What’s your shape?
What do your librarian, Steve Jobs, Marilyn Monroe, and Lady Gaga have in common? Very little…
This year, I pulled out an old bag of tricks for my interviews that I learned several years ago. Lately, because it’s kind of funny, it has been a topic of conversations with friends as well. Draw the four shapes below, and ask the person… “What’s your favorite shape among the four choices shown?” (don’t let on that it’s a personality “label”… the squares and squiggles don’t like being labeled :).
Square: Organized, work hard, love structure and order in the universe. They dislike situations where they don’t know what’s expected. Squares prefer working alone, are logical, sequential thinkers, and they often collect loads of data and file it so it’s easy to locate. They have trouble saying, “I’ve got enough information,” and making a decision. Your librarian is a square.
Triangle: A leader, decisive and able to focus on the goal. They are self-confident and carry strong opinions. Triangles can be dogmatic and shoot from the hip. They like recognition and put stock in status symbols. American business has been run by triangles, and this shape is most characteristic of men. Steve Jobs is a triangle.
Circle: They get their energy from other people and work well with others due to their ability to communicate and empathize. They read people and can spot a phony right off; like harmony and have more difficulty in dealing with conflict or making unpopular decisions. Circles can be swayed by other people’s feelings and opinions. They can be very effective managers in an egalitarian business structures. Marilyn Monroe was a circle.
Squiggle: They are creative, a “what if” person who’s always thinking of new ways to do something. Squiggles are starters, but struggle with finishing because their mind never stops as they leap from A straight to Y. They do not like highly structured environments and can’t tolerate the mundane due to their shorter attention span. If they don’t get excitement at work, they’ll cause it elsewhere in life. Lady Gaga is undoubtedly, a squiggle.
Great… so what’s the business point of this exercise? If you’ve read any of my earlier posts, you probably realize I’m a big fan of personality assessments: Myers-Briggs, DISC, Strengths Finder 2.0, and many more. What’s great about personality assessments is they “measure” people for lack of a better word, and put us in certain pigeon holes. Assessments are helpful in interviewing situations, but even more importantly, they are a great tool for communication. If I’m a circle and you’re a square, we can hopefully, poke fun at ourselves and also objectively, discuss the value and strengths we both bring to the company or team. We’re all great and all a little crazy. Laugh at your weaknesses and focus on your strengths!
Make every day count~ Drew Schmitz