“If you deal with every customer in the same way, you will only close 25 percent to 30 percent of your contacts because you will only close one personality type. But if you learn how to effectively work with all four personality types, you can conceivably close 100 percent of your contacts.”

I know John Maxwell is talking about selling a product, but I started to think – don’t all leaders sell a product? Whether we are in sales, management of people, or sharing the gospel, we all are selling a product. How many of us as leaders interact with others from within our personality comfort zone? We tend to socialize with, hire, and enjoy working with people like ourselves, since they think like us and act like us.

When we only gravitate towards inviting people like ourselves onto our team, we miss many of the gifts, talents, and personalities that we need to make our leadership more effective. A commonly heard phrase in leadership circles is to “staff your weaknesses”. We need to understand that in order for a company to grow we need to bring in people that can do things that we as the leader might not be good at. Usually when we consider this we are talking about a skill or talent, not necessarily a personality.

What would our team look like if we sought to add people with varying personalities to it, as well as with differing talents? The more I learn about personalities the more I understand that different personalities perceive situations differently. Since we have started looking at the personality profiles of our team members, we have found that our team includes individuals with 3 personality types. Working with our team has highlighted to me the benefit of and need for seeking out other people’s perspectives. I recently listened to a clip from a man who had worked for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush. He basically said President Reagan was a great leader because he hired people who thought differently than himself. President Reagan would say, “I need to hear your ideas, coming from your perspective to lead this nation well. I want to hear your opinions; feel free to share them, we need that. When we walk out of here we must all be on the same page in sharing where we are headed, but in this room share it all, and let us look at the whole plate.”

As good leaders we must seek to effectively work with all four personality types and recruit them for our team. This will help our ministry or business grow, and it will accomplish more than possible without these differences. It will also help us to grow as individuals.

The more I seek to understand others the better person I will be.

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