While coaching executives, asset managers, real estate agents and other specific clients, I’ve used multiple personality assessment tools from different backgrounds that assess different traits. I’ve come up with a very simple one, for negotiation and influence purposes, that allows you to categorize people into one of two extremes along two different axes:
You’re either Emotion- or Logic- Dominant, and either Achievement- or Stability- Dominant. These two combine, so if you’re Emotion-Dominant, you can be either be also Achievement or Stability. So, in short, all four combinations are:
Each of these have very simple descriptions that allow you to easily identify someone’s personality type with this framework:
- Emotion-Dominant people are focused on stories, on innovation, on impulses and attraction. Whether Achievement- or Stability-Dominant, they love in some way excitement, optimism, positivity the big picture. They are inspired by stories, visions, examples;
- Logic-Dominant people focus on the numbers, the processes. Whether Achievement- or Stability-Dominant, they want to break the big picture down to its building blocks and analyze all of them. Many of them are pessimistic by nature and want to avoid risk, sifting through hundreds or thousands of possibilities before settling on one.
In the Achievement versus Stability axis:
- Achievement-Dominant are focused on achieving and expanding. Whether Emotion- or Logic-Dominant, they focus on beating challenges, achieving goals, and in many cases overtaking others and proving themselves better;
- Stability-Dominant are focused on consolidation current processes, relationships. Whether Emotion- or Logic-Dominant, they want to grow, nurture, help, solidify what they already have.
Some careers mostly define the type of people that are in them:
- For example, Logic-Stability-Dominant people are usually lawyers, accountants, financial managers – careers that require stability and logic;
- Logic-Achievement-Dominant people might be CEOs, hedge fund managers, CTOs, or any other career that combines logic and achievement.
- Emotion-Stability-Dominant people might be doctors, nurses, coaches, teachers, mentors, focusing on making others feel well. They may also be client managers, consolidating existing relationships and viewing the impact that has on the customer, or any other career that mostly involves emotion and stability;
- Emotion-Achievement-Dominant people are visionary people, optimistic and reckless. They may be CEOs, event organizers, HNWIs, or any other profession that mostly leverages emotion and achievement;
If you’re familiar with the RIASEC Assessment, there is some correlation with the dimensions of the assessment:
- Emotion-Dominant people usually have high Social/Enterprising dimensions;
- Logic-Dominant people usually have high Conventional/Investigative dimensions;
- Achievement-Dominant people usually have high Enterprising/Realistic dimensions;
- Stability-Dominant people usually have high Social/Conventional dimensions;
With this knowledge, the professionals I coach then tailor their communication to better leverage the other side’s personality. Each combination has specific language patterns or elements that draw them in.
Tailoring Communication to the Four Personality Types
This framework facilitates persuasion and influence, be it for managing your talent, raising capital, or any other purpose. Therefore, it’s interesting to understand how each type of personality reacts to specific messaging and communication:
- Emotion-Dominant people react to messages that focus on the big picture. Success cases, vivid pictures, optimism projections. They want to share a vision for the future;
- Logic-Dominant people react to the details. They want to know everything to the deepest detail and do the due diligence. They focus on numbers, facts, processes. They react very well to breaking something down to its smallest components;
- Achievement-Dominant are focused on getting things done and winning. They want to waste no time and get to the point. They are short-term oriented and want to get quick wins right here and now. They react very well to being direct, focusing on the benefit for them and how it will help them surpass others;
- Stability-Dominant are focused on how others feel and their well-being, and they want to understand how you can help them, they can help you, and your negotiation or joint purpose can help others, possibly the whole world. They react well to statements of empathy, caring, talking about the long-term relationship;
In Practice: Executive Case Study
One of the executives I coach had a hard time making out different personalities. To him, all people sounded the same. We worked on getting him to listen attentively to subtle cues that indicate interests and patterns.
He determined that one of the people in his team was very ambitious, always focused on achieving. Achievement-Dominant, in other words. Moreso, he focused primarly in the big picture and never in the details. Definitely Emotion-Dominant. This executive tailored his communication to focus on achievements and big picture stories, avoiding details and compassion with others. He was able to much more effectively give feedback and lead this person.
The Four Perceived Personalities can be used for specific purposes for specific verticals:
- How Executives Use the Four Perceived Personalities;
- How Asset Managers Use the Four Perceived Personalities (Coming soon);
- How Real Estate Agents Use the Four Perceived Personalities;