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How to Succeed, Stay Sane, and Have Fun at Work – WFOA Conference Keynote
October 9, 2009 at 5:23 pm #82557
I recently attended the Washington Finance Officer Association (WFOA) annual conference in Bellevue, WA. This well organized event included great sessions for Local Public Officials. One session that I attended was “How to Succeed, Stay Sane and Have Fun at Work”, by Key Note speaker David Rabiner, owner of Rabiner Resources. He is a good public speaker that combines just the right mix of humor and storytelling to keep his audience interested in his subject.
His presentation brought to the forefront awareness and information on personality types in the work place, and as a manager of people, advice on how to work positivity and effectively with different styles. It was a great reminder about how we all have different personalities and different ways we tackle problems and lead teams. David took the concept of the Myers Briggs testing and modified it to simplify and organize personality’s types; so employees, managers, and day-to-day people can understand and achieve a successful working relationship.
In his session, David gave us a simple questionnaire in order to determine our type through a formula he has developed. The questions ask about your attitude or reaction to handling conflict, relationships, workload and stress. Then we completed a four square matrix and our personality type surfaced. I turned up in Box 1 – no surprise to me. Following are the 4 types of personalities:
Box 1: The good traits: Peacemaker, good listener, involves others, cooperative, and likes routine. The not so good traits: Avoids conflict, doesn’t speak up, can’t act alone, can’t say no, and resists change.
Box 2: The good traits: Entertainer, creative, energetic, persuasive, and fun. The not so good traits: Impulsive, lacks follow-thru, dislikes routine, poor listener, and easily bored.
Box 3: The good traits: Scholar, detail-oriented, organized, accurate, and dependable. The not so good traits: Indecisive, nit-picky, inflexible, and critical, slow.
Box 4: The good traits: Achiever, decisive, productive, focused, and competitive. The not so good traits: Steamroller, bossy, impatient, unfriendly, and aggressive.
You will probably guess which personality you are without answering the questionnaire (or maybe not). I think being a Box 1 serves me well in my career in sales. Being a good listener and cooperative are my biggest strengths, especially in solution selling. I have to be able to understand the needs of my clients in order to define a solution and show them the benefits of that solution. A Box 2, is the fun creative person in the office. You know, the one who always has the good Joke, with a great personality who is also good in sales. Box 3 people require research and backup for every decision they make. This is the personality type of accountants and software implementers – I work with lots of those too! And, finally Box 4 is the personality type that gets things done. You want one of these guys on your team when you have deadlines that can’t be missed. They may step on a few toes in the process, but you can count on them to get that all important project done and on time. The well-rounded individual has a little bit of all of these traits.
Good leadership understands how your team works, and how they can best work together. Being respectful and understanding the signs of when to encourage a certainly personality to complete a task or redirect them so they are leveraging their strengths is all important in the culture of the office. When setting employee goals that really can motivate, it is important to set goals based on the personality type and work style of that employee. As a supervisor if you’re a Box 3, and directing a box 2, you need to understand what motivates them so you can interpret their reactions and behaviors. This is a good argument for managers to “think outside the box” when it comes to supervising others.
As an organization, setting goals and attaining them requires a team that is diverse and active in their individual strengths and skills. Effective leadership will nurture and support these talented people in a fun way. To learn more from David Rabiner and view his presentations, visit his web site at http://www.rabiner.com
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