Archive for January, 2014

Personality Type & The Coaching Process

Friday, January 24th, 2014

The application of personality type into the coaching process – both the person being coached and the type of other people in their life – is particularly valuable because you can identify and develop his or her strengths, assist them in recognizing blind spots and how to manage them and strategize a method for personal and career development.

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

Step 1: Assess the Client’s Type
Guide the person through Side 1 of the The PEOPLE Process Wheel, explaining each of the four dimensions of behavior, the two preferences within each behavior dimension, and have them choose their four letter type.

Step 2: Determine Strengths and Challenges
By yourself, review the person’s type from the standpoint of their strengths as it relates to their personality type. Think through the description of their preferences on side 1 of the Wheel and determine which qualities are assets and which present the greatest challenge.  Have the person answer the following questions:

  • As you read through the description of your personality type preferences, which ones seem like assets and which present the greatest challenges?
  • If someone wanted to have a positive relationship with you, what fundamental things about your type would they need to understand?
  • Which aspects of your psychological type are the most difficult for you to accept or change?
  • Which aspects of your type most often cause relationship problems between you and others?
  • How have your personality type preferences influenced your life and career?

Often conflicts between the person being coached and the people in their life comes from differences in preferences.  Lead the person through the descriptions of all of the preferences on Side 1 of the Wheel: E-I, S-N, T-F, and J-P.  Assist them in choosing the four-letter type of the person with which they are experiencing conflict from Side 1 of the Wheel.

Profile Sheets – 16 Personality Types

Have the person choose their Profile Sheet and the Profile Sheet of the person with whom they are experiencing conflict from the package. Compare the individual descriptions in each of the categories and answer the following three questions on Side 2 of the Profile Sheet:

In what areas are you similar to this person?
In what areas are you different from this person?
In what areas can you improve your relations with this person?

When going through this exercise, the person is then able to step back and realize that behaviors are most often the result of each other’s inborn, personality type.

Use the following questions to guide discussion around areas they might need to address:

  • What contributions do you bring to the relationship?
  • Which of your habits might be irritating to the other?
  • What do you find valuable about each other?
  • What does the other do that bothers you?
  • What do you hope to achieve in resolving this conflict?

Step 3: Evaluate Individual Needs
Assist the person being coached in evaluating their needs through discussion of a series of questions:

  • What are some of your behaviors that seem to get in the way of having effective relationships with others?
  • What talents do you have that are especially helpful to others?
  • How would your spouse, boss, colleagues, or close friends briefly describe you?
  • What do you care most about in your life? What concerns you most?
  • What do you feel proud of and what concerns you about the way people at work treat one another?
  • What inspires or motivates you?
  • What kind of appreciation/recognition do you prefer? From whom? Under what circumstances?
  • What kind of criticism do you prefer? From whom? Under what circumstances?
  • Which work tasks do you pass on to others, ignore, or never get around to doing?
  • Tell me about a recent change you’ve experienced. How did you react? How did you cope with it?
  • Describe how you handle change.
  • What are your thoughts about conflict? What do you do to resolve it? How effective have your efforts been? Why?
  • Are there any questions I have not asked that we should discuss?

Step 4: Assess Skills and Interests
Lead the person through a discussion of the following four questions:

  • Things I like and do well
  • Things I don’t like but do well
  • Things I like but find difficult to do
  • Things I don’t like and struggle to do

Focus your discussion on things the person likes and does well. Those things the person doesn’t like and struggles with doing, identify as areas for coaching. Assist the person in developing ways to handle those things they don’t like and struggle with.

Step 5: Develop Your Action Plan
The key to successful coaching is identification of objectives, steps that will be taken, timelines and the desired results. To achieve this:

  • Have the person identify someone they trust that can help them practice the coaching suggestions
  • Develop specific action items and timelines. Establish accountability, such as how will the person know when they have reached a goal?
  • Encourage the person being coached to practice the behaviors in coaching sessions and then in real time.
  • Suggest the person keep a journal where they record behaviors practiced and the results – who, what, when, and where. Discuss the results of the experiences practiced in the next coaching session.
  • Share personal insights about your own type and your potential interactions with other types as it relates to strengths and differences. Encourage person being coached to give details about how process is moving forward toward identified goals, needs and wants, and be clear about what is working.

Using Type in Selling – Part 2

Saturday, January 11th, 2014

How does type actually work in the selling process? 

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

There are stages in the process of moving a sale forward. Time is spent – Initiating the rapport. This consists of greeting the customer and establishing a basis for moving ahead. Next the salesperson investigates needs.  This is when listening is especially important. Next, a course of action, may be suggested using the information gathered in the listening stage. And, the final stage is reaching an agreement on the next action, or closing the sale. You can see all aspects of the type preferences coming forth throughout the sales interaction. Specific aspects of type, however, stand out as more important than others at various stages.

Nonverbal behavior cues such as pacing, timing, body position, and movement are associated with the ENERGY-Extraversion-Introversion preference. Customers can use these cues to decide quickly as to whether or not they will be comfortable in dealing with that person. For this reason, the Extraversion-Introversion preference is important during the beginning stage of initiating.

The INFORMATION gathering phase Sensing and Intuition and the DECISION phase Thinking and Feeling intersect during the investigating needs stage and suggest a course of action.  A customer that is making a decision to purchase is definitely involved in taking in information and using that information to make a decision. Various types prefer to gather data and make decisions in different and predictable ways. It is not unusual that the functional pairs ST, SF, NF, NT have the greatest impact in this part of the sales process.

The ACTION stage Judging and Perceiving preference, of course, has the greatest effect on closing the sale. This can become more apparent as the selling relationship is focused on obtaining agreement and closing.

The two middle letters – the functional pairs – express how customers function during sales interactions. The following table summarizes the focus of each customer type, what they value, and what to remember when dealing with them.

                      Customer Type Modes

ST CUSTOMER

Focuses on: The specifics/The Logical Implications of these specifics

Values:  Acting responsibly/working with a sales person who acts responsibly

Remember:  State the FACTS

SF CUSTOMER

Focuses on:  The specifics/The impact of these specifics on people

Values:  Personal loyalty/Working with a salesperson who personalizes & individualizes service

Remember:  Give PERSONAL SERVICE

NF CUSTOMER

Focuses on:  The general concept or big picture (not specifics)/ How the big picture impacts people or supports their values

Values:  Making a difference (in the community, for the family, in the world)/ Working with a salesperson who helps to make his or her vision become a reality

Remember:  Support the customer’s VISION

NT CUSTOMER

Focuses on:  The general concept or big picture (not specifics)/ How the big picture possibilities create logical options

Values:  Having options that fit his or her needs now and in the future/ Working with a salesperson who demonstrates competence

Remember:  Provide and support LOGICAL OPTIONS

Practice presenting your product/service from each of the four basic positions so you can shift when necessary. In an actual sales situation, watch your customer’s nonverbal cues such as:

  • Changing facial expression
  • Movement away from you
  • Appearance of detachment
  • Irritation in her or his voice

These cues signal a need to listen more carefully and possibly choose a different approach.  A good rule or standard is that unless the information is coming across to the customer in his or her language,  probably the customer will miss at least part of your message and will feel less comfortable about the interaction.

Finally, be aware that using type in selling is a discipline and takes practice. As you begin using the type framework, you will have immediate payoff in terms of more understanding and control in the selling situation. As you continue to work with it, you gain fluidity, ease, and an even greater appreciation of your customers, their needs, and their diversity.

Adapted from FLEX Selling by Susan Brock

Using Type in Selling

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

With the competitive nature of business today, an understanding and use of type theory can be beneficial in the selling process. By just listening for the communication and behavior clues of    four dimensions of personality type theory – Energy, Information, Decision, Action, – you can adapt your behavior to the comfort zone of your customer.  All of us like to purchase from a sales person that we feel comfortable with and understands us. Listen and watch for cues in your customer’s behavior.  

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

All that you have to remember is four dimensions – Energy, Information, Decision and Action, and two preferences within each dimension. You can pick up someone’s preference for each of the four dimensions while listening to them on the telephone. And, it’s easier in person because you have the benefit of watching body language. A study of Side 1 of The PEOPLE Process Wheel – the four dimensions of type theory and the two preferences within each dimension and Side 2 – how to treat each preference within their – zone of comfort– will enable you to easily remember the type preferences.

Does this customer generally prefer to Talk it Out (Extraversion) or Think It Through (Introversion)?

Does this customer generally prefer to give information and respond to Specifics (Sensing) or the Big Picture (Intuition)?

Does this customer generally base his or her decisions on Logical Implications (Thinking) or the Impact on People (Feeling)?

Does this customer generally have a Joy of Closure (Judging) or a Joy of Processing (Perceiving)?

Customer Preferences

(Adapted from the Four Part Framework, by Susan A. Brock.)

E – Talk it Out —- I – Think it Through

S – Specifics —- N – The Big Picture

T – Logical Implications —– F – Impact on People

J – Joy of Closure —– P – Joy of Processing

A survey of 200 people, who had previously verified their type preference, was conducted asking them, How do you prefer to be sold to? Upon examination of the responses, the individuals described common themes when grouped by the functional (middle two letters) of their four letter type – ST, SF, NF, and NT.

A common theme for STs is to focus on the facts. During a sales interaction, an ST wants specifics, logically presented, with a focus on meeting practical needs.

NFs, on the other hand, want to know how the product, service, or concept makes a difference or supports their vision of what could be, especially as it relates to people. NFs prefer to hear and use a relational train of thought, where one thing reminds them of another.

SFs want personal and individualized service. They form a bond of loyalty to the person or product that gives them personalized service.

NTs show a theme of wanting logical options with which to fulfill unique needs. They stress that the salesperson must demonstrate competence and should expect to be tested on this competence during the sales interaction.

Four Basic Sales Approaches

Functional Pair   Customer Prefers
ST The Facts
SF Personalized Service
NF Their Vision
NT Logical Options

(Adapted from FLEX Selling by Susan Brock, 1993.)

The four functional pairs of types use different ways of expressing themselves when they are communicating that reflect their type preference. An ST speaks in brief, logical statements, while an SF shares personal stories. NFs speak of possibilities emphasizing the people-oriented values of the situation. NTs focus on what makes sense, from a long-range perspective.

The personality type framework is a tool that can easily be used to choose and shape how to interact best with your customer. As you listen and watch, you can adjust your behavior to your customer based on a knowledge of sound theory that works. You can also use the type framework to put together letters and marketing materials. The same idea of matching the language of the customer applies to written work as well as to face-to-face interaction.

Practice presenting your product or service from the four basic functional positions so you can shift when necessary. In an actual sales situation, watch your customer’s nonverbal cues such as facial expressions, body language and tone of voice. Be aware that using type in selling requires practice and discipline. As you continue to work with type you gain a greater appreciation of your customers, their needs and their diversity.

Using type in selling is well worth the effort. It really pays off!