Building Your Network - Personality Types
There are various tools used in the team building industry to demonstrate the different personality types that we will meet in business and in life. MBTI is well established and goes into considerable detail on the psychology of personality type.
Another popular tool is Belbin, which looks at working style rather than personality. Some of us are more creative while others are good at detail and completing tasks. In simple terms Belbin helps you to understand why some items on a to-do list are easier to get done than others.
A Quick & Easy Personality Tool
There are various colour based personality profiling tools used in team building. These can be very useful because they are easy to understand, to pick up and use when you are meeting people. Consider a very simple four colour model.
Reds are action focused, direct and get to the point. They often struggle to make small talk. They can be very good at getting things done. Positive qualities can include good leadership. However, some may find their directness uncomfortable, particularly if it borders on 'pushy'. Reds often send short messages when writing and may miss out standard 'niceties' such as greetings and valedictions.
Extravert, sociable and high energy yellows are naturals when it comes to networking. They will often be the centre of the fun and noisy conversation. They can be a real asset to a team or networking gathering but some, particularly those of a more introverted nature, can feel drained of energy after a while. A yellow is the extraverted version of a green.
Greens are caring and nurturing and will want to take time to ask about you and your family. They value the personal aspects of life more than the hard business issues. Often greens are found in such roles as nursing and caring. Ideally you would want to find greens in HR roles, although in results focused businesses you might find red managers delivering on results instead. Reds and greens can have problems getting on and this is a common cause of conflict in companies.
This is where the engineers and detail concious people find their home. Blues are often very effective, particularly when it comes to getting the job done or to quality issues. They will want to dive into the detail when you're talking to them. They can be reserved and not inclined to accept information that hasn't been proven. Some other types, for example yellow, may find the pace of blue conversation a challenge while blue is frustrated by yellows inattention to detail.
There are various tools and some use different colours. This is just one example. Considering people in this way is not designed to 'put people in boxes'. We all have all of these colours in our personalities at different times. However, some will be more prominent than others.
The key to this is the realisation that we are all different. If you find someone annoying or difficult to deal with it may be a clash of type, and it's worth bearing in mind that they might be finding you just as difficult to deal with!
Try taking this simple four colour model and applying it to your business networking. Can you see these types when you meet people or exchange emails? Will doing this help you to communicate more effectively with people?