The 4 Personality Types – Which One Are You?…John Page Burton

Most of us interact with hundreds of people during the course of any given week. Have you ever wondered why you were able to connect with a person right away and why there was “just something” about someone else that you couldn’t quite put your finger on?  Why is it that we relate well with some of our co-workers and find others to be intimidating or annoying? Why do we view some people as “quirky” and others “controlling”? Why do we characterize some people as “funny” and others as “stuffy”? It’s human nature to want to get along well with everyone and yet most of us seem to find it challenging.  At work, we can’t help but notice the person who seems to get along well with everyone and we watch in awe as they seem to effortlessly “climb the ladder of success”. We may ask ourselves, what does he or she have that I don’t have? I believe that the answer to this question is quite simple…They understand the 4 primary personality types and they have learned how to effectively communicate with each one of them. You and I have the same ability. How would you like to have the “edge” in your next business meeting? What if you could connect more deeply in your personal relationships? By understanding the common traits associated with each of the 4 primary personality types, you will become a more highly skilled communicator. First, I am going to identify the 4 primary personality types.  Next, I will provide you with a few of the key traits inherent to each of them.  *You should be able to easily determine your own predominant personality type. I have given each personality type a humorous name that is congruent with their personality. *Each personality type is found in both male and female. None of the personality types is any more significant than another. Each personality type has produced extremely successful people. Most of us will identify with 1 primary personality type but we will also relate to traits in at least one more. For example, I am primarily a “Chief Chuck” personality type but I am more than capable of channeling my inner “Woo Hoo Wanda. By identifying a person’s predominant personality type you will be able to communicate with them in a style and manner that THEY can relate to. You will be able to identify their potential “hot spots” and you will be able to stay away from conversational topics that they would probably consider a “turn off”.  In the spirit of our good friend Woo Hoo Wanda…It’s not only very revealing but it’s a whole lot of fun!!!

LET’S MEET THE CHARACTERS

Woo Hoo Wanda…Wanda adheres to the belief that life should include a “whole lot of fun”!  Wanda is not shy and doesn’t mind being the center of attention. Time is usually of little consequence to Wanda and routines will drive her crazy because of her spontaneous nature. She can get excited about a project or an idea and hit the ground running but as soon as she views the project as being mundane, she will lose her interest and begin searching for the next adrenalin rush. Wanda is highly creative, has a great sense of humor and will add a “spark of energy” to any team activity. She is well suited for a career that involves personal interaction, creativity, variety and adventure. When communicating with Wanda, remember that her “hot buttons” are fun and excitement. She will not do well in a conversation that becomes overly analytical. Career choices for Wanda include; Sales, Travel, Entertainment, Arts, Music and Network Marketing.   Robin Williams & Ted Turner share this personality trait.

Helpful Harry…Harry is dependable. You can count on him to see that the job gets done right. Harry will gladly come in and work on weekends if that is what his employer needs. Harry wants to be liked by everyone and he avoids conflict at all costs. He is a peacemaker by nature and he is an excellent listener. People seek out Harry because they know that he is willing to listen to their concerns and he is a good problem solver. When communicating with Harry it is important to let him know how much you appreciate his insight. Your words of gratitude will compliment his desire to please. Career choices for Harry include; Counselor, Mediator, Politician, Minister and Community Organizer. John Kerry and Marianne Williamson share this personality trait.

Chief Chuck…Chuck is in charge and everyone around him knows it. Chuck is very goal oriented, highly driven and must win at all costs. He is a high octane, opinionated leader who is seldom able to relax. When he plays, he plays extremely hard. He is highly intuitive, resourceful, creative, and can often be characterized as materialistic. When communicating with Chuck, be prepared to limit the small talk. Chuck is only interested in facts and he shy’s away from a “touchy, feely” approach to conversation. To Chuck, “time is money” and you had better be on time. Career choices include; Entrepreneurs, CEO’s, CFO’s, Financial Services, Venture Capitalists and Athletic Coaches. Donald Trump & Lance Armstrong share this personality trait.

Diligent Darla…Spending time with Diligent Darla can be like watching “paint dry” for Woo Hoo Wanda. Darla is an analytical thinker who carries this trait into every area of her life. Darla can find a way to turn a grocery list into a flow chart. She craves structure, is routine oriented, task driven and is a true creature of habit. She is normally calm, cool and extremely collected. When communicating with Darla it is advisable to speak in informative, analytically driven terms that are based in fact. Acknowledging her intellect will win you valuable points. She knows that she is intelligent and doesn’t mind hearing it from you. Career choices include; CPA’s, Financial Advisors, Researchers, Scientists, College Professors and Investigative Reporters. Ben Bernanke & Greta Van Susteren share this personality trait.

Once we understand a specific person’s primary personality trait, it becomes much easier to communicate with them. Once we are able to recognize our own predominant personality trait, it is easier to understand why we may have had difficulty relating and communicating with others. We can also understand why specific jobs or certain personal relationships didn’t work out well for us. For example, you are a Woo Hoo Wanda personality type and you are about to make a sales call to the Acme Rubber Company. Upon entering the owner’s office you should be able to quickly determine his or her primary personality type. For example, if the owner is dressed casually and greets you with a “knuckle bump” it is a safe bet that they are also a Woo Hoo Wanda. If on the other hand, they are dressed in a blue blazer, white shirt, red tie and their office wall includes numerous pictures with them standing next to famous people, it is safe to assume that they are a Chief Chuck. Your job is to provide Chuck with “bottom line” facts, eliminate the small talk and keep your presentation short and to the point. Chuck will appreciate you for this.

LIFE & BUSINESS APPLICATION

If you are a business owner, it is important to delegate assignments to people who are best suited for the task. For example, you would not want to put Woo Hoo Wanda in charge of the company Christmas party. Initially, she would come up with some “amazing” ideas and would get everyone in the office excited about this spectacular event, however, shortly down the road she would predictably lose interest and begin thinking about the “mind blowing” 4th of July picnic that she would “love” to spearhead. As a business owner, it would wise to invite Helpful Harry & Diligent Darla to “co-chair” the planning committee. Helpful Harry would make sure that all the necessary tasks were completed on time and Diligent Darla would make sure that the event was completed under budget. You can also use this knowledge to help you navigate through the challenging waters of the dating world. It certainly will make it a lot more fun! Woops…I just channeled my inner Woo Hoo Wanda. 

My hope is that you find this information to be helpful as you navigate through life. I know that this information has enhanced my ability to communicate effectively with people from each of the 4 personality types. As always, your thoughts and feedback are greatly appreciated.

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