Don’t Put Square Pegs in Round Holes

Do you ever feel that although you have very carefully recruited your team to get the best and brightest people working for you, somehow they are not doing as well as you hoped? Maybe you have them in the wrong job. I am a passionate believer in allowing people to do the things that they are best at. I believe that everyone has a gift and I think true enjoyment, productivity, success and significance comes from doing our gift.

Personality types play an important role in this process. People will struggle to do work that they are not built to undertake. To insist they keep going in such a situation is like putting a square peg in a round hole. You force it and force it until it bleeds. People feel stress and when they go home, they complain about their work and their boss. They continually look forward to the weekend. They are miserable. What a tragedy.

Let us do something profound. Let us just embrace the gifts our staff have and find them a role that suits their gifts because only then are they enhanced, developed and accelerated. I am firm believer that we need to focus on our strengths, and develop them. Your strength is where your prosperity lies. This takes us back to the four main personality traits. We have discussed these before in context with our clients and customers. They are however applicable to ourselves and our team.

The Eagle

The eagle is really important in a team. They like to take responsibility. They like to work alone. They hate taking orders. They like giving them. They are focused on results. They are confident. They can almost appear arrogant. They find it hard to trust people. They are very quick to make up their minds. They may not be very good as a team player but they are important in any organization because they break the four minute mile. If you are an eagle, do you know how I motivate you? I tell you that I do not think you can do that. That will motivate an eagle. An eagle is challenge orientated.

They will be great as a sales manager because they love to get results. Give them a position where they can win. Sales and sales management are good positions as is any role where they can lead people. Eagles make excellent CEOs.

The Peacock

Peacocks are extroverts. They are into people. They are brilliant at account management, sales and marketing.

They want to be liked by everyone. They need to be popular. They are not good at staying focused. Their attention to detail can be a challenge. They are not brilliant at paperwork. They may talk too much instead of working. They are very loyal. They are the best motivators. They are the fun people and you want to have the fun people on your team. They are the ones who say, “Hey guys lets go out and have a beer.”

They are really good with people. So, you have to put them in a role where they are exposed to people. They need people because they draw energy from others because their love language may well be anchored in image. So give them a position that retains, enhances and improves their image.

The Dove

What a dove craves for in any work environment is security and consistency. They generally are not entrepreneurs. They never want to lead. They tend to be great followers. They are incredibly good team players. They are the most loyal of the four personality types. They are the guys that stay with you for 17 years. They would never consider leaving because it would be too risky to leave. They are slow, steady and reliable. They hate to put pressure on a team member to perform.

Many organisations promote a dove beyond their capability. They put them into a leadership role. But a dove does not like to discipline people. Why? They find it too confronting. So what does a dove do? They do the work for them. They will take on the load of all the slackers. They have a messiah complex – they want to save everybody. In saving everybody, they actually get stressed because they have too much work on their plate.

Doves love procedures. If you have a lot of doves and you are an entrepreneur with the personality of an eagle; you have to build systems. Systems give doves a sense of security. They follow things instinctively. They do not think outside of the square. They just want you to tell them how to go and how to do it.

Doves are brilliant at customer service because they are very caring. They are really good at account management. They tend to be brilliant as personal assistants, secretaries and as administrative assistants. Any position that has a caring nature will fit a dove. They are however not good at selling.

The Owl

The owl is brilliant. The owl is needed in every organisation. Great organisations usually have an eagle driving the hound and an owl cleaning up the mess. The eagle is the CEO and the owl is the CFO. One makes the results and the other records the results. We both need each other.

Owls are brilliant in financial areas. Their great skill is analysis. They are the doubting Thomases of your business. They are the ones that stop the team and bring up points that no one else has thought of. We need someone to stop us and ask those questions because if you are an eagle you are going at 100 mph and you are not worrying about the side effects.

Making quick decisions are impossible for an owl. It is analysis by paralysis. They are so into planning that they never execute. Execution involves risk and owls hate risk. Taking responsibility – they don’t want it. Attention to detail - they are brilliant. You give an owl a 27 page report and they will find the typos. They read the white pages. They read everything. They are the only one that reads the 320 page team member handbook and actually highlights some errors in it. They can be a little bit pessimistic, so you do not want too many owls in your organisation. They can be real downers sometimes.

They are technically orientated so they tend to work in areas where there is an enormous amount of expertise needed. Technicians, engineers, accounts – anything that has a high technical need is perfect for an owl.

Here is what I would be doing. I would be looking at any organization and asking the question: Are these people in the best positions based on their personality types? Sometimes they have the skills for a position, but they are doing the wrong job.

You can create an amazing team when you see what their gift is and then you give them a job that highlights that gift. They may not see their own gift or they may even be in denial. Nevertheless, you should go up to these team members and say, “I would like to move you into this other area because I think that you will love this work because you will be working in the area with which you are gifted.”

I guarantee you that if you can find their gift and build their job around their gift, they will become so productive, efficient and amazingly profitable in your business because they love what they are doing and they cannot wait to go to work.

About Tony Gattari, Achievers Group

The author is founder and Chief Energy Officer of Achievers group. He is a much in demand passionate professional speaker, business educator, author and corporate, business advisor. He has worked with over 140 businesses around the world.

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