Do You Have the Right Temperament For Your Small Businesses?

Every week as SmallBizLady, I conduct interviews with experts on my Twitter talk show #SmallBizChat. The show takes place every Wednesday on Twitter from 8-9 pm ET.  This is excerpted from my recent interview with Jacqueline T. Hill who has over two decades of experience as a writer, consultant, and teacher she has assisted many students, business owners and community leaders with building their leadership skills.  For more info: www.thelivingacts.com  

SmallBizLady:  What is Temperament?

Jacqueline T. Hill:  Temperament is the personality we are innately born with that shapes our behaviors. Behaviors or actions are a reflection of our personalities. Although it’s believed most of our personalities are inherited, the greater parts are influenced and shaped by our environments and people.

SmallBizLady:  What are the temperament types?

Jacqueline T. Hill: There are four personality types, and of these four, experts suggest there be a mixture of these two areas: Extroverts and Introverts.

Extroverted Personalities: The Choleric and Sanguine personality-types are more “out-going,” sociable, and comfortable in a crowd, even standing out in a crowd.

Introverted Personalities: The Melancholy and Phlegmatic personality-types are more shy, “reserved”, feel anxious about being, and especially, singled-out in a crowd.

SmallBizLady:  How can your temperament affect your small business?

Jacqueline T. Hill:  You must self-assess to learn how your persona carries two or more of these traits. Once you understand the differences between an extrovert and introvert, you will be able to determine if you need a partner who can handle more of the people management side of your business or the sales piece, if you really have trouble with it. You always want to hire for your weaknesses, knowing this information about yourself will help you make strategic hiring decisions.

SmallBizLady: How does your temperament help you decide the best customer targeting approach?

Jacqueline T. Hill:  Understanding your temperament will help to better gauge who to work with especially if you are providing professional services. Everyone is not your ideal client. Personalities will conflict. If you are providing consulting services, you must know which clients are the best fit and how to redirect others interested in partnering with you to a better option without burning the relationship.

SmallBizLady:  How can a business owner find out their personality/temperament type?

Jacqueline T. Hill:  There is a FREE temperament test online. You can Google “The Four Temperament Types.” It’s the shorter version of the actual test. The questions take a little time to answer. They probe into deep areas of the personality. Even though the questions seem to be surface, they aren’t. The test takes you beyond being nervous or anxious around people. It reveals why you are “wired” the way you are with people. There is also The Kolby Test, which helps business owners better understand their “gifts” for their company.

SmallBizLady:  Are there specific types of temperaments that leads to running a successful business?

Jacqueline T. Hill: Yes, along with ensuring that you and your employees are in the right roles/jobs will help to give value to your customers and with the success of the business.  We will look at three of them:  manager, entrepreneur and professional.

  • Manager – organizers, planners, decision-makers, manages staff
  • Entrepreneur – visionaries, risk takers, energetic, process improvers
  • Professional – communicators, time-sensitive, hands-on, technically skilled (computer, electrician, etc.)

SmallBizLady:  Is it advisable to cease working with a client due to conflicting temperaments?

Jacqueline T. Hill: You always need to decide if the check is worth the aggravation. How things start out is typically how they will be. If a client starts out rescheduling meetings at the last minute, not taking your expert advice or not providing information timely, that tells you a lot about how they organize themselves or whether they value your time and expertise. Talk it through to see if you can get a better working relationship. Then if nothing changes, finish out the contract and move on. Or, if there’s really a conflict, and you can afford to, it could be a situation where you finish just your current deliverable and execute the termination clause of your contract. Reconciliation requires uncomfortable talks. Therefore, understanding your temperament is critical. Discomfort at times comes with being a business owner.

SmallBizLady:  Can an aggressive or hyper-sensitive nature hurt a business?

Jacqueline T. Hill: Wearing your feelings on your sleeves can hurt your business.  It’s okay to be focused and assertive, but crossing that line could result in resentment from your customers and employees.  Understand that people will make mistakes; however, sometimes you will need to step back, reassess the problem and take a different stylistic approach to resolving the problem.  Instead of being aggressive or hyper-sensitive, focus on building a strong relationship with your customers and employees to avoid running them away.  No customers = No sales.

SmallBizLady: What are the four different temperaments and how does it relate to my customers, employees and me?

Jacqueline T. Hill:  The four temperaments help business owners know how to attract, market and interact with their customers and employees:

  1. Methodical – logical, meticulous and want details (moved by information)
  2. Spontaneous – impulsive and make quick decisions in the first 5 seconds (moved by convincing and beneficial bullet points)
  3. Humanist – caring and are moved by what others have said (moved by the number of comments – go with the crowd)
  4. Competitive – front runners who want opportunities to be ahead of the crowd (want assurances that are getting the best)

SmallBizLady:  What are some key things I should keep in mind to develop a successful business model?

Jacqueline T. Hill: It all starts with being driven and passionate about your business.  There are two areas that work together:  desire and loving the work you do for your customers.  Then, it’s ensuring that you are working in the area that complements your strengths.  Make sure you don’t burn out so quickly by wearing too many hats and build a highly effective team to support your goals.

SmallBizLady:  What advice or next steps do you suggest for business owners?

Jacqueline T. Hill: I suggest taking the 10 question personality test. Be as open-minded as possible for the results. You will gain a new perspective about yourself and how you view others. It will also help you accept the difference in others. We aren’t wired the same, but we all can become self-aware and better business owners that meet the wants and needs in our clients.

If you found this interview helpful, join us on Wednesdays 8-9 pm ET; follow @SmallBizChat on Twitter.

Here’s how to participate in #SmallBizChat: http://bit.ly/1hZeIlz

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