This week we’re going to take a break from the personal finance realm and talk a bit about a more overlooked, yet sorely needed subject: People Skills. Recently, I did a presentation at work that was all about people skills, and my coworkers absolutely loved it! A week later and they’re still talking about it. I don’t say that to brag on me, I say that to point out the huge need for us, no matter our position or profession to understand ourselves and the people we’re surrounded by.
A few months back, I took a course on negotiation as part of my continuing legal education requirements. And two things really stood out for me. The first, that people are predictacle. They may be predictable in different ways. But once you understand that person’s way of communicating, they become as predictable as the arrival of the next second. The second thing that stood out was the fact that the ability to communicate effectively is the most important skill any human being could ever possess. As I often tell my friends, people can have the same experience but experience it differently, all because of misperceptions and/or miscommunications. To put it simply, it’s not always about what you’ve said, it’s more so about what the receiver heard.
Going back to the presentation at work, the reason it was such a huge success is because my coworkers found out things about themselves, about how others viewed them, and about the differing personally types and means of communication of those around them. It really illuminated some things for them (especially those coworkers who were married or recently divorced). And because they gained so much from it, I thought it only fitting that I share some of those same insights with you.
Now being the lawyer that I am (smiles), I’m going to share the same disclaimer with you that I shared with them. I’m not a guru on people skills. I’m really not a guru on anything except basketball (that’s the only area I put in the requisite 10,000 hours) if I’m being honest. But I can share with you what I’ve learned, which is quite a bit. And I hope that it will immensely bless you.
Since business is nothing but connecting with people and building relationships, the bulk of my presentation focused on the four personality types. I’m not taking DISC or Myers-Briggs personalities. I’m referring to the personality types as laid out by Florence Littauer in her book Personality Plus. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly suggest you do.
In her book, she provided that there are four main personality types. And everyone is a unique blend of these four. It’s very rare that somebody is 100% one type. Most people, in fact, have two or sometimes even three dominant personalities. In a non-schizo way of course.
She starts her book by providing you with a personality profile test so you can better understand your own unique blend of the personalities. And if you buy the book for no other reason than to take the test, you will have received your money’s worth. Believe me.
There’s no way I could relay her entire book in a short article (well this article isn’t so short, but you get my point). And truthfully, I doubt I would if I could. That would be doing her a grave disservice. But I’ll do my best to give you a base understanding. And if it peaks your interest, buy the book to get a more detailed understanding of her concepts. Fair enough? Well let’s dig into these personality types…