Entrepreneurial Leadership

Managing Personalities by Mastering You

Written by Chukwuma Asala for Gaebler Ventures

If you can understand the different types of personalities people have, it makes it much simpler to communicate with and manage them. This article examines the four common personalities as defined by Gordon McFarlane, an author and motivational speaker on leadership, sales and relationships.

We are all very different for a lot of reasons. For example, some people are tall, short, fat, slim, driven, quiet, or extroverted.

Managing Personalities by Mastering You

As a business owner, however, a key trait you must be aware of in the people in your organization is personality.

If you can understand the different types of personalities people have it makes it much simpler to communicate with and manage them. This article will break down the four common personalities according to Gordon McFarlane, an author and motivational speaker on leadership, sales and relationships.

Our personality is a big part of who we are. It determines how we respond to things that happen to us, how we respond to others, how we go about solving problems and so on and so forth. As an entrepreneur it is very important you understand how you relate with other people, especially the people working with you and for you. Some personalities turn certain types of people off and some turn certain types of people on. This all depends however on the person's likes and dislikes. Here is a quick look at the four main types of personalities and how as a business owner you can better manage them and manage yourself. See if you can spot yourself in one or two of them.

Dominant Personality

This type of person is outgoing and task-oriented and likes to be in charge. They are dynamic leaders, ambitious and strong-willed, and seem to thrive on pressure. They are very competitive and always want to win. They will always give that extra effort, if that's what it takes.

High dominant personality types are very demanding of themselves and others and will seldom take no for an answer. They are direct in their approach to handling problems. Empathy is not their strong suit, and they are often blunt and to the point with their words. If you want a direct answer, you need look no further. They are bottom-line people with not much use for details.

They are both determined and independent. When others feel defeated and want to quit, they are courageous. They will persevere in the face of adversity. Since they are persistent, a "no" to them means "maybe later." They are wired to handle the heat and the pressure and can make the hard decisions in hard times.

You won't get much sympathy from a person with his personality, and that may make them seem cold and uncaring. In addition, they are quick to answer and their lack of thinking may make them appear rude and reckless. Their confidence can sometime be mistaken for cockiness.

These people love to win. They love to win so much that they can become ruthless in their quest to dominate. It's not about how to play the game; it's about how to win! Winning at all costs can often permanently damage relationships. This can be avoided with some sensitivity and patience towards other players. They have to be careful about their short fuse and hot temper. Interestingly they do have an ability to forgive, forget and move on faster than any other personality.

Inspiring Personality

This type of person is outgoing and people-oriented and likes to have fun. People with a high level of this personality are so impulsive that they will say yes before you complete your question if it starts with "Do you want to go?" They like to be on the move or do anything if there is fun involved.

They are energy personified and want to enjoy everything life has to offer. They love to stir things up and get the party started. Generally, they ARE the party!

People with inspiring personalities have the ability to meet a total stranger and feel right at home with them. They never really want to be grown up or take life too seriously. They have a great sense of humor and love to laugh. They have a positive and optimistic disposition that makes them fun to be around and don't stay mad for long, because after all life is too short. Not surprisingly, they work very well with others.

Recognition and approval are strong basic needs for them. They are very friendly and carefree, and they often exhibit more confidence in themselves than ability. They are very creative and persuasive and very good at expressing their ideas.

Because they are so spontaneous, they can easily become impulsive. They can jump to another exciting opportunity and then another without first producing any tangible results from their first endeavor. They have trouble with focusing their energy and seeing a task to its completion.

Supportive Personality

This type of person is reserved and people-oriented and likes to be appreciated. They are usually labeled as steady, because they are so even-tempered and reliable.

They don't handle pressure well at all and prefer things to stay routine with no changes in their pattern. They feel secure when things are running smoothly. They will easily adapt to any situation and fit in for fear of being noticed. Supportive personality types avoid being put in the spotlight and would much prefer working behind the scenes in a supporting role. They have a difficult time saying no, and they will struggle against being forceful with someone.

They are excellent team players even though they are naturally passive and shy. This style will enjoy having fun with people as long as the fun isn't centered around them. They are quiet, back-seat dwellers and will do nothing to purposely oppose you. They want you to genuinely like them and really don't want to ruffle any feathers. They are the most loyal of friends and will want to serve the people closest to them and meet their needs. They are very predictable and trustworthy.

They often appear to have a lack of initiative. They much prefer to take things slowly and even stick with the status quo rather than consider another alternative. This all stems from not really liking change. They are resistant to change and can be quite stubborn.

If there is a chance of failure, these individuals would prefer to do nothing. They are caring and cooperative people. They are soft-hearted and will work with people and go the extra mile when others won't. They will sacrifice their own needs for others even at a loss and need to toughen up and learn to say no sometimes! They can hold a grudge by keeping something that bothers them deep inside and harbor long-term resentment. They prefer to say nothing for fear of hurting the person who may have hurt them first. They are very uncomfortable with confrontation.

Cautious Personality

This type of person is reserved and task-oriented and likes quality, perfection, and being correct. These people love clear documentation and accurate information.

They are very seldom wrong, because they have double-checked everything. They take mistakes, when pointed out, very personally. They are very analytical and will painstakingly break down each of their projects into workable components and complete each one in order until the entire task is done. While they do tend to get slowed down with details, these people often see pitfalls that other personality types may overlook and ultimately be more structured and productive as a result of their high standards.

They love consistency, because it creates a familiar comfort zone in which they can function. They are also very tenacious and hard working and can be counted on for quality work even if it means extra hours. They are fanatics about doing things by the book and will seem rebellious or disrespectful when they continue to ask questions when assigned a specific task. They need clarification and complete understanding, so they don't mess up. These types want to look the best and be the best.

If you have made a mistake with this personality, they are not afraid to inform you; it's their duty and you should know! "Do it right or don't do it at all," is their motto. However, telling it like it is may not win them many friends. They tend to believe they are always right, and as a result display an air of self-centeredness, This could cause them to appear unsociable. Because most of life is a serious game they have little time for nonsense.

They are driven to a standard of perfection, and this can cause others to feel they are just critical of any other standard. They are able to focus with great intensity. The whole world could be crashing in around them, and they would be hard at work at the station, completing the task. They can often be very rigid. These individuals don't generally let their emotions show and expects others to do the same. They prefer answers that are based on clear and irrefutable facts, not emotional responses.

Using Personality Categorization to Your Advantage

Knowledge of these four personalities is definitely helpful to people who are ready to take on the leadership role of really learning what makes the people in their organization different from one another.

But ultimately it is more important to use this knowledge to understand yourself first before trying to figure out others. Use this information to develop a better understanding of you because if you can master you, then managing people will be a breeze. Good luck!

Chukwuma Asala is an international student from Nigeria who is studying to earn an MBA from the State University of New York in Albany. He has analyzed more than 20 industry case studies throughout his education thus far, and hopes to bring some of his business knowledge to Gaebler.com.

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