Have you ever given any thought to the personality type of the people you interact with every day? Dealing with people is the most effective skill anyone could hope to possess. Everything else will follow and be enhanced by that talent.
But the first step to acquiring that wisdom is knowing your own personal traits. How do you come across to the folks in front of you everyday? This will have a real impact on achieving your goals.
Sanguine people are the outgoing, life of the party type. They can find a reason for fun in nearly every situation. A sanguine tends to draw people to them much quicker than the other three personality types. Part of this is because other folks want to see what all the laughter is about.
They love to tell stories. Sometimes very long, descriptive tales. They can remember minute details involving shapes, colors and things that spark their interest.
You'll find sanguines on stage and in front of people. They ooze enthusiasm and are usually the quickest to hug and to greet new people. In fact, no one is a stranger to a sanguine personality type for very long.
Here are a few things that Florence Littauer, herself an affirmed sanguine and author of the very good book titled, "Personality Plus" suggests are areas in which a sanguine should seek improvement. She does write that of the four personality types, this group is the most willing to consider personal changes. Mostly because they love to try new things.
* Lack of follow-through: Sanguines are great starters, but not the best finishers. They get bored very easily.
* They talk. A lot. And for a long time. Florence Litthauer suggests that a sanguine needs to speak half as much and double up on listening to the other people in front of them.
* They lack organization. A sanguine personality type needs to write down things to remember and prepare a little more thoroughly.
Melancholy people may be the direct opposite of sanguine. This is my personality type. We are very detail oriented. We love charts, and we can't wait to build a list. We like lists, but we love to cross things off those lists. We can be creative, but we are also very analytical. Very often we seek that major definite purpose.
We are relentless when we focus in on a goal. Melancholy personality types tend to show loyalty and patriotism. We get that chill every time our national anthem is played. The Olympics can be very powerful times for melancholies if our country is winning gold medals. We get to hear our song over and over.
Melancholy personality types get things done in an organized, effective manner.
But we have plenty of things to work on:
* A melancholy personality type appears to be gloomy a large part of the time. We do get a little depressed when things don't go exactly as we plan them. Especially if we feel it is our fault.
* We tend to procrastinate. We want everything perfectly in order before moving forward. Brian Tracy's great book, "Eat That Frog" has helped me in this area.
* We tend to be overly critical. Of others and of ourselves. Mostly of ourselves. We need to lighten up a bit. We need to realize that everyone has different strengths, not all of which are the same as our own.
Choleric type people are the forceful leaders. They are the maximum achievers. As Florence Litthauer writes, they "are the easiest temperament to understand and get along with, as long as you live by (their) golden rule: 'Do it my way NOW!."
They are outgoing and very confident. Cholerics expect to succeed. Every time. He knows every project in which he is in charge will work perfectly as long as everyone does as they are instructed.
A choleric will be a true asset in an emergency. She will rise to a leadership role without hesitation. She will assume full responsibility. And in the end, more often than not, it will all work out.
This type of personality delegates tasks to underlings so there is more time to concentrate on the big picture. But there is no hesitation to make a change if something isn't working out.
Some things a choleric needs to work on include:
* Becoming a little more patient. Not everyone is as good at everything as they tend to be.
* Relax a little. Stress is a big problem for this personality type.
* Become more willing to apologize and less willing to be the only one who can be right.
Phlegmatics get along with nearly everyone. They are most willing to help. In fact they usually feel a compulsion to help. All the time. They are usually soft-spoken and generally seek to remain out of the spotlight.
This personality type tends to remain very calm, even in difficult times. They can mediate arguments because they are usually very good listeners.
They have an uncanny ability to just feel good about life in general. But some things they need to work on include:
* Being willing to say no once in a while. They tend to get run over far too often as they try to avoid making anyone mad.
* Become more self motivated. Those among us who are melancholy, procrastinate because we need every thing exactly in place. A phlegmatic will put things off because...well just because sometimes they don't feel like doing anything.
* Try new things and offer up new ideas. This individual will not always offer up a good suggestion, even though they have many good ideas. They don't want to create controversy.
Several years ago I was at a very large gathering. Dr. Robert Rohm showed us a vivid example of how the four unique personality types interrelate. Now, this group numbered over 1000 people.
He described the four types and gave all of us a handout with the same traits you'll find in "Personality Plus."
* Goal oriented, creative and analytical for melancholy people
* Non-goal oriented, unemotional and peaceful for phlegmatic
* Goal oriented, unemotional and powerful for choleric
* Non-goal oriented, artistic and fun-loving for sanguine
We filled out the survey that best described us. There were quite a few choices. First we tabulated the results. As expected, I was clearly a melancholy.
The amazing part came next. He told us that 80% of the people in the room who were married or in a long term relationship would be with someone directly diagonal on the chart which is shown below the following paragraph.
Most melancholy types would be with sanguines. Overwhelmingly, cholerics would be with phlegmatics. He was dead on the mark. Well over 80% matched his prediction.
So we take from this that to best interact with people we need to first understand ourselves. Then we'll know how people see us. We have a little bit of the other traits within us, but one very dominant set of characteristics. None are better or worse than the other and all are valuable.
It isn't rocket science. Just a little time seeking knowledge from an empowering book such as "Personality Plus" by Florence Litthauer.
So if you can identify your own personal trait, you can also begin to notice and identify the same in everyone you meet. Relationships and how we deal with people will define our success at every level in life.
Your marriage has to be better if you know what category fits your spouse and yourself. The same is true for your children and any business associate. In fact in the business world the ability to effectively communicate is vital.
Getting people to move in a positive direction is a great skill. Understanding how they think and react to situations is a huge benefit to you.
In personal relationships, understanding the people around you will give you a clear path to being a trusted leader and in turn helping you reach your goals.
We need more leaders who listen and look to solve problems. Why not take one of those spots?