Forget what you learned in kindergarten: Sometimes it's best not to abide by the Golden Rule. Treating others as you would like to be treated only works if you have similar temperaments - if you're very different people, you risk antagonizing each other. (Remember how annoying Oscar found Felix's constant tidying?) Whether it's a colleague, a family member, or a customer, the most effective way of dealing with others is to learn to "read" their words and actions and tailor your approach to fit their personal styles. Renee Baron, a therapist and public speaker in Berkeley, California, and author of What Type Am I? (Penguin, 1998), offers tips for assessing people's personalities by considering four basic areas:
Extroversion/Introversion Is this individual energized by interacting with other people, or by spending time alone? Extroverts are talkative and outgoing, like working in groups, and tend to think out loud. Introverts are reserved and quiet, prefer working by themselves, and think before they speak. To approach Extroverts: Get them to talk! "They love an audience," says Baron. In the workplace, don't give them too many solo projects - they prefer interaction. To approach Introverts: Respect the fact that they prefer dealing one on one, rather than in large groups. If you ask their opinion, let them wait before speaking; don't prompt them or finish their sentence. If you're a strong Extrovert, resist your tendency to think out loud: "That drives Introverts crazy," warns Baron.
Sensing/Intuition How does he or she absorb information? Is this person practical, or does he like to go with his hunches? Sensors are interested in facts and details, tend to organize their thoughts systematically ("My first point is..."), and describe things literally. Intuitives like to use analogies and often enjoy speculating about the future. To approach Sensors: Give them step-by-step instructions for a task, stressing the practical applications. To approach Intuitives: Focus on implications and possibilities; talk about "the big picture." Let them brainstorm; they're "idea" people.
Thinking/Feeling How does the individual make decisions? Does he or she lead with her head or her heart? Thinkers are logical and analytical; they often enjoy debating issues. Feelers are tactful and empathetic types who seek harmony and can be uncomfortable with disagreement. To approach Thinkers: Make sure that what you're saying makes sense and is reasonable. Appeal to their sense of fairness and don't be insulted if they want to debate or play devil's advocate - just because they disagree with you doesn't mean they don't like you. To approach Feelers: If you're giving them feedback on something, start off with what you agree about; don't just launch into your criticisms. And let them know you appreciate them - Feelers are quick with a compliment, and if you're a strong Thinker type, you can learn from their example.
Judging/Perceiving How does this person organize his day-to-day life? Does he lean more toward structure or flexibility? Judgers are punctual and orderly; they enjoy following a schedule and can be thrown off by last-minute changes. Perceivers are more playful and spontaneous; they like to keep their options open. To approach Judgers: Be organized and on time for appointments. Avoid saying "maybe" and "perhaps" too much. Stick with the plan as much as you can. To approach Perceivers: Let them explore their options; give them the opportunity to ask questions. Don't impose schedules on them if you box them in too much, they may rebel. If you're a Judger, don't write Perceivers off as flaky, cautions Baron: "Try to appreciate their more relaxed way of life." And that's the ultimate goal of learning to read others - to see things from their perspective so that you can develop the aspects of your personality that differ from theirs. In fact, says Baron, people often instinctively seek balance by gravitating toward opposite types. Thus Introverts are often found with Extroverts because they don't mind letting their friends hog the spotlight, and Sensors and Intuitives make a powerful team - Sensors need the creativity of Intuitives, while Intuitives need Sensors to bring them down to earth. It takes all types; that's how Bert and Ernie stay friends - and Mary Matalin and James Carville stay married. Make more money faster by easily connecting with hard-to-reach decision makers who can buy your products and services...NOW! Get started free by getting Michael McCann's new Special Report excerpted from his newest edition of his popular business development book, Connecting with Key Decision Makers (How to Reach Hard-to-Reach Businesspeople Who Can Say "Yes")...just for asking at http:/www.GlobalBusinessCafe.com/ - http://Twitter.com/MikeHMcCann Go now! Michael McCann is a 25-year veteran of developing unique and professional business development programs that create tangible results for individuals and companies. Let him help you instantly...free!
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