The Four Faces of Leadership

Do you ever look at people in your life or in the community or your places of work and think” what in the world is wrong with them?”

I believe we have all had that situation a time or maybe tens of times. People are different, aren’t they? I have often heard people say it would be a boring world if everyone was just like me…but I’m not so sure it wouldn’t be an easier world.

Unfortunately, or fortunately for you and me, no one is just like us. We are all wired differently. We all think differently, we all speak differently. If it wasn’t for other people, leadership and communication would be easy! Except we would have to lead ourselves…and that is the hardest leadership there is.

Charles Darwin said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, not the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”

Adaptability is the capacity to adjust to new conditions. It’s the ability to modify yourself and your responses to altered circumstances and environment. Being adaptable shows you possess the ability to learn from your experiences and improve yourself as a result.

I have learned some things in my life to help me communicate with the 4 Personalities of People I encounter in the world. In my work as a leadership consultant and coach, I teach people how to apply the principles and practices of communication and adapt to the different personalities of the people they encounter in their lives and workplaces.

We each have a predictable pattern of behavior because we have a specific personality. Once you know your style, the next step is to identify the styles of the people you meet. When you know yourself and others, you can treat people the way they need to be treated and not unwittingly impose your style on them. When we impose our personalities on others, we unconsciously assume they have the same needs and desires as we do. Without meaning to, we send the message, “My way is the right way.” Or worse, “Who you are is not okay.”

Alternatively, when we honor the stylistic needs of others, we enable them to revel in their gifts and fulfill their deepest needs. If we respect the personality styles, we can build meaningful relationships throughout our lives. If you can learn about these personalities and then learn how to interact with each one, you can take communication with your world to a whole new level.

Everyone is a blend or combination of these four temperaments. No type is better than the other. No one has a bad personality. (REALLY, THEY DON’T) The most important factor is awareness of your personality, how you tend to communicate with others using your strengths, and that you understand the value of everyone else’s unique personality. Learning how to communicate with each is the KEY to your success and influence with others.

Every personality has strengths and weaknesses. One person’s weakness may be another person’s strength. That is why “uniqueness” may be a better word than “weakness.” In order to become more successful and improve your relationships, you must learn how to control your strengths and avoid your weakness or “uniqueness.” The overuse of strength becomes abuse, and the best thing about you becomes the worst. The characteristic that people once liked most about you can become what they later despise.

Let’s dig a little deeper into each of the four. 

The “D” type is known as the Determined Doer – Outgoing -- Task-oriented

“The “D” is described as dominant, direct, demanding, decisive, driving, and determined. They are motivated by challenge and control. They want to win at all costs. They do not care as much about what people think as they care about getting the job done. Their insensitivity to feelings makes them too strong. They are great at developing things, but they need to improve their ability to do things correctly. Their strong will should be disciplined to prepare and think more accurately about what they are doing. They are motivated by serious challenges to accomplish tasks.

“D’s” Respond best to others who provide direct answers, stick to a task, Gets to the point.

The “I” type is known as the Inspirational Influencers – Outgoing -- People-oriented

The “I” may be described as inspiring, influencing, impressing, inducing, interactive, and interested in people. They are motivated by Recognition and Approval. “I”s are impressive people. They are extremely active and excited individuals. Approval is important to them. They can have many friends if they do not overdo their need for attention. They can be sensitive and emotional. They often outshine others and are motivated by recognition.

 “I’s” respond best to others who are fair and also a friend, provide social involvement, and provide recognition of abilities.

The “S” type is known as the Steady Specialists Reserved -- People-oriented

“S”s are stable and shy types. They do not like changes. They enjoy pleasing people and can consistently do the same job. Secure, non-threatening surroundings are important to them. They make the best friends because they are so forgiving. Others sometimes take advantage of them. Talking in front of large crowds is difficult for them. They are motivated by sweet and sincere opportunities to help others.

The “S” responds best to others who are relaxed and friendly, allows time to adjust to changes, allows them to work at their own pace, and gives personal support.

The “C” type is known as the Cautious Competent Type Reserved -- Task-oriented

The “C” may be described as competent, compliant, cautious, and contemplative and is motivated by quality and correctness. The “C” is logical and analytical. Their predominant drive is careful, calculating, compliant and correct behavior. When frustrated, they can overdo it or be the exact opposite. They need answers and opportunities to reach their potential.

They tend not to care about the feelings of others. They can be critical and crabby and a perfectionist.

“C’s” respond best to others who provide reassurance, spell out detailed operating procedures, provide resources to do tasks correctly – and listen to suggestions

Who do you know in each of the personality types? Which one are you? This model is a framework for understanding people and ourselves and then learning how to communicate with others based on who they are and not who we are.

We can quit judging people because of how they act and start communicating with them because we now have the combination to connect with them and unlock good collaboration. 

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