Your Personality Tree
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
240 Pages =
Hardcover and Paperback editions
Do you know why people act as they do? Your Personality Tree by Florence Littauer will help you answer that question. It’s one of the best books on personality I’ve ever read. While not a traditional business book, it presents psychological profiles of four basic personality types easy to understand and apply to your business or everyday life.
Littauer is first a Christian counselor with several years’ experience. But don’t let this dissuade you from reading this book if you’re not a Christian. And if you are, you can gain deeper biblical insights into people you’ve employed, work or socialize with.
A must read for business owners & entrepreneurs
Business owners, entrepreneurs, department heads or sales staffers can gain understanding of why employees, vendors, customers, clients or associates act as they do, and learn how to better interact with them. No matter what your role, you owe it to yourself to learn about the type of
personality you possess and why. Doing so will enhance your managerial skills, increase productivity, boost your income and reduce friction in everyday people encounters.
Every personality is unique and must be understood
Our personality has a definite set of behaviors we carry forth from childhood into adulthood. When we interact with others, we elicit emotional responses in others that they learned in their childhood from interacting with parents, relatives, friends or schoolmates.
We all have a natural set of personality traits. It’s when these traits remain undeveloped that problems result.
We have basic needs, but we don’t always clearly communicate these needs to loved ones, friends or co-workers. We tend to project our needs onto others wishing they would give us what we give them, and wonder why we don’t receive what we need.
Understanding employee personality types provides invaluable insight into individuals. While not everyone is a counselor, it’s your job as boss or supervisor to deal with workplace problems resulting from personality clashes. if you lack skills in this area, hire it, or learn what you can to at least recognize the personalities you’re dealing with.
Personality masks and abuse issues
Childhood abuse isn’t limited to sex. Parents aren’t always good at child raising, frequently passing on the same negative behavior traits they learned and suffered from their parents.
Abuse results from parents trying to jam desired round personality traits into their child’s square personality holes, which will never work, since your child is rarely wired up the way you want him or her to be.
Children will do their best to adopt a pleasing personality mask for their parents, resulting in adults struggling with behaviors that don’t ring true. “What’s wrong with him”? is a frequent question co-corkers ask when they sense something isn’t right, observing their co-worker behaving in an unnatural, strained manner, trying to be something he’s not.
Adult personalities can be easily recognized
What’s important is that we small business owners recognize our type of personality and accept opposite traits in others.
Unfortunately many of us mistakenly expect that employees, co-workers, friends or others ought to function as we do.
When they fail to perform, we frequently abandon them and pay attention to those who fulfill our expectations. When this occurs, friendships are forever lost and skillful workers may be overlooked or shuffled aside. Ignored employee skill sets become misused or lost. Turnover results.
The Four personality types
The value of reading Your Personality Tree is gaining insight from those “Aha!” moments when you recognize the behavior of others’ personalities as well as your own.
I’m only touching the surface here. The book goes into far more detail how we actually have hybrid personalities, consisting of one or two personality types. Insightful anecdotes profile how each personality acts in social settings.
Goal: the peacemaker
Respect and feelings of worth
Very low key, passive, often overlooked. prefers coasting, doesn’t like conflict, but handles it if not personally threatened.
Makes a great peacemaker and arbitrator. But if peace isn’t possible, may shut down and withdraw. Has difficulty making decisions and doesn’t respond to incentives.
Easily manipulated and pushed around Possesses a dry wit that can morph into sarcasm
Goal: to have fun
To be loved and accepted, feeds on compliments, seeks attention and approval far beyond the norm
Cheerful, bubbly, happy-go-lucky, wounded deeply by criticism.
When attention needs aren’t met, responds by becoming too loud, annoying or showing off. When depressed often attempts to buy acceptance, happiness and popularity.
Charms others into being a friend. Lack of discipline results in failure to achieve potential
Goal: to control and direct the actions of others
Accomplishment. Always plays to win, avoids places where is perceived as loser
Stores mental progress, plots life goals and tasks in head.
Assumes others need and want instructions and gives commands to everyone in sight.
Considers laziness a waste of time and resources.
Hates sickness and disease. Workaholic, often has anger issues.
Little ability to see own weaknesses. Blind as to how he or she affects others
Goal: To achieve perfection
To be understood but rarely says how, creating constant guessing game in minds of others. “You should have known” is favorite phrase.
Longs for others to respond with sensitivity after “assaults” from co-workers attempting to be funny which he or she takes offense at.
Cannot relax until everything is in order.
Anal list makers.
Keeps score of offenses when others have long forgotten.
Frequently depressed because of impossible desire that everything and everybody must be in perfect order.
Sees no reason for praise for something that should be done properly in the first place. Feels constant criticism of others will provide positive motivation
If you’re curious as to why folks act as they do, or want to improve your people skills and the way you get along with others, then this book is a must read.