understand ROI.

Acknowledge that early interventions prevent problems later in life; but may not see a government role.

No role for government.

Approach to Local Decision-Making

Empathize with leaders who want to help families, but their faith influences which policies they see as helpful vs. harmful.

Believe in small, limited government and reducing government spending, which is the basis of their concern over local policy-making.

Concerned about the details of policy-making and question if local leaders have the knowledge and experience to make good policy.

Believe in freedom, which extends to freedom from what they see as over regulation by local governments. Covid-19 (masking and closings) is their prime example.

Explore Each Archetype in Detail

Fine-Tune Within the Archetypes

Within each archetype, each individual’s perspective is also influenced by other characteristics. The research helps you fine-tune using these tools:

  • Shared Characteristics: Click the link to consider common core beliefs and policy positions that are shared across the archetypes. 

  • Dials: Geographic region, age and other insights can serve as “dials” to further tune-in the archetypes for clearest understanding. For example, a younger, rural decision-maker who fits the Church and Country archetype may have different needs than their older, urban counterpart. 

This link is provided for convenience only and is not an endorsement of either the linked-to entity or any product or service.