Last week my son-in-law got his first job in a management position. He was extremely excited, but also very nervous. One of the first tasks he was given in this position was to evaluate all the employees’ strengths and weaknesses, then to let go the ones who were not up to par. This has had me thinking a lot about personality types and how we respond to things differently based on our specific personality type.

Knowing personality types system can be very helpful in knowing what things motivate an individual, or what distracts them from doing their best on the job. Knowing their type can also change the way we communicate with them. The classic comment, “Money is not a motivator.” Is only true for certain personality types. For others, money is the only motivator. Think about children, does the same type of discipline work for every child? For one child being grounded for a week may be the end of the world to them, yet another child gets excited to have the time alone.

There are many tests that can be taken to help determine personality types. These tests can break the personalities down into colors, shapes, animals, or really anything, and based on what test you take the results may vary. In my wife’s book Emotional Power, she uses a quadrant system to determine the person’s animal. She defines them as Director (Lion), Analyzer (Owl), Sociable (Peacock), and Loyal (Lamb).

Each type responds differently, and expects different interaction. To be an effective manager and leader, we need to quickly identify and respond to each personality type so that we can help them grow and become a positive influence in the organization.  This week and next I will be giving a brief overview of the animals and how they work best. If you would like to look into this a little deeper you can find this in chapters 9 and 10 of Emotional Power.