Reading Temperament Clues
Over the centuries, great philosophers, educators, and researchersfrom the ancient Greeks to the Native American Indianshave identified four distinct patterns or temperaments that all mankind fall into.Dr. Linda V. Berens, a student of Dr. David Keirseys, refined the four temperament patterns even more*. She broke down the essential elements of each temperament pattern into core needs, values, talents, and behaviors.
The belief that only extraverted people are successful networkers is simply not true. People from all four patternsImproviser, Stabilizer, Theorist, and Catalyst have the capacity to enjoy equal success at networking. Perfecting connecting is about forming valued relationships, not working a room so you pick up as a record number of business cards.
Adding Animal Metaphors
In TRI Methodology Facilitators Guide (1997), Dr. Linda Berens identified four animal metaphors (described below) that represent each of the temperament patterns. Also included are case studies from a variety of professionals. These case studies show how their individual temperament preferences have influenced their ability to connect with others.
Remember, these four case studies represent only one example of each temperament. The difference between someone with an extroverted personality versus someone with an introverted personality can make two people with the same temperament preference look very different.
As you read these descriptions, think about which one fits your own temperament preference best. Also, think about the people from your network who may sound to you like one of the other three temperament patterns. Once you have a specific person in mind, read on to learn how to best connect with him or her. Pay close attention to the rules you need to remember to heighten your awareness so you can appeal to that persons core needs and values.
Their core needs are to have the freedom to act without hindrance and to see a marked result from their actions. Improvisers value aesthetics highly, whether in nature or art. Their energies are focused on skillful performance, variety, and stimulation. Improvisers tend to be gifted at employing available means to accomplish an end. Their creativity is revealed by the variety of solutions they come up with. They are talented at using tools, whether the tool is language, theories, paintbrushes, or computers. Theyre natural negotiators and risk takers, which is why the Fox is their animal. Foxes and artisans are tactical, adaptive creatures; they know how to deal easily with changes in their environment.
Improviser case study: Here is how a manager of an outpatient healthcare organization uses tactical approaches when meeting new contacts.
When I attend a networking function, I always expect to meet new people and learn as much as I possibly can from them. Im able to walk away confident that I can apply whatever I have learned to improve my success in my job. I never used to like attending networking functions but I have started because I enjoy meeting people and finding out what they do. I like helping them make connections. If theres an introduction I can make or a door I can open, Ill jump on that if someone made a positive first impression. I have developed a powerful introduction that is catchy and differentiates me from other people who do what I do.
When I meet new people, three questions immediately go through my head: Can they help me? Can I help them? Is there a possibility for a mutually beneficial relationship? If I had to rank whats most important when meeting people, it would be 1) the contacts they have, 2) any offers to help me, 3) their positions, 4) their personalities, and 5) their expertise. Their ability and willingness to follow through is also key to my deciding on whether I keep in touch. Actions speak louder than words or promises.
When connecting with Improvisers, remember to:
- Talk about your actionswhat youve done, results youve achieved
- Talk about how youve influenced others
- Respond quickly to their non-verbal cuesthe first 17 seconds is critical in making a positive first impression because they get bored easily
- Appeal to their need for freedom/options/variety
- Show them actionwho, when, how to get things done