Business Eye: Personalities and parts

Alex Pratt
Alex Pratt

The biggest challenge faced by any leader is that of successfully orchestrating the various people involved.

The personalities of suppliers, employees, partners, and customers will differ greatly, as will their motivation, mood and modus operandi.

There are too many variables, but contemplating the following four might just help.

To start with, some people are naturally dominant. Others are less so and slip more into the background.

You can spot the dominance gene by their obvious and compelling need to be in control of any situation, to take the lead, and to decide for others. Dominant characters seem certain, even on issues where they are clueless.

They look at the big picture and to the future and will tend towards bullying to get their way.

Another way to slice and dice the people we work with is to consider where they sit on the Influencing continuum between being the life and soul of any gathering and the guerrilla geek preferring to work in a darkened room with binary numbers than with people.

For those for whom having influence is critical, they carry with them a huge fear of rejection by others, they like to chat and persuade, and they much prefer being in teams to working alone.

Some people are patient, planned and prepare well before they act while others love serendipity, like to experience and drive change, thrive on tight deadlines, and are at their best in fast moving responsive situations. Where we each are on this steadiness line will clearly influence how we work with the various people around us, the situations we will enjoy, and the rabbit in the headlight moments that cause many to freeze.

Finally there are those who love detail, accuracy and being precise, and those for whom the detail signifies complete and utter boredom.

Those of you who love detail and the rules are normally fantastic organisers, but tend to fear criticism and making mistakes, and can be very cautious when taking decisions. This can mean death in a fast moving environment and can drive the rest of us mad.

Of course each of us sits somewhere on each of these Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Conscientiousness continuums, something which psychometric profiles are designed to measure so that we are better able to understand ourselves and those with whom we work.

We are such a complicated species, are we not?