Skillset New Zealand Blog

Ideas to help your team develop personally and professionally.

meeting personality types

No, this isn’t about meeting famous people.

It’s actually about meeting someone way more important. You.

As you think about how different people participate in your meetings, and how you feel about them, here’s a catalyst to get us thinking about the dynamics of the personality mix at meetings.

Firstly, it’s entirely normal and likely that there are people you just can’t figure out and some you just don’t gel with. If you’re wondering why you can’t relate to some people, there’s nothing wrong with you. Or them.

Diversity is the norm

If you’re sensitive about not getting on with some people, it’s telling you something useful about you.

It’s a bit of an oversimplification, but useful, to think of four core behavioural styles. (You might loosely call them personalities.) Being sensitive to getting on with people is a characteristic of the Relater’s style.

Maybe you’ve heard of the other three styles, the Director, Thinker and Socialiser.

In a 2005 US study, Alexandra Luong and Steven Rogelberg proposed that although meetings may help to achieve goals, having too many meetings and spending too much time in them can have negative effects on some people. Which people, you rightly ask?

Directors and thinkers

Rogelberg suggests the demands of attending meetings and your job satisfaction depends on your level of ‘accomplishment striving’. That's the Directors and Thinkers - who like to get the job done, and can feel quite frustrated sitting around talking about it too much.

Relaters and socialisers

In contrast, a Relater and a Socialiser will value the people interaction at meetings, to help them get to clear decisions, even if it takes a bit more time.

Helpful knowing that, isn’t it? What works for others won't necessarily work for you, and vice versa.

It gives us a valuable insight into how we might organise meetings so they energise versus drain you. Knowing each person’s style can help you get the best from each person. So then, a great strategy is to do a personality style exercise together. It gives you an enlightening take on how everyone ticks.

Bill Bonstetter put it well: ‘In order to understand our relationships with other people, we must first understand ourselves.’

About Dharan Longley

dharan longley blog

Dharan Longley is a Senior Trainer at Skillset.

Dharan is an international master trainer with post-graduate qualifications in adult education.

His assignments have included training police officers and university managers in the Middle East, as well as teachers and staff of large organisations in New Zealand.

Dharan's topics are 'effective meetings', 'problem-solving and decision-making', 'team development', 'training for trainers' and 'customer service'. He particularly enjoys helping people with diverse points of view agree on practical solutions.

Dharan is based in Wellington. He has a passion for the outdoors. On days off, he’ll be taking photographs of forests or waves, or out kite surfing.

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