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Samuel P. Hall

What’s Your FLAVA? Personality & Communication System

ISBN: 978-0-9960317-1-4 Copyright Š 2012 by Vanguard Solutions Consulting, LLC.

Jacksonville, Florida

Published by Vanguard Solutions Consulting, LLC. Cover: Starfish Studios Creative Media & Production

Contact us at: Text VSC to 42828 to Join Our Mailing List Printed in the United States of America. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. Contents or cover may not be reproduced in whole or in part in any form without the express written consent of the Publisher.

Table of Contents Forward by Dr. Andrea Oliver, Ph.D.


Preface: The Immutable Cs & the Masala Principle


Introduction: The FLAVA Metaphor and Methodology


Chapter 1: Comprehensive Communication


Chapter 2: Transactionship vs. Relationships


Chapter 3: Intro to Personalities, It started with Hippocrates


Chapter 4: The Foundation


Chapter 5: The FLAVA Methodology


Chapter 6: Clarifying the Concept


Chapter 7: The FLAVA Pages


Chapter 8: The FLAVA Rule of Communication


Bonus 1: The Job at Hand


Bonus 2: The Same Old Carrot


Bonus 3: Lagniappe‌a little something extra


Foreword I have spent literally half of my life in various classroom settings teaching students ranging from pre-adolescent age to first time in college senior citizens. Although technological advances have transformed the way in which instruction and information is delivered to the students I have worked with, the one constant that has remained in place during that two decade span of time is that the most effective educator knows she must vary her instructional methods to suit the learning styles of as many students as possible to maximize the potential of all students she comes into contact with.

In the past year, I have transitioned from being an educator on the frontlines of America’s classrooms to training our nation’s next generation of educators. In doing so, I am imparting the same lessons of teaching effectiveness that were imparted to me, which I

regularly applied during my own career: vary your instruction to suit the multiple learning styles of the students you will work with so that you can be at your professional best. You have some who are more visual in their approach to learning, while there are those who are more auditory in their preference in acquiring knowledge. Likewise, there are those that are kinesthetically inclined and are best motivated to learn when given opportunities to move their bodies, and there are those that are tactile and learn best when physically manipulating objects to learn concepts and information. The skilled teacher will plan instructional activities that emphasize these styles to every extent possible, because she knows that making an effort to do will enhance student performance and will dramatically improve his attitude toward schooling overall.

When I was asked to prepare the introduction for this book, my mind made the immediate connection between the lessons I learned as a teacher and a teacher of teachers related to learning style 5|Page

preferences and the platinum rule of communication coined by Vanguard Solutions Consulting founder and the author of this book, Samuel Hall which states this: communicate unto others as you would have them communicate unto you. In the same way that my 20-year experience as an educator has shown me the importance of varying instructional approaches for maximum impact, Mr. Hall brings two decades of experience as a Human Resources professional, and a married father of two to the arena of communication effectiveness. I believe that his experiences uniquely qualify him to speak authoritatively on this topic! Eighteenth century English poet William Cowper once declared that “Variety’s the very spice of life that gives it all its flavour [sic]”. It is in the spirit of this literary and literal truth that the What’s Your FLAVA? System seeks to show people that they must vary their interaction styles to season their communication to suit a variety of tastes in multiple settings. Readers who will implement the techniques revealed by the

What’s Your FLAVA? System will witness 6|Page

improvement in every facet of their lives and in all the roles they occupy. I encourage all who read this book to learn the platinum rule of communication so they can become the best managers, employees, spouses, parents and friends they could ever hope to be. Enjoy, engage and employ the lessons in this book! Andrea L. Oliver, M. Ed., Ph. D Coordinator of Teacher Education & Historian December 2014


Preface This book is for all individuals, families, teams and organizations who want to get better at what they do. In other words, you want to improve your performance in the big things and even the small things in your life. You may initially think that you have no significant need for performance improvement. But, “getting better� ultimately means improving your performance. And you may also think that since you are not an athlete, a corporate leader or a professional sports coach that you do not actually operate within a competitive environment. Nothing could be further from the truth. We all operate within competitive environments, whether we realize it or not.

To understand the universal need that each of us has for performance improvement, you must first understand the Four Laws of the Immutable Cs which drive human behavior and ultimately affect performance. You may have attempted to make improvements in the past. But, you have probably only 8|Page

focused upon just one critical element in your life to effectuate that improvement. There are four immutable Cs that work like interlocking gears in the machine of our lives and collectively drive our outcomes. You could be actively working to turn one of those gears while other forces are turning another gear which is preventing the gear that you are working on from turning. Those gears are the Four Immutable Cs:

Change, Competition, Culture and Communication are the immutable “Cs� that drive the need for a highlevel of performance. The first of the Immutable Cs is Change. And the immutable law associated with it, is that Change is Continuous. To master performance improvement, you must first master your behavior during change. The frequency and the magnitude of the change within all aspects of our lives impact our performances.


It may be an oversimplification, but the only constant in the ever-changing universe is --change. The people, teams and organizations who learn to effectively manage change (or more aptly stated those who learn to effectively manage themselves in the midst of change) are much more likely to succeed in the pursuit of their goals than those who do not. There are far more variables that affect our success which we cannot control, than the very few which we actually can. It is not enough to simply expect change, we must adapt and thrive in the midst of change.

We intuitively know that things are changing around us. In order to understand the extreme impact of that change, we need to look no further than to three historically dominant forces that once ruled the world completely unopposed – dinosaurs, newspapers and the U.S. Postal Service. All of these once dominant forces were unable to adjust their performances to meet the demands of their changing environments. Each is now

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extinct or is on the endangered species list. They did not effectively manage their behaviors as the change ultimately imposed significant effects upon them. This also applies to each of us. Think about it. The way that you live all aspects of your life has drastically changed during the last 10 to 20 years. Most people are averse to change, but don’t intuitively know why. They simply do not like to change. In actuality they are really averse to the new behaviors that the change necessitates them to adopt. The change that we see and experience is actually the after-effect of the real change force which is often overlooked. All change begins with an unseen competitive force.

To understand the difference between the effects of the change that we experience and the actual source that drives that change, consider that change moves through our lives like a tornado moves through a country side. The physical evidence of the tornado is the wind that we feel and we also see the results of the wind’s powerful impact by the trail of its destruction. What we 11 | P a g e

typically think of as change in our lives, is merely the “wind” of the tornado of change. It is what we “feel” and that force is in our immediate physical environment, we focus on the impact (the wind) instead of the source of the wind.

There is also an unseen force of atmospheric phenomena that actually causes the formation of the tornado. If you want to understand how tornados are formed, you must first understand the forces that create them. Similarly, all change that we deal with in our lives is really the wind or the after-effect of an unseen competitive force which created that change. By “competitive”, we mean a force which “competes” for our limited time, energy and resources.

The often negative connotation associated with change occurs because of our apprehension, uncertainty and the unwillingness to modify our behaviors. We experience a myriad of tornadic effects (winds) of change that blow through our lives as separate and 12 | P a g e

distinct forces and each requires its own solution. Although these various winds of change may emanate from different sources i.e., family crises, workplace transitions, technological innovations or economic calamities, they are all ultimately resolved by the same solution. We are all required to adapt, modify or change our behaviors. To effectively mind your change, you must first change your mind.

All people-related problems are really change-related problems. All change begins and ends with the human mind because all change requires a modification in behavior. To that end, a critical element of performance improvement is change management. This book is principally about performance improvement which is initiated by the “gear” of communication. Change is the central “gear” that will eventually affect all others.

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The second of the Immutable Cs is Competition. The immutable law associated with it is that Competition is Constant and unavoidable. As we pursue performance improvement, understanding the nature of continuous change is key. We must understand that competition is just as constant as change is continuous. Change places demands upon us and our behavior, while competition places demands upon our resources. The inescapable presence of competition necessitates the need for performance improvement. Most people think of a competitive environment as one only where sports teams and athletes perform. Others think of a competitive environment as a situation where companies wage million-dollar ad campaigns to vie for customers and market share. However, competition is all around us. It is truly constant and ubiquitous. It turns out that all people compete without consciously realizing it. We all compete for the small seemingly insignificant things and for the big, essential and obvious things of life.

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We compete for them each day and even each moment throughout the day. Consider this axiom, “if there is competition, then performance matters.� For instance, parents compete against social media, video games and friends for their children’s time and attention. Employers compete against other companies for the loyalty and retention of their employees. Spouses compete against the distractions and demands of family life in the 21st century for stronger relationships with each other. Interpersonal relationships are the foundation of families, organizations and communities. Stronger relationships start with improved performance in those relationships. Even though there are no sports teams wearing colorful uniforms and no visible scoreboards surrounding us, we all are still very much in the midst of competition as we live our everyday lives.

Where there is competition, our performances most assuredly matter. Take a moment to consider the five most important people who comprise significant 15 | P a g e

personal and business relationships in your life. Imagine there is an imaginary relationship “scoreboard” above the head of each of those five people every time that you speak with each of them. What if those scoreboards tracked whether your relationship with that person is stronger or weaker after each conversation? You would then be able to clearly see whether you were “winning” or “losing” in that relationship each time. Presumably, these specific relationships have a huge impact upon your family, your career and the quality of your life. When we knowingly and intentionally enter into a competitive situation, we typically do so with a strategy and the appropriate mindset. We also expect there to be gains and even losses in an environment “labeled” competitive. What happens when we unconsciously and aimlessly wander into the throws of daily competition without a plan and totally unprepared? We do not perform up to a level to our true capacity. When was the last time that you actually prepared a strategy for a conversation with your children, your spouse or 16 | P a g e

your business partners? So, do you still think that you are not in a competitive environment? And do you still think that you are winning?

The third of the Immutable Cs is Culture. The immutable law associated with it is that Culture is Contagious. Every group, every team, every organization and even every family that has been in existence for any significant period of time has an established and distinct culture. The culture of a group of people can be defined as the sum of their attitudes, customs, and beliefs that distinguishes that group of people from another. Culture is transmitted through language, material objects and customs from one person to another. You may not readily recognize it, but there is a dominant culture that exists within the company where you work, the neighborhood that you live in and even within the house that you call home.

The culture of a group or organization is critical to performance because the culture establishes the 17 | P a g e

guidelines and practices which facilitate successful behaviors. Consequently, culture significantly impacts performance. Culture can be strategically implemented by leaders in a top-down approach or culture can grow unchecked from the bottom up. Think of two categories of teams. The first being the best performing companies and sports teams that you know. The second category being the worst performing companies and sports teams that you know. The teams in each category have either a distinct “winning” or “losing” culture. Culture is definitely contagious. The question is whether the people are being “infected” or “inspired” during the process.

Culture can be positive or negative and similar to a virus, is spread from person to person. It is impossible to consistently produce excellent results within a culture that does not foster excellent performance. So, how is culture most effectively established and spread? Well, that all begins with Communication!

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The fourth of the Immutable Cs is Communication. The law associated with it is that communication is the catalyst for change. More specifically, communication is the catalyst for behavioral modification that leads to performance improvement. Whether it is a group of volunteers at a local charity, a large corporation or a military unit, they are all comprised of individual people. If you desire to improve the performance of those groups, it stands to reason that you must first improve the performance of the people who comprise each group.

Communication between one person and another is the beginning of that improvement. The focus of this book is the fourth “C� and emphasizes the need to for us to Listen Differently, Hear Better and Understand More.

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The Masala Philosophy Centuries ago we perceived that our planet’s resources were virtually boundless. Today, we know that our planet and its natural resources are not limitless. Likewise as individuals, we understand that we too have limited resources of time, availability and personal capacity. Even corporations are limited to 24 hours each day and to seven days each week.

Like boxers, most corporations compete within “weight classes”. These weight classes allow for fair and even competition. Coca-Cola competes against Pepsi and General Motors competes against Ford Motor Company. Local small businesses typically compete against other small businesses that have very similar capital, equipment and resources. Very seldom does a single company have an overwhelmingly significant advantage of resources over its competition within its “weight class”. The environment is virtually the same for each competing company. 20 | P a g e

If we all are bound by relatively the same limitations of time and resources, then why is it possible for some individuals, teams, departments, and entire organizations to perform well in competitive circumstances while facing the exact same limitations and environmental challenges as their struggling competitors?

Superior athletic performance in individual sports in contrast to team sports can almost always be attributed to the superior physical prowess of the individual. It is easy to see that Olympic legends Hussain Bolt and Michael Phelps are physically dominant in comparison to their competitors. Their success is not attributed to their knowledge, technique or strategy. Those things are observable by their competitors and can be easily copied and adopted. The answer very plainly is that, Bolt and Phelps are just simply better athletically and much of their ability is innate genetics. Identifying the formula for success in team sports and business is far 21 | P a g e

more difficult to determine. Genetics are an infinitesimal part of the formula. Unraveling the secret of success of superior corporations is extremely difficult for anyone outside of those firms because there is an almost infinite number of variables that contribute to a corporation’s success. Those variables differ from company to company and across industries. If we could isolate that formula then, we could replicate the success. Sports teams within a single league offer observable performances that can be assessed by standard metrics. They operate within a more limited environment under the same conditions. The 20-year search for this answer was the foundation of our Masala Philosophy which can guide individuals and teams to perform exceptionally well within the same environment where others are failing. Imagine the advantage of the ability to feast during a famine. Improved performance in the midst of fierce competition translates into several positive 22 | P a g e

outcomes such as higher profits, expanded personal choices and greater individual success. It begins with the identification of the 4 Immutable Cs and recognizing just how significantly communication impacts the overall process of performance improvement. To catch a glimpse of this philosophy in action, we will call upon one of sports history’s greatest coaches, the University of Alabama’s legendary head football coach, Paul “Bear” Bryant. During his illustrious 25year tenure at Alabama, Coach Bryant garnered six national championships, as well as, thirteen conference championships. In 1982 when he retired, his six national championship titles and his 323 career wins set the record for the most victories by a head coach in collegiate football history. Coach Bryant’s win totals were astonishing. When we look beyond the total wins and losses and even beyond the championships, we can take a closer review of his unique “management” process. He was able to do something that other coaches were not doing. Bear 23 | P a g e

Bryant’s prowess in coaching was not merely measured by his national championships and his career wins. He also had the astonishing ability to take almost any group of players and produce outstanding results with them.

Coach Bryant was so brilliant in doing this that he became legendary for it. If fact, Bum Phillips, former coach of the Houston Oilers, colloquially described Coach Bear Bryant by saying, “He can take his’in and beat you’rn and then can take you’rn and beat his’in.” Translated into today’s more common vernacular this quote means, Coach Bryant could take his players and beat your players and then he could turn around and take your players and beat his players. Clearly it was not all about the players, which then logically eliminates genetics and physical superiority as the key for success. If physical athletic superiority alone is not the key for success in team sports or group performance, then what is it?

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“He can take his’in and beat you’rn and then can take you’rn and beat his’in.” Coach Bum Phillips (Speaking about legendary Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant)

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What’s Your FLAVA?

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In Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine, there is a limited set of basic spices. A chef’s prowess is determined by how well she or he is able to blend those basic spices into virtually unlimited combinations. So, in Indian cuisine, the term “masala”, refers to the ability to take spices and blend them artfully to get the exact results you desire.

Likewise, our Masala Philosophy of Management is predicated upon the belief that you “take what you have and create what you want.” This not only applies to business situations, but also to our personal lives and relationships. To that end, Coach Bear Bryant’s capacity to outperform his competitors while utilizing the same resources and overcoming the same limitations is the essence of the Masala Philosophy of Management. We must learn to Listen Differently, Hear Better and Understand More! This process continues with fully understanding the individual parts of the group, team or organization 27 | P a g e

well enough to be able to manipulate, maneuver, or leverage them in order to get greater productivity out of each piece and the collective. We must realize that through the avenue of communication, we can improve our capacity to more effectively engage people, connect with them and move them along a continuum that allows for more productive results.

The What’s Your FLAVA? book is the first in a series which explains a three-step process that begins with improving performance through communication, and continues in the second book, The Masala Principle which explores creating exceptional teams that achieve sustained success, and the series concludes with the third book which explores maintaining drought-resistant relationships in The Sorghum Factor. The very first step begins with the most critical part of improving performance which is communication!

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Book Format Each chapter will include the following components to guide you through the information easily. Each component is marked by an icon to help you recognize it:

Chapter Quote: The Chapter Quote is subtle inspirational reminder from one of life’s icons that expresses a truism that should be considered when reading the chapter.

Chapter Keys The Chapter Keys are the building blocks for each chapter.

The Little Big Thing This is one of the “small points” that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle once stated are all around us and that are often overlooked. These points make a huge difference when we actually recognize and utilize them in our decision-making.

The Human Factor This is a reminder that ultimately it is all about the human impact and our performance improvement.

Did You Know Introduces a critical statistic or metric that demonstrates the importance of the information in a practical environment

Toolbox Take-away We all carry metaphorical toolboxes that contain our collection of knowledge, skills, abilities, training and experiences. The more “tools” that you collect and place into your toolbox, the more prepared that you will be when expected and unexpected opportunities are presented to you.

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“If you want to change the world, start with yourself.� Mahatma Gandhi Human Rights Activist

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Listen Differently, Hear Better and Understand More‌

Introduction: The FLAVA Metaphor and Methodology ___________________________________________________ Our personalities impact the way we all think, feel and act. This book is intended to be a resource that will assist you in understanding yourself and others better as you strive to improve your performance within your relationships, families and jobs. We want to assist you in improving your companies, communities and families. As you contemplate that improvement, it is vitally important to understand personalities and all of the other elements that are involved in this process. There are some elements that we only have influence over instead of complete control. The element that we have the most control over is ourselves. Page | 31

Introduction: The FLAVA Methodology

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “If you want to change the world, start with yourself.” No truer words have ever been spoken. Before you can change yourself, you need a better understanding of the person you truly are. It starts with a more complete picture of you and your personality. Through this journey of discovery to learn more about yourself, you will also learn a great deal more about others around you.

The first step on any journey of discovery always begins with a question: who, what, when, where or why? Questions begin the dialogue which leads to answers. Isaac Newton pondered the question of what caused that apple to fall on his head. Thomas Edison posed the question of how could he bring light to the masses. And the name of our personality and communication system is also posed as an interrogative—What’s Your FLAVA? It is intended to generate a dialogue that facilitates a discussion and produces information. Page | 32

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Most people are bereft of true selfunderstanding. But, having a lack of knowledge about one’s self or of any particular area does not eliminate its impact upon you. Some people may suffer with acrophobia, but may have never been in a situation that allowed the condition to have been manifested. Being unaware of your own behavioral traits that are clearly associated with your personality will not eliminate those traits or lessen their impact upon your communication and workstyle. No more than a lack of understanding of gravity will lessen its effect when falling from a ladder. By the way, acrophobia is a fear of heights. If you suffer from it and are fully aware of its adverse impact upon you, then you probably would not pursue a career as a high-rise window washer. See, knowing more about yourself will impact the decisions that you make. Surely, you would not like to find out that you really do not like dealing with numbers after you become an accountant. Page | 33

Introduction: The FLAVA Methodology

Metacognition is an understanding of your own individual learning process. It is, “learning how you learn”. The FLAVA system helps you to better understand you! What’s Your FLAVA? is a personality assessment and communication system. It is designed to be fun, engaging and easy to understand. This book and the FLAVA methodology is presented in common, everyday terms, not in technical jargon. You will find that the FLAVA system is simple and is a common-sense approach to personalities and communication. The primary purpose of this system is to improve performance and bottom-line results. It will impact your personal and business relationships through increased knowledge of personalities. If you have a better understanding of key behaviors, then you can anticipate those behaviors. Companies typically offer the same universal compensation and incentive plans to all employees, but different people value different Page | 34

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things. Knowing that one person values a position with increased autonomy versus monetary rewards is helpful when attempting to incent that person.

The word FLAVA is simply an acronym for your Feelings, Likes, Attitudes, Values and Actions. These are the ingredients that build your personality. FLAVA is just another way of conceptualizing your personality. It has been nearly 2500 years since Hippocrates identified that all people have one of four personality types. He believed that the major fluids found in the human body influenced behavior and produced those four personalities which he labeled: 1) Sanguine 2) Choleric 3) Phlegmatic 4) Melancholic The study of our personalities is much more than just a theoretical pursuit. Page | 35

Introduction: The FLAVA Methodology

It has a very tangible and financial impact upon today’s customers and business outcomes. Recently, eLoyalty, a customer service company which specializes in call-center operations, invested $50 million and hired 250 linguists to develop proprietary software that assesses the personalities of inbound callers. Once assessed, the software routes them to a customer service representative with the appropriate personality to most effectively service the caller.

This is a very clear example of the practical application of personalities. In this example, it is easy to see that this corporation understands the differences between the personality types. eLoyalty was so convinced that these differences would have a substantial impact upon its business operations, that they invested $50 million. During Hipprocrates’ time, the concept of such an abstract phenomena as personalities was new and difficult to conceive by the common person. Even Page | 36

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today in our advanced society, during a time when we have successfully mapped the human genome, we still find that there is minimal understanding by the general population about our personalities and their substantial impact on the communication process. The experts who came after Hippocrates added to the science of personalities, but they also added confusing methodologies. Those methodologies have been overly-technical, filled with abstract jargon and extremely boring. The FLAVA approach utilizes the tangible and relatable metaphor of food to explain the abstract concept of personalities.

It was Albert Einstein, one of history’s most iconic intellectuals who famously stated, “If you can’t explain a subject in simple terms, then you do not understand it well enough.” That basic premise is at the core of the FLAVA methodology. We have Page | 37

Introduction: The FLAVA Methodology

taken a complex concept and reduced it to a simple, easy-to-understand language. The FLAVA approach is also designed to be fun and engaging.

The focus of this book is not just to explain personalities. The goal is also to get better results within your personal and business lives after gaining knowledge of personalities. Communication is the only means by which one person can convey thoughts, plans, goals and strategies to another person. Personalities have the greatest impact on the communication process. We must have a better understanding of both personalities and communication.

We must learn to Listen Differently, Hear Better and Understand More.

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Listen Differently, Hear Better and Understand More…

“If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships, the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together, in the same world at peace.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

32nd President of the United States of America

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Chapter 1: Comprehensive Communication

Chapter 1 Comprehensive Communication Did you know that it is estimated U.S. companies spend more than $350 Billion each year as a result of personality conflicts between employees? CPP, Inc. a global leader in personalities and professional development cites this as hard evidence that personalities not only impact productivity, but also the bottom line. The immortal words of Franklin D. Roosevelt in his quote on the previous page were proclaimed nearly one hundred years ago. They are so relevant to today’s society that these words could have been spoken just yesterday. 40 | P a g e

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President Roosevelt stated that the success of the human experience is predicated upon the quality of our relationships. It is important to understand that the relationships that Roosevelt spoke about at that time and even our relationships today are still driven by the quality of the communication that supports them. Ordinary people, typical families, large companies and even the leaders of countries must communicate. We all communicate to accomplish our daily tasks and to achieve corporate goals. Even our community leaders communicate to inform the general public of routine matters. The communication process is the single most important aspect to the success of any endeavor which requires two or more people to interact. The world’s greatest plan is useless, if it is not actually executed. That plan cannot be executed without communication with others. This even applies to the simplest and least important of our daily activities, like placing an order at a drive-thru window. It also applies 41 | P a g e

Chapter 1: Comprehensive Communication

to those more important and life-saving activities, like performing open-heart surgery. Both types of activities require more than one person to complete. The knowledge to complete both activities is readily available. There must be precise communication during the activity and there must also be precise execution for success. Many people desire to improve the results of their efforts. The communication process must first be clearly understood to even begin the pursuit of maximizing performance.

Imagine that in the previous example of the drive-thru window that your order is slightly misunderstood and made slightly different than you wanted. The result is a meal that falls a bit short. As a society, we have come to expect that result from most fast-food companies. However, in the example of the open-heart surgery, any slight failure in communication or execution can be lifethreatening. In a recent article, Time Magazine stated each day humans make thousands of decisions. Some estimate as many as 30,000 decisions are made daily. 42 | P a g e

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Most of these decisions are small and seemingly inconsequential. Some of these decisions can have a significant impact on key outcomes in our personal lives, our businesses and our communities. Imagine the improvement that would result in making just 3% better decisions when you consider that you will make more than one million decisions in a month. Now, consider that improvement projected over your interactions with the members of your family, your employees or the entire company.

This would lead to thousands upon thousands of better decisions and improved results. Those results are like the compounded interest of money. They multiply exponentially upon one another. Remember, the $350 billion mentioned earlier that companies are collectively losing because of employee personality conflicts. Imagine not losing that money, but making money by leveraging the strengths of personalities. 43 | P a g e

Chapter 1: Comprehensive Communication

There are many factors that adversely impact and complicate your communication process with other people. The differences in the personalities of the people and the way that those differences impact communication is potentially the single most significant factor. In fact, recently listed communication as the most important skill needed for success in the 21st century global marketplace. Each day, entrepreneurs, corporate managers, and even parents relay the “message of the day” to their teams. Most people assume (albeit incorrectly) that their messages have been well-received because they spoke with loudness of voice and clarity of thought. They also assume that afterwards the only thing that the rank-andfile has left to do, is to just follow the clearly-stated instructions. Unfortunately, communication is a much more complicated process than most of us realize. The communication process should be viewed as a continuum from “non-existent” at its worst to “highly 44 | P a g e

Listen Differently, Hear Better and Understand More…

effective” or transformational at its best. The World Literacy Foundation (WLF) published recently in its report, The Economic & Social Cost of Illiteracy, that 20% of the world’s population struggles with illiteracy. Did you know that illiteracy costs the global economy approximately $1trillion each year? Yes, that’s trillion with a “T”. For decades, economists have analyzed the literacy rates of the populations of thirdworld and emerging countries to assess the impact those rates have on the gross domestic product (GDP) of those countries.

As a world community, we understand the significance of literacy, which is the ability to effectively read, write and understand an established language. Illiteracy significantly impacts a country’s ability to perform effectively and adversely impacts its national production. That same rationale applies to how the lack of knowledge about personalities adversely impacts our abilities to communicate with others. 45 | P a g e

Chapter 1: Comprehensive Communication

Within the FLAVA system, there is a concept called “Personaracy”. It is the level of fluency by which people communicate with others through speaking and understanding the language of the four different personality types. You would not present a life-saving, CPR training course in German to a group of life guards who only spoke the English language.

Obviously, the communication process would be adversely impacted. Unfortunately, we often do indeed present critical messages to people daily in a language they do not understand and we assume that they have fully received our intended messages. There are more than 7 billion people on the planet and that number grows continuously. The world’s population speaks more than 70 different languages which includes over one billion different words. All of these languages with all of these words provide an increased capacity for us to communicate with one another. 46 | P a g e

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Although people throughout the world use different languages, they all still have the same basic need to send and receive information, during the communication process. Parents have the need to communicate with their children. Employers have the need to communicate with their employees. Entrepreneurs have the need to communicate with their customers. Unfortunately, communication often does not yield the end results that we want. If communication is seemingly so essential and obviously occurs so frequently, then why is it done so poorly, so often by so many? An examination of the communication process below provides some insight.

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Chapter 1: Comprehensive Communication

A simple two-way communication process between two people has a sender, a receiver and of course a message. The previous image is a depiction of this process. This communication process is considered “simple” because it is a straight-forward and basic system communicating. In the real world, communication is anything but simple. The process becomes increasingly more complicated when “noise” or distractions enter the system. That noise is also represented by the different personalities and varied communication styles of the sender and the receiver. These personality differences create other considerations that affect the receiver’s capacity to interpret the intended message. How many times have you “heard” what someone has said to you, but it turned out that they actually “meant” something else? Often times, messages can be confusing. This can lead to ineffective and inefficient teams and less-than-desired results. 48 | P a g e

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These negative results have led corporations to seek to strengthen their people, who are their greatest assets. Companies spend billions of dollars each year on employee training. The Association of Talent Development published that U.S. companies collectively spend more than $156 billion on employee learning and development, annually. That amount is projected to increase each year. It’s also estimated that companies spend more than 5% of their billion-dollar annual budgets on employee training. Why do the world’s largest corporations spend so much on training? The answer is because they so desperately need their employees to perform better. They are all seeking performance improvement.

An axiom in the consulting industry states, “Your process is perfectly designed to produce the results that you are currently getting.” 49 | P a g e

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If you want to change your results, then change your process. The fastest car in the world will not produce the intended results if no one actually drives that car. Many corporate employee trainings are expensive and well-intended, but frequently fail due to lack of acceptance by the employees over a sustained period of time. Most training fails at the application-level. Likewise, there have been previous personality systems in the past. However, these systems have not truly engaged individuals and have failed to ultimately drive people to actually utilize the system over sustained periods of time. Previous personality methodologies have been highly-technical, overly-complicated and also really boring. They have also been difficult to implement into the average person’s daily life. The FLAVA methodology is not new science, it is a new process and approach to solve the age-old problem of ineffective communication and performance improvement. The FLAVA system is easy to understand 50 | P a g e

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and designed to be utilized by the lay person who does not need to have a Ph.D. to understand the system. The simple two-way communication process mentioned earlier illustrated how “noise” makes that process more confusing. The FLAVA personality system helps filter the noise as you translate those confusing messages into a language that you can actually understand. Our approach begins by providing a redefined and expanded explanation of the aforementioned “simple” communication process. In the preface of this book, communication is identified as the catalyst for change. If we want significant performance improvement, communication must be transformational.

Typical communication simply conveys a message, but transformational communication significantly changes behaviors and outcomes. In the preface of this book, we also cited how Coach Bear Bryant produced incredible performance in his players through transformational communication. The FLAVA 51 | P a g e

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methodology emphasizes a Comprehensive Communication style which is defined as a more expanded concept as compared to the typical view of the communication process.

Our Comprehensive Communication style includes five major elements: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Speaking Listening Observing Thinking Behaving

The five elements of Comprehensive Communication

The process of communication is the basis of every human interaction, it is the glue that bind each personal and business relationship. These relationships drive outcomes, support the achievement of goals and lead to the generation of revenue. Through the five elements of the Comprehensive Communication process and the FLAVA system, you will learn to Listen Differently, Hear Better and Understand More. 52 | P a g e

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An improved communication process produces improved bottom-line results. Individual people, Fortune 500 companies and even entire nations have collectively invested billions of dollars to improve their communication processes. Even after those incredible investments, the world’s most powerful and best educated dignitaries still struggle to communicate with one another. We only need to look inside of the hallowed halls of the United Nations which was founded in 1945. Following World War II, the UN was established to prevent another such globally-scaled conflict. Its 193 member nations understand that improved communication prevents conflicts. Because communication is so vitally important and so difficult to do effectively, the United Nations (UN) has an entire department dedicated to interpreting communication between its members. The United Nations Interpretation Service translates speeches given on the UN floor. The UN spends a great deal of resources to recruit and train the world’s best interpreters. These interpreters are expected to instantly 53 | P a g e

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recognize, understand and provide the appropriate word in another language. The interpreters’ range of subjects for which they interpret is extremely broad, including politics, legal affairs, social issues and human rights. Many world leaders do not speak fluent Russian or French. However, when they speak at the UN, their words are instantly translated into various languages. When these heads-of- state are brought together to resolve global issues, even in this esteemed group of people, the process of communication can be challenging. The members of the UN have nearly unlimited resources and staffs to assist them in the communication process. So, why do even they still have disagreements and so many misunderstandings between the members of the UN? It is one thing to comprehend the words that someone speaks to you. It is quite another to truly understand the meanings of those words. Gaining that true understanding is the key to Comprehensive 54 | P a g e

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Communication. As an average person you obviously do not have the vast resources or even the personnel of the United Nations. How then how can you ever hope to figure it all out? The answer is becoming a transformational communicator with What’s Your FLAVA? Most people’s perspective of communication is limited only to the act of speaking. They consider a good communicator as a person who is a good orator. Communication that is truly transformational is much more than just the act of speaking. It also involves each of the five previously mentioned elements of Comprehensive Communication which also includes listening. Consider this, of the thousands of colleges and universities around the world, very few of them have a curriculum that requires students to master the skill of listening. In fact, there are very few courses anywhere even offered on the subject of listening. However, students who enter almost any institution 55 | P a g e

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of higher learning are generally required to write, speak and give presentations. We are typically given the opportunity to improve our writing and improve our speaking skills. Very rarely are we given the formal training to improve our listening skills or to have those listening skills evaluated and critiqued. The FLAVA methodology offers you the means by which to target your listening skills and to make your communication with others more effective, more productive and ultimately transformational.

To be transformational communicators, we must also change the way that we actually think and view the world. We must become more observant of the basic elements within our communication environment. Our results at home, at work and in the community can be improved without having to actually change the elements within our environment or without even having to add additional resources. 56 | P a g e

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By just being aware of and recognizing the nuances of the elements in our surrounding environment, we can make adjustments in our own actions (Remember, we control ourselves and influence others). We are then able to affect and improve outcomes.

The element of observation which is a key aspect of the comprehensive communication process. The concept of observation is not new in the problemsolving process. However, it may be viewed as new to the traditional communication process. Literature teaches us the power of observation through one of its most iconic fictional characters, Sherlock Holmes. He was considered the world’s greatest detective. The Sherlock Holmes series was penned by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Holmes and his sidekick, Dr. Watson, battled the evil Professor Moriarty. Sherlock Holmes demonstrated a great sense of observation and impressive powers of deduction. Although Sherlock Holmes is a fictional character, he potentially had his genesis in someone that Arthur 57 | P a g e

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Conan Doyle actually knew both personally and professionally. Arthur Conan Doyle was a medical student in the 19th century. One of his professors was Dr. Joseph Bell. Ultimately, Doyle was selected to be Dr. Bell’s medical assistant on the ward. One of the things that Doyle quickly learned from watching Dr. Bell was that he had an extremely keen sense of perception and also that Bell was very observant. Dr. Bell could identify very readily if a patient were a soldier or a sailor by just observing him for a few moments. If the patient were a sailor, he would look for tattoos that might indicate where he had been during his travels. Bell would look for calluses on the hands to indicate the vocation a person may have. Dr. Bell would have conversations with his patients and routinely observe minor things that other doctors simply overlooked. Dr. Bell’s observant behaviors and his characteristics in the medical professional may seem obvious today, but in 1877 they were not so obvious. Because of 58 | P a g e

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Author Conan Doyle’s fascination with the results of these behaviors, the great detective Sherlock Holmes was based loosely on Dr. Joseph Bell who used the power of observation to make a difference. If we are to become transformational communicators, we must become more observant during the communication process. Dr. Joseph Bell saw the same things that other physicians “saw”. He just gleaned more information from those things. Similarly, at the U.N., everyone in attendance can hear the President of France deliver his speech in French, but not everyone can understand what is said. In the real-world communication process, the distinct differences in our personalities make it difficult for us to understand one another. But, just like the UN staff of interpreters, the FLAVA system decodes confusing messages within the communication process so that you gain greater understanding. The data gained during the listening and observing phases is processed cognitively to provide vital information. 59 | P a g e

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The FLAVA approach trains you to interpret the data received. It then allows you to understand exactly what you should observe and what those observations actually mean. Dr. Joseph Bell once stated, “In teaching the treatment of disease and accident, all careful teachers must first show the student how to accurately recognize the case. The recognition depends in great measure on the accurate and rapid appreciation of small points in which the disease differs from the healthy state.” In this extremely profound quote, it is those “small points” that Dr. Bell mentions which often occur as we have conversations with people we find difficult to communicate with. We may have prematurely “tuned out” this person due to previous negative encounters. We either choose to ignore those “small points” or we are completely unaware of these vital communication clues. Thinking differently about those “difficult” 60 | P a g e

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people and their personality traits allows us to glean key information from those “small points�. Comprehensive Communication goes well beyond the spoken word. It also includes listening, observing, thinking and ultimately behaving!

To be transformational communicators, we must not only speak more effectively, listen more attentively, be more observant, think very differently but, we must also ultimately learn to change our own behaviors.

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“You don’t make 500 million friends without making a few enemies.” Mark Zuckerberg Facebook, CEO

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Chapter 2 Transactionships vs. Relationships___________________ The complex communication process has been made even more challenging in our society today largely because we now live in a culture of transactionships instead of relationships.

The term “transactionship” refers to interactions between people that are not based upon sustained or repeated occurrences. Think of transactionships this way. While traveling on a long drive across the country, you stop in a small obscure town to purchase gas at a local gas station. You have never been in that town before and you have no 63 | P a g e

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intentions of ever returning to that gas station ever again. Your purchase is a transaction and your interaction with the cashier is characterized as a transactionship. We are living in a day and age when the internet is allowing us to communicate much more broadly with more individuals not just across town, but also across the world. People routinely use the internet to make purchases within their own countries and abroad. Social media has now become such an integral part of our daily lives that most people cannot get by without checking social media on an hourly basis.

There are thousands of people who follow celebrities online and hang on their every word via their twitter feeds. At one time, the top three most followed people on Twitter were Katy Perry with 51.3 million followers, Justin Bieber with 50.2 million followers and United States President, Barack Obama with 41.9 million followers. These three are members of pop 64 | P a g e

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culture’s most noted luminaries, but even the average person now routinely boasts of having hundreds and even thousands of followers. We now have the capacity to instantaneously contact more people than ever. However, these numerous contacts are not based on the type of the intimate, long-lasting relationships which produce repeated high-performing results.

The advancements in social media demonstrate that we have improved the science of mass communication, but through this process we have lost the art of conversation. As a society, we are often focused more on the quantity of our transactionships instead of the quality of our relationships. Ultimately, the relationship that exists between people is the key element which establishes the foundation of all human interactions. Strong transformational relationships will always be the source of the greatest amount of change that 65 | P a g e

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occurs in society. When we develop transformational relationships, we also build trust, which is built upon confidence, belief and loyalty. Productive, reciprocal and transformational relationships that have significant amounts of trust, confidence, belief, and loyalty also have a capacity to resist imperfections and problems. They also have the capacity to overcome adversity. Relationship-based communication instead of transactionship-based communication is a key factor in performance improvement. Suppose you have placed an order with an online supplier to provide products for a very important event. At the last minute the supplier is unable to deliver the products on time for the event. You may decide to never utilize this supplier ever again, or you may opt to give the supplier another opportunity. Your decision will rest with whether you have a true relationship with supplier and not just a convenient 66 | P a g e

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transactionship. If you have a true relationship with this supplier similar to the relationships you have with the people closest to you, small and sometimes even large problems are overcome by trust and loyalty. The supplier then gets the opportunity to try it again. Franklin D. Roosevelt once stated, “If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships. The ability of all people of all kinds to live together in the same world at peace.” Noted author Stephen Covey stated, “Trust is the glue of life. It is the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It is the foundational principle that holds together all relationships.” Think back on the most successful ventures that you have had in your personal life, in your professional life and even in your family. Undoubtedly there were solid, strong relationships that endured difficulties. 67 | P a g e

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“Trust is the glue of life. It is the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It is the foundational principle that holds together all relationships.� Stephen Covey

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It was Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, who famously once said that he wanted 500 million friends. It is extremely difficult to have close, long-lasting transformational relationships with even 500 people, not to mention with 500 million people.

Naturally, our time and energy are limited. We must identify those precious connections and human interactions that we truly value. Isolate the ones that are key to our personal, professional and community success.

These are the relationships which must be proactively managed. Just as we would prudently manage our retirement portfolios and invest the appropriate amounts of money, time and care to them, we should also invest the appropriate amounts of time, energy and resources to build transformative relationships within our lives. 69 | P a g e

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As we move away from transactionships to relationships, it is important to understand the elements of a healthy relationship which will bring us the results we want and need. Transformational relationships all contain an inordinately high amount of an essential element within the FLAVA system referred to as the Sorghum-Factor. It is an indicator that refers to any relationship’s capacity to withstand adversity and problems that will inevitably occur. Small business owners will encounter a disgruntled customer at some point. If you are a parent, you are going to disappoint your child eventually. For each of us the question is not if, but it is a matter of when relationships will encounter adversity.

You need a relationship that is built on a foundation that is able to withstand these difficulties, not if they arrive, but when they do.

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What’s Your FLAVA?

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“It is more important to know what type of person has a disease, than to know the type of disease a person has.� Hippocrates Father of Medicine, 450 B.C.

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Chapter 3: Introduction to Personalities‌It started with Hippocrates _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The science and study of personalities is not new. Throughout history, there has been an inordinate amount of academic research amassed on this subject. It all started with Greek physician, Hippocrates, who is often called the father of medicine. In circa 450 B.C., he identified that all people can be group into one of four distinct personality types. This landmark theory has been the foundation for a myriad of research studies and empirical evidence on the subject. Yes, Virginia! People are different. 73 | P a g e

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This research has continued for centuries with many others. However, the foundation of the field is still based upon Hippocrates’ belief that all people could be grouped into one of four distinct humors or temperaments (personalities): 1. Sanguine

compares to


2. Choleric

compares to


3. Phlegmatic

compares to


4. Melancholic compares to TANGY FLAVA Humors were actually bodily fluids and ancient physicians believed that these fluids and the amount of these fluids within a person’s body, dictated a person's mood. In modern times, these ancient terms (sanguine, choleric, phlegmatic & melancholic) have lost their original meanings. In today's common language, it is very difficult for us to really understand what those terms meant and how they relate to someone we know or even to ourselves. In contrast, the FLAVA methodology utilizes familiar terms such as SPICY, SALTY, MILD and TANGY to 74 | P a g e

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refer to the four personality types. These terms are food-related and are already a part of the average person’s frame-of-reference. Over time, others have followed Hippocrates in the field of personality study and their newer terms unfortunately have not become much easier to understand. Their terms are still esoteric and do not have a practical basis of application for the common layperson, today. In the early 20th century, noted Swiss psychiatrist, Carl Jung authored his landmark book, Psychological Types. He provided the modern foundation for the study of personalities with his work on psychological concepts, the archetype, and collective unconscious. Later in the 1970’s, the mother-daughter tandem of psychiatrists, Katherine Cook-Briggs and Isabel Briggs-Myers, built upon Jung’s work and they identified the popular Myers-Briggs type indicator. Myers and Briggs expanded Hippocrates’ belief and identified 16 different types of personalities. 75 | P a g e

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The Myers-Briggs system utilized a series of four-letter alphabetic codes to identify its 16 different personality types. Although popular during its time, this system still failed to provide a user-friendly approach to personalities. Few people outside of the psychology community actually understand what an “INTJ� actually means.

In contrast within the FLAVA methodology, some are referred to as Spontaneously Spicy which means that they are prone to impulse and movement. The Spicy personality is visually represented by the jalapeno pepper icon. With the FLAVA system you not only get relatable terms, you also have references that you can identify with very readily.

More recently, David Keirsey returned back to the four fundamental types of personalities. 76 | P a g e

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He noted that the four previously identified distinct personalities: • View the world differently • Process information differently • Think differently It is these differences that make communication between the four personalities extremely difficult. The study of personalities is not just an abstract concept. This information has been applied successfully in business, industry and in actual realworld situations. In the 1970’s, the United States’ most advanced technological agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) utilized a personality assessment tool to select and reject potential astronaut candidates based upon their individual personalities and their fit to work in outer space. 77 | P a g e

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The same personality methodology implemented by NASA was also utilized by President Bill Clinton to structure his political speeches. President Clinton actually developed his speeches to appeal to the four different personalities of the people in his audiences. It’s no wonder that Bill Clinton was considered to be a great orator. Hippocrates knew it, NASA knew it, President Bill Clinton knew it and now top Fortune 500 companies like previously mentioned eLoyalty know it. They all know that the ability to understand personalities can have a significant impact on the communication process and will ultimately improve their performances. This difference-making knowledge should not only be for the uber-wealthy and should not be only reserved for the corporate elite.

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You can now get similar results just like the large staff of interpreters at the United Nations who translate foreign languages for political dignitaries. The FLAVA process interprets the complicated world of personalities and provides you, with a simpler concept and with an approach that is easy to understand.

You don’t have to learn NASA’s rocket science to positively impact your very own communication with everyone you encounter. You just have to understand one of the world’s most common activities- eating and food! The FLAVA process utilizes the simple language of food as a metaphor to explain the complex science of personalities. Instead of confusing terms like Chloric or Sanguine, there are simple ordinary terms such as SPICY and MILD. In the late 1970’s, Hungarian inventor Erno Rubik introduced his fascinating 3-dimentional cube to the 79 | P a g e

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world. It was marketed to masses as having billions of combinations, but only one solution. In actuality, Rubik’s cube had more than 43 quintillion combinations. That’s the number “1” followed by eighteen zeroes. And if you are checking that’s a lot more than a billion.

Why did Rubik so drastically understate the possible permutations to his cube? The reason is that people naturally dislike overly complicated things. The result is that Rubik’s cube has sold more than 350 billion units world-wide and is to be best-selling toy in history!

The lesson we learn from Rubik is— keep it simple. So, if you can understand our system’s common, simple food terms listed below, then you can understand your own personality: 1. SPICY 2. SALTY 3. MILD 4. TANGY

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The term FLAVA is just an acronym for Feelings, Likes, Attitudes, Values and Actions. These are the elements that make you, uniquely you. FLAVA is just another way of conceptualizing your personality.

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“We are drowning in data, yet starving for knowledge.� John Naisbitt, author

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Chapter 4:

The Foundation


Have you ever wondered why you instantly get along with some people and not others? Why are some jobs fun and others are boring to you? Do you find that certain tasks come easily to you, and others do not? The answers to those questions are found in understanding you own FLAVA.

The personality methodologies of the past have made it extremely difficult to understand the answers to these questions. Previous methodologies have been overly-complicated. They have also been difficult to implement into the average person’s daily life. 83 | P a g e

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As indicated earlier, the science of personalities dates back to Hippocrates. Since that time, many very vaunted and highly qualified contributors have added to the field, from Carl Jung to Myers and Briggs and many more. The issue is not the science or the validity of the scientific information. We have had for many years enough empirical data and evidence to substantiate that people do in fact have distinct personality types and that those personality types compel people to behave, process information and make decisions differently. If we have indeed had this information for such a long time and it has been proven over time, then why is communicating with people who have different personalities still so difficult and ineffective? Even the most advanced and effective tool on the market will not be readily accepted and utilized if it is perceived to be too complicated and too difficult to understand by the ordinary person. Hipprocrates originally made his findings regarding 84 | P a g e

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personalities in 450 B.C. During the past 2400 years many other notable scientific and psychological luminaries have provided substantial empirical evidence to support Hippocrates’ original assertions.

During all of this time there has not been significant progress in the direct application of personalities into our daily lives. Which goes to show that just merely having scientific information is not enough, it must also be easy to use and it must compel people to use it. Even though we communicate across personalities each and every day, the problem is a matter of practical access to the information regarding those personalities. Remember, we must increase our personaracy rates (see pg. 46). History often provides great opportunities to learn key lessons from real situations. In one such example, General George Washington and his troops crossed the Delaware River and camped near 85 | P a g e

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Trenton, New Jersey overnight during the Battle of Trenton in the midst of the Revolutionary War. The opposing, invading British troops were on American soil and were waging fierce battles. A notorious British general, Johann Rahl, was at a British sympathizer’s home, one evening playing cards, enjoying food and spirits. Someone brought General Rahl an envelope containing vital information regarding the exact location, size and armament of George Washington's regiment. The next day, General Johann Rahl was killed by Washington’s troops on the battlefield. The curious thing is that Rahl never knew where Washington's troops were located the night before. We know that Rahal didn't know, because the note that was given to him the previous night which contained that information was found sealed and still in his coat pocket. He never opened the envelope. He never accessed the information!

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Having vital information and accessing that vital information are two very different things. Iconic author, John Naisbitt famously stated in his 1982 landmark book, Megatrends, “We are drowning in information, but thirsting for knowledge.”

The FLAVA system will help quench that thirst by providing knowledge. Our process will help you learn how to interpret and translate the exchanges that you have in the very critical relationships of your personal, business and community lives. You will learn to Listen Differently, Hear Better and Understand More while learning to Speak without Words, Hear without Sound and Listen without Ears. The elements of personality are at play every second of the day. It’s just that we have not been acutely aware of it. Our receptors have not been in tune well enough to receive and convert the stimuli into decision-making information and process it effectively. For instance, humans have a limited 87 | P a g e

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auditory range which is much narrower than the range of canines. This fact explains why a dog whistle emits a sound that is not heard by humans. It does not mean that the stimulus (sound) is not present, it means that humans simply do not have the capacity to receive it. Imagine if fire alarms were connected to those same dog whistles. A human in a burning building would never hear the alarm or stimulus. Therefore, humans will not even have the opportunity to convert it into decision-making information and safely exit the building. There is another practical example of when we often receive stimuli (visual images), but that stimuli does not register. Many of us have had the experience of purchasing a new or used car in the past. After that purchase as you drove through your daily routine, you probably began noticing that same model of car which you just purchased now all around you. It seems that all day long you are now noticing the same make and model of car that you are driving. Did hundreds of other people in your city just 88 | P a g e

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immediately purchase that same model, at the same time? Obviously not. Those cars were already on the road, already around you each day. You just simply ignored them. You did not notice them although the “information” was present all around you. Being acutely aware assists us in our communication process. Another example is when students take the comprehension portion of a standardized test. The students must read a passage then answer several comprehension-related questions. To prepare for such exams, students are taught to read all of the questions before reading the passage. They must first identify key names, dates and circumstances contained in the questions. Then they are instructed to go back and read the passage. Using this strategy, the students are now looking for specific items, dates, names and information as they scan the passage. They can now glean the answers to the key questions more easily as they quickly scan through the passage.

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Similarly, if you know the key points to listen for when talking to people of various personalities, you are then able to focus in and receive important information that will positively impact the communication process. You will listen for the clues. Thereby, gaining much more from that conversation than you otherwise would have received without this listening strategy. You will begin to convert the stimuli into information. The What’s Your FLAVA? process helps you to understand what to listen for and how to interpret it. Just like the cars on the road that are the same make and model as your newly purchased car, this information has always been there. You are now being taught how to actually recognize, process and convert it into decisionmaking information.

Remember the British General Rahl (pg. 86), being exposed to the stimuli must be accompanied by utilizing that information. 90 | P a g e

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“Food is language. [and] Just like any other language. It has a system. It has a structure. It has references it draws from. And food has values.” Eddie Huang, chef & TV host __________________________________________________

“Trust is the glue of life. It's the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It's the foundational principle that holds all relationships.” Stephen Covey, author

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Chapter 5: The FLAVA Methodology ________________________________________________________________

The FLAVA system utilizes the most commonly shared activity in the world to explain personalities. Food and eating are at the center of most social interactions. Throughout the eastern hemisphere, the western hemisphere and even in the most remote village and obscure towns, you will find that food brings families and people together. No matter who you are, or where you live, the language of food is relatable. 92 | P a g e

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What’s Your FLAVA? has taken the metaphor of food and utilized it to explain the nuances of personalities. FLAVA is just an acronym for: Feelings • Likes • Attitudes • Values • Actions FLAVA represents those emotional, psychological and •

behavioral elements that are found within each of us. We each have a distinct personality. FLAVA is just another way of conceptualizing your personality. The FLAVA methodology identifies four personality types representing the four basic spices found in all cuisine around the world. 1. SPICY 2. SALTY 3. MILD 4. TANGY

If you can understand food and the metaphor of food, you can understand your FLAVA. You can also 93 | P a g e

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understand the FLAVA or personalities of others, such as your family, friends, colleagues, employers, employees and even your customers. What’s Your FLAVA? teaches that not only do people have one of four distinct personalities, but those personalities drive us to have specific work styles and approaches. This is why at times it may be difficult for you to work with someone else who has a very different personality and work style than you. If you do not have the capacity to speak that person’s “language”, it will be difficult for you to have an effective interaction and produce effective results. If like at the U.N., you can translate that person’s language and its messages, then you can get the information needed and the results you want. We make it fun, functional and even simple to understand. We put this seemingly complicated process into lay-person terms and allow you to connect, understand and apply the proven science of personalities. 94 | P a g e

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What’s Your FLAVA? has taken those same basic temperaments identified long ago by Hippocrates and provided you with modern-day terms that are much more user-friendly descriptors that also encompass the essence of the four personalities: SPICY FLAVA is comparable to Hippocrates’ Sanguine temperament SALTY FLAVA is comparable to Hippocrates’ Choleric temperament  MILD FLAVA is comparable to Hippocrates’ Phlegmatic temperament  TANGY FLAVA is comparable to Hippocrates’ Melancholic temperament 

The four FLAVA’s have been designed to illustrate the personality process in a way that's never been done before. The acronym FLAVA reinforces the fact that personalities are a composition of our: Feelings, Likes, Attitudes, Values and Actions

Our individual personalities are predicated upon our perspectives and the lenses through which we view the world. Visual depictions such as diagrams and graphs can provide concrete representations for abstract concepts like personalities. 95 | P a g e

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The Personality Steps Diagram below illustrates how your FLAVA is a combination of ascending components each built upon the previous level. It begins with Feelings and their corresponding emotions on the lowest level and builds ultimately to Actions and their corresponding predictable behaviors at the highest level. Our personalities are built upon these ascending levels.

FLAVA Personality Steps Diagram

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Feelings = Emotions The recipe of our personalities begins with our feelings which in the FLAVA universe are the same as our emotions. Our feelings are those instinctual core responses that drive us. An infant who has not even been influenced by social norms expresses feelings or emotions. We all have instantaneous positive and negative responses to particular situations and stimuli. Feelings, as defined within the FLAVA context, are those basic emotional elements that distinguish what we like and what we do not like. We are also able to discern the feelings and emotions of others by observing their responses on a very basic level. Has anyone ever pushed your buttons by doing something that you did not want? Have you ever pushed someone else’s buttons by doing something that they did not want? Is there an experience or activity that you immediately had a negative reaction to the very first time that it was introduced to you? Some people have an instant and 97 | P a g e

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spontaneous aversion to the concept of bungee jumping from high places while others love it. Many people enjoy camping, other people do not. Some people enjoy the opera, others could not be dragged to it. Some enjoy crossword puzzles, and others find them loathsome. Some of those things may strike up a core of emotional responses. Within the FLAVA environment, those emotional responses are referred to as feelings. “F� in FLAVA is for Feelings. If your goal of communicating is to get the best out of a person, then you would want that person to be in the best frame of mind, flowing with positive emotional energy. You want someone who will be very receptive to your conversation. It is important to understand how feelings are influential ingredients of an individual’s personality. It's important to be aware of those elements within the surrounding environment which evoke feelings and produce both positive and negative emotional responses.

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Likes = Preferences The recipe of our personality continues with our Likes which in the FLAVA universe are the same as our preferences. More simply stated, Likes are those things that we prefer. Likes are developed over time as a result of our basic feelings and emotional history regarding a specific issue or aspect of our lives. These likes or preferences are the things that we each desire to do. There are also things that we do not want to do. And there are places we do not want to go..

Likes are those inclinations that are sustained over time. Understanding your Likes helps you to understand how to evaluate your environment, the situations where you are most comfortable and the ones in which you are least comfortable. If you are communicating with a team member, a student, a colleague or a customer, it is important to understand that person's likes/preferences, as well.

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To become a transformational communicator you must learn to develop reciprocal relationships rather than transactionships. Then over time, you will begin to understand the Likes of others. You can utilize that information to facilitate more effective conversations. Within the FLAVA environment, those preferences are referred to as likes. “L� in FLAVA is for Likes. Once you are aware of and understand your own Likes, you are able to consistently put yourself in the most effective environments which will lead to your long-term success. Attitudes = Beliefs The recipe of our personality continues with the ingredient of our Attitudes which in the FLAVA universe are the same as our beliefs. Attitudes are those paradigms about which we feel strongly. Attitudes are developed as a result of those previously explained Likes (preferences), and Feelings (emotions) that you have gained over time. Attitudes (beliefs) are simply the overarching 100 | P a g e

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themes and thoughts that we have as we approach any circumstance, situation or encounter. It is helpful to know the Attitudes/beliefs of individuals when you sit down to talk with them.

Noted husband and wife, James Carville and Mary Matalin, often debate during the political season on national television. It is important to know that Carville is a staunch Democrat and that Matalin is staunch Republican. It is their Attitudes and the stark differences in those Attitudes that make their spirited conversations compelling. They each know the other’s political attitudes (beliefs) before entering into a conversational debate. It is counterproductive if we sit down to discuss a project, activity or any major undertaking with someone without observing all of the information surrounding us. This information may help us recognize and understand that individual’s attitudes and belief system. 101 | P a g e

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Consider the five closest relationships that you have. Who are the individuals? What do you know about them? You probably can easily identify the basic Attitudes (beliefs) of each of these people because you already know them well. There are probably things that you could discuss that would strike at their cores. There are some things that you know which they are very passionate about.

The more pertinent information you know about a person’s attitudes (beliefs), the better equipped you are to effectively communicate with that person. Those beliefs are referred to as attitudes and “A” is for Attitudes.

The more you know about your own Attitudes, the better you are able to even manage yourself. It helps you to understand your very own metacognitive process, which is the way in which you learn and how you process information. 102 | P a g e

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Values = Principles The recipe of our personalities continues with the ingredient of our Values which in the FLAVA universe are the same as our principles. More simply stated, they are our convictions. Values are the principles, those ingredients which are formed as a result the previous Feelings (emotions), Likes (preferences), and Attitudes (beliefs).

Values are the fundamental life principles that we hold dear, such as; honor, ethics, integrity, generosity, compassion, genuineness and philanthropy, etc. These are just a few examples of some specific values that may resonate with you. As you attempt to become more effective in your relationships, there is a degree of intimacy and familiarity which must be obtained. If you want to improve performance through communication, you must understand the Values of the person with whom you are communicating.

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In order to effectively understand the value system of another person, you must first learn how to understand your own personal value system. Your values may even be an impediment to you effectively functioning in some environments. If you have high integrity values, operating in an environment whose ethics are questionable may be a source of constant consternation for you. This environment may impact your capacity to communicate and function effectively. Knowing a person’s value system will aid you in effective and productive communication. The next diagram is referred to as the FLAVA Personality Eyesberg TM. It is another one of those visual depictions to help illustrate the abstract concept. Our personalities have the aforementioned ingredients that are built one upon the other. Ultimately, those ingredients can provide critical decision-making information. 104 | P a g e

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The ingredients of Feelings, Likes, Attitudes and Values are intangible and are not seen outwardly. The Personality Eyesberg illustrates that just as most of an actual iceberg is concealed out of sight, most of the elements of an individual’s personality are concealed and are not visually seen. Our Feelings, Likes, Attitudes and Values are out of “eye” sight as depicted by the FLAVA Personality Eyesberg TM.

The only parts of our personalities that can be seen with the eyes are Actions. 105 | P a g e

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Actions = Behaviors The recipe of our personality concludes with the final ingredients which are our Actions which in the FLAVA universe are the same as our behaviors. Actions are the things that we actually do! Our sustained and repeated Actions become our behaviors which are the physical manifestations of our Feelings, Likes, Attitudes and Values.

The other ingredients of our personality are all internal. They are things that we feel, think and what we believe. It is ultimately all about what we actually do. Performance improvement only occurs when Actions improve and become more effective. This is where the rubber meets the road.

Until we get to the Actions, the other ingredients of the personality, the Feelings, Likes, Attitudes and Values are all internal and nebulous; they are evaluated subjectively by others. The 106 | P a g e

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Actions are what the world observes. Actions are actually the things that need to be done. This is where we can affect the improvement of performance and communication. Your FLAVA (personality) starts with feelings/ emotions, but it ends with actions/behaviors. Improved actions and improved behavior, give you improved outcomes. If you want to improve or change the behavior of people, it starts with understanding their feelings, likes, attitudes, values and actions, or their FLAVA. Understanding and communicating effectively based upon these elements, leads to effectively facilitating positive and desired actions. If you want to have different behaviors or actions, you must look back at your feelings, likes, attitudes and values.

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“Variety is the very spice of life that gives it its entire flavor.� William Cowper

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6: Clarifying the Concept


The human brain is the cradle that spawns our distinct personalities. While we are all different, there are some similarities that we share. Science has proven that there are different types of learners, the popular VARK model identifies that some people are Visual, Auditory, Read/Write and Kinesthetic learners. Even though, we have a predominate learning style, we still receive data through the other styles and the brain still learns from those styles also. The What’s Your FLAVA? methodology incorporates multiple components that subtly appeal to the visual, auditory, reading and kinesthetic learner in each of us. 109 | P a g e

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The science and the sentiments regarding study of personalities appeals to people differently. But, remarkably, the participants who have experienced the What’s Your FLAVA? approach comment about the simplicity of the methodology and how easily relatable the concept is. It is designed to simply and quickly explain our personalities. And the iconic FLAVA Windowpane provides a 30-second presentation of personalities. Obviously, we are not claiming to explain all there is about the very expansive study of personalities in just a few seconds. We can explain all you need to know to begin your journey of improvement in just a few minutes. No system has been able to do before. An “elevator� speech is a concise explanation of a product, service or organization that can be shared during an elevator ride. With that in mind, our FLAVA Windowpane presents several visually appealing images and verbiage into a single compact icon. Each 110 | P a g e

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of the four panes include the following the four components: 1. Descriptor 2. Motto 3. Icon 4. Color The image below identifies the components of the What’s Your FLAVA? Windowpane.







4. Motto •

The Windowpane Components

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The What’s Your FLAVA? approach is based on the validation of hundreds of years of research of personalities by a myriad of the experts some of whom were mentioned previously. The first five chapters provided the foundation for understanding personalities and the FLAVA concept. Now, we will look at the various components of the system and how they subtly work together to reinforce key concepts. The information can be applied to improve your communication within practical daily activities and relationships.

The next section of this book is where we put this science into action. It will serve as your hands-on interpreter’s guide to understanding personalities. The FLAVA system is designed to teach the unknown by referencing the known. We use a series of wellestablished visual triggers and recognizable icons to remind you of personality keys. Additionally, there are verbal triggers that also reinforce the elements of the personalities. It is learning without the burden of 112 | P a g e

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consciously memorizing things that may not be interesting to you. In the early 1970’s, there was an ad campaign that featured a jingle which began “My bologna has a first name that’s O-S-C-A-R and my bologna has a second name that’s …..” I am sure you can finish the jingle if you were born before 1975 (google it if you were born after 1975). The point is that learning occurs even if we are not consciously trying. This jingle is more than 40-years old and many of you can still quote it from memory. The FLAVA system utilizes that same amazing ability of the human brain to subconsciously retain bits of information when reinforced in a variety of subliminal ways. Overview of the Personality Self-Assessment: Your FLAVA can be easily determined by completing our quick and easy-to-use FLAVA Personality Self-Assessment. We have included actual assessments later in this chapter for you to complete. A free online version of the assessment is 113 | P a g e

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also available at Each of us typically has one of the four FLAVA personality types that is more predominant. It is considered our Central FLAVA. Our self-assessment tool is similar to other personality inventories that are already proven and are in use. It is not our goal to create new science. It is to help you understand and apply generations of proven science.

Once you have successfully identified your FLAVA, the critical information outlined in the upcoming pages will help you better understand yourself and your communication style. It will also help you recognize and understand the FLAVAs of others. This powerful information can then be applied to your communications within all daily activities and relationships in every aspect of your business, personal and social life.

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Overview of the Windowpane: The windowpane is designed to give you a comprehensive image that visually depicts the entire concept of What’s Your FLAVA? The four components of each FLAVA are represented in the windowpane. Each personality has its own individual section or pane in the window. The specific panes are pictured on the first page of that FLAVAs section later in this chapter.

Overview of the Descriptor: Technically speaking, the Descriptor is just a simple adverb which describes a specific action or behavioral tendency of each FLAVA. Each adverb has been selected because it truly captures in just one word the essence of the respective personality. Whether it’s Spontaneous, Seriously, Meditatively or Technically, each gives a quick summation of its respective FLAVA. Without any previous technical knowledge of the field of personality study or without referencing Hippocrates’s ancient and 115 | P a g e

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fundamental theories, with just one word the FLAVA method conveys a virtual cornucopia of insight. We are seeking not just to identify a person’s personality type, but also convey predictable behaviors that are associated with that personality. The descriptor provides an instant auditory learning que and reinforcement. It also accesses our long-term memory by evoking images of specific behaviors when you read or hear the terms Spontaneous, Seriously, Meditatively and Technically. • “Spontaneously”


• “Seriously”


• “Meditatively”


• “Technically”


The descriptor also helps to explain what drives people into action. Remembering the descriptor of a specific person helps you to understand the mind of that person, which drives the action.

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Overview of the Icon: What the Descriptor accomplishes in just one word, the FLAVA Icon accomplishes in just one image. Each personality is assigned a unique visual icon which correlates to information that we already know about that image. Instead a long and arduous process of attempting to teach you a great deal of new information about an unfamiliar subject, our methodology reassigns what you already know about the image. These icons are classic food items that are easily recognized throughout all cultures. When the icon is associated with one of the personality types, it makes the personality and its unique traits easy to remember. The Tea Leaves represent the MILD personality and they have many inherent calming properties and are associated world-wide with a Zen state-of- mind. It was Dale Carnegie in 1936 who taught the world through his legendary book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, to use name association to remember the names of the people that you meet. 117 | P a g e

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With that in mind, Spontaneously Spicy personality is represented by the Jalapeno Pepper, Seriously Salty personality is represented by the Salt Shaker, Technically Tangy personality is represented by the Lime Wedge and Meditatively Mild personality is represented by the Tea Leaves.

When we hear the icon spoken, because it is a known food item, we are able to remember it, even the scent associated with it. We can recall the feel and the taste of it. We then associate those previously learned experiences and retained memories with that FLAVA personality type which reinforces a very salient picture. Overview of the Color: A virtually immeasurable amount of historical research has shown that color plays a pivotal role in all of our visual experiences. Each FLAVA has a specifically designated color. Like with the Icon, that color also helps you to associate attributes that you 118 | P a g e

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already connect with that color to the FLAVA personality type.

When we look at nature as our reference, we see that Red is a color of energy and dynamism which is a logical connection to the Spontaneously Spicy personality. White is a color of stability. Green is a color of tranquility in the natural world. And Orange is a color that evokes inquiry and does not blend in. • SPICY








Overview of the Motto: Finally, the motto ties it all together in one succinct phrase. Like the other components, each motto encapsulates the essence of its corresponding FLAVA 119 | P a g e

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personality type . It is only three words because it is intended to be brief and easy to remember. Each year, companies spend almost $200 million in the U.S. on advertising. Their goal is to communicate attributes about their products through catchy slogans. Customers are not expected to know everything about Coca-Cola after a few 30-second commercials, but they remember that “Coke Is It”.

Similarly, we do not expect you to know everything about a person’s personality after just reading a few chapters, but it is easy to remember the three-word mottos. Each begins with the same first two words—“Keep it”. Then they all end with a different third word. It is that word which is the singleword embodiment of the force that drives that FLAVA. • SPICY FLAVA

“Keep it- Moving”


“Keep it- Real”


“Keep it- Calm”


“Keep it- Clear”

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7: The FLAVA Pages


In the upcoming chapter of the FLAVA pages, specific information is provided about the four FLAVAs and their attributes, their tendencies at work and during their childhood and even their decision-making processes.

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Overview of the Attributes: The Attributes are a quick listing of the primary characteristics associated with each FLAVA personality. Some of the traits may resonate with you more than others, but generally these references create a quick general image of the SPICY, SALTY, TANGY and MILD personalities. This Attributes section will allow you to compare some of your own personality attributes to the ones listed. This will help to confirm your selfassessment results. You will also be able to roughly assess the FLAVAs of your friends, colleagues and family members even before they complete an actual self-assessment. Overview of the FLAVA Point-of-View This section provides a written summary of each personality. The verbiage is strong and revealing. A review is then given in a first-person viewpoint from the SPICY, SALTY, TANGY and MILD personalities. 122 | P a g e

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This easy-to-read perspective acquaints you with the FLAVAs in a fun and personal way. You are sure to picture yourself, a friend or manager as you read. FLAVA in Childhood Historical research indicates that our personalities are established early and are evident even in our childhood. Think about your siblings or a childhood friend. There are probably very distinct characteristics that you remember which are still very much a part of their personas today. The Childhood section provides you with insights about the four FLAVAs during their youth. You will be driven to remember your days as a SPICY, SALTY, TANGY or MILD child. This flashback is sure to bring a smile on your face as you have a few “oh, that’s why” moments about your childhood. You may also be able to quickly identify the FLAVA of your own child, and positively impact your family dynamic forever. 123 | P a g e

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FLAVA at Work The work or business environment is a critical part of most individuals’ lives. This section will give you a quick overview of the FLAVAs in a work environment. You may be able to recognize your manager or your favorite co-worker in one of these descriptions. FLAVA in Decision-making The purpose of communication is to convey information from one person to another. Sometimes it is also intended to be persuasive. During the communication process, the receiver is analyzing the sender’s message and making decisions throughout the conversation. Personalities influence how we are led to make decisions. Our FLAVAs inspire us to make decisions in different ways. Meditatively Mild personalities make decisions with their “Hearts”. Technically Tangy personalities use their “Heads” instead. While 124 | P a g e

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Seriously Salty personalities are led by their “Hands”. Last, Spontaneously Spicy rely on their “Hunches” and intuition to make their decisions. FLAVA Tips for Communicating This section provides an immediate impact on the communication process of every relationship that you have. If the communication relationship is bad, these tips can put you on a path to make it good. If the communication relationship is already good, these tips will help you to make it great. You will receive suggestions as to how to get the very best out of that individual, no matter what communication scenario you find yourself in.

You will also be reminded of those things that make you tick or just simply tick you off. Remember, information is powerful. Now that What’s Your FLAVA? has equipped you with valuable information and the proper tools, you are ready to build better communication relationships. 125 | P a g e

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It is now time to discover the FLAVA of your personality…

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What’s Your FLAVA? Self-Assessment Directions 1. Review all 4 boxes in each of the 5 rows. Do not overanalyze each word. Just get a general sense of each box (A through T). See completed example on page 92. 2. Score each of the four boxes horizontally from most to least like you: 4 = most, 3 = a lot, 2 = somewhat, 1 = least

There can only be one of the above numbers in each of the five rows. When added each row should equal 10 3. After you complete the entire inventory, use the legend in each FLAVA box to score your inventory. Each of the 20 boxes is assigned a letter and the letters correlate to the legend at the end of the inventory. 4. In the SPICY square in the FLAVA recipe row, add boxes A, H, K, N, S. The total number once added is your SPICY score. 5. In the SALTY square in the FLAVA recipe row, add boxes B, G, I, M, T. The total number once added is your SALTY score. 6. In the MILD square in the FLAVA recipe row, add boxes C, F, J, O, and R. The total number once added is your MILD score. 7. In the TANGY square in the FLAVA recipe row, add boxes D, E, L, P, and Q. The total number once added is your TANGY score. The FLAVA box with the highest number is your Central FLAVA We have included two blank FLAVA assessments on the following pages. One assessment is for you and the other is for you to share.

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Quick Summary Descriptor: SPONTANEOUSLY SPICY Icon:





Keep it Moving

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SPICY Attributes • Spontaneous and impetuous • Risk-taker • Energetic and dynamic • Positive view and outlook • Bored by routines • At best when the heat is on • Sociable by nature • Likes the spotlight • Thrives on “Action” • Needs flexibility and change • Passionate communicator • Driven to achieve • Lives life “in the moment” • Assertive in relationships • Charitable and giving • Blazes own trail • Desires unstructured settings • Shoots from the hip 133 | P a g e

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SPICY personality symbolizes dynamism. It is an engaging physical presence that is effusiveness and passionate. In conceptual terms, it is energy personified. It epitomizes intensity and all forms of competitiveness. People with this personality type have a compulsion for action and achievement, activism and creative pursuits. Those with SPICY as their Central FLAVA are driven to attain goals, to achieve, to win. They are drawn to situations that provide a “positive” charge. From the SPICY Point-of-View: I am spontaneous by nature and make decisions

quickly compared to most people. I see the big picture in life’s situations and I love a challenge. I am very competitive and achievement-oriented. Details bore me and I prefer situations that allow me to be around others. I have a quick wit and I seem to draw others to me in all situations. I bring an incredible energy to everything that I do. I value creativity, courage and 134 | P a g e

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flexibility. I am best in the midst of a crisis. I love the spotlight and I am typically the one you want when the heat is on. I have a magnetic and impactful persona. I need variety, challenges and prefer situations that provide action and energy. I am at my best when the pressure is on and course is uncertain. SPICY in Childhood • I was the type of child who utilized creativity and imagination at play. I preferred to draw outside of the lines. I was often the center of attention and a born entertainer. I was often very influential and viewed as fun to be around.

• As a student, I preferred the answer to the problem without the tedious steps to solve it. I would prefer to turn to the last page of a book to find out how the story ends.

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SPICY at Work •

I work best in relaxed and unstructured environments. I am motivated by situations and appeal to my creative talents and my sense of improvisation. I respond to competitive occasions and love variety and the attainment of goals.

I am comfortable in the brilliance of the spotlight. I often work better alone than with someone whose workstyle may restrict my impulsive nature.

SPICY in Decision-Making Spontaneously Spicy personalities rely on their “Hunches”. They are impulse-driven people who make decisions relatively quickly especially compared to the other FLAVAs. They make decisions with far less concrete information than most. Decisions are frequently made intuitively and based upon their “gut”. Their decisions are made with more weight placed upon the ultimate end-goal and its impact while far less consideration is given to the process to achieve the goal. 136 | P a g e

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Quick Summary

Descriptor: SERIOUSLY SALTY Icon:

Salt Shaker




Keep it Real

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SALTY Attributes: • Dependable and trustworthy • Strives to add value • Self-sufficient • Values order and structure • Devoted • Realism drives decision -making • Believes in personal accountability • Punctual • Goal-oriented • Maintains customs and traditions • Believes that there is a place for everything and everything should be in its place • Prioritizes their lives • Prefers routines • At ease with great responsibility • Enforces rules • Inspires confidence into a situation • Prefers predictability 

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SALTY symbolizes a strong desire to connect and to be accountable in the various aspects of life. In conceptual terms, SALTY is reliability and stability personified. It epitomizes dependability and predictability during all situations both positive and negative. SALTY generates a compulsion for predictability, assurance and trustworthiness by providing continuity throughout the family or group. It embraces home and family with huge dedication. Those with SALTY as their Central FLAVA are compelled to provide structure, achieve results, to be accountable, to complete the task at hand. They are drawn to environments that are structured and stable. They believe in personal accountability and that everyone should participate and contribute. From the SALTY Point-of-View: I prefer structured environments and I recognize authority. I not only adhere to rules but will also enforce them. I willingly accept responsibility and 139 | P a g e

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want to make contributions to the group. I am pragmatic, organized and prefer predictable routine. I am dependable, prepared and punctual. SALTY in Childhood • I adjusted to the rules and structure of the academic environment better than most students. I not only followed the rules, I believed others should also. • I found structure in educational environments comforting and respected and rarely challenged authority. SALTY at Work • I embrace responsibility and I am extremely dependable and will often complete assignments before the deadline. I gain a sense of satisfaction from being a part of an effective team. I set high standards for myself and do not require a lot of recognition, but find fulfilment in a job done well. • I am extremely organized and I retain copious records because details are vitally important to me. I seek clarification of team goals and want clearly defined roles and responsibilities. 140 | P a g e

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• I am structure-driven in my decision-making. Therefore, I solve problems and plan work-related activities with a consideration for the overall rules and requirements of the operating environment. I base decisions upon concrete, realistic information and evidence. I rarely improvise and I consider the ethos of the team when making decisions. SALTY in Decision-Making Seriously Salty personalities are led by their “Hands”. Salty FLAVA are those people who are structure-driven. “Hands” in this context, refers to their sense of realism. They believe in what they actually can touch and prefer the concrete over the abstract. They utilize order, rules and authority as the bases for their decisions. Most of their decisions are formulated as they consider the well-being of the community at-large and the systems that are required to maintain those communities in an orderly fashion.

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Quick Summary Descriptor: MEDITATIVELY MILD Icon:

Tea Leaves




Keep it Calm

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MILD Attributes: • Exhibits strong emotions • Likes tranquility • Expresses empathy • Values self-expression • Appreciates quality time • Supports the success of others • Values strong relationships • Prefers just and fair rules • Is the voice of the “voiceless” • Sees the silver lining in life • Human affinity leads decision-making • True blue in relationships • Goes with the flow • Loves to give to others

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MILD symbolizes tranquility, peace and calmness throughout life’s dynamics, but especially within human relationships. In conceptual terms, it is serenity personified. It epitomizes thoughtfulness and empathy of the human condition. This personality type engenders compassion, empathy and concern. It is self-less and seeks success, safety and security of others before itself. Those with MILD as a Central FLAVA value balance and harmony. They prefer lives free from tension... settled, united, and secure. From the MILD Point of View: I am warm and compassionate. I encourage others. I look for the silver lining in life. I am easy to talk to and very approachable. I need to add value and want deep and abiding relationships. I prefer tranquility and I am often the “voice of reason”. Others view me as the glue that often holds relationships, families and teams together. I 144 | P a g e

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seek harmony and I value fair and equitable solutions. I am a natural giver and I am often the “voice” of the people. MILD in Childhood: • I was very friendly and was willing to share. I maintained early friendships for long periods of time. • I was extremely sensitive to the plight and circumstances of others. I was at ease in most situations, but disliked discord and strife. • I was motivated more through encouragement and support rather than ardent competition.

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MILD at Work: • I value opportunities that allow me to support others to improve their human condition. • I am drawn to professions that aid and support like education, therapy, medicine, social sciences and the arts. MILD in Decision-Making Meditatively Mild personalities make decisions with their “Hearts”. Mild FLAVA are relationshipdriven people. They focus on the human factor first and foremost throughout their lives. Most decisions are predicated upon the impact that the decision will have upon people.

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Quick Summary


Lime Slice




Keep it Clear

Chapter 7: The FLAVA Pages

TANGY Attributes: • Has a strong sense of curiosity • Questions authority • A perfectionist • Logic drives decision-making • Prefers concise communication • May be perceived as detached • Delivers answers and resolutions • Enjoys problem-solving • Often values work over play • Prefers autonomy in the creative process • Can be slow to make a decision • Maintains high standards of quality • Prefers self-management • Enjoys the process of learning • Stimulated by intellectual conversations • Attracted to intellectual pursuits • Is a linear and logical thinker 148 | P a g e

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TANGY symbolizes the human pursuit of knowledge and information. In conceptual terms, TANGY is the personification of our intellect and curiosity. It epitomizes innovation the pursuit of perfection. They are more comfortable in facts and data than feelings and emotions. They challenge authority and the established processes. Those with TANGY as their Central FLAVA are motivated by finding solutions, questioning authority and proving the abstract. The TANGY Point-of-View: I use data and facts to make decisions. I am a person who is driven by logic which means I make decisions with my head, typically not with the heart. It is hard for me to buy-in to a course of action that is not logical to me. I need acceptable explanations from others especially authority. I am often perceived as someone who marches to my own beat. I am curious and enjoy the abstract pursuing the unconventional.

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Chapter 7: The FLAVA Pages

TANGY in Childhood: • In school, I was probably the most misunderstood of all of the types of students because of my reserved nature. I was often perceived as having a lack of interest. Instead, I was more intrigued by the theoretical and abstract rather than the typical concepts. • I was not as responsive to traditional pedagogical instruction. Rather, I preferred to analyze things and to discuss how things worked. I asked a lot of questions, sometimes too many for the teacher. TANGY at Work: • I view my work as play. I form my own opinions and I do not always conform to the norm. • I prefer an environment that allows me to pursue my desire to test theories, assess ideas and to establish systems.

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• I enjoy constant challenges. Once I have solved the problem, I would rather others implement the solution. TANGY in Decision-Making Technically Tangy personalities use their “Heads” and are cognitive-driven people. They seek facts, data, details and statistics which are reviewed logically and systematically. Their decisions are results of the deliberate equations from intellectual assessments.

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Chapter 7: The FLAVA Pages

FLAVA INDIGESTION Sometimes too much of the wrong food can cause indigestion which can be accompanied by physical pain and discomfort. Similarly, each FLAVA has attributes that if not carefully managed, can cause unwanted FLAVA “indigestion” and personality pain and discomfort for other people. These behaviors make it difficult for people to “digest” that specific personality and to communicate with that individual. It is important to understand that these behaviors may not be intentional, but there are still unintended consequences if they are not managed. Effectively managing our tendencies that may be difficult for others to digest, will aid in effective communication with our families, co-workers, acquaintances and friends. The following lists will identify a few behaviors to avoid for each of the four FLAVAs. The more you avoid these triggers, the less Personality indigestion you will cause. 152 | P a g e

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SPICY INDIGESTION TRIGGERS • Over assertiveness leading to a perception of being impolite • Impatience with rules leading to circumventing structured protocols • Ad lib- style too unpredictable for coworkers

SALTY INDIGESTION TRIGGERS • Structured approach may clash with more creative individuals • Strict adherence to procedures may be perceived as inflexible • Strong tendencies to routines may inhibit creativity


Deferential style may irritate some

• Concern for the human condition may impact decision-making • Insistence on harmony may create conflict in some environments


Concise communication may be perceived as unfriendly

Ongoing pursuit of more information may delay decisions

Prefers the big picture and abstract pursuits and may be less effective in tangible, detailed situations

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Chapter 8: The FLAVA Rule of Communication

What’s Your FLAVA? TM

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“If variety is the spice of life, then our personalities must be its FLAVA!� Samuel P. Hall

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Chapter 8: The FLAVA Rule of Communication


8: The FLAVA Rule of Communication


It all comes down to the irrefutable fact that we must adjust the way we communicate to improve the relationships that power our lives.

Change can be uncomfortable. The FLAVA approach provides a system to make the change in your communication style easier for you to implement. With this system, you have all that you need to create better relationships in your families, on your jobs and within your social lives. 156 | P a g e

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You don’t need better people or even more resources to accomplish this, you just need to implement a better communication process. According to, the most vital attribute for succeeding in the 21st century global marketplace is communication skills. Communication is key.

The famous Golden Rule states, “Do onto others as you would have them do unto you.” However, our system operates by the FLAVA Rule of Communication which is, “Communicate onto others as they would have you to communicate unto them.” Dr. Andrea Oliver touched on this principle in her insightful forward of this book. Many leaders of large-scale entities periodically attempt to facilitate major organizational change and they realize that a thorough communication strategy is essential to the change process.

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Chapter 8: The FLAVA Rule of Communication

However, what many of those leaders fail to realize is that change on the organizational (macro-level) and on the departmental (micro-level) both begin with changing the individual people who comprise the whole.

Organizations and individuals must progress through the three stages of change as illustrated in the diagram below.

Masala 3-stages of Organizational Transition (change)

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Our personalities influence how we are led to make decisions. The four FLAVAs inspire us to make decisions in four different ways. Nobel Prize winner, Daniel Kahneman explains in his revealing book, Think Fast and Slow, the complexities of human decision-making and how that process is constant under different circumstances.

The FLAVA methodology teaches that the human decision-making process is inspired and affected by our Human Optics which are those “lenses� that the four personalities use to view and process data. We eventually covert that data into necessary information to make decisions. The lightbulbs in the next graphic denote different parts of the human anatomy where the optics symbolically reside. It is obvious that the parts of the human body are different from one another, and the four optics that inspire our decisions are just as different from one another. 159 | P a g e

Those four optics (also called the 4Hs of decision-making) are labeled the Head, the Heart, Hunches and the Hands.

Once we have sufficient information, we then proceed on a journey to make a decision. The 4Hs represent the four roads that we metaphorically travel as we analyze information and complete the decision-making process. A familiar and routine thought process for making a decision to some may be a completely foreign and inconceivable road to others. 160 | P a g e

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The four personalities not only affect the amount of time that a person actually takes to complete the decision-making process, but also impact how long it takes before some people even initiate the decision-making process at all.

It is critically important to understand how and why different people make decisions and what they need to complete the process. The Sales industry has leveraged this concept for years. There are numerous variations of the Sales Decision-Making model. Some of those approaches have taken the personality of the purchaser into consideration. Those models and approaches have been focused on “sales” exclusively. Daniel Kahneman, states that the way we make decisions is a fixed process which is applied throughout various scenarios in our lives. Therefore, the decision-making process that we utilize to make an actual purchase in a store is the same that we use to make other “purchasing” decisions. We are, in fact, deciding whether we will 161 | P a g e

“purchase” what someone is “selling” during a routine communication exchange.

Meditatively Mild personalities make decisions with their “Hearts”. Mild FLAVA as we have stated previously are relationship-driven people. They focus on the human factor first and foremost throughout their lives. Many of their decisions are predicated upon the impact that the decisions will have upon people. Technically Tangy personalities use their “Heads” instead. Tangy FLAVA are cognitive-driven people. They seek facts, data, details and statistics which are reviewed logically and systematically. Their decisions are the results of the deliberate assessments from intellectual considerations. While Seriously Salty personalities are led by their “Hands”. Salty FLAVA are those people who are structure-driven. “Hands” refers to their sense of 162 | P a g e

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realism. They believe in what they actually can touch and prefer the concrete over the abstract. They utilize order, rules and authority as the bases for their decisions. Most of their decisions are formulated as they consider the well-being of the community at-large and the systems required to maintain the community in an orderly fashion.

And Spontaneously Spicy personalities rely on their “Hunches”. Spicy FLAVA are those who are impulse-driven people. They make decisions relatively quickly especially compared to the other FLAVAs. Those decisions are made with far less concrete information. Decisions are frequently made intuitively with their “gut”. Their decisions are made with more weight placed upon the ultimate end-goal and its impact while far less consideration is given to the process to achieve the goal.

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Transformational leaders who understand FLAVA and the nuances of decision-making will seek to craft messages and communication strategies that are broad enough to appeal to each of the four Optics also called the four Hs. There are times when leaders have been told to speak to the “hearts” of their people, but what if some of their people actually “listen” with their “heads” instead?

Transformational leaders learn through FLAVA to truly speak to the Heart, the Head, the Hands and even to the Hunches of all of their people because transformational leaders learn that people “hear” without ears.

Additionally, leaders often concern themselves with their organizations’ strategic goals. Those leaders logically know that they need their people to complete a multitude of vital tasks to accomplish their goals. These leaders also spend an inordinate amount of time considering their leadership styles 164 | P a g e

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and projecting the proper image to instill confidence in their people. However, far too few of those leaders ever consider “followership” versus “leadership”. No matter how strong the leader is and no matter how solid the plan actually is, the leader and the plan are destined to fail if those who follow are unable or incapable of traveling the “road” to success that the leader has proclaimed.

Followership is much more of an impactful element in the formula for success than leadership. Followership relates to the individual person’s inspiration, conviction and commitment to travel the road ahead. Some disagree with this assertion and believe that leadership is far more important than followership. Granted, in our society today, there is a premium placed upon leadership positions. For instance, star quarterbacks are by far the highest paid players in the NFL. Corporate CEO’s are often paid thousands of times more than their lowest paid employees. Through this evidence, 165 | P a g e

many often conclude that those key positions are far more impactful on the ultimate success of the group, which in the above cases are the football team and the corporation. Imagine a group, team or company where everybody is equally motivated, equally equipped and equally trained to do his or her job.

Consider this scenario. Imagine if you found yourself to be one of twenty survivors desperately stranded in a life boat in the middle of the ocean. One of the other 19 people informed the group that the lifeboat is taking on water and it is sinking. The group is also informed that there are 20 pails on board. How long do you think it would take before everyone is bailing water? In this case, every person in the lifeboat has the proper inspiration, conviction and commitment to travel the “road” of bailing water. In this case, followership is more important than leadership. The question for today’s leaders is, “How do they bestow that ‘lifeboat’ mentality to their people?” The short 166 | P a g e

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answer that leads to the solution is that the people have different “pails” and they have different motivations for “bailing” the water. In the previous examples, the owner of the football team would prefer to have the other 10 players on the field to be more capable of winning the game than they are presently. Also, the corporate owners (stockholders) would prefer that all employees were able to be more productive than they are presently and improve corporate performance. To accomplish both of those plateaus, they must first do a better job of an old childhood game called “Follow the Leader”. In this case to dramatically improve performance, it is truly more about followership instead of leadership.

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“Do onto others as you would have them do unto you.” The Golden Rule


“Communicate onto others as they would have you to communicate unto them.” The FLAVA Rule of Communication

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The FLAVA Rule of Communication is a foundational principle of our communication system which is predicated upon this sentiment. The FLAVA Methodology is “others-centered.” When you prepare in advance to communicate with people in ways that they prefer and receive more acceptingly, you are poised for a more productive exchange and dialogue. Each person has a Central or primary FLAVA, but we also each have a Complementary or secondary FLAVA. We all are a full spectrum of the four FLAVAs. There is some amount of each of the FLAVAs within all of us. In the preface of this book, we introduced the Masala Principle. In Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine, there is a limited set of basic spices. A chef’s prowess is determined by how well she or he is able to blend those basic spices into virtually unlimited combinations. So, in Indian cuisine, the term 169 | P a g e

“masala”, refers to the ability to take spices and blend them artfully to get the exact results you desire.

Likewise, skillfully blending human talent together requires an artful touch – or as we call it, the Masala Management Philosophy which can be applied to communicating with the various FLAVAs. Our next book will address this concept in great detail and provide you with more insights into the FLAVA world. Now that you know your FLAVA or personality, that information can be applied in communication within practical daily activities and relationships: • • • • • •

Personal Family Friends School Teams Business

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• • • • • 

Community Academic Institution Church Military & More 

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Bonus Sections As we conclude with What’s Your FLAVA? the first in the three-book series, we wanted to give you a sneak peek into the next book.

The bonus section introduces key concepts that will be more expansively addressed -The Masala Principle.

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What’s Your FLAVA? TM

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“Amazingly, few people know how they get things done. Indeed, most of us do not even know that different people work and perform differently. Too many people work in ways that are not their ways, and that almost guarantees nonperformance. Like one's strengths, how one performs is unique. It is a matter of personality.� Peter Drucker, author & business icon

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1: The Job at Hand

Bonus section

1: The Job at Hand

During some of the human resources courses that I have taught over the years and even during my consulting practice, I have asked students and executives alike, “Is it better to hire a squirrel or a thoroughbred?” It is a “loaded” question. My intent is to incite a lively debate among the group. Quickly the room divides into two sides—the “Squirrels” and the “Thoroughbreds”. I then ask them to defend their respective positions and justify their decisions. 174 | P a g e

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Over the years, I have received very creative answers regarding the attributes of the furry-tailed, acrobatic rodent compared and contrasted to the speedy and powerful steed.

However, there is unquestionably only one correct answer-- It depends upon the job at hand. The question of whether you should hire a squirrel or a thoroughbred depends upon if you need someone to climb a tall tree and gather acorns, or do you need someone to carry a 100-pound jockey while running around a two-mile track?

A significant portion of this book has been spent emphasizing the importance of identifying the personality traits of the people with whom you communicate. The people-side of the equation is a critical element in the performance improvement process. Just as important as assessing the personality 175 | P a g e


1: The Job at Hand

or FLAVA of the person, it is equally important to understand the position-side by assessing the FLAVA of the job. This may initially seem like an odd concept. Can a job have a personality? Absolutely! Review the list of random jobs below: Stand-up Comedian

Guidance Counselor




Fitness Instructor


Math Teacher

Used Car Salesperson

Tax Preparer

Street Performer


All jobs including the ones above require specific activities and demand different behaviors from the people who do them. As you reviewed the list, there probably were several jobs that you could not see yourself doing or at least not doing for a sustained period of time.

You were able to quickly and intuitively assess the personality or FLAVA of each job. The FLAVA Methodology also helps you to identify and assess the other half of the equation, the position-side. 176 | P a g e

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The jobs above were somewhat easy to categorize because they have stark contrasts that people generally understand well. All jobs and positions are a collection of a series of associated tasks which can vary in their requirements.

Each job may have some tasks that are “squirrel-related” and some that are “thoroughbredrelated”. The next book in this series is, The Masala Principle. We will explain the process of determining how transformational managers connect the right people to the most appropriate position.

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1: The Job at Hand

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“A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.” Henry Ford, Automotive magnate & business icon

“You reach a point where you don’t work for money.” Walt Disney, Entertainment magnate & business icon

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Bonus section 2: The Same Old Carrot The hardest thing in business is not actually achieving success. It is to repeat and maintain success!

All one-hit wonders in music had their proverbial 15minutes of fame, but could not repeat their achievements. Success does have an element of chance and opportunity associated with it. The Infinite Monkey Theorem states that even a chimp hitting random keys on a keyboard for an infinite amount of time will almost assuredly type a given text, such as the complete works of Shakespeare. 181 | P a g e

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Once success is achieved in any field, remaining sufficiently motivated to continue that success is very difficult to do within a group or team environment. Becoming a master of motivation is a critical competency that transformational leaders leverage to effectively lead their teams.

For years, leaders have wrestled over the decision of whether the carrot or stick is the more effective way to motivate. Each option has its merit and will have a degree of success within certain situations. The stick resorts to a base instinct of fear and ultimately when the “stick� is removed so is the need to perform.

While the carrot does also motivate, it appeals to a more basic set of needs. Carrots and sticks may work for those who are attempting to achieve success for the first time. However, to sustain success with those who are already accustomed to it requires something completely different. You can continue to use the same old carrot. But, will it continue to work? 182 | P a g e

Coaches of underdog sports teams have given the inspirational “Win one for the Gipper” speeches that have motivated their out-manned and overmatched teams to achieve the upset victories. How many times will that “same old carrot” actually work? Not more than once. Leaders of organizations similarly use the same old carrot to attempt to repeatedly motivate their employees. They use the oldest and most common carrot—money.

Make no mistake. Money is a motivator, but it is not the most effective carrot. The two previous quotes by Henry Ford and Walt Disney affirm that it is not all about the Benjamins. Instead of carrots, we recommend that you use “FRUITS” to motivate in accordance with the FLAVAs. FRUITS is another acronym for Frequently Remembered Unattained Inspirational Thoughts of Success. Okay, that is a forced acronym but, it makes my point. FRUITS are those things about which we all daydream. No one 183 | P a g e

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truly daydreams about money. We frequently fantasize about the things that money will allow us to buy or do for ourselves and the ones we love. The actual carrot meets our most basic need for nourishment. We eat it because it is good for us and we have to, however we do not have to be forced to eat delicious and sweet fruits. The carrot is buried underneath the earth, but the fruit hangs on the tree in full view and its scent is wafting through the air. The fruit is a constant enticement to our visual and olfactory senses.

In the next book in this series, we will introduce you to the four FRUITS of FLAVA motivation. You will learn how offering an Apple, Orange, Coconut or Pear instead of the same old carrot will make a world of difference in their performance.

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“The two most important days in a person’s life are, the day that you are born. And the day that you know why.” Mark Twain, author

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Bonus section 3: The “Lagniappe” of FLAVA _______________________________________________________________________

The FLAVA approach utilizes the metaphor of food to express the concept of personalities. The state of Louisiana (New Orleans more specifically) is known for its creole-influenced cuisine. They have the creole term of lagniappe which translated means “a little something extra”.

Lagniappe refers to the thirteenth donut in a baker’s dozen or to the unexpected complimentary side of jambalaya that the creole chef provides to your meal. 186 | P a g e

The What’s Your FLAVA? concept was designed to provide an uncomplicated system to explain personalities and improve personal communication. It was developed so that all people regardless of their backgrounds, could understand it and could immediately apply it. Additionally, it needed to captivate and engage participants. For what good is a system that does not compel you to use it?

Through the ongoing feedback that we receive, the system has scored on all of those intended points. However, there has been an additional result that participants of the process were not expecting. They have received a bit of lagniappe. There has been an extraordinary outpouring sense of affiliation that has developed. Participants are discovering their FLAVAs and therefore are also learning explanations for things they have wondered for years. They have discovered that they are not alone in how they think and feel. They have learned that there is an entire

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population of people who are very much like them. Mark Twain’s poignant quote on the previous page underscores how important the day is when you discover your purpose. FLAVA participants have also discovered that the day when they discovered their FLAVAs was a very significant day in their lives as well.

This awakening has engendered within participants a sense of well-being and affinity for a much larger group beyond oneself. Participants have affable defiance regarding those personality quirks that they once thought of as negative, but now they view as a badge of honor.

They have begun the self-discovery process and they are embracing their FLAVA pride. They really want to show it. It is more than just a warm and fuzzy feeling on the inside, this pride in their personalities 188 | P a g e

has produced recognition by others as well. There are four steps in the FLAVA self-discovery process:

1. Learn your FLAVA 2. Embrace your FLAVA 3. Leverage your FLAVA and 4. Express your FLAVA

People are choosing to express their FLAVAs with various products from t-shirts and caps to coffee mugs and other great merchandise. In response to the growing demand for FLAVA products, we launched our FLAVA Gear product line. To personally express your FLAVA, you can visit the FLAVA store at for product information.

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Are you?


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connect with some

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Why are some jobs fun and others are not? Are you?

Are you? Well, to answer those questions, you must first answer this question.

What's Your


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What's Your FLAVA?is the first book in the 3-part series from the Masala Management Institute. Once you understand your FLAVA, the next step is to master The Masala Principle. And the final step in the series is explori ng The Sorghum Factor.

What's Your FLAVA? Personality and Communication System Digital Edition  
What's Your FLAVA? Personality and Communication System Digital Edition  

This book is for all individuals, families, teams and organizations who want to get better at what they do. In other words, you want to impr...