Knowing Your Temperament Can Make You a Big Star. It does not matter what career you have chosen, at some point you are called on to make a presentation to "the your Boss."
Whether you're in a corporation, academic setting, non-profit, or government organization, you will be asked to make a presentation about your project, research, team, or class to the CEO, VP, Director, Principal, or Department Head -- and the results may have a great deal of impact on your future within the organization.
A Typical Scenario
Sometimes in the course of a project presentation like a new marketing approach for an old product, some disgruntled colleagues may question your proposal and challenge your new marketing approach because of allegely short of preliminary reaearch.
Even though obscure points have been taken considerably before the presentation and that answers are readily available and diplomatically presented, the aggressiveness of the antagonist may lead to an untamed deliberation, and eventually hurt the team. If the antagonist is “your BOSS”, all the it becomes a problem.
In this situation, the employee felt crushed because of the “BOSS” harsh treatment, and after a few months the employee left the company – a loss to the entire organization.
What happened? And how can you be prepared so that this type of disaster does not befall you?
Consider the Boss's Personality
The key is to know something about the Big Boss's personality, and just as importantly, about yourself. A prime cause of presentation meltdowns lies in the difference between the two: in key areas you may be speaking the equivalent of a foreign language -- without knowing it. Disaster looms when communication breaks down and misunderstanding occurs. Most often the presenter has no clue that it has happened, and keeps digging a deeper hole, unable to climb out.
Fortunately, Dr. David Keirsey, author of "Please Understand Me" and "The Keirsey Temperament Sorter," has performed more than 50 years of research into these differences in personality style (or temperament), and once you are aware of them, you are on your way to successful presentations to your current and future Big Bosses.
According to Keirsey, there are four basic temperament groups. Each of us falls into one of them. Each group has a specific set of traits that, when mismatched between "Big Boss" and employee, can result in the above type of disaster scenario.
How the Four Types Play Out
If you are a Guardian (about 45% of the population):
• You are respectful of authority. As a high ranking member of the organization Mr. Big deserves your esteem, and you will tend to defer to him when there are differences between you.
• You value established processes, proven methods, and proper channels. These keep order in the organization and avoid unnecessary risk that can cause chaos.
• You are loyal to the organization, and likely to put the needs of the organization ahead of the needs of individuals -- including your own.
Rationals (about 10% of the population):
• Respect competency above all else and are skeptical of hierarchy and positional authority.
• Question the status quo continuously and will discard any process or method if they find a new one that they believe to be more efficient or effective.
• Are loyal to finding a better way, and the needs of the organization or individuals take a back seat.
Artisans (about 30% of the population):
• Respect results and "getting things done." While they expect you to jump when they command, results are what counts, and they're open to challenge if you can back it up.
• Despise red-tape. Extremely utilitarian, the ends often justify the means, and Artisans have little patience for bureaucracy, hierarchy, or tradition that stand in the way of reaching a goal.
• Seek the thrill of competition. Winning is important, and teams and sides shift with the game at hand. Personal friendships and loyalties never disappear, but they are put aside during competition -- and reappear after the final gun. Idealists (about 15% of the population):
• Respect cooperation and diplomacy. Idealists see the workplace as an arena for interdependent labor.
• Value harmony and individual growth. They abhor processes and organizational structures that disregard the value of people, or block harmonious relationships between people in different departments or job functions.
• Are loyal to the needs of the individuals within their sphere, and are likely to challenge organizational rules that they see as detrimental to the well-being of their people.
The Application: Adjusting Behaviors
Most of us have experienced similar situations at some point in our careers, and are likely to face them in the future. Armed with awareness of Keirsey Temperament Theory, these unfortunate results are both foreseeable and preventable. In fact, knowing how to best pitch the Big Boss based on their temperament can make you a star.