There are 4 Types. Which are you?
When I’m asked to do a client intervention to help increase communication or diffuse conflict, often the first thing I do is have the participants complete a personality or behavioral inventory. I have found that the vast majority of the time, conflicts are due to the way we are hard wired. We speak differently, we work differently, and we hear things differently. Each personality type has its distinct strengths and blind spots. There are 4 major types and we are all made up of a combination of these but usually have 1 type from which we lead.
Natural Strengths: The Dominance Type has a strong need to get results. They embrace challenges, value fast decisions and focus on the bottom line. They take charge, communicate with urgency and always follow through to get the job done. They have a competitive nature which translates into a high need for achievement and a propensity to win. Blind spots: They are not sensitive to the needs of others and often value the job over people. They are seen as lacking patience, being controlling and making decisions too quickly. They can come across as critical and not supportive of other people’s ideas. You’ll find the Dominance Type having a difficult time listening, being blunt and confrontational, frequently clashing and stepping on toes.
Natural Strengths: Influence Types love to connect. They are warm, outgoing, convincing and enjoy creative outlets often in service to others. They are seen as trusting and optimistic. They are highly social and often highly charismatic, and they love working on teams and being around people. They love jobs that involve a high degree of social interaction and don’t like being in jobs where they are alone. Blind spots: They are seen as unfocused and overly talkative. They can come across as being impulsive, disorganized and having lack of follow-through. They are not good with details and are more concerned with people and popularity than with tangible results and organization. They can over promise and be slow to action.
Natural Strengths: The Steadiness Type is very team-oriented, helpful, and cooperative. They follow the rules and value harmony. They are known for being steady, stable, and predictable. They are even-tempered, friendly, and sympathetic with others. They are good listeners. They strive for consensus and will try hard to reconcile conflicts as they arise. They are good at multi-tasking and seeing tasks through until completion. They enjoy routine. Blind Spots: They are often unhurried and reluctant to make decisions, which can irritate the more fast-paced Dominance and Influence types. They are not inclined to change. They can be especially sensitive when it comes to criticism. They may have a difficult time saying no or establishing priorities.
Natural Strengths: The Conscientiousness Type are analytical, logical, and highly structured. They value accuracy and spend time being the quality control person. When something new is proposed, they will think through every detail of how it works and the process. They are even tempered and very thorough. They make decisions carefully with plenty of research and information to back it up. They have very high standards for both themselves and others. Because they focus on the details and see what many other styles do not, they tend to be good problem solvers or very creative people. Blind spots: They can easily suffer “analysis paralysis,” and struggle to make fast decisions. They are bound by procedure and find it difficult to stray from order. They are seen as getting too bogged down in the small details, making it difficult to see the next steps or big picture. They need clear cut boundaries in order to feel comfortable at work, in relationships, or to take action.
In order to build more effective teams, increase alignment to goals and help propel your company to achieve its business goals more rapidly, developing an awareness of various work styles is critical. This means understanding your own style, the style of others and how you both must adapt your styles to work better together. In doing so you can leverage the strengths of each member of the team, increase productivity, decrease conflict and boost morale.