It’s Not Just The Work You Do, by Kathy Smith

It’s not just the work you do that counts. It’s the way you relate to other people you work with that often means the difference between success and failure.

So says Carl F. Clayton, a professional trainer for agricultural businesses and organizations. He explains that there are four basic styles of people behavior and in order to get along, you need to realize which type everyone is and how to relate to that specific style. See if you can determine which type you, your spouse, or your co-workers are.

The first type is the “supporter.”  They are amiable, like people, are loyal and dependable, relatively quiet and react to suggestions that benefit people. Their emotions may outweigh logic and they are slow to make a decision.

In order to work with a supporter, you must spend time to build a personal relationship, give your opinion and support to help them make decisions, keep risks to a minimum and be friendly and sincere.

The second behavior type is the “analyzer.” They are fact-oriented, quiet and conservative, structured and systematic. They respond more to logic than emotions, have good organizational skills, but can be impersonal. Their desire for perfection can result in wasted time.

To best relate to an analyzer, you must first work to build trust and be businesslike. Use facts, time and details to influence their decisions, not fast talk. Show how others have benefitted and give evidence that you understand their situation.

The third behavior style is the “influencer.” They like to talk, enjoy recognition, and see themselves as visionaries. They are ambitious and persuasive but may lack organizational skills. They can be spontaneous in actions and enjoy changes but not details.

Getting along with an influencer means you have to be stimulating when dealing with them. You have to concentrate more on the emotional benefits and take time to develop a personal relationship. But don’t overwhelm an influencer with details.

Finally, the fourth behavior type is the “director.” They are result oriented, productive and competitive. To a director, time and efficiency are important. They are confident and strong-willed but can also be impatient. They like to negotiate and deal with people who have authority. They desire quick results and emotions are less important than facts in making decisions.

To work with a director, you must be businesslike and to the point. If you disagree with them, have facts and logic on your side. Provide them with responsibility and freedom to operate. Support your choices with facts and be specific when discussing benefits.

Did you recognize your behavior type? What about your spouse’s or co-workers? Of course some people are a combination of behavior styles and no one type is better or worse than any other. Each type has its own strengths and weaknesses.

What Clayton is pointing out here is that we have to learn to give and take with people every day and that the source of our daily stress may come from the difficulty in relating to the people we work with. Learning the different personality types and how to get along with each one can help ensure our success at work and at home.

He also says that sometimes people have jobs that just don’t suit their personalities. For example, a farmer may be very organized and detail-oriented but his wife is not. Problems arise when she does the farm books and fails to record all expenses and sales for the year. Unless they can adapt their behavior styles to meet the needs of the other, they probably won’t succeed. Learning to be flexible is the key to positive relationships according to Clayton.

Kathy Smith is a farm wife from Wayne Township. She writes for the Ashtabula County Farm Bureau.