Just saw an article on Inc.com about 8 crucial entrepreneurial skills you won’t learn in school.
1. How to network properly
2. How to lead a team
3. How to make the “right” decision when there’s more than one
4. How to make work enjoyable
5. How to communicate with different types of people
6. How to be resourceful
7. How to hire
8. How to deal with failure
Good stuff. But #5 got me thinking.
How do you communicate with different types of people?
Knowing how to do it is the crux of being able to effectively communicate with and influence others.
It’s not easy, because personality clashes and egos get in the way, but when you take the time to understand other people, it’ll be much easier.
And as a former “door to door” salesman I had to get with the program or suffer the consequences. Which is no sales.
Okay, so I wasn’t really a “door to door” salesman, although there was a short stint selling vacuum cleaners, but I did have to meet with all kinds of people, 99% of the time older than I am, and be able to quickly create rapport, built trust, etc…
What helped me tremendously is a training I went through with a gentleman by the name of Jim Hoyt. What he taught me was crucial the some of the success I had in selling financial services for over a decade.
A big chunk of his training (which I took 4 different times just to be sure I got it) was personality based training.
More specifically, there are 4 different personality types. And for the simplicity of it, he called it – STAR.
S – Stability
T – Theory
A – Action
R – Relationship
Every single one of us falls into all 4 of these categories, but one or two are the most dominant. Understanding who you’re talking to, in terms of which category they fall into, can help you understand their values and what’s important to them.
Let’s take a close look…
These people are systems oriented. Very structured. Always on time. Everything has to be neatly organized.
Rules make up their life. They can’t live without them and think everyone needs to follow them.
Many teachers, police officers, and accountants fall into this category.
They are the most risk-averse people. Most (not all) but most don’t go in business for themselves.
By the way, this is a total opposite of me. Over the years I have developed some organizational skills, but boy is it against my nature.
These are your engineers. Technical and analytical people. Everything has to make sense.
They over analyze every little detail. Which is as much an advantage as it is a handicap.
Solving a technical problem? They’re great at it.
But taking action on something they just learned in an ebook? Not till they analyze it to death and find a dozen mistakes and errors that mostly don’t matter.
I actually have a quite a bit of this in my personality. But it’s definitely not the dominant one for me. I don’t over do it. I think things through, but not to the point of paralysis of analysis.
But if you deal with a “theory” type person, you better have all your facts and proof to back it up, or you’re in for a battle. Trust me, I come from a family of engineers and computer programmers, not the easiest people in the world to deal with.
My favorite. The A-type personality. Let’s go get shit done, and we’ll figure it out later. (Kinda why I launched 3 different ventures in the last 13 months)
This is the bulk of the entrepreneurs out there. Of course they do need the “S” to keep them in check or they’ll just create a big mess.
Dealing with an “A”, you better have a big vision, and once they buy into it, get out of their way.
If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, and you’re not an A-type personality, you either need to learn how to take action and be a little more like them, or partner up with one.
Well, this one speaks for itself. Relationship type people are all about – relationships.
Helping others, and making sure no one gets the raw end of the deal is of highest importance to them. They’re also big animal lovers.
They have the easiest time getting along with others, because they don’t like to ague and want everything to be in harmony.
Not like those pesky “T”s who will argue to death and want to prove you wrong about how much RAM you got, and how many gigahertz your microprocessor is. Like, who cares, right? lol
I’ll sum it up this way, the way Jim taught us.
If you’re going on a trip…
A’s are thinking – great when are we going, let’s go.
T’s are thinking – is this a good time to go now, does it make sense, how much are the tickets?
S’s are thinking – we need directions, and plan everything out, and what’s the weather like so I pack extra clothes.
And R’s are thinking – who else is going?
This is not too far fetched. And no one is boxed into any one of these. Well, most people are not. There are some people that are purists and fall mainly in just one. But those are far and few between. Most of us have some of each, BUT we all have a dominant trait. And sometimes you have to deal with others in business, who are the polar opposites of you.
And if you want to influence them to your way of thinking, you better understand where they’re coming from.
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