The Four Personality Styles Part 1
Have you ever wondered what factors are at work to explain why some people attract us and others repel us? For example, have you ever met someone and felt an immediate connection? No doubt you admired this person’s positive character and personality. But what about the opposite experience where you immediately clash with or take a dislike to the person you have met? Are they really difficult and undesirable or might some other factor be at work to explain the bad chemistry?
Understanding human personality has been a hot topic ever since the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates attributed people’s moods, emotions, and behaviors to an excess or lack of certain body fluids. Thankfully, behavioral science researchers have advanced our knowledge of such things since then, and have identified four personality styles and four accompanying styles of communication. The four styles are:
Everyone has a communication style which determines how you present yourself to others and how you are perceived by others. Another way of looking at it is to say that 75% of the population has a different style than you – not better, not worse, just different. Your communication style affects your ability to connect with others – whether family, friend, or co-worker. Communicating effectively with others depends on being able to identify their behavior style and then responding appropriately to it.
Our individual differences are what make us collectively stronger! That is because these differences will challenge our weaknesses and provide diversity in our thinking. Each one of us has a preferred behavioral pattern. Each of us has within us these four behavioral styles, but our core style has been within us since an early age.
Let’s begin this series on Personality Styles by considering The Supporter.
The first personality type I will tune in on is the Supporter, sometimes called the Relator. The Supporter is defined by being people-oriented (vs. task-oriented) and indirect (vs. direct).
Being people-oriented, the Supporter is most concerned about others and their feelings. People with this personality make decisions based on people factors; they make people their priority. The Supporter also enjoys being around other people and tends to be accepting of physical contact.
Combined with this people-orientation, the Supporter has an indirect, or reserved, style. This makes them more patient, methodical, and cooperative. They’re willing to follow the rules and are happy operating behind the scenes without all the glory of the limelight.
You might be a Supporter if you are:
- Easy going
- A good team member
Understanding the Supporter
“Let’s all get along!”
Here are some essential things to know to help you understand and communicate effectively with a Supporter:
- Their priority: stability and cooperation
- Their pain point: change and chaos
- Their typical questions start with “Why?”
- Performs best: in a stable environment, while avoiding conflict and change
- Use the term “we” when talking with them
- Compliment them on being a team player
Understanding the different behavioral types helps us communicate better, motivate more appropriately, and understand the behavior of the people in our lives.
Remember, it’s not the Golden Rule of “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” – it’s the PLATINUM RULE, “Treat people the way they want to be treated.”
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Generations & the Workplace: “Now Let’s All Just Get Along!”
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