One of the toughest things in life, and business, can be dealing with people. No matter what line of work we’re in, we need people to make it successful. Learning how to work with different personalities is an important part of making life easier for you, and for the people you encounter. Human beings can have very different ways of handling situations. Sometimes they are in direct line with how we would handle things. Other times, we cannot fathom a person’s way of doing something. However, we can all learn from one another (even if at times, the lesson is how NOT to do something).
Years ago, I attended a training that discussed the DISC personality profile created by Dr. William Marston (Disc Profile). I found this training to be fascinating and useful in my future interactions with people. The training tells us that there are four different and prominent personality types. Typically, each of us embody one of the styles prominently, though we typically have each of the other characteristics as well.
The first of the personalities, is the “D” (Dominant), personality. Some of you may know this person as an “A” type personality. Dominant types like to be in control and are competitive as well as perfectionists. Dominant people don’t like lots of “fluff”. When someone asks a “D” to tell about themselves, they’ll often talk first about their accomplishments. They are independent and confident and often misconstrued as pushy or aggressive. When you are working or talking to a person of this style, it would serve you well to get right to the point. The great thing about “D” personalities would be their ability to take the bull by the horns without you having to hover over them with directions. Not to say other personalities wouldn’t do well in a leadership position, but your “D” is a natural fit.
Next in line is the “I” personality. The Influencer. The life of the party! Do you need a cheerleader, an optimist, an enthusiastic firecracker? Look no further than the “I”. Friends and collaboration are important to this person. Money is, of course, important to all types, but recognition or prizes will drive this style personality quite a bit. You want to keep them in front of your customers, too. they will help build your base. On the downside, “I’s” sometimes lose focus and need re-direction. No one likes criticism, but your “I” will take it harder than most. When giving constructive criticism (to anyone), it’s always good to sandwich it with compliments.
The third personality type is the “S” (Steady) personality. Steady personalities are the slow and steady type and sometimes have a tough time adapting to change. They are not showy and question themselves often. The great thing about “S” types is that they are nurturing and understanding. Being the most patient of the four personality types, “S” types are great in positions like human resources. They may not set the world on fire but they will give you everything they have and need acknowledgment of their accomplishments. You will not need to worry about them stirring the pot among other people because they seek acceptance and avoid confrontation.
Last, but not least, is the “C” (Conscientious) style personality. You may know them as the detail oriented person in your life. These gems are the ones you stick on projects that require facts and figures. They do things in a very methodical manner. A routine is important for the steady personality and so is accuracy. If an “S” does something incorrectly, they take it very much to heart. It’s important that they feel accomplished and are revered for their expertise. Keep in mind, when working with this personality, that they don’t make decisions lightly and may have a hard time delegating what they think they can handle on their own.
All of these personalities have something great to offer and can complement one another. The key is to recognize each person’s gifts and strengths and utilize accordingly. Recognize each of the personality types in your circle, including yourself, and use the abilities of each person in the right capacity. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the difference it makes in your business and life.