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Coach

Managing and Coaching Different Personality Types

Expressive

These people are like high-performance athletes.  Their intuitive people skills, communication skills, drive and enthusiasm often make them natural relationship builders and motivators.  And, that makes them natural salespeople.  Your job as a coach is to keep them focused and channel their energy.

 

What would kill their energy and enthusiasm?  Tedium, micro management and/or personal stagnation.  Be careful to insulate the Expressive from detailed paperwork and administrivia.  They hate it and they’re not good at it.  They get bored easily and hate being controlled. 

 

Expressives are receptive to coaching – if the coach can establish a relationship of relevance.  Hint – relevance to an Expressive is based in his or her values.  So, frame your comments in terms of that person’s values. 

They have a need to grow and improve, so challenge them.  They enjoy learning new things, and new ways to be more effective, but they are hypersensitive to the control issue.  So, direct them in either what to do or how to do it, but not both.  As long as you’re making positive suggestions and giving them alternatives, you’ll help them make forward progress. 

 

You need to give an Expressive plenty of space.  Expressives are uncomfortable with formal structures, particularly the corporate hierarchy.  So, don’t box them in.  They can be good at corporate politics for short periods of time.  However, they invariably run into trouble because they have an innate compulsion to express by speaking their minds. 

 

Expressives learn visually and by doing.  Do not give them a manual to read and expect them to get new skills out of it.   Show them someone whose behavior you want them to model and they’ll copy it. 

 

They are excellent project starters.  Unfortunately, they tend to start more things than they finish.  As their manager, you have a choice:  1) give them the responsibility for up-front brainstorming.  Or, if you absolutely need them to take the project all the way from idea to implementation, help them be selective about what to start, and then provide coaching on how to complete one project before starting another.

 

Reward Expressives with recognition, gold medals, and incentive pay.

 

 

Driver

Working with Drivers is like having Navy SEALS on your team.  Managers need to be very specific about assignments and expectation, because Drivers need to know exactly what is expected of them and the rules or procedures established for accomplishing the objectives.

 

Drivers are high-energy doers and seek to quickly climb the ladder of success.  You’ll be managing a person whose short-term goal is to get your job.  Like the old pro who is coaching a young quarterback, you can coach Drivers into operating at the top of the game – if you handle them right.

 

They are good at facing a challenge or problem head on.  They’re good tactical planners as well, but they really excel in situations in which there are important decisions to be made.  They love “running the show” and will seek out opportunities to be in control and make decisions.  That’s why you find so many Drivers in management positions.  This includes business, sports and the military.

 

Drivers are similar to Expressives in that they learn by doing seeing and doing.  They are good at copying the behavior of someone else they perceive as successful. 

 

Drivers take great pride in being right and in doing things right the first time and every time.  They often have difficulty being flexible in their communication because, in their minds at least, there is only one way to do things – their way!  To coach Drivers into greater flexibility, you need to show them the simple causal relationships, “If you do __________, you’ll get _____________ .

 

Drivers are the most efficiency of all the social styles. They thrive on accuracy and efficient utilization of time and materials.  They can handle the paperwork and other administrative details associated with the job, because they recognize the importance of paying attention to procedures, rules and structure.  Conversely, Drivers are uncomfortable with ambiguity and lack of order.  Playing it “fast and loose” works for the Expressive, but not for the Driver.

 

Drivers are also natural politicians.  They respect the chain of command and know how to work it. Smart managers will learn how to leverage this skill.

 

Reward the Driver with increased responsibility, leadership positions, promotion, pay raise, bonus or award.

 

  

Analytical

These people are at their best with analysis and strategic thinking.  From your perspective, this probably looks like demonstrating credibility and relevance, strategizing, solving client problems or developing new and better ways to do things.

 

Analyticals are low- to medium-energy workers who are driven by intelligence.  If Drivers are your best decision makers, Analyticals are your best researchers and strategists.  They are motivated by learning and demonstrating their superior knowledge. 

 

To be an effective coach for Analyticals, you must first gain their respect.  They have to believe that you are as smart as they are, preferably smarter.  Then, give them ample opportunities to learn and demonstrate their knowledge.  Conversely, Analyticals are without a doubt the most difficult salespeople to coach.  This is because of two things:  1) they have difficulty accepting that they don’t already possess all the answers;  and, 2) they are proactive in accumulating information, but they are reluctant to share it unless directly approached for it.  Your Analytical might have the solution to a problem in his or her files but be reluctant to volunteer it.

 

In selling situations, because Analyticals place great value on information, they tend to do the “data dump” on clients.  In other words, they point out things they find fascinating, but which the client may not.  Their love of information is often misdirected in that they don’t understand where to focus it.  Your job is to teach them that the information they gain must be tied to making sales.

 

The most effective way for Analyticals to sell is to leverage their natural drive to learn and love of questions.  Work with them to turn a sales meeting from data dump into an interview.  Tell them to think of their meetings as information-gathering and problem-solving sessions.  The consultative selling approach is the best one for Analyticals.

 

Analyticals automatically focus on data, processes and systems.  What they don’t automatically focus on is people and human behavior.  In other words, they often have a difficult time reading nonverbal behavior and emotional cues.  As a result, they may not know what to do if the sales call is not going well.  They are primarily left-brained and uncomfortable with emotions.  Your job as a coach is to help them regularly tap into more of the right-brain behaviors.

 

As you would likely guess, most Analyticals tend to be process oriented.  So, work with them to map out the explicit procedural steps of the sales call.  Break it into an if-then format.  “If the client says ______, then you do _________.”

 

Analyticals often have a difficult time asking for the business.  Because they need time to think about it, they assume everyone does and they won’t push to close.  Their major Achilles heel is fear of looking stupid or making a mistake.  So, they unconsciously avoid situations where they might be rejected.  In their minds rejection comes as a result of making a mistake or doing something stupid. 

 

Reward the Analytical with autonomy, title and guru status.  Give them more time alone to do what they love - work through strategies, solve client problems, and develop better ways to do things.

 

Amiable

Amiables are natural rapport builders and people instantly trust them.   They excel in corporate cultures that are truly client-focused, because they instinctively focus on the other person. 

Amiables instinctively home in on two things:  people and comfort.  They are superb at building and maintaining relationships because they make people feel comfortable.  Flip side – they can focus on the people issues to the exclusion of the business.  While most people are quickly drawn to Amiables, they don’t necessarily buy from them.  Your job as coach is to teach them how taking care of the business is taking care of the people, how to ask for the business, and how to deal with objections. 

 

Like Analyticals, they are medium- to low-energy workers.  They work at a slower pace than other social styles and make decisions more slowly, too.  Amiables prefer structure – an established way of doing things, and occasionally need a bit of prodding.  Show them what to do and give them plenty of time to get the job done.  Amiables lack the drive of the Expressive or Driver and have little in the way of competitive spirit.  They are the polar opposite of Analyticals in their values and interests – people rather than data.  As a coach, you want to inspire them by showing how their performance benefits the client or the team, rather than highlighting their personal reward.

 

Amiables typically like being part of a team and are much more comfortable with team presentations.  They usually don’t like being the center of attention.  In fact, calling public attention to them can embarrass them and cause great stress.  So, when you reward them, do it in a private moment in an atmosphere of sincerity.

 

Amiables take their responsibility very seriously and would be extremely uncomfortable suggesting a product or service unless they were 100% certain it was appropriate for the client. 

 

In coaching Amiables, first make sure you establish a trusting relationship.  Once this is done (and you make sure you don’t do anything to damage the relationship), the Amiables will listen and act on your counsel.  Give them reassurance that they are meeting your expectations, that they are appreciated and valued as a part of the team.

 

Reward Amiables with a job security, personal, thoughtful gift, one-on-one praise, flexible work schedule, or more time off.

 

InnerCircle

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Drivers take great pride in being right and in doing things right the first time and every time.  They often have difficulty being flexible in their communication because, in their minds at least, there is only one way to do things – their way!  To coach Drivers into greater flexibility, you need to show them the simple causal relationships, “If you do __________, you’ll get _____________ .

 

Analyticals often have a difficult time asking for the business.  Because they need time to think about it, they assume everyone does and they won’t push to close.  Their major Achilles heel is fear of looking stupid or making a mistake.  So, they unconsciously avoid situations where they might be rejected. 

Expressives have a need to grow and improve, so challenge them.  They enjoy learning new things, and new ways to be more effective, but they are hypersensitive to the control issue.  So, direct them in either what to do or how to do it, but not both.  As long as you’re making positive suggestions and giving them alternatives, you’ll help them make forward progress. 

Amiables instinctively home in on two things:  people and comfort.  They are superb at building and maintaining relationships because they make people feel comfortable.  Flip side – they can focus on the people issues to the exclusion of the business.  While most people are quickly drawn to Amiables, they don’t necessarily buy from them.  Your job as coach is to teach them how taking care of the business is taking care of the people, how to ask for the business, and how to deal with objections.