[adsense float=’left’] Every time I see Marie Harf, the spokesperson for the United States State Department, I cringe. The reason, I see a mismatch of personality. It just seems like she is not in the center of her assignment for humanity.
If you’ve read my book, Selling by Personality Type, you know that I feel that personality temperament has a purpose. That purpose is to help humanity fight and survive wars. Everyone has a different role in the conflict. If you are in the right role, your talents come alive and you become very effective. But when you are trying to force yourself into a role that requires a different personality type, you become very ineffective. And on a personal level, you feel stressed and unfulfilled. This is what is happening to Marie Harf.
Marie Harf’s personality type in the Myers Briggs nomenclature is: ENFJ. The letters in the middle, “NF”, are important to me, because they define a specific temperament type. In this case, the combination of the N and F traits is the definition of a person that has what I call the “Morale Officer” personality temperament.
Morale Officers are best used in the human army (humanity) as the people that give other people courage and hope. They provide comfort and encouragement that is needed to engage in a fight. Unfortunately, this is not the requirement of the role of spokesperson for the State Department. The role of spokesperson is to defend the policies of the Secretary of State. In other words, the job is best served by someone that has a defensive mindset. That falls into the realm of the Logistical personality temperament.
I can see why Marie wanted this job. For starters, it puts her in front of a lot of people. That is attractive to people with the Morale Officer personality temperament, because they feel that their words are like a whisper, and they are often overlooked. Having your words broadcast to millions is very appealing to her personality temperament.
Second, like her fellow Morale Officer boss, Barack Obama, she feels that it is her job to get people to dialog together without resorting to physical fighting. That is the message she wants broadcast to the world. So she feels that she is doing that task.
Unfortunately, the rest of the world doesn’t agree with her values. The government in Iran is run by people with the Logistical personality temperament, and they see inaction as weakness. Because the President and the Marie Harf don’t understand personality temperament, nor the values of each personality temperament, they don’t know that their approach to negotiation is doomed to failure. And that is exactly why the talks are falling apart.
Do You Feel Personal Stress?
As mentioned, when you are in the wrong task for your personality temperament, it causes a lot of stress. I was wondering how long it would take for evidence for that to show in Marie Harf. I got my answer this week. From what is said at the Daily Caller, Marie revealed in a Facebook post how she viewed people’s comments as hurtful. She feels hurt when people don’t agree with her values.
The problem that Marie doesn’t realize, is that she started the squabble when she in her press briefing dismissed former Secretary of State(s) Henry Kissenger and George Shultz’s opinions as being “big words and big ideas.” The reporters, who valued the opinions of those men, felt attacked. As I stress in my book: Selling by Personality Type, when you attack something another person values, it will cause anger. In other words, she attacked something other people valued. Then she was surprised when they got angry.
Because she is out of her element in her position, she will continue to feel a lot of stress. I hope for her own sake, that she gets a job in human resources. She’ll feel a lot more comfortable there than in defending the policies of someone else.
How does this relate to selling?
What we see in this situation is what happens when you don’t understand another person’s personality type and how it relates to what they value. Marie Harf did not realize what the other people in the room valued, and she created a tense situation. They valued the opinions of Kissenger and Shultz. And when she dismissed their opinions, the people that valued Kissenger and Shultz felt like it was an attack on their own identity. They attacked her back.
[adsense float=’left’] She lost the sale, because she attacked the values of the people she was trying to persuade. The other result, because she didn’t know the secrets revealed in the book “Selling By Personality Type,” is that she looks small and ridiculous. She has no credibility. And now, the more she opens her mouth, the more people are going to analyze every sentence she utters. She’s become a distraction for the Secretary of State. But because the Obama administration never fires anyone (because people with the Morale Officer temperament never discard ‘people’), she will continue to feel hurt and stress.
Don’t let this happen to you. If you want to persuade others to buy what you’re selling, learn the theory behind personality temperament. Learn to read others, and what their personality type values. It will save you from making embarrassing mistakes like what is happening in the Obama administration.