While there are certainly a number of external factors that can affect the wins and losses in your business – everything from the economy at large, to local economic and customer factors, not to mention how access to the right repair information and tools can be a drag on your business. But internal personnel issues can trump them all.
And first among this paramount concern has to be you, the business owner. How you see your business, and how you relate to those who work in it, lies at the core of what makes you unique to customers. And, to be honest, it is also lies at the core of why the things that some of your staff do might get under your skin (and vice versa).
A few months ago, I decided to complete one of those online personality tests. It turns out that I am an ESFP (Extraverted, Sensing, Feeling, Perceiving) – or in the vernacular, the “Entertainer” (alternatively, “The Performer”).
“Regardless of what position Entertainers find themselves in at work, they share a desire to make the environment as friendly and enjoyable as possible. People with the Entertainer personality type are able to take a social and relaxed attitude, and use it to get everyone else on board with practical tasks that just need to get done. The more freedom Entertainers have to meet these needs, the better the results, so long as they know what the goal is, and there’s hardly a better personality type to have around in a dynamic, hectic work environment.”
In general terms the profile was pretty accurate. There’s more depth to the definition, but delving into the subject a little bit more helped me understand why certain folks on one end of the personality spectrum have such difficulty with others who have a different make up.
I am sure that those who know me best will look at those defined traits and respond with a resounding “Well, duh.”
Theoretically, ESFPs get along well with Extraverted, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving. (ESTP) types, and not so well with Introverted, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving (ISTP), and not at all with Extraverted, Intuitive, Thinking, Judging (ENTJ).
Bringing home the idea, you might already recognize that some techs like to find creative approaches to problems, while others dutifully adhere to the diagnostic tree.
In the real world, people are somewhere along a spectrum of personalities, and circumstances being variable, the dynamics that can shape a work relationship can be varied, especially if there’s a team of people involved.
I strongly caution against trying to pigeonhole your staff, but it can be helpful in understanding yourself, how you approach work, how you relate to others – and why sometimes, you have trouble relating to them and their work style at all.
It’s hard to argue with the ancient Greek truism that in order to understand others, one should, first, know thyself.