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:
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.