How Can You Really Get To Know Your Team Members on a Deeper Level?
I’ve talked in the past about how I love digging into how each of us has been designed. Our strengths, love languages, interests, communication styles and more.
And there are a ton of assessments out there that can help you discover more about yourself in these areas.
Today, I wanted to focus on personality types.
Now, I know I’ve taken some pretty extensive and complicated assessments in personality and other areas, but one of my favorites was actually a lot simpler.
It involved four animal types: Lion, Otter, Beaver and Golden Retriever.
I remember learning about it from Dr. Gary Smalley several years ago but you can also find it online now as published by Dr. John Trent from Focus on the Family. I’ll post a link to his article in the show notes. I encourage you to check out the article and then take the assessment for your self, although you may already be able to tell where you land as I describe these.
(Here is the link: https://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/4-animals-personality-test/)
Like with many assessments, it is pretty eye-opening to not only learn about yourself but about others. And it also can help explain why certain people really mesh together while others can get on each other’s nerves.
I’ll tell you where I tend to fall with this test, but first let me lay out generally what the four types represent:
Lions are the take charge people, the natural leaders. Assertive, goal-driven.
Otters are the life of the party. They don’t plan, they do. They go with the flow.
Gold Retrievers are the feelers of the group. They tend to think and feel deeply.
Beavers are the detail oriented ones. They plan, are more risk-averse… keep people alive.
Like with any assessment, we are usually a mix of the results, with some being higher than others.
And also like with other results, there are generally strengths and weaknesses associated with any of the results.
So, where do I fall?
Well, to start with I’m a super high Golden Retriever. I’m wired to be more empathetic. I tend to think a lot about how something makes other people feel. I’m loyal, listener, caring, etc.
My second trait would be Otter. I love to be creative, to do new things, very verbal, etc.
Honestly, Lion and Beaver are in there somewhere but they’re a distant third and fourth.
One fascinating thing about these four is that each of them has another one that is like oil to it’s vinegar. They clash.
You can probably guess, but Lions and Retrievers can have difficulty together. As well, Beavers and Otters don’t play as well together as they might out in the wild (I have no idea, but I kind of imagine them being best buds in all kinds of river-related activities)
The Beaver will carefully plan out every detail of an event only to have the Otter show up right at the last minute, ignore the plans and say “he, let’s just wing it!”.
And while a Retriever is carefully thinking through people’s feelings and wondering which direction they should go, the Lion leaps past them, makes the decision and is basically like “hey, let’s get on with it”.
Bottom line is that each person is wired differently.
And in God’s creativity and design, each personality is needed in an organization or team to function effectively.
Got a room of all Beavers? Lots of plans. Not much fun.
Got a room of all Otters. Most won’t be alive for long.
Got a room of all Retrievers? The room will explode from all of the empathy flowing out of it… but not much action will take place.
Got a room of Lions… you can just imagine.
The first key is to understand yourself. Understand your own strengths and blind spots based on your personality.
The second step is to do the same with the people on your team.
So, what about you? As we’ve been talking about these different personalities, I’m guessing there were one or two that resonated with you.
Take a deeper dive into them. See what blind spots you might have been missing or where you’ve misunderstood others of had conflict because of the interaction of your respective personalities.
Ultimately, you want to be able to harness each person’s uniqueness and strengths to help your business thrive and grow.
Diversity is awesome.
Celebrate what makes us each unique and seek to understand those that are different.
Here’s a link to find out more: https://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/4-animals-personality-test/) Thanks for listening to today’s episode. I’d love to know what you find out about your personality. You can shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Can’t wait to be back with you tomorrow.