Temperament is your basic, inherited style; it is not learned.
Personality is acquired on top of temperament. Two people can have the same temperament, but (due to various environmental and lifestyle factors) can have different personalities.
Raising awareness about these variations in temperament and personality types can help everyone become more effective in the workplace. However, not all of us are psychologists and, therefore, may not understand the differences.
Now, the idea of this write-up is not to generalize people and not to create unnecessary awareness about our weaknesses. We are all a blend of four types of temperament, with one (and maybe two) being dominant. Training, lifestyle, childhood experience, education and health all play a part in molding our personalities and differentiating us.
Our Society gains from diversity. The workplace gains from diversity. It does no one any good to surround themselves with people who are “just like me”. History is littered with examples of high profile or top level executives who fell from grace because they surrounded themselves with sycophants.
The truth is we have gradually moved from the service economy to the “Experience Economy” where people buy from you, consult with your organization, patronize or sign deals with you not because you’re the only one selling that product or offering that service (so many competition out there) but because of the experience your product will offer them. That’s your Unique Selling Proposition (UPS).
And that’s why as an Executive or business owner, you can’t afford to joke with the quality of minds and team you’re pulling together in your firm. And as an employee, understanding your temperament will give you an edge because you know your strength and where to apply it.
“Well-managed, diverse teams lead to high performing, collaborative teams which leads to results and a healthy bottom-line.”
However, understanding the dynamics associated with personality and temperament does play a key role in how we can build better work teams to create the best fit between an employee’s skill set and personality and your hiring objectives and work culture.
Are you curious and eager to learn, or do you prefer to stay in your comfort zone? Are you self-motivated and organized, or does your attention wander? Do you inspire others to jump on board with your ideas, or do you prefer to follow instructions from others?
I had an experience at work recently while having our strategic meeting and I discovered that a certain person in the team was seeing the impossibilities in our company’s project even before starting the project. This is what I call “ANALYSIS PARALYSIS”.
It’s not her fault, it’s the way she is wired but we can’t continue to excuse people all in the name of “that’s why they are wired ‘, you have got to learn the weaknesses in your temperament not to be aware but to work on it.
More often than not, when people see successful individuals they often wonder what type of personality do these people have. What drives them? Were they simply born to be successful? Is it possible that these people just made the best of what they already had?
So let me share some information about the personality types that we have;
Hippocrates believed that people can be divided into four distinct yet overlapping categories based on their “humors” – which are fluids presumed to be inside the body and whose imbalance can lead to illness. These are also responsible for the different types of temperaments and personality. This theory still remains popular today and is used for employee management.
I have always loved to use this analogy for years. And I would love us to think about it and share our view and also respond:
Imagine being invited as a high profile guest to a function and while calling people to the “high table’ your name was omitted, please truthfully what would be your reaction? What would be your next action?
Ok this is what I came up with after careful observation;
A CHOLERIC will walk out of that gathering angry almost immediately after the omission of his/her name or atleast call someone to pour the anger on maybe the MC or the person who invited him/her.
A SANGUINE will walk up to the MC and inform him to check his list properly because he is meant to be in that front so he is not about to leave that place without that.
A MELANCHOLY will probably leave that place moody and ego dampened, leaving with lots of questions, wondering and analyzing possible reasons why he wasn’t called, things like (maybe I look too fat today or maybe the MC DOESN’T like me).
A PHLEGMATIC will probably thank God he was not even called at all…LOL
Now there are exceptions of course.
Down below are the four most common temperaments and their advantages and disadvantages:
Influencing of Others, Artisan, Sanguine, SP – Cheerful, talkative, emotional and enthusiastic. They have good people-skills and a confident and spontaneous style. They are emotional and communicative by nature and might be called a “super extrovert”.
Include tendencies towards arrogance, self-indulgence, and a lack of discipline.
The main advantage of being a sanguine is the ability of flexibility and adaptability while maintaining their composure. They have great communication and entertainment skills. Some call them the life of a party due to their enthusiasm and popularity. A Sanguine is a very sociable and optimistic person that makes them easy to like.
On the other hand, a Sanguine often lacks the ability to empathize and understand deeply. They are disorganized and may appear to not be serious about their work. They have tendencies of being naive, trusting others to do their work. They mostly enjoy having fun and being showered with approval. They tend to dislike people who don’t respond to humor.
I know in our mind, we can picture people in our lives, staff in our company and colleagues or employer with this traits.
Decisive, Rational Choleric, NT – Energetic, forceful, independent and opinionated. They thrive on activity and are “doers”. They are the most natural leaders out of the 4 personality types.
Include impatience, a tendency towards anger, and an inability of delegate. They may become impatient in meetings, and may be unaware of the effect they have on others.
Possessing the innate ability of leadership, a choleric is obedient and goal oriented. They have the ability to make quick decision, correct judgments which are often impulsive which make them better suited in a field where change is common. A choleric is quick to take charge of a situation and they are usually fast paced with a required degree of control in their work. They have a good sense of self-confidence and a sincere belief of personal achievement which often leads to them accomplishing more in a short amount of time.
However, due to their nature, a Choleric will come across as too domineering, autocratic and impatient. They often have difficulties delegating tasks to subordinates at the same time expecting them to produce the same quality as he does. They enjoy the presence and company of people who are supportive and cooperative. They dislike laziness and disloyalty.
So sometimes some of us have fathers, guardian or bosses who show these traits and you’ve been thinking why this person like this is.
Steady, Idealist, Phlegmatic, NF – Relaxed and easy going and not easily disturbed. They are usually considered reliable and capable; they easily see the bigger picture, and therefore can be good mediators. However, even though they tend to work well under pressure, deadlines are needed. They sometimes find it hard to speak up in the workplace and have a tendency to avoid conflict. They are the most timid of the personality types.
The calm and harmonious. A Phlegmatic values understanding and peace. They are composed and collected, even disposition with a drizzle of dry humor. They are meticulous in their decision making which is a disadvantage in fast paced environment. A Phlegmatic is often the peace-keeper of a group, solving problems and conflict objectively while maintain an easy-going and relaxed posture.
On the other hand, a Phlegmatic often lacks enthusiasm, energy and decisiveness. They dislike making major changes. Often times, they don’t set solid goals, react slowly and avoid facing problems head on. A Phlegmatic likes people who recognizes their own strengths and initiate action and decisions. They do not like people who are too arrogant or pushy.
Conscientious, Guardian, Melancholic, SJ – Thoughtful and sensitive towards the needs of others. They are often deep, philosophical, self-sacrificing and conscientious, but they can be self-critical and prone to depression. At work they are organized and goal-oriented and maintain high standards. They can, however, be resistant to change unless there is a good precedent.
While Melancholies are known as pessimistic and prefer solitude, they possess compassion for those in need. They are meticulous, organized and analytical. They pay attention to every detail and every possible outcome. This makes them good at setting and organizing long-term goals. They have high standards and ideals that they deem perfect. A Melancholic understands feelings while demanding quality performance.
Oftentimes, a Melancholic takes life too seriously that they tend to focus too much on details and preparation. They insist in achieving perfection. However, they do enjoy the company of intellectual people that can carry deep and sensible conversations. They dislike forgetfulness, tardiness, superficiality and unpredictability.
So which of these temperament are you?
Well, we are all a combination of two or more but there is always a predominant one.
For example and this is not to discredit anyone, putting a PHLEGMATIC in your sales team might take you long to get results except the one that has worked on himself and that has allowed God to help in his supposed weaknesses because naturally they are not persuasive, unlike a sanguine salesman who can sell a coke to you as a facial cleanser.
Just as you will constantly have to remind a sanguine of a task or meeting except he is smart enough to keep a journal of all of his activities and to-do, why? Cos naturally they are easily distracted.
Knowing all of these things just helps you position yourself and outsmart the “limitation”, and this helps hiring or recruiting agency to know each applicants personality type and fix them where they can beat function for effectiveness so we don’t all hear stories when it’s time to give account or produce result.
Increasing your team’s awareness of the personality types of the other members can create a more functional and cohesive team atmosphere. Once the team members realize that someone has a different personality type that might make them more suited to one type of communication than the other, they can adapt and work together to create the best team dynamics. Personality tests can be a great tool to use to bring team members together and create more productive teams. I have seen marketers fight and argue on the road about who would present when they get to where they were sent.
For example, if a job involves presenting speeches and mingling with large crowds of people, but you’ve always felt a little uncomfortable performing the job functions, knowing that you are naturally introverted can help you to better understand yourself. You will realize that performing these social functions will drain you of your energy. By making this realization, you will be better able to cope with your job and create happiness for yourself. For example, you can learn that you might have a better evening if you spend some quiet time alone before the functions to gather your energy. This is my personal experience, I love to talk and contribute or speak in public but I get tensed and if you stand close enough to me, you might notice my voice shaking or my leg shaking but I kept doing it anyway and now, to the extent that I can even pray in a public transit when am travelling from a state to the other.
We aren’t wired the same, but we all can become self-aware and better business owners and business development coordinators that meet the wants and needs in our clients.
NOTE: Impressions are the takeaways of Experiences in businesses, ensure you are passing the right one and be consistent with it. Either as a consumer industry or a B2B setting, and with you understanding the dynamics of people, you will always engage the right team or you will always be an asset to your organization as an employee.
Thanks for reading through.
Read more, stretch more, and see you at the top.
None of us is as smart as all of us. #Hexavia!
KSS by: Temitope.