Monday, February 13, 2012

What you should know about your personality to get the perfect job, get along better with your colleagues, and negotiate the best salary

You'll be working with a range of people and personalities in almost any job you'll have in your lifetime. Some you'll get along with better than others. That's just the nature of most work environments. But one key way to be successful in your career is to know your personality, know how to understand others' personalities, and learn how to interact with people who are different from you so you can work together effectively.

That was the big take away from the first session of our new Management Development program. We kicked it off the other week to help train and cultivate our growing number of managers to ensure we can continue to manage university growth while staying focused on serving our students.

Our guest of honor for our first training session was Shoya Zichy, internationally recognized author and speaker on team building and leadership. (You might remember we recommended one of her books, "Career Match," on our blog.) Shoya is known for her energetic, entertaining seminars, and she did not disappoint.

She presented to our team of about 40 managers ways to read people, understand personality differences, and interact with colleagues based on your and their personalities. She had us identify what's good about our personality preferences, what's not, what we like about others' preferences, and what we don't.

I have to say it generated a lot of conversation -- including some good-natured teasing -- but most important, greater understanding about our motivations, needs, and decision-making styles.

Participants really got into the training when we took Shoya's Color Q  personality test. We learned what color we are according to our needs, values, talents, and behaviors. I'm not sure if it was more exciting to find out what color each of us was personally, or what color our colleagues were -- for better or worse! I'm a blue as it turns out, which means I have an unending thirst for knowledge, I focus on the future, and I tend to be a strategic thinker who doesn't always follow the rules. I'd say that's about right.

But that's not all Shoya gave us. We asked her if we could share some of her teachings with our blog readers, too. She pointed us to two of the personality assessments she uses in many of her seminars on career development:

What is your organizational personality? Are you a structured individual, or more adaptable? Are you better at goal-setting and meeting deadlines, or responding to crises and solving problems in new ways? Take Shoya's assessment to find out how you rank, and what type of corporate culture fits your personality best.

Will you be underpaid? Do you have the type of personality that will meet conflict head on and be direct? Or are you more empathetic and accepting? Find out what type of personality you have, and how it will affect you salary negotiation abilities.

After you take Shoya's personality assessments, let us know how you did. Are you surprised by your results, or do they match what you already know about yourself? Are you in the right job for your personality, or is it time to make a switch? Will you be strong in your salary negotiations? Leave a comment!

All in all, our first Management Development session was an interactive and informative day, and we're looking forward to more seminars to come. We have a lengthy schedule of training sessions lined up to cover topics including leadership skills, ethics, hiring/interviewing candidates, team motivation, accountability, creativity, and performance reviews, just to name a few. We'll continue to share insights and take aways from them as we march along.