Wilhelm Reich, a colleague of Sigmund Freud, laid the foundation for five classic personality types which, to this day, are well recognised in the field of psychology. Dr. Reich actually identified the body builds of these five types first, and then identified the personality types.
Here, I discuss both. The theory of, and how to therapeutically deal with, these types is beyond the scope of this article. However, by knowing about and working with these five classic personality types, you can understand yourself better and become more effective at working with others.
The names of each of the classic types have been changed to better describe each one. The body build of each type has been included since it is the base of this model, and it is what sets this model apart from other personality models.
The body build can also help with identifying our predominant type and others’. You can’t rely on the body type information alone, but when first starting to work with this model, it can make discerning the type easier.
As you become more proficient in identifying and working with these types, your ability to understand and work with others will improve significantly.
Years ago, I had a friend named Irwin who primarily exhibited the classic Spirituality Type. He seemed to be in another world, as if his mind was floating on the ceiling or in the heavenly, spiritual realms above. In fact, when I walked by him in the hallway, I would wave up to the ceiling and say, “Hi Irwin.” He would wave up to the ceiling in return.
Most of the energy in a Spirituality Type’s body is in their head, and they can seem like they’re in another world. Their body tends to be slim and somewhat emaciated, and they can look disheveled. The billionaire Paul Allen and actor Jim Carrey are good examples of this type. Relating to people and being in the world can be frightening to them.
In business, to best deal with those who primarily demonstrate the Spirituality Type, it is important to not be aggressive or invasive. That would scare them. It’s best to be more soft-spoken and meet them where their mind is. Conversations do well to remain intellectual, conceptual, and non-aggressive.
People who primarily demonstrate the Spirituality Type make great computer programmers, bookkeepers, or other occupations where they’re cloistered away at a desk with minimal client or customer contact.
This personality type is all about having heartfelt, meaningful, and loving connections with people. The tendency is for the chest to be a little collapsed and deflated, and the jaw to be a bit recessed. Woody Allen and Nicholas Cage are examples of this type. It is as if they are trying to receive nourishment in their connections with other people, seeming to pull at other people to feed them emotionally. Unfortunately, people can find that pull to be clingy and uncomfortable, and therefore push the people who do this away.
In a business environment, it’s important to be kind and understanding, but not get sucked into trying to fill these people’s emotional void with your attention and support. The Love Type tends to speak excessively and often in a sing-songy voice. It can be difficult to get them off the phone or keep them on track with the business at hand. The art lies in not alienating them by being rude, while sticking to the business at hand.
The Love Type can be good at customer service or helping coworkers with personal issues, conflicts, or complaints — anything that requires connecting with others on an emotional level.
The Sensitivity Type’s body tends to be overweight and big, and seemingly pinched off at the neck and in the pelvis. This sometimes results in a knock-kneed stature. John Candy and Oliver Hardy are good examples. They have big, loving hearts and strive to please. If you can load the wagon, they will pull it. In fact they’ll even load it for you. For example, they may volunteer to help you with your workload while struggling to keep up with theirs.
You can ask a lot of the Sensitivity Type, but it’s important not to take advantage of that by asking too much. When they are pushed too hard, taken advantage of, or offended, they don’t tend to communicate that. Instead, they tend to hold in their feelings as resentment builds. Once their limit is reached, they can lose their temper. They are very sensitive and accommodating, and can be easily humiliated.
The kindness in their heart makes them easy to connect with and work with on a daily basis, and they tend to be really nice people.
“I’m right, you’re wrong” is the war cry of the Commitment Type. They tend to not trust people or situations, and have their antennas up with respect to being betrayed, which is why they like to remain in control. Men tend to have small lower bodies and muscular upper bodies as if making the statement, “I’m the man in charge here.” Sylvester Stallone and Hulk Hogan are good examples.
We also see many of this type strutting the beaches in their Speedos. The characteristic female body type may have a pear-shaped body or a strong upper chest.
One does well to not get into conflict with this type. Even when you see they’re wrong, pointing that out is rarely fruitful. It’s better to acknowledge what truth there might be in their point and work with them to evolve the idea further. If their point ends up being refuted, it’s best that it comes out as if it’s their idea. That’s not as hard to do as it might seem because they’re always trying to keep one step ahead.
When they see where a conversation is logically going, they are eager to get to the conclusion before anyone else.
Commitment Type people make great sales people and managers because they so steadfastly remain 110% committed to a cause, and are happy to get people to conform to their opinion. They have a gift for seeing the big picture and are great at rallying and managing the troops. Because they’re afraid to be wrong, blindsided, or betrayed, they always have their attention on the big picture, which in the business environment can be a real asset.
These people can look like they’re wearing a uniform even if they’re wearing a burlap bag. Their proportions tend to be perfect. John Tesh and Nancy Pelosi are good examples. In fact, people can resent or be put off by them because they appear so perfect. The reality is they have delicate hearts that they can’t show, but can shatter like glass if they feel criticised or rejected.
They tend to be all business or have all their attention on making the surface look right. Their desks and office are always perfectly in order.
People who primarily exhibit the Perfection Type are excellent at organising the office, attending to details, quality control, researching, or creating office systems and professional-looking documents. However, they can also be so obsessed with getting every detail right that it can be hard to get them to stop when enough is enough. As a manager, it’s best to give this type tasks to accomplish and deadlines to keep them on track.
We all have the five personality types to varying degrees. When first working with this tool, it is common to pigeon hole people. However, with practice, we can see how each person’s two or three primary types play out. As we understand that, our ability to function in the workplace with others grows by leaps and bounds.
A useful exercise is to watch people walk by, or even just think about people you know, and see if you can identify their primary personality type(s). By having a basic understanding of these five personality types, you have a very powerful tool to use in the workplace and your personal life to help you relate to and work with other people effectively.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
Why I Stopped Doing Annual Employee Reviews
Why wait months to discuss problems that matter now?
When my company Phone2Action launched in 2013, we tried to manage employee performance with annual reviews. It was pointless. Why wait months to discuss problems that matter now? In a start-up, we needed to move faster and calibrate more often than annual reviews permitted.
We scrapped reviews and implemented a performance management system developed by Martin O’Malley, former governor of Maryland. He “disrupted” conventional management techniques well before Agile and Lean Start-up methodologies swept through Silicon Valley.
Today, many companies use “data-driven” management techniques. However, they struggle to find a balance between team and individual accountability, transparency and privacy, and actions and goals. O’Malley’s approach may help you find the sweet spot.
The CitiStat story
When O’Malley become mayor of Baltimore in 1999, the city suffered from chronic absenteeism, excessive overtime and poor response times. He implemented a data-tracking and management approach called CitiStat, inspired by the New York City Police Department’s CompStat crime analytics. Between 1999 and 2007, CitiStat saved Baltimore an estimated $350 million yet the programme cost only $400,000 per year (spent mainly on staff salaries), according to the Center for American Progress.
CitiStat required city departments to track performance metrics unique to their responsibilities. The Department of Transportation, for example, recorded how quickly it filled potholes after being alerted.
The department heads met with the CitiStat team every two weeks to review the data. If it was trending in the wrong direction, the CitiStat team and department head would brainstorm and test a solution. At the next meeting, the data would reveal whether the follow-up actions had made a difference. By 2007, the Department of Transportation was filling 97 percent of potholes within 48 hours of notification.
Other cities took note of O’Malley’s success. Mayor Adrian Fenty introduced a version called CapSTAT in the District of Columbia Government, where I learned the system. We used it to track major initiatives such as school openings.
“CapSTATs” were intense accountability meetings that gathered all the agency heads. When an initiative hit delays, there was no place to hide. The numbers, the colors (green for on track, yellow for delayed and red for behind) and mapping revealed the status of everything.
Having observed the effectiveness of CapSTAT, I wanted to create a version for Phone2Action. We called it ActionSTAT.
Why it’s different
There are different schools of thought in performance management. ActionSTAT addresses three conflicts that arise in most performance evaluation systems.
1. Team v. individual
Traditional employee reviews often happen in isolation and emphasise individual achievements. In contrast, ActionSTAT holds both the team and individual accountable by measuring how people spend their time. The system connects individual actions and goals to departmental and company goals.
This kind of “systems thinking” is hard to achieve in government but comes naturally in technology companies, which have standard measures of success. In software-as-a-service (SaaS), these could include annual recurring revenue (AAR), monthly recurring revenue (MMR) and gross retention.
For example, let’s say we ask each salesperson to make 40 calls per day. The salespeople who perform this “leading action” close more deals than those who don’t. The action appears to work, so we keep doing it. If salespeople made the 40 calls but didn’t close more deals, we’d test other leading actions. Ultimately, we trace the salespeople’s work to AAR and MMR.
2. Public v. private feedback
One of the hardest aspects of performance management is giving and receiving feedback. When a manager gives an employee feedback in private, the company doesn’t gain institutional knowledge. Only two people learn from the experience. When performance management is a team activity, a culture of continuous learning, improvement and transparency can emerge.
Phone2Action holds ActionSTATs every Thursday at 10 a.m. The meetings are open to everyone but focused on one department each week. We start ActionSTAT by reviewing a dashboard that shows the most important metrics of company health. Those include our load time, conversion rate and retention rate.
Next, we look at the department’s lagging indicators (marked green, yellow and red, just like in CapSTAT) followed by its “leading actions.” Often, we look at individual leading actions, too. The data sparks questions, conversation and feedback from across the company.
Over time, a few things happen:
- Everyone in the company gets used to providing and receiving feedback.
- Everyone gets used to discussing performance publicly.
- Everyone sees what people do in other departments and therefore learns how each team member contributes to the company’s goals.
The health metrics never change, but how teams spend their time can. By discussing the leading actions of each department, we set and correct behaviours.
3. Actions v. goals
ActionSTAT distinguishes between how people spend their time (leading actions) and lagging indicators (goals defined by metrics). This is crucial because companies that manage solely by objectives cannot address the behaviors that drive the outcomes.
If we want to lose weight, jumping on the scale everyday won’t change anything. What we eat and how much we exercise will. The same applies to companies. If we measure lagging indicators but not the activities that influence them, we will not identify what works.
Every ActionSTAT becomes a chance to refine leading actions. If we wait one full year to evaluate an employee, we see if she hit the metrics, but we cannot correct behaviours along the way. Performance management is about continuously identifying the actions that produce desirable outcomes.
A thing of the past
Every tech company wants to be “agile,” but traditional employee reviews hinder that culture. Annual reviews exhaust managers and stress out employees who might have spent months working tirelessly – in the wrong direction. Neither the company nor the employee can afford to wait a year for the feedback.
Today, people choose work environments where they can learn continuously and understand how their actions contribute to the company’s success. Annual reviews are thing of the past.
This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.
Your Employees Are Your Greatest Asset – Manage Them Well
The success of a business depends on many factors, but there are good reasons for arguing that a company’s people must be regarded as a critical lever for success. Consequently, smart business means smart people management.
The notion of the six capitals captures the idea that business does not only require financial capital to deliver returns. It also needs manufacturing, social and relationship, intellectual and human capital —not forgetting the natural capital on which everything depends.
This being said, human capital is rightly regarded as somewhat special for several reasons:
- It has agency. Human capital is the only capital that has a mind of its own. If employees are not happy, or get a better offer, they will simply leave your employ.
- It costs a lot to acquire and maintain. Human capital is expensive to acquire, and must then be trained regularly. It also requires benefits like canteens, medical aid, pension, holidays and so on. It thus represents a cumulative investment, and we all know that investments need to generate returns or they are not worth making.
- It can be a value multiplier. Properly trained and fully engaged employees deliver more than just output. Their contribution also includes building relationships with clients and business partners, collaborating with and motivating colleagues, acting as a repository of institutional memory, and coming up with innovations that save money, improve sales or open up new opportunities. In this way, employees can add tremendous value to your business, and their potential to do so increases the longer they work for you. Alternatively, getting an employee to the point at which he or she is capable of adding significant value is a long and costly journey.
And, of course, your star performers are most at risk of being poached by competitors, who thus stand to benefit from your investment in that person — adding insult to injury!
So, if your employees are such a valuable asset, how do you maximise their contribution?
Star performers are always innately motivated people. To take advantage of that, you need to recognise that highly motivated people need affirmation that their contribution is valued, and to be doing something that is worthwhile. Managers thus need to provide positive feedback and acknowledge achievement.
And take a leaf out of Google’s book: it mandates that employees spend at least 20% of their time doing “what they believe will benefit Google most”. Such projects typically yield huge dividends for the company, and ensure that employees remain engaged.
Give them the bigger picture
More generally, research shows that employees find it extremely demotivating not to understand the big picture into which their work fits and not to have any control over their work schedules. Other big employee turnoffs include intrusive or punitive rules, such as overzealous attendance policies or appropriating employees’ frequent flyer miles. Rules like these work against the kind of collaborative atmosphere that nourishes high performers.
Collaboration is also hampered enormously by an office atmosphere that is characterised by conflict with other employees and, of course, any kind of prejudice.
Treat employees fairly based on performance
Companies should also think carefully about how they treat employees. It might seem fair to treat everybody equally, but in fact that ends up discriminating against those that work harder and smarter. The flip side of the coin is that poor performers suffer no consequences – even though it is their colleagues who have to pick up the slack.
These are general points, but employees are individuals whose preferences are likely to change as they get older. Smart employers who understand the power of an engaged and experienced workforce will put a mechanism in place for asking employees regularly how they want to work and what they like or dislike about their current work conditions.
For example, somebody who is motivated mostly by good benefits might, once his or her children are grown up, become more interested in working on projects that have a specific focus.
Some food for thought in parting, everything one reads about employee motivation mentions fun. Avoiding the pitfalls mentioned above will go a long way towards creating a pleasant and productive workplace that people want to visit, but the odd bit of fun is also necessary. Everybody has his or her own idea of what constitutes fun; again, and this should be your watchword, ask your employees.
MiWay is an Authorised Financial Services Provider (Licence no: 33970).
How To Plan Effective On-The-Job Training Programmes That Work
On-the-job training doesn’t have to be the hassle you make it out to be.
A company which takes pride in their employees’ professional development and provides them with the right training to expand on their roles, will quickly reap the benefits through loyal, productive employees. There is no employee who doesn’t want to learn or progress in their career. And, unfortunately, the reality is that when employees don’t have access to these opportunities, they are more likely to move on.
On-the-job training doesn’t have to be the hassle you make it out to be. What it is, is an investment.
Understanding the basics of how to plan and conduct a training course is the first step to understanding the importance behind this initiative. Not only is it beneficial to your employees, but also to the company.
Understanding the importance of on-the-job training
On-the-job skills development that includes SETA training will not only benefit your employees but it will provide your business with new opportunities for years to come. Due to economic and financial challenges in South Africa, it is important for companies to invest in programmes to keep up with competition, increase their lifespan, and keep their employees happy.
When employees feel motivated, they perform well. For your company to invest in skills training, it means the following:
According to this article, positive emotions appear to invigorate human beings. When employees feel inspired, they become more enthusiastic and loyal to your company. And, in essence, good employee commitment results in a boost in company profits.
Investing in your employees means that you are promoting the need for skilled employees. An ‘always learning’ mentality contributes to a positive attitude which will take you to even bigger heights. When employees are always bettering themselves, there is no reason not to promote them and keep them satisfied during their stay at your company.
You will attract new talent
This is a no-brainer. Millennials, who are currently flooding the job market, are the ones who want to keep learning and keep changing the way businesses operate. If your company supports professional development, you will find that many people will be attracted to you simply because of that. This type of company culture shows that you want to grow people and you are willing to spend the money on building a better team.
In today’s working world, people’s job roles do not determine any other responsibilities that are required of you. Gone are the days where you weren’t able to do something because of the lack of training as today, everyone needs to be able to assist where need be. Companies need to create a flexible workforce that is capable of many things.
Issues that enhance the need for training
For business owners looking to implement a new training programme, it might be best to consult with an external training organisation beforehand. They will be able to come in, sit with your staff and successfully execute a programme that will play out according to specific employee acts and skills development legislation.
There are a number of reasons why employees need to be trained, including:
Lack of communication
Internal communication is one of the biggest barriers among employees and management. When things aren’t structured or run systematically, employees cannot do their jobs, and they’re not motivated to do their jobs properly when they don’t have the skills to do so. Not to mention, a lack of communication is demotivating for employees as they’re not kept in the loop of things that are happening around them. When people know what purpose they play in the bigger picture, they’ll be able to feel the value they’re adding.
Not up to date with the latest technology
Besides the skills you need to deliver a task, employees need to be up to scratch on the latest technology. Not only does this frustrate business owners, thinking employees cannot do the job properly, but it limits employees completely. Upgrades and modern technology make on-the-job training more beneficial.
Understanding your position
When employees have a proper job description, they feel more secure in their positions. It’s important for companies to be clear on employee tasks, not only to plan around their skills but to also set boundaries on tasks so that employees are not overworked.
For businesses which want to be a cut above the rest, they will understand the importance of skills development. Industries are always changing, providing an even bigger purpose for training. With the constant change in technology and trends, there will always be a reason for companies to train their staff. However, understanding the ‘why’ and then implementing the ‘how’ is always the challenge.
Here are a few tips to planning effective on-the-job training programmes that actually work:
- Start by assessing each employee and their roles. Once you’ve analysed their positions, jot down the skills you think your employees need to be able to do their jobs better.
- Wrap your head around the type of programme you’re going to implement. Once you’ve created a strategy around this, brainstorm the type of methods, resources and materials you’ll need. Try to stay away from self-help work, unless there is something to achieve at the end.
- Employees will need to understand the importance behind these programmes, therefore when implemented by an external company, they cannot be avoided. If it is set up by an in-house management team, business owners need to ensure that the implementation is strong enough to keep employees engaged, enthusiastic and committed to learning.
- Once you have completed a programme, make it a priority to include follow up meetings with staff to evaluate the outcome of the training. Usually, when employees can get involved in practising what they’ve learned, it guarantees better and more successful after-training results.
Forget the challenge and look at the benefits that skills training will provide you, your business and your employees. Skills development and training goes beyond using just the basic skills to perform a task and be a better employee. It’s about building a better future for your company and your employees.
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