You probably know this already, but there are generally held to be four main personality types, which I call: Extrovert, Amiable, Analytical and Pragmatic .
Let’s take a moment to consider each of them in the workplace.
Extrovert: someone who probably has a messy desk; who leaves projects 75% completed then gets distracted by new, ‘more exciting’ projects; someone who communicates their ideas with enthusiasm and charm; makes instant decisions; hates ‘paperwork’ and the ‘dull routines’ of life, such as filling in order forms, checking bank statements, etc.; is usually ‘fashionably late’ to meetings, events and parties (and they love entertaining clients!); always has interesting screen savers.
Amiable: someone who is the ‘peacemaker’ in the office; is always striving for a ‘win-win’ in everything in life; someone who probably isn’t terribly ambitious and striving, but is very happy to support and encourage others who are; someone who cannot say “No” very easily and so are probably on every committee going (whether they actually want to be or not); is more likely to make a decision on the spot if only to stop you ‘hassling’ them, otherwise will take weeks to make a decision (if at all, as they prefer others to make the decision for them); like to know what others are doing (in case they themselves are doing something inappropriate or foolish).
Analytical: ‘GadgetMan’ – has multiple PDAs in case one fails; has several computers for the same reason; adores punctuality; when they tell you they recently bought something they won’t round the number up but will tell you to the exact dollar and cent how much they paid; loves playing with spreadsheets, charts and projections; will never make a decision on the spot; will buy a car based on fuel economy, servicing costs, resell value, depreciation and other factors, never ‘because it’s a lovely shade of blue’.
Pragmatic: a ‘take charge’ person; their view is the way things will probably get done; they listen to others’ points of view out of courtesy or intellectual curiousity, but will still do things ‘my way’ ; doesn’t take business rejection personally; not interested in how ‘exciting’ a project might be, only interested in how much money it will cost/make and how soon it can be implemented/built; very often the Pragmatic likes the colour ‘ Red ‘; doesn’t have any photos of family or friends on their desk (too unprofessional); has a neat, organised desk.
Now, sales trainers have for years been pushing the line that we ‘buy with emotion, and justify that purchase with logic’. But having seen a few Analyticals in my years I don’t actually believe that to be the case. An accountant friend of mine in England never purchased anything because of emotion – he always poured over spec sheets from various manufacturers, weighed up the costs involved, considered his options. And because he was also part-Amiable he then let his wife make the final decision, based on his input.
Which raises an important point. No one is ever a ‘pure’ type. We are all a mix of the four personality types to some degree or other. Yet we also have a strong preference for one particular type.
I’m an Extrovert with a leaning towards the Analytical. I couldn’t begin to count the number of my own marketing projects that I have half-completed here in my office; each one almost ready to roll but just in line behind the latest ‘more exciting’ idea I’ve just had. Yet I also love getting deep into Dreamweaver and working out how to tweak my website pages for greater speed, better search engine optimisation, tidy up loose bits of code, and so on.
But that’s beside the point…
The real purpose of this page is to let you know that your business communications – whether they are email, web page, pdf brochure or even initial word of mouth introduction – need to appeals to the different needs of the four personality types.
How do you do that?
By making sure that your communication has a reasonably equal amount of the following:
* Facts and figures to appeal to the Analytical and Pragmatic
* Enthusiasm and excitement to appeal to the Extrovert
* Testimonials to appeal to the Amiable
Get that right and you have a greater chance of getting your message across.