We spend one-third of our lives at work and spend all this time with a variety of people.
And while we go about our day to day duties or collaborate on projects, we’re bound to discover similarities and differences in our personalities, preferences and ways of working. This might present some challenges or cause misunderstandings. But the best way to deal with this is to gain a better understanding of where each of us is coming from. For example, once we become more aware of our own personality traits or tendencies, and recognize those of others, we can then choose how to best respond and react in any given situation.
Lumina Spark offers insights into 4 personalities we might encounter at work and how to best deal with them.
We illustrate these 4 personalities using the examples of famous people who exhibit some of these traits:
They demand a lot of others – expecting clear progress updates. You can influence them by being direct – “be clear, be brief, be gone.” Also, be quick to note that a lack of clarity in others annoys them. They strive to deliver results. Their surface need is to be candid and direct, while their underlying need is to be in charge. And others will see their need for power.
Alice Waters is a chef, author, food activist, and the founder and owner of Chez Panisse Restaurant in Berkeley, California. While being a chef requires precision and a firm management of all aspects of food preparation, Alice also believes that “Beauty is the language of care,” and conveys this message in everything she does. She has been a champion of local sustainable agriculture for over four decades.
They expect high reliability, attention to detail and accuracy from others. You can influence them by being objective – provide the facts and be clear. A lack of punctuality in others annoys them. They strive to “plan the work” and “work the plan.” Their surface need is to keep it simple. While their underlying need is to be a perfectionist. And others will see their need for caution.
According to Jeff Bezos, “There are many ways to center a business. You can be competitor focused, you can be product focused, you can be technology focused, you can be business model focused, and there are more. But in my view, obsessive customer focus is by far the most protective of Day 1 vitality.” This high-level of focus and commitment makes Amazon the success that it is today.
They give praise and recognition for others and like to give positive feedback. You can influence them by being upbeat – use testimonials from other high status individuals. Though, be aware that a lack of passion in others annoys them. They strive to energise and share their optimism. Their surface need is to gain kudos, while their underlying need is to be a free spirit. And others will see their need for attention.
Nelson Mandela was a non-violent anti-apartheid activist. He was arrested and served 27 years in prison but his his values and ideas continued to inspire his country, fellowmen and the world. When he became the president of South Africa, his government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid and fostering racial reconciliation.
They connect with others at a personal level, show empathy and listen well. You can influence them by being considerate – show you care and take feelings into account. Also, be mindful that a lack of empathy in others annoys them. They strive to create harmony and a collaborative spirit. Their surface need is to be diplomatic, while their underlying need is to be accepted. And others will see their need for peace-making.
Jay Chiat teamed up with Guy Day to form the Chiat/Day advertising agency (now known as TBWA). They helped transform the advertising industry in the 1970’s and 1980’s with creative campaigns like ”1984” for Apple and ”I Love L.A.” for Nike. Bob Kuperman, chairman-CEO, Omnicom’s DDB, New York called him “a force of energy who brought out the best of everybody.” Steve Hayden, vice chairman worldwide, Ogilvy said, he was like a grain of sand in an oyster, irritating the best work out of his people.