What Kind of Personality Type Are You?
Ask any real estate broker and they'll tell you: the most challenging aspect of this profession is understanding human psychology. A bartender is often referred to as the “poor man's therapist,” for the reason that many patrons feel welcome to share their troubles with a barkeep, while washing down their sorrows with a few drinks. And while a bartender may have to entertain several hours of psycho-analysis with a random customer, the real estate broker is usually committed for a much longer period of time. Getting to know our clients so intimately, whether buyers or sellers, is a fascinating and rewarding experience.
In most businesses, human interaction is simply part of a day’s work, but the real estate business is a constant flow of human connection. When a family or individual is selling their home, looking to buy one, or perhaps in the process of doing both simultaneously, the real estate broker inevitably becomes a close and trusted ally. In most cases, the process lasts for several weeks, if not months, and it's almost impossible not to become intimately aware of clients' personal and private lives.
There is usually a significant event that triggers the decision to buy or sell a home, whether it be a job or career change, a couple’s separation, or the death of a spouse. As real estate brokers, we tend to witness much of what’s happening “behind the scenes” and it's our responsibility to navigate those situations with the utmost consideration and tact. Respecting a client's privacy and discretion is vital to earning their trust. We must also be sensitive to our clients' emotional states, and be able to adapt our approach in order to offer them the guidance and support they need. It isn't always easy!
As we all know, human beings are like fingerprints, in the sense that no two individuals are alike. We all have very unique personality traits and emotional states that make it impossible to apply any kind of “one-size-fits-all” approach. Therefore, the more we can learn about different personalities, the better equipped we can be to serve our clients effectively. In fact, more and more businesses are using personality assessments as a tool to help them create better working environments. Managers and supervisors use them when hiring new employees, as they help to identify a job candidate's areas of strength, weakness, and opportunity.
One of the most popular types of personality assessments, and the one that we’ve used ourselves to help us better understand our own team’s dynamics, is the “DISC” test. DISC is an acronym that represents the four main personality profiles: (D)ominance, (I)nfluence, (S)teadiness and (C)onscientiousness.
People with D personalities tend to be confident and place an emphasis on accomplishing bottom-line results.
People with I personalities tend to be more open and place an emphasis on relationships and on influencing or persuading others.
People with S personalities tend to be dependable and place the emphasis on cooperation and sincerity.
People with C personalities tend to place the emphasis on quality, accuracy, expertise, and competency.
Each personality type is described as a style. And each style has its own unique set of goals, challenges and leadership qualities. Most people tend to demonstrate one or two styles within the DISC personalities. These individuals are often considered a “hybrid,” such as a DI or DC. Although knowing every detail and characteristic of the method requires work, thankfully there are experts out there who can offer help and guidance. Toronto-based industry leader in DISC, and certified team facilitator Victoria Theriault, emphasizes that awareness of personality differences is critical in being able to work effectively and successfully with others.
Knowing and understanding these different types of personalities can be extremely helpful for anyone looking to better manage their relationships. If you can meet with a relative stranger, and within a few minutes be able to recognize what type of personality they are, you will certainly put yourself at an advantage over someone who is unable or even unaware. The deeper your understanding of these subtle nuances in personality, the more you will be able to learn how to adapt your own behaviour in order to complement them. With enough practice, you may likely find yourself butting heads with people less often... Wouldn’t that be nice?
Basic concepts to put DISC to work
Working with different personality types and becoming versed in understanding individual characteristics is achievable for most people. If we paint broad strokes using the DISC method, it is clear that we should not spend too long explaining details to a “D” type. Or, it may be wise not to get too chatty and friendly with a “C” type. As well, in sales situations it may not be effective to bust out the spreadsheets and analytics with an “I” type.
The advantages of understanding personalities can reach far beyond the landscape of business relationships. It can essentially be a tool for personal awareness and growth. We all think we know ourselves well, but little do we realize how many personal “blind spots” we harbour, and how limited our own self-awareness really is. Personality testing can be a great way to discover more about our own habits and behaviours, while uncovering ways for us to improve our compatibility and relationships with others, including friends, family members, and especially clients. Imagine conflicts with a spouse, family member or friend being resolved faster and with less drama. If we could simply understand that it is often not “what” we are saying that is exacerbating the argument, but more “how” we are saying it that is overshadowing the discussion.
The DISC method can have positive results on parenting skills as well. If we could just understand that our children are a certain type of personality and may each require a different approach to foster their understanding of situations and their personal growth, we can gain tremendous parental “wins.” Yes… perhaps easier said than done, but something to strive for.
No matter what personality type you are, rest assured that Team Broady understands that everyone is unique. We go out of our way to adapt to our client’s differing personality types, and try to make sure you’re working with a member of our team who is the right fit for you!