How Your Personality Affects Your Business – Part 2

Didn’t recognize yourself in any of the types in Part 1? You might identify with one of these. Read on to find out more about types six through nine (If you missed Part 1, check out my previous post to read about the first five types).

6. The need for security

sixSixes are easy-going, hard-working, witty, and their special talent is a fine-tuned situational awareness. They observe, assess and are good at detecting risks. They tend to be cautious, but once they commit they are all in. They embrace rules and principles as blueprints for success and avoiding disaster, and they function best within a clear framework. Six freelancers are enthusiastic proponents of business plans and understand the need for social media strategies. They are not flashy and by nature tend to downplay their successes, so self-promotion is definitely a “necessary evil” of running a business and their marketing style tends to be factual and information-oriented. In fact, they are suspicious of lavish praise, and if you want to convince a Six your praise is genuine it is best to couch it in some constrictive criticism.

Frustration: Their ability to spot lions and tigers and bears a mile down the road can lead to an abiding sense of vulnerability and insecurity, inhibiting the “can do” part of their personality.

Defense mechanism: either deference to authority or defiance
There are actually two types of Sixes. Some rely on an external authority for a sense of security when faced with difficulties or conflicts (this can be protocols, a boss, a style guide, etc.). Others take the opposite “I’m going to do it my way no matter what anyone says” approach.

Strength: Mature sixes discern risks without being paralyzed by them, and they have learned to balance authority and rules with individual responsibility and freedom. They are the backbone of any team, but they also make effective consultants, and as freelancers they usually have successful businesses because of their hard work and systematic approach.

7. The need to avoid pain

sevenSevens are sunny, fun-loving pleasure seekers. They can find the bright side in any situation and don’t like to focus on the negative. They are curious, restless, and always up for new experiences. They are generalists and multitaskers who pick up a little knowledge about a lot of subjects. They are also great bluffers and quick thinkers, and they instinctively now how to present whatever knowledge they have as a great-looking package to convince the client they have just what it takes — and they usually pull it off with flair. They don’t like to specialize because the world is far too interesting to tie themselves down to just one specialty or even just one career, so they often wear many hats. A seven sees no problem with being a translator, project manager, marketing consultant, writer, and part-time teacher at the same time. They are gifted social media content creators because it the perfect outlet and perfect format for their love of all things new, fast-paced and interesting.

Frustration: Sevens will do anything to avoid negativity, but difficulties are inevitable in every area of life and you can’t just “forget” to respond to emails when a client has a question about your translation.

Defense mechanism: Rationalization. Glib responses to pain, like “everything happens for a reason”, “It’s all for the best”, “you’ll find a new client in no time” come naturally to Sevens.

Strength: When Sevens acknowledge and accept difficulties as part of life and learn to work through them, their natural cheerfulness becomes less superficial and more genuine and they bring fresh ideas and perspectives to projects. No event or project is boring when a Seven is involved.

8. The Need to confront

eightEights are direct and confrontational. They like to know where they stand, and nothing annoys them more than evasive, timid communication. They love a good fight; in fact, Eights see confrontation as a way of making contact (confrontational intimacy). Their first response in any discussion is to disagree. As bosses they have a tendency to push people around and make life uncomfortable for their subordinates without even being aware of it (although ironically they are genuinely passionate about defending the weak and oppressed). As employees they continually push the boundaries. As freelancers they thrive on challenges and risk. They are active in professional organizations and stir up the pot in committees by stubbornly raising difficult issues. They are effective conference speakers who tend to speak on exhortative topics, and they are front-line champions of the profession. Their gift is to “afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted”.

Frustration: Eights hate weakness and hypocrisy, yet they know that they themselves harbor weakness and faults. This can make them their own worst enemy and thwart their effectiveness.

Defense mechanism: Forceful denial.
Eights are forceful and convincing, and they usually discover at some point that apparently all they have to do to make problems go away is to simply shout down the opposition.

Strength: Eights who have learned to lower the volume and to value and listen to others have the potential to change the world without crushing people in the process. Eights are the most naturally gifted leaders of all the types.

9. The need for harmony

nineNines are laid-back, relaxed, big-picture people. They can see both sides of any argument and have a knack for making fair and nuanced judgments. They are natural peacemakers, and they are uniquely skilled at calming the waters when more volatile colleagues cause friction. Moreover, they are honest to a fault and have a knack for expressing difficult truths without offending people, so they are very effective when giving feedback or conducting performance reviews. They are low-key and don’t like to draw attention to themselves. This is partly because they don’t like the spotlight, but also because they themselves are often not too sure who they are and what they have to offer, which is why they can come across a bit vague at times. As translators they often have a hard time coming up with a specialty and would prefer to keep taking whatever jobs come their way. They tend to be procrastinators who need clear contracts and deadlines to perform, so in that sense the translator life suits them very well. The hardest aspect of being a freelancer for a Nine is marketing, which takes a great deal of initiative, focused and self-promotion, all of which are hard for Nines.

Frustration: They long for a peaceful, meaningful existence, but they don’t know themselves well enough to get there and they find it hard to muster the effort to find out who they are and what they should do with their lives.

Defense mechanism: Passive aggression
Out of all the types, Nines are the most guileless and have the weakest natural defenses. The most drastic measure they usually resort to is passive aggressive behavior, like deliberately not giving someone the response they know is expected.

Strength: Once Nines set a goal and then take steps to actually do get there, they are fully committed and give it their best. They are very good at balancing work and life, and once they find their niche they are very effective in creating harmonious teams and helping others work and live from a more holistic perspective.

Do you recognize yourself in any of these descriptions? Let me know; I’d love to hear from you!

3 thoughts on “How Your Personality Affects Your Business – Part 2

  1. Great supplementary post, Marie.

    I have difficulties figuring out were I fall exactly, but I’m probably a six, with hints of a five and a two.

    I suppose that everyone can see him or herself in more than one category, and the point of this exercise is probably to classify oneself based on the most dominant group of characteristics.

    Very interesting exercise, indeed; important even. It is just the type of exercise that one tends to avoid when starting up and maybe even later on (probably because it could uncover some uncomfortable truth), yet this is exactly the exercise needed to set the general foundation and outline that define the general direction of one’s career path – if only in the sense of knowing which boundaries need to be pushed a little in an attempt to adapt to where one wants to go .

    • Thanks Shai! I think part of the problem is trying to condense a whole book’s worth into a few paragraphs, so a lot of information that would help narrow it down gets left out. One important idea I haven’t explained, I realize now, is that everyone has one main type, but we also have some of the tendencies of one or both of the adjacent numbers (the “wings”). So if you are a six, it makes sense that you see yourself to a lesser extent in the five, and it would be interesting to know what part of the two you identify with and see if that is perhaps actually a characteristic of the seven. Twos and sevens are both cheerful and outgoing, so they can be alike in some ways.

      • I identify with the giving part. Earlier in my career (and life in general) I had some trouble saying no, sometimes I still do – but to a much lesser degree.

        I understand that you had to sum up an entire school of thought into a succinct and accessible blog post. I wasn’t complaining :). I just mentioned it because I found myself identifying, to some degree, with more than one type (but not with all of them).

        Thank you for these two posts, they were both fun and insightful.

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