Q: Do I as a leader in the organization share my type with people in my organization?
A: My personal recommendation is, YES! I am huge fan of everyone learning about personality types both in themselves and in others. When an organization does a Personalities for Business training, they find a new “vocabulary” that provides them a way to talk more about their newly understood strengths, weaknesses and differences.
As a leader, your behavior, your level of understanding, and the way you face challenging circumstances and relationships will set the tone for the rest of the members. Understanding your own strengths and weaknesses is important. Making decisions and acting in a way that maximizes your strengths and minimizes your weaknesses shows a dedication to personal well-being and the good of the organization. But being able to admit your shortcomings and share with your team how you are facing your issues and what you are learning in the process…that could have a powerful impact on your team.
I am not advocating airing out all your “dirty laundry” with everyone you work with and interact with. Discretion and appropriate levels of sharing for individual circumstances should definitely be a part of your decision making process. But generally speaking, sharing what you know about your personality type – and those of others – will be a good thing for your organization.
Q: Should I look for the same types when hiring? Should I try to get all the types when hiring?
A: When it comes to hiring, I definitely believe it is important to consider personality as part of the equation. The hiring process is generally quite different for small and large business owners. For small business owners, my advice is to examine your own personality and understand your own strengths and weaknesses. Then, look for someone whose strengths compliment your weaknesses. For example, I am a Yellow/Red and my husband is a Green/Yellow. When our business grew to the point where we needed someone else, we recognized that we needed to look for a Blue who could “fill in” in the areas where we are naturally lacking.
For larger businesses, a job description for the position is often set for you. When interviewing candidates think carefully about what the position requires. Are you looking for a receptionist who needs to greet people with a small, make people feel comfortable, and perhaps even entertain guests when they first arrive for a meeting or appointment? Perhaps a Yellow/Green would be best suited for that position. Do you need someone who can work alone, pay close attention to detail, and keep accurate records and reports? Perhaps a Blue is best suited for that position.
Refer to chapter 7 in Personalities for Business, “Hiring Personalities” for more information and ideas.
Q: What if you are meeting with a bride and groom and others (like her parents) and there is a mixture of personalities…who do you gear the meeting to?
A: Although the context is different, this is similar to what I deal with every time I present to an audience. You have to decide who you want to connect with and then “speak” to that person in his/her “language.” If your answer is “all of them” then you need to subtly address each individual in a way that connects with them.
Put yourself in that situation for a moment; picture a specific bride and groom and set of parents seated around the table with you. Even though it may feel like you are talking to everyone at once, because they may all be listening, you really can only make eye contact with one person at a time. And hopefully, they will take turns asking you questions instead of all firing things at you at once. If you are new at trying to “speak” personalities, don’t get hung up on labeling each person in the meeting with a color right off the bat. Rather, focus your efforts on “mirroring” their tone, volume, body language, and word choice. Perhaps you have a Red dad who will be the one writing the check. Make sure you answer his questions clearly and concisely. If Mom or sister start sharing lots of details about the dresses or decor or favors….listen. Ask questions. Be attentive. Chat with them about what is important to them.
I remember giving a seminar in Las Vegas where I could practically see the figurative light bulb go on in one attendee’s face. He went on to share about a recent consult where he, a strong Yellow, connected with the groom and all the parents. There was boisterous laughter, lots of stories being told and funny jokes exchanged. He was confident he had established a strong connection because by the end of the consult he felt like an old family friend. He was shocked when he didn’t get the job. But sitting in my seminar he realized that he had inadvertently alienated the bride who he could now identify as a Blue. Whiile it is important to establish connections with all the key players, particularly in a wedding situation, remember that in almost every case, the bride has “veto power” so above all else, make sure you connect with her.