According to What They Still Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School one of my all time favorite book recommendations ~ Each of us brings something different to the table through our innate business style. Here is a clever list of some personalities you might have a chance to meet.
The straight shooters. These are the people who are always honest in their opinions. They have no hidden agenda. They are valuable at any meeting. But you have to protect them. They tend to get smug about “truth being the best defense” and may create more arguments than they solve.
The martyrs. They’re good at taking the heat and quickly accepting responsibility when things go wrong. The danger here is that they accept blame to quickly, perhaps before you’ve pinned down who or what is really at fault.
The poker faces. They keep their ideas to themselves. Or maybe they share them with the boss in private after everyone is gone. Whether their suggestions are on target or not, you have to wonder what game and on whose team they’re playing.
The cheerleaders. They have learned the wonderful power of saying. “You’re right. I never considered that.” I like these people.
The orators. They begin speaking softly, gather momentum, and fifteen minutes later are still assaulting your ears and insulting your intelligence. They substitute emotion and rhetoric for insight. You get the impression they work harder to convince themselves than you. Handle them with care-or not at all.
The devil’s advocates. Everything to them is debatable. The good news is that, like a tenacious prosecutor, they often get to the truth. The bad news is they take too much time and too many casualties. Invite only one per meeting.
The destroyers. They can’t say no without destroying someone’s idea, project, or ego.
The recliners. They lean back, prop up their feet, and hunker down for a nice long stay. They’re in no hurry to settle the issues at hand. Meet them in a hallway or a room with no chairs.
The statesmen. They advance themselves or the meeting through shrewd handling of people. Theoretically, this should be you.
I know people in all the above categories and understanding their personality traits is important when negotiating or even working towards a common goal. How often have you attended a meeting that took longer than needed and accomplished little because of personality struggles? Know who’s at the meeting.