The most important skills in business today are “people skills and emotional intelligence.” These are sometimes, and erroneously in my opinion, called soft skills.
First, let’s look at exactly what is emotional intelligence?
According to Daniel Goleman in his book “Emotional Intelligence”, it’s the ability to recognize and regulate the emotions in ourselves and others. That’s not always easy to do. But there is another tool that you can use to increase your emotional intelligence. It’s personality.
We all know people with different personalities. I’m suggesting that the more we understand them, the more we can figure out why people behave the way they do. Understanding personality styles adds another dimension to working with other people, whether it is a friend or a customer.
Why is it important to understand personality styles?
Because people want to be understood. They want you to consider their views and perspectives on different issues and situations. Knowing the different perspectives of each personality style will help you understand and even predict how others will behave and react to different situations. It will help you understand why some are fearful of change and others will embrace it. It will help you understand why some people take considerable time to make a decision and others make them quickly. There are many dynamics of personality that will help you to adjust your approach and therefore improve your emotional intelligence by regulating your responses to others. In particular, personality styles will help you understand, and even predict people’s communication styles, how they make decisions, their values and what motivates them to action.
If you’re in leadership, knowing the Personality Styles of your team and your colleagues will pay huge dividends. Just as we are learning the styles of clients and prospects so that we can build strong relationships, that same skill is required internally. It’s hard to work as a team if you don’t understand the players. Whether in your own department, or across the silos of your organization, these soft skills can make a positive impact on your bottom line.
The concept of ‘personality’ has been around for thousands of years starting with folks back in ancient Greece like Hippocrates. He started labeling the four styles by naming them the four bodily fluids. I won’t get into that detail! But over the years many different assessments came out that show four styles, five and even up to sixteen with Myers-Briggs. Personality assessments are good for predicting how people behave and respond. It’s critical in understanding team dynamics and how to be the most effective leader to your diverse team.
What is personality?
“Personality is the characteristic patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that make a person unique. It is believed that personality arises from within the individual and remains fairly consistent throughout life.” It’s your default system. It’s your view of life and how you respond to day-to-day situations and your interaction with others. It’s a predictable and consistent indication of others you work with. My wife and I are the same style and both extroverted, so it’s easy for us to see eye to eye since our point of view is very similar. We like to entertain, play sports and we’re both very competitive.
In 2016 I created the Four People Personality Style Assessment that can be found and taken on my website www.StuSchlackman.com. I felt that the other assessments on the market lacked the simplicity needed to practically apply the findings to our daily lives personally and professionally.
My assessment is color-coded for the four personality styles using Blue-Gold-Green-Orange. Why colors? It’s easy to remember a face, with a name, with a color. It’s also easiest to remember the characteristics of a color.
When you get your results, remember that the sequence of your color scores is important. Your highest score is your main personality style and tells you the most about your personality and how you respond to others and events that take place. Your 2nd highest score also has influence. Your lowest score is what you least care about. It is not necessarily a weakness, it’s just not that important to you. For example, Golds like rules and process. I’m low Gold so rules and process are not important to me. However, it doesn’t mean that I get a pass on the tasks that aren’t my favorite; I just have to work at them a little harder when they are required.
Your basic personality style stays with you your entire life, but it can modify some based on the circumstances of life. Getting older, getting married and changing careers are just a few examples. Using personality assessments help you understand where others are coming from and help you to adapt and be more flexible when meeting the needs of others. As I mentioned, if the number one skill today is people skills and emotional intelligence, then personality styles will greatly improve your dealings with others that are a different style than you.
When you put into practice recognizing others styles it takes the focus off you and your agenda and helps you to be more attuned to the needs of others. This is of great benefit when it comes to building long lasting relationships, especially in the field of sales. Selling is all about building long term relationships that lead to great referrals and to your reputation.
Feel free to use my assessment and the descriptions of each of the personality styles to help you understand how you can best work with each of the four styles. Obviously, it will be easy to connect with someone of your own style. The challenge will be to connect with someone that has a high score for let’s say Green and your lowest score is Green. Learn the strengths of each color and focus on what’s most important to them and your success rate will be great improved.
Good luck with your relationship selling!