267: Leading Different Personalities

12 Minutes Read

As a leader, one of your biggest challenges is managing diverse personalities. Assessments can help you understand people's different strengths, but you don't need a complex battery of questions to get to the heart of what makes someone tick. You just need patience, curiosity, and care for their best contribution at work.

In this episode, you will discover:

  • How to help your team understand you better, so they can deliver better results
  • How to create conditions that make everyone's contribution at work feel welcome
  • How to balance your team so you don't just have carbon copies of yourself

Click here to learn more about the Superabound Coach Certification that we discuss in the podcast.

Listen on Spotify here



Episode Transcript

Steve Haase  0:01  
Welcome to the Superabound podcast with master coaches Erin Aquin and Steve Haase E. Where business owners like you learn tools that help you clarify vision, clear up static and overcome challenges. You are listening to episode number 267 leading different personalities. Hello everybody. Thanks for joining us today. And it is cold and wintry. Here even though winter is not yet upon us, we're doing our best to stay warm, we're going to bring you a great podcast today, we're talking about one of the biggest challenges that managers and leaders have which is dealing with humans who are different than they are. Wouldn't it be nice if everyone on your team were just like you, then you'd know just how to talk to them how to respond How to Do you know the right thing by them. But then you'd also miss out on all the wonderful things that they bring. So we're going to talk about how to actually get the most from your team, create the best work environment for your team really understand what motivates people and how to really get get the most benefit from those personalities that can sometimes let's be honest, feel a little vexing. Right. If they're approaching things in a fundamentally different way than you are, it can be a real challenge. And this is what has a lot of people pulling out their hair and wondering why they even have the team that they have. But when it comes down to it, it's not because you got the wrong people most of the time, it's actually because they just see things differently. So we're going to help you understand that and lead in those situations. I'm here with my co host, Erin Aquin. Hello, Erin. Yeah,

Erin Aquin  1:38  
I love this topic. I think this is a really important one. Because, you know, we're all about relationships over here. And I promise not to go down a rabbit hole. But I will just say, my first sort of introduction to even thinking about this work actually came from my time as a Chinese medicine practitioner. So really weird, like, how does that what does have to do with leadership. But when I was studying Chinese medicine, one of the ways in which we learned to diagnose people was through what's called like the constitution. So this is, I guess, the most ancient personality test out there. And it has a lot more to do with the whole human, it's not just the personality, but we would talk about how each of the five elements corresponded to various issues physically, mentally, emotionally, and one of my teachers would talk about, like, once you know what your patients constitution is, you know, if they are a fire person, you can imagine they're probably going to be very passionate. Over the top, you would probably want to speak to them and work with them in a different way, than somebody of a different type that may be more reserved. And so we actually learned how to work with the personality of the element through the human. So we're not going to get into the five elements of Chinese medicine today. But I really loved that, that work, because it sort of set in motion in my life, that we don't need that, that different people need different things from us. And the way especially to motivate someone, whether it's someone on your team or when I was working in clinics, motivating people to like actually do the healthy things for them. There's different ways of calling upon that elemental nature. So for our conversation today, we're going to be personality test agnostic. So I know there's like a million different things out there. I've done my DISC assessment and my Colby and strengths for Clifton Strengths Finder, your Enneagram. Like there's the personality framework, the 16 personalities, your organization may have a preferred method. Or you might just happen to know what the people on your team are. Or none, you might just be like these people are more outgoing and these people are quieter. So we're not going to be speaking in that language. So don't worry, if you don't know all of your personality assessments. We're going to be speaking in very general broad terms about some of the common types of people that you will meet in the workplace and some ways to support them. Even if as you said, Steve, they are not the same as you. We got to learn how to communicate with people Who are not the same as us.

Steve Haase  5:01  
One of the one of the most effective ways to understand a person's personality type is to actually ask them what they want. It starts in the one on one meeting. Hopefully you're doing this regularly with your team, it could be as often as weekly, hopefully, at least every two weeks, every month, at the very least. But sit down with your people and find out what they want. That's going to tell you a lot about their personality. If they are an idea, person who is just bursting with ideas, you're going to get some of those ideas, you're going to learn that what they want is to pursue them to be in something exciting, something new, something fresh, that will give you an insight into their personality type, how to actually get the most from them. So if you have a person who is full of ideas, wants new things wants excitement, probably best not to have them in a role that requires lots of attention to detail and process. And being methodical with how they do things. This can be revealed in a personality test, right, you can invest in one of the different methodologies and learn that from, you know, the output of that test, but as their leader as their manager as their boss, spending time and paying attention to what they're like. And what really makes them tick is how you can have said this. Didn't mean to actually say it this way, get the most out of how you can help them become the most of who they are, how you can help them have a great experience at your work and actually contribute the most to the environment. So that's going to look like asking what they want, and then finding the opportunities for them to actually do that. Hopefully, within their role, and if there needs to be kind of a project alongside it, that they can own or develop on their own time, that could be another great way to do it. It's

Erin Aquin  7:02  
also important to know what your personalities like. Because as you're sitting down and learning more about the people around you, it's it's not only helpful that you really understand yourself, but that you're also very clear with the people around you, especially if you happen to be in a managerial position, that they know how you work. It does not have to be fancy, it doesn't have to be having a meeting about your personality, it can just be the way you qualify your response to things. When you're hiring someone, you can say the way I work best is in a collaborative manner. I like to have meetings where we brainstorm as a team, and then we all go away and do our part, I tend to be more outgoing. And will, will always prefer communication through face to face conversations or phone call rather than slack messages and email. So my personality is much more into the real time human connection. I don't prefer getting emails on the weekend, you know, whatever it is for you. That's

Steve Haase  8:16  
huge. In fact, there's a recent movement in the workplace, to actually provide that document for your team, as a kind of kindness for them to know how to actually have the biggest impact with you. It can come across as a little weird. Sometimes you're like, Okay, here's how I need you to work with me. But it does give people some insight into why you sound short on email, because you'd like due to hate emails, or why you sound short in person. She's like, Dude, I hate it. When you talk to me in person, whatever that preference is for you. Being clear about that with your team will help them get the most from you. Which ultimately, as the leader, that is what you want, you want to provide as much impact as possible for your team. So giving them those paths will help. It's also important, therefore, that you know what those things are for you. Yeah,

Erin Aquin  9:08  
and I mean, I don't know, this isn't necessarily a personality thing. I could be I could be wrong about this. But sometimes it can be just as simple as understanding if you are a verbal processor, a written processor. If you are someone who likes to go away and take some time, if you're somebody who needs a lot of visuals to put your thoughts together, you know, I tend to be someone who if I don't have an idea, right in the moment, I have to kind of go away and think about things for a little while. So that means that if I don't work for someone else, I work for myself. I always have this luxury, but when I have in the past worked in other corporations, I am not the loudest person at the meeting. I have to think about things for a little bit of time before I'm ready to share my Diaz or before, I sometimes have ideas, it's a little bit different. As the leader, I've sort of worked with that part of myself. But if you ever see me in someone else's class or someone else's situation is someone else's world, I don't often talk a lot. Strange. I know, knowing

Steve Haase  10:17  
and being able to share the way you process with others matters because it levels the playing field, people will know how to influence you how to make a point with you how to be the best person on your team. Otherwise, it's just going to be back room knowledge, your like, and then the person who has been around the most and knows you the best will have the most influence. And ultimately, with a team, you want everybody's strengths to shine.

Erin Aquin  10:47  
Yeah, and if you tend to be as a, as a leader, more of an in the moment, verbal processor, the tricky thing is if you have a people on your team who don't work that way, you're going to miss a lot of their wisdom, you're going to think, Okay, we had a meeting about an idea I just had, I made room for everyone to speak. And at the end of that meeting, we've decided what we're doing. And now this is the new plan, there may be six people on your team who come up with brilliant ideas, or see potential pitfalls that didn't occur to them in that meeting, or that they needed some time to think about, and now you've missed them. And you might even make the mistake like a lot of people do, I think of thinking that suddenly they've gone away, and now they're naysayers. They're detractors. They're not team players, because they have concerns three days later, after the meeting. This is a really interesting one, I think there are people who have personalities that definitely poke holes in fun plans, or big ideas. And they're important people, to me,

Steve Haase  12:00  
it's one of the reasons that kind of a progressive and a conservative dynamic is healthy for society, you got to push and you also have to pull because not every idea that pushes is a great idea. And not everyone who's pulling is doing so for the right reasons. So you have to have that dynamic, both in a population as a whole, but also in your team. So if you find yourself being frustrated, let's say you're a pusher and you want things to change, but you have people that are questioning and more of a quote, stick in the mud, rather than seeing them as a problem or someone that just needs to get out of your way, find the wisdom there, there might be some things you're missing, and your desire for things that are shiny and new. And vice versa. If you're more of the conservative person, you're more risk averse. And there's someone on your team who really wants to push rather than seeing them as rash, impulsive, and you know, irresponsible, find Well, where is that wisdom in creating something new and testing things out? And how can you do both of those things in a way that remains true to the culture that you want to create? One that is, let's say, you know, respectful, and thorough cares for the customer, what whatever those cultural values you have are, how can you bring everybody into that, without making someone wrong for either pushing too hard or wanting to hit the brakes a little? Yeah,

Erin Aquin  13:22  
because with different personalities, you can still have everybody on the same team, caring about the same things, holding the same vision, adhering to the same values, but the expression of that might look different. And the more you have a team dynamic, where everybody sort of understands the patterns and the tendencies and the personalities of the way people work. You can say we have someone pushing for this, we have someone pulling, and everybody cares about the big vision, it's so much easier to have a have a conversation where that is free to be expressed. It's a huge reason why we think that every leader should also be trained as a coach. Because you as the manager, the leader, or maybe you are a coach, and you're coming in as an independent consultant who's trying to help make a better dynamic between a team that's struggling you know, if you have the skills to do that, you will never be hungry, you will never be looking for work. Because interpersonal dynamics in the workplace can have so much impact. And having the skills to lead a team through those discussions and decisions is kind of the number one job of a great leader. If those are skills you would like to sharpen in your own workplace or in your own independent coaching practice. You can find more about our upcoming training at beSuperabound.com/certification, highly recommend you check that out. Now another danger, danger. Another danger of personalities is not necessarily contrasting personalities like a progressive person and a more conservative person that can have its own particular static. But a lot of times what happens is, especially in a smaller team, stacking a lot of the same personalities into one into one team.

Steve Haase  15:32  
This is a huge one, especially on smaller teams where you're just getting started. Sometimes you're attracted to folks just like you. And then next thing, you know, everyone's rushing off to create the next thing and no one's following through. And you're like, Wait, where are the people who follow through, you're like, Nope, we didn't hire any of those. Erin and I recently did a personality test, we discovered that we have more energy for the creation and less energy for the follow through, which made sense of why White to White sometimes takes more energy to get things across the finish line. And paying attention to that means that you can then set up systems to support you and your team in those areas where there is less inherent energy between the people.

Erin Aquin  16:18  
Yeah, and that's a really important one. Like even with with any kind of assessment or personality test, it doesn't mean that these are skills you don't have like an introvert can do extrovert thanks. I know plenty of introverts who can get on the stage and, and talk to 1000 people, it just means that it's not their preference. And I think that that's something to remember is not like, we're not saying you should understand people's personalities, you never ask someone to do something outside of their comfort zone or outside of their interest. If it's someone's job to be a salesperson, and they're an introvert doesn't mean they get off the hook to have to make sales calls. You know, they're gonna have to maybe work on that skill set, they're gonna have to find their own way of doing it. And maybe they are better one on one with coffee meetings. So they're gonna go and sell that way rather than cold calling, which is too stressful for them doesn't mean that you can't do something just because it's not your, your hat your tendency to use your example, Steve, we both have a lot of energy for big ideas for starting things. And me less me even like less than you has less energy for follow through. But it doesn't mean that I'm sitting on a pile of unfinished projects, I'm actually pretty good at getting things done. I've written three books we're broke, number four is about to be published. I don't miss things. Usually, I don't have a lot of like forgotten important things in my life. What I do have is a really good system of organization. I don't leave it to my energy of the day to decide how I'm going to spend my time I booked weeks in advance, I have found a system of working with my time that is great for me. And I've just taken out a lot of the friction and decisions by being pretty organized.

Steve Haase  18:21  
So I think what this comes down to if we were to boil this massive topic around which there are entire industries built into just a couple of key points, one of them would be to know yourself and how you tick, to know the people on your team, what matters to them, and how they can have their most fulfilling impactful time at your business. And then make space for all those different ways of processing information of working together to really thrive. don't prioritize your way because it's yours or somebody else's, because they're influential, make room for everybody in order to get the most out of everyone's contribution.

Erin Aquin  19:04  
Yeah, that sums it up beautifully. I have nothing else to add. But I do think it is something that we're working with humans, it's not going to be wrapped up in a pretty bow probably ever, there's always going to be interpersonal dynamics that we have to think about and work with. And while it is the job of the of the leaders to do that, it doesn't mean you have to do it alone. We are enrolling now for our 2024 class of Superabound certified coaches and we would love to help support you, your team and all of your clients and customers by teaching you the Superabound toolkit and helping you become an incredible coach. It will change your life. I know people say that a lot about a lot of things but coaching has been one One of the most powerful things I've ever learned how to do. It is been essential to our business success and growth and that of all of our clients. So I hope you will consider giving yourself and your business the incredible gift of becoming a Superabound certified coach. Get all the details you need and register at beSuperabound.com/certification or find it in the show notes at beSuperabound.com Have an amazing week. Take care