Personality Styles: One Of The Most Important Things I Learned in Business

September 12th, 2012

When my wife Levi started in real estate in the mid-1980’s she took a bunch of sales classes. One of them, on the subject of personality styles, was so good she insisted that I go to it too. As I look back now, I have to say the subject of personality styles was one of the most important things I learned. It helped me understand my kids, everyone in the family and it made a huge difference in my business relationships. Understanding personality styles is considered essential in sales but I think it’s essential for everyone.

There are four basic personality styles. Everyone functions primarily in one these general personality styles:

  1. Promoter: high energy. enjoyable to be around, initiates relationships, competitive. Most sales people are promoters.
  2. Supporter: dedicated, committed, loyal team member, good listener, patient, dependable, cause-oriented. Most nurses teachers are supporters.
  3. Controller: Task accomplisher, self-motivated, results oriented, fast decision maker, disciplined, likes to control others. Good managers are usually controllers.
  4. Analyzer: Objective, conscientious, defines and clarifies, concerned with accuracy, gathers needed data/information, tests data, maintains standards. Every engineer I’ve met is a analyzer!

Different authors and teachers of personality styles use various names for these styles but the essence is the same. People that are very effective can actually function in all of these styles depending on the situation but most of us tend to function in just one style most of the time. The theory also says we each have a primary style that is we are most comfortable in and a secondary style that we can operate in.

The way this works in business and communication is when you are communicating with someone, communication will work best if  you understand the personality style of who your communicating with and communicate in their style. If you do that you are more likely to get your message across and connect with the person. If you are a analyzer and want to communicate with a controller you get to the bottom line quickly, even though as an analyzer you naturally want to be much more detail oriented.

Today I was talking to a real estate photographer who was telling me about his communication difficulties with a stager. Since I’ve talked to him on Skype, I know he is a Supporter. When he described his communication with the stager it was pretty clear that she was a controller because she came across to him as short, ungrateful, and not a good listener. This is generally how supporters see controllers. The root of his communication difficulties probably was rooted in the fact that he was a different personality style that she was.

This whole subject of personality style is powerful and important stuff that will help anyone be more effective their business relationships. If you want to find out more I suggest, Personality Style at Work by Kate Ward. She calls the styles Direct, Spirited, Considerate and Systematic rather than Controller, Promoter, Supporter and Analyzer but it’s about the same subject.

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3 Responses to “Personality Styles: One Of The Most Important Things I Learned in Business”

  • you might want to read about neuro linguistic programming. it takes those things into a much deeper level and helps A LOT. it can really change your life.

  • i learned this a few years ago and it has changed my life! My wife and 10 and 13 year old daughters also know it. Its amazing, they should require every teacher to learn it and then every student in the country…..until then its my secret super power! Its not about manipulation or anything like that. Its about communicating how they want to communicate. When you speak the other persons language you get things done! Looking back I blew so many deals simply because I spoke my language instead of theirs. I hired the wrong people because I didn’t know what traits I wanted or needed them to have.

  • I have a photographer friend who specializes in this specifically as it relates to photography. If you contact him, please be sure to say Suzanne from Arizona referred you. His photography work (he is a portrait photographer) is incredible, but his skills in teaching are more so and he specializes in business (and personal) relationships.

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