Knowing Your Personality Type Can Help You Communicate
In both business and personal interactions, it’s important to communicate as clearly as possible. It is also very important to influence decisions and lead a group of people if you desire to be a social success.
Too often communication is poor or even rendered impossible, because people have such a variety of personalities and an inability to understand the needs of those with whom they must communicate. This can result in a clash of wills that leads to anger, frustration, and at times a complete collapse of the process.
Jeremy Burkhardt is president of SpeakerCraft in Riverside, California. He’s a former member of the CEDIA Board.
MEET CONNIE PODESTA
At the recent CEDIA Management Conference in New Orleans, SpeakerCraft was pleased to be able to sponsor Connie Podesta as the keynote speaker of the event. Connie has a fascinating background as an author, ex-wife, wife, professional therapist, expert in organizational behavior, radio and TV personality, and even a stand-up comedian. She states that her top priority for more than 25 years has been helping people understand people, herself included.
ARE YOU A SQUARE?
In a funny and informative event, Connie walked the group through a personality evaluation based on four “shapes” that segmented the group and gave each individual insight into their own personalities and how these elements affect their relationships.
The first group, represented by a square, was described as hard working and loyal but resistant to change. Although these folks are very organized and willing to put in long hours, they prefer to work alone and don’t make great team players. They appreciate efficiency and often view “fun” as a luxury with little value in business. These people want information in defined succinct packages that they can dive into and digest. If you need to communicate with this type of person you need to be prepared to get to the point and make sense. Don’t waste their time.
TRIANGLES TAKE CHARGE
The next group, the Triangles, was made up of people that want to take charge and get things moving. They are very confident and often competitive. They are impatient and outspoken and enjoy a good debate to the point of being argumentative. If you are working with this person you had better be prepared to stand your ground and be able to back up your points and assertions. They want to quickly get to the bottom line and be able to effectively analyze the ROI. Treat them with respect, but don’t comply too quickly, or they won’t respect you.
THE SOCIAL GROUP
The Circles were next, and when they were asked to rise to their feet the room filled with talking and laughter, appropriate for the most social of the four groups. Connie explained that these are the communicators. They are peacemakers and pleasers who are often overwhelmed because of their desire to avoid saying “no” to anyone. They want to have fun and quite often frustrate the Squares and Triangles who view this as frivolous. However this characteristic makes them natural salespeople and influencers. But remember to give them backup as they tend to be less than organized.
THEN THERE ARE SQUIGGLES
The final group, the Squiggles, was represented by a squiggly line and are considered the idea people. They are usually very high energy and creative but easily distracted. They tend to speak without considering the effect of their words and don’t filter their ideas or opinions. They can frustrate the Triangles and Squares who like things organized, but the Circles are perfectly willing to play along and see where things go. Every organization needs Squiggles to avoid stagnation and to keep things fresh.
IT TAKES A VILLAGE
We must remember that people are not wrong because they are different, yet they do need to be addressed in a fashion in which they can relate. Take the time to identify and consider the various personalities in your organization, and you will be amazed at how much less frustrating and how much more effective you will be as a worker bee, business leader, or just as a person.