From Brad Schnell:
I recently attended the Washington Finance Officer Association annual conference in Bellevue, Washington. This well organized event included great sessions for Local Public Officials. One session that I attended was “How to Succeed, Stay Sane and Have Fun at Work”, by keynote speaker David Rabiner, owner of Rabiner Resources. He is an excellent public speaker that combines just the right mix of humor and storytelling to keep his audience interested in his subject.
His presentation brought to the forefront awareness and information on personality types in the work place, and as a manager of people, advice on how to work positivity and effectively with different styles. It was a great reminder about how we all have different personalities and different ways we tackle problems and lead teams. David took the concept of the Myers Briggs HumanMetrics testing and modified it to simplify and organize personality’s types; so employees, managers, and day-to-day people can understand and achieve a successful working relationship.
In his session, David gave us a simple questionnaire in order to determine our type through a formula he has developed. The questions ask about your attitude or reaction to handling conflict, relationships, workload and stress. Then we completed a four square matrix and our personality type surfaced. I turned up in Box 1 – no surprise to me. Following are the 4 types of personalities:
The good traits: Peacemaker, good listener, involves others, cooperative, and likes routine.
The not so good traits: Avoids conflict, doesn’t speak up, can’t act alone, can’t say no, and resists change.
The good traits: Entertainer, creative, energetic, persuasive, and fun.
The not so good traits: Impulsive, lacks follow-thru, dislikes routine, poor listener, and easily bored.
The good traits: Scholar, detail-oriented, organized, accurate, and dependable.
The not so good traits: Indecisive, nit-picky, inflexible, and critical.
The good traits: Achiever, decisive, productive, focused, and competitive.
The not so good traits: Steamroller, bossy, impatient, unfriendly, and aggressive.
You will probably guess which personality you are without answering the questionnaire (or maybe not). I think being a Box 1 serves me well in my career in sales. Being a good listener and cooperative are my biggest strengths, especially in solution selling. I have to be able to understand the needs of my clients in order to define a solution and show them the benefits of that solution.
Box 2 people are fun and creative in the office. You know, the one who always has the good joke, with a great personality who is also good in sales. Box 3 people require research and backup for every decision they make. This is the personality type of accountants and software implementers – I work with lots of those too! And, finally Box 4 people get things done. You want one of these guys on your team when you have deadlines that can’t be missed. They may step on a few toes in the process, but you can count on them to get that all important project done and on time. The well-rounded individual has a little bit of all of these traits.
Good leadership is understanding how your team works, and how they can best work together. Being respectful and understanding when to encourage a certainly personality to complete a task or redirect them so they are leveraging their strengths is all important in the office culture. When setting employee motivational goals, it is important to set those goals based on the personality type and work style of each individual employee. For example, as a supervisor, if you’re a Box 3 and directing a Box 2, you need to understand what motivates them so you can interpret their reactions and behaviors. This is a good argument for managers to “think outside the box” when it comes to supervising others.
As an organization, setting goals and attaining them requires a team that is diverse and active in their individual strengths and skills. Effective leadership will nurture and support these talented people in a fun and productive way. To learn more from David Rabiner and view his presentations, visit his web site at www.rabiner.com