Are you a Fiery Red? A Sunshine Yellow? An Earth Green? Perhaps you are a Cool Blue? An excellent training session that some of us at TotallyMoney.com undertook with Ralph Peters of Inspire Results reminded us that a little awareness, of self and others, can go a long way in making our day to day communication far more effective.
Myers-Briggs is a staple of every management course and a great way to identify personality type, but it is an approach that doesn’t lend itself well to easily mapping out the most effective way to communicate with others.
Ralph’s approach was simpler – a matrix with Thinking/Feeling on the y-axis and Introvert/Extrovert on the x-axis. Each quadrant formed a colour, Fiery Red (Thinking/Extrovert), Sunshine Yellow (Feeling/Extrovert), Earth Green (Feeling/Introvert), Cool Blue (Thinking/Introvert and with each type comes a scarily accurate list of traits – how you like to work, what you fear, your traits under pressure, what drives your decision-making etc. Plot those people who you interact with on this matrix and things start to make more sense.
Guess what? A Business Development team, largely populated with Fiery Reds (competitive, demanding, driving, but on a bad day intolerant and controlling) needs to adopt a different approach when interacting with partners who may be Cool Blues (cautious, precise, but sometimes reserved and indecisive).
A Red wants to get results quickly, ideally without debate, a Blue, more excited about solving the problem in the right, logical manner. It was easy to come up with numerous examples in our day-to-day work of how compelling rationales for Reds just didn’t resonate at all with Blues.
Speak in colours
The really good news is that the session reminded us that this isn’t rocket science. A little (self)awareness and some small tweaks to the way in which we communicate, tailoring our approach to address the traits of the different personality types we work with can have a significant impact on improving the outcomes you can achieve.
You can find out a little more about personality types here