Life is a process of becoming more aware of yourself and others. As you do, you become more effective at life and work. As you pay attention to those around you, you notice different types of people.
Understanding things like what drives them, how they communicate, how they contribute, what they need, and what can be their downfall, will help you as you relate to them.
Everyone is different, and we can’t pigeonhole anyone into one category. But we can use our understanding as a starting place, and let our fascination lead us. The more you understand people, the better at life and work you will be.
Here are four types of people you’ll meet. (If you're interested in this from a faith perspective, you can read the post on our Faith blog.)
These folks are described as performing, achieving, and executing.
They’re driven to get the job done. They go about it in different ways, but “doing the work” is paramount. They communicate around the work—clarifying expectations, refining processes, removing barriers.
They contribute by getting work done. They need time and space to work. Putting too much value on work can be their downfall. They’re earth because they get busy right away, stay productive, and have progress to show for their efforts.
These folks are described as intellectual, pondering, and thinking.
They’re driven to think on purpose. They go about it in different ways, but “intentional thinking” is paramount. They’re known for their intellectual activity; their thinking is their work. They communicate thoughts, ideas, and solutions, asking “what if?” and “why?”
They contribute by offering their thoughts. They need time and space to think and discuss. Needing everything thought out can be their downfall. They’re wind because they take a higher view, move things along, and their effects can go unseen.
These folks are described as impacting, mobilizing, and influencing.
They contribute by bringing clarity to situations, are self-assured, and bring decisive direction. In order to do their work, they need people to trust them. Using people without establishing authentic relationships can be their downfall. They’re fire because they incite change, spread influence, and come with heat.
These folks are described as people-oriented, connected, and relational.
They contribute by connecting with others. They need to establish authentic connections. Getting enmeshed in relationships can be their downfall. They’re water because they go with the flow, can reflect feelings, and are essential to life—we all need people.
Like we said, we can’t pigeonhole anyone into one category. But we can use our understanding as a starting place, and let our fascination lead us. The more you understand people, the better at life and work you will be.
- Which type(s) do you most relate to?
- How about those whom you live or work with most closely?
- How can knowing this help you?
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