Have you ever wondered why it is so pleasant to work with some people and so difficult with others? Whether it is work, customer service, community or volunteer activities, we find ourselves wondering what makes that guy or gal tick and behave as they do.
Work conditions can be tedious at best, and to interface with people who work differently than you do can cause stress and inevitable non-productive conditions. That is one of the reasons why most Human Resource (HR) departments encourage team building and seminars – to neutralize these kinds of problems. It is more an individual style or personality that causes conflict than any other reason. The four personality styles are: Drivers * Analyticals * Amiables * Expressives. Below is a brief characteristic description of them:
Drivers – “Get to the point”.
They like to take charge and control of a situation. They make quick decisions and are responsive to challenges. Focus is on producing results. They are efficient, hard-working, forceful and strong-willed. Direct and to-the-point when they want others to do things and are completion-oriented. No beating around the bush; they are competent and either want options or results. “Don’t waste and save time.” “What’s the bottom line?”” They like feedback.
Some adjectives for them: risk-taker, determined, demanding, action-orientated, decisive, problem solver, direct, assertive, forceful, competitive,independent. Many top company officials,Chief Executive Officers, Presidents, Vice-Presidents, and Directors are drivers.
Analyticals – “I can’t commit until I know all the facts”….chaos drives them crazy.
They like organization and are structured, concise, with not too many emotions. They like to work by themselves. Will use specific details, facts, evidence and measurements. Do not like to be wrong and it’s better to let them ‘save face’. They ask many questions and like to take their time on projects or anything. They are task-oriented and detailed-oriented and use facts and logic. Usually they approach people with care and caution and do not commit anything until they are comfortable. May appear too cautious, overly structured, someone who does things too much ‘by the book’.
Some adjectives for them: orderly, systematic, controlled, disciplined, logical, precise, cautious, disciplined, deliberate, introvert. Chemists, financial analysts, technology analysts, mechanics and lawyers can be analyticals.
Amiables – “Let’s have a real team effort”….loves cooperative, team effort.
Tries to save relationships or bring harmony within groups. Thrives in team environments. Is helpful to others. Provides support and positive strokes for others’ work and accomplishments. Willingness to communicate and place value and trust in other workers. Places a high priority on getting along with people. Natural skills for coaching, counseling and aiding others. Has a sense of loyalty to work and peer groups. Smooths over conflicts within groups and organizes celebrations, brings in birthday cakes and other treats. They are dependable, loyal and easygoing. They like things friendly. They make quick decisions and are described as a warm person and sensitive to the feelings of others.
Some adjectives for them: supportive, team person, loyal, patient, considerate, empathetic, sympathetic, trusting, congenial. Coaches, counselors, human resource workers, social workers, facilitators, and ministers can be amiables.
Expressive Personality – “Wow, that’s a great report – I know a great place for lunch”.
Very outgoing and enthusiastic, they create excitement and involvement with others. They have a high energy level and make others feel good about themselves. They know that you value them. Excitable, fun-loving, and talkative, sometimes overly dramatic, impulsive and manipulative. They love attention, and having an audience, and especially applause and recognition. They are achievement oriented but sometimes slow to reach a decision. They have good ideas, but are not always completion-oriented. Particularly fond of socializing. Risk-takers, competitive and spirited. They are also futuristic, creative and inspirational.
Some adjectives for them: communicators, charming, confident, impulsive, enthusiastic, animated, dramatic, influential, motivating, optimistic. Teachers, nurses, musicians, comedians can be expressives.
Once the employee understands which style he or she exhibits in a group or team and their individual personality styles, the more better he or she adapts to working with that person. This approach is a very popular concept and helpful in areas where some employees feel they produce more work than others, work more efficiently, and sometimes resent their unproductive and incompetent (in their view) co-workers. The personalities are explained in a seminar and each employee rates themselves as to which type or personality style they are. Many are correct; some are off-base. Some exhibit 2 or 3 styles out of the four. With that in hand, the next meeting is a physical team-building seminar.
There are many team building exercises – and they are all very neat and well received by employees because they are fun.
Inherent work personalities emerge in performing the tasks, and are later discussed by the team. It is a soft way for same level professionals to point out what they and others could have done differently with more successful outcomes! The manager is not present for these exercises; but is brought in a later date for interface in other exercises — sometimes it is the manager who is the problem employee! The HR person does not get involved in the exercise except to answer questions of what can or cannot be done.
Sometimes when even the simplest solution is the best way ~ the team makes it very complicated.
At these team building seminars, the employees learn how to deal with the different styles. They also learn to understand their own style and how they all relate to each in a group setting. Some of us don’t belong to one group, but can be a compilation of the others; and others may be two of them. Or three. Once you understand them, you will better understand and relate to co-workers, customers, groups, teams and even members of your family!
© Marie Coppola Revised June 2018