059: Beavers in the Workplace – 4 Personalities

059: Beavers in the Workplace – 4 Personalities

This week we’re talking about the four personality types that you’ll find in your organization. To find out more background, go back and check out episode 22.

So far, we’ve discussed the take charge Lions and the easy going Otters.

Today, we’re going to take a look at the people who take care of the details… the Beavers.

Beavers LOVE the details. They love the rules, the structure, the instructions, the procedures.

They find the fatal flaw in the proposal, they dot the i’s and cross the t’s.

They excel at the analytical.

They can scan lines of code and pick out the error.

They can crush financial statements and love numbers and order.

They can often be perfectly content holed up at a desk just chomping away on data.

It is their superpower. And without them, our organizations would fall apart.

We’d miss important safety details in a procedure, fail to protect ourselves adequately in a contract.

We’d miss a crucial step in an instruction, have no idea where were financially and forget a major event that was coming up.

Beavers are like the glue that holds our businesses together.

And like each of the four, they are essential.

But also like the others, they have their weaknesses.

They are quite obviously the opposite of the otters.

And one of their challenges is to be able to think more creatively, come up with new ideas or solutions that maybe aren’t the standard way of approaching things.

Not always, but often they aren’t general connectors of people.

They can struggle when things don’t go according to plan, as opposed to the Otters who have lived their life on that principle.

I’m sure you know some Beavers on your team. And you’d do well to make sure they have access to those details or get a chance to review the data and instructions so that they’re secret skill can be put to full use.

Beavers are like the built in spell check of your organization.

Thanks for listening to today’s episode. I’d love hear from you about today’s topic or just in general. You can shoot me an email at shawn@shawnwashburn.com or head to shawnwashburn.com/contact and you’ll find links to connect with me on social media as well.

057: Lions in the Workplace – 4 Personalities

057: Lions in the Workplace – 4 Personalities

Back in Episode 22 I introduced the idea of the four personality types that I first heard described by Gary Smalley years ago.

The four types are Lion, Otter, Beaver and Golden Retriever.

There are certainly tons of assessments these days for personality, mindset, strengths, and how we relate to the world. But this is still one of the simplest and one of the most profound that I’ve seen.

And along with helping us understand more about ourselves and those we do life with, they are also helpful in the workplace, helping us to understand our team members and how to work well together.

This week, we’re going to dig into each of the four. And today’s focus will be on the Lions.

As you might expect, the lions are the natural leaders, the ones who will step into a room and take charge.

They have no problem speaking up and are great at charging forward with a plan.

We need lions in our organizations. And you might very well be one yourself.

We need their strength, their courage, their ability to hold steady, set a vision and bring others along with them.

Like with lions in the wild, there is often no question who the lions of your organization are.

They are often confident, vocal, decisive, tenacious and driven.

They are a vital part of giving a team a path forward and paving that path as they go.

As with the other personalities, lions also have weaknesses and blind spots.

Lions can sometimes roll right over others, especially their soft-spoken golden retriever colleagues.

They can be prone to not really listening well or taking others views into account.

Because they are able to come into a situation, quickly assess, and make decisions, they may not take the time to understand the work that has already been done or decisions that have already been thought through. And this can sometimes leave others feeling invisible.

Their natural opposite is the people and feeling-centric golden retrievers.

You get the picture.

Every organization needs each of these personalities to thrive. And they need to understand who they have on board to really figure out how to work best together, see each other’s blind spots and leverage the strengths that each person brings to the table.

So maybe you could start to make up a list of the different personalities on your team today.

Starting with the lions… which shouldn’t be hard.

Just listen for the roar.

Thanks for listening to today’s episode. I’d love hear from you about today’s topic or just in general. You can shoot me an email at shawn@shawnwashburn.com or head to shawnwashburn.com/contact and you’ll find links to connect with me on social media as well.

022: 4 Personality Types – Lion, Beaver, Otter, Retriever

022: 4 Personality Types – Lion, Beaver, Otter, Retriever

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 shawn@shawnwashburn.com.   Can’t wait to be back with you tomorrow.