Knowing your own social style can show you where and why you might be less successful than you want to be in applying hard and true business laws to your own life.
No matter what your particular social blend is, there are still certain business habits that lead to success and cannot be ignored. But why some of us don’t seem to really do some of those things is partially explained by the personality traits and emotional needs we were born with.
If you’ve ever read or listened to the great business mentors like Jim Rohn, Brian Tracy or Zig Ziglar, you know that there are certain things that you have to do every day. They might speak of them differently, but essentially you must: set goals, craft a daily task list to reach those goals, be disciplined with your time, be focused on one task at a time, focus on solutions, and follow up effectively.
These are the pillars of success, both professional and personal, and you can’t pretend that you can be truly successful without doing all of them in some shape or form. You cannot excuse yourself from those pillars of success just because they aren’t natural to your personality.
However, once you know both the strengths and weaknesses of your social style, you will see where your natural social style would have points of struggle in getting those tasks done, and you can focus your personal growth and development on that area. We have a tendency to keep reading the books and doing the things that we already do well because that gives us warm and fuzzy feelings. But if we don’t develop our weaknesses, we’ll never really reach true success.
When I started my own business, there were long stretches of seed planting where I saw no results and I had to fight the urge to measure myself by the outcomes that hadn’t yet happened. I had to shift my MINDSET to a process of measuring daily activity regardless of whether I saw immediate results — and that is hard for a choleric/doer social style like me.
Popular sanguine/cheerleaders are easily distracted by new ideas, email, social media, phone calls, co-workers, and the list goes on. They need to settle down and focus and train themselves to be organized and on time.
The perfect melancholy/analyzer can get so bogged down in perfecting a plan that they freeze up and can’t even get started. The perfectionists need to learn to start taking action steps even if they do not have every detail planned out. This thinker/analyzer is also most likely to have a negative MINDSET. Their natural inclination to avoid risk makes them question whether this plan will even work. They must work on their MINDSET more than others.
The peaceful phlegmatics/watchers need to train themselves to stop procrastinating. They are the ones who fear making a mistake in public the most, so they wait and wait and wait for the right time. There is no right time! You can train yourself to focus on your mission or purpose and not get emotionally caught up in the outcome. We all make mistakes.
Even if you’re not certain of your social style, I have some general tips for all of us:
TIP 1) Take an honest look at the pillars of success and where you are not executing. This is where you need to start working on your weaknesses and your mindset.
TIP 2) Whatever area you need to work on, break it down into small chunks. It takes 21 days for a new habit to settle in, so start with one or two small steps in an area where you want to improve and as you develop that new habit, add in the next small step.
TIP 3) Practice being the opposite of what you are in small doses throughout the day:
- If you are the cheerleader/talker, stop and listen to someone else’s story without adding your own story.
- If you are the doer/achiever, talk to at least one person about what they are working on and do not jump in with advice unless they beg you for it.
- If you are the analyzer/thinker, try to take the big picture view and create three broad bullet points and one illustration for a detailed project you are working on.
- If you are a watcher/supporter, step out and try something new. Offer an opinion where you may have always been quiet.
To really live the life you’ve dreamed of, be honest with yourself about your weaknesses and start to work on them. It won’t change who you are. It will expand who you are.