Guide to different personality types in business
Posted on 10 Jul, 2012
To run a business successfully requires understanding that not everyone thinks in the same way that you do. Every customer, prospect, employee and supplier has a unique personality, some of which will be very different from yours.
To get the best from other people means engaging with them in a way that works successfully for their personality type, and also having an understanding of your own character.
Personality analysis is big business, with a huge variety of tools available for identifying the various key differences. Even a limited appreciation of the major personality types can help you to work with them more effectively.
Summary of personality types in business
These four personality types represent the main areas of difference between people. Each of us is a blend of these types, with different traits coming to the fore under varying circumstances.
Dominant: Competitive and driven to achieve results, a dominant personality can be easy to spot. They want to get to the point, which can make them relatively easy to sell to, but they can also come across as rude and insensitive.
Don’t be deterred from engaging with a dominant personality, and seeking to meet their need to achieve a positive result quickly. If you have a dominant personality in your team, set them goals to ensure they get regular feedback on their achievements.
Analytical: Details and planning are important to analytical personalities. They want answers to questions, although they may not always be assertive enough to ask. Their need to be precise can make them cautious, as they want to weigh the options before coming to a decision.
When you’re dealing with someone who’s analytical, give them the information and time they need to make the right choice. The analytical person on your team should look after the detail for you, but set them deadlines, otherwise they will always have one more fact to check.
Enthusiastic: Packed with energy and usually very sociable, an enthusiastic personality can be a great asset when you need to motivate your team. Their creativity can be infectious, but their expectations of what’s possible may sometimes be unrealistic.
If you’re selling to an enthusiastic person, don’t assume you’re successful until the contract is signed. However, the enthusiast in your firm could make a great sales person, as they are likely to have excellent people skills.
Caring: Patience, listening skills and an ability to encourage others are traits of the caring personality. They are willing to talk about emotions in a relaxed way, often getting others to open up. Decisions are often made on how they feel about something, rather than on the hard facts, which means you could lose a sale if they take a dislike to you.
The caring person on your team is often the one that others go to when they need emotional support. Because they are interested in people, they can also provide you with insights into others, both inside and outside your organisation.
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