[adsense float=’left’]The way people talk is a huge indicator of their personality type. I use as the final step in my typing process to lock down the temperament type of the person I’m trying to type.
Today, I’d like to give you some general guidelines of the themes that you’ll come across based on the prospect’s personality type. And it doesn’t matter if they speak the words, or write the words down, the themes usually come through loudly if you are paying attention.
So as you’re conversing with someone that you’re trying to type, listen for one of these themes:
Logisticals – X leads to Y
I’m of the Logistical temperament myself, so I’ll start with what I know best. The person with the Logistical temperament gives themselves away (their “tell”) by talking in a step-by-step manner. This makes great at giving directions, like how to get from point A to point B. It will be a linear explanation, showing how they got to their conclusion from all the steps along the way. This often comes across as being a historical-perspective on the situation.
When they aren’t giving instructions, they are telling the reason why it is important not to deviate from what they just said. You will find that they use these words and phrases a lot more often than other people:
- this is how to…
- this is why…
- that is why…
- the result is…
- In other words
- the process yields…
- by comparison…
- In conclusion
- But (at the beginning of a sentence)
- So (at the beginning of a sentence)
- And (at the beginning of a sentence)
Here is an example from a newsletter by Bob Bly, a copywriter that I follow:
“First, thanks to the internet, clients can measure the response to your copy more accurately and quickly than back in the day.”
Do you see the linear progression of this words? Its like he’s saying “X leads to Y, and therefore stay away from Z.” This is a common theme in the conversation of a person with the Logistical personality type.
Morale Officers – The Untouchables
I use the term “the untouchables” to describe the way that people with the Morale Officer personality temperament converse.
What this means, is that the things they talk about cannot be touched physically. If you tried to stick a fork in it, you’d come up with vapor.
They talk a lot about feelings, emotions, friendships, passions, courage, commitment, ideals, relationships. There is nothing physical that you can touch.
Here is an example I pulled from the web site Psychology Today:
But, the idea of competition didn’t start or stop in high school. I don’t know if it got worse, but it certainly didn’t get better in college. Then there was graduate school. Even while we all slaved away at our internships, one of the most common questions my classmates asked one another was, “How many patients do you have?” As if the number of patients on our caseload was an indicator of how hard we were working or the quality of care we were giving!
It was around that time I realized how icky this competition made me feel. School, internship, coursework, dissertation – they were exhausting enough! We were in training to learn to give the best possible help and care for people, and, for many, it had turned into what it always turned into: a contest. But I never said anything.
I was worried my classmates would think I was being weird or perhaps trying to cover up my ineptitude by questioning what many call “friendly competition”.
Is there truly such thing as friendly competition? I think there is. But, in competition, many people lose sight of the real goal. Is the goal to “win” or is the goal to learn, grow, enjoy and perform to the best of your ability, regardless of the winner? In order to meet your goal, do you have to feel better than others?
There was four solid paragraphs, and in it, there is nothing you could physically nail down with a hammer. It is all “untouchable.”
Strategists – Big Words and A Laundry List of Reasons
Our Strategist friends are very logical. They can sound a lot like the Logistical person, but they don’t often use a historical perspective when talking. They like to give a laundry list of “reasons” to prove the point they are making. One reason might be shot down, but if you have a bunch of them, then it is harder to argue that they are wrong.
They also like to use big words and to give credit to the researchers that went before them, as you can see in this example, also from Psychology Today:
“What we discover during the interrogation is that the alleged bully is just an ordinary, angry, perplexed teenager navigating the trials and tribulations of life, sometimes acting and speaking badly, and ultimately getting into trouble. Hearing his side of the story, we become sympathetic. He hardly fits the stereotype, disseminated by leading bullying authorities such as Dan Olweus and Barbara Coloroso, of bullies as heartless, calculating, cowardly sociopaths. In Analyzing the Bully, the true bullies turn out to be the anti-bullying researchers themselves. How refreshing it is to see that there exist teenagers out there who have been sharp enough to resist the endless onslaught of anti-bully propaganda and seen through its hypocrisy. Perhaps there is hope, after all, that the current generation will one day bring an end to the twenty-first century witch-hunt they inherited.”
Warriors – Motivations
The Warrior’s big conversational theme always seems to involve a question: “why do people do the things they do.” In other words, they want to know what the motivation is for someone’s actions.
Just listen to a rock or pop-music channel on the radio in the morning. You’ll hear the DJ’s chatter endlessly about random stupid things that others do – like celebrity gossip. They seem to end the conversation with the unanswerable question: “What was going through their mind when they decided to do that crazy act?”
Here is another example of a Warrior person from Psychology Today. Again, notice that the topic seems to revolve around “why did they do this?”
“Employees were stealing equipment from the sawmill. When managers threatened to start video surveillance with hidden cameras, employees began plotting ways to steal the cameras. The managers responded by hiring an organizational psychologist, Gary Latham, to identify a solution.
Latham discovered that the thieves weren’t stealing for the usual reasons. They weren’t trying to get revenge at the company, or even earn a profit; they didn’t bother using or reselling the items they stole.
Employees were stealing for the thrill.”
It takes some training to catch the main topic that the different personality temperaments talk about. But with the information that you learned today, you’ll have the keys to typing people by their words alone. So it won’t matter if you are standing face-to-face with them, or conversing via email, you’ll be able to type them by their temperament pretty accurately.
If you’d like to learn other “tells” that people, you might be interested in The Personality Marketing Manual. It gives you lots of information on how people behave, and how you can use that knowledge to persuade them. If you’re in sales or marketing, it is the golden key that will launch your career into the next level.