We’ve finished our overview of the individual components of our “personal style” abilities: Extrovert/Introvert, Generalist/Specialist, and Time Frame Orientation. Before we move on to the “driving abilities” and the “specialized abilities,” let’s take a look at how the introvert/extrovert and generalist/specialist abilities can work together.

Congruent profiles are made up from the pairing of two abilities that are in sync with each other. Both of these abilities work together in the same direction.

People that are both generalists and extroverts have the “people influencer” profile. Generalists have the ability to be a part of a team, see the whole picture, and move teams along toward a common goal. When combined with the extroverts’ tendency to get energy from interacting with people and to verbally process, you get a person that is very effective at influencing others.

The other congruent profile type is a combination of specialist and introversion. Specialists like being the experts and adding an individual contribution to the work they do. Introverts get energy from being alone. This “professional/researcher” profile is extremely well suited to devoting long periods of time to becoming an expert in a field or to spending lots of time studying things in a lab.

Push/Pull profiles are the pairing of two seemingly incongruent abilities. One of the abilities pushes the person in one direction while the other pulls them in a different direction. This isn’t necessarily bad but identifying this type of profile unquestionably helps these people understand themselves.

The “performer” profile is a pairing of specialist and extrovert. The specialist wants to be an expert and put his unique spin on information. The information gathering often happens in isolation but the extrovert needs to be around other people. As a result, people with the performer profile tend to be terrific teachers. They have the patience to stick with a topic until they are experts. And people genuinely enjoy learning from them both because they get energy from people and because they add their own individual twist to the information being shared.

The pairing of the generalist and the introvert is called the “renaissance person.” Generalists like to be part of a team and like to know a little about a lot of things. But being with people can be very draining for introverts. While they’ll never ask to be chosen or push their way into leadership, renaissance people are some of the best leaders in your team. When called upon, they are knowledgeable about almost every topic and they can explain how the topic fits with the team’s direction.

Remember, while these abilities are your basic hardwiring, they aren’t an indication of what you can and can’t do. You can always learn skills to do things not well suited to your profile, but it will take longer than others better suited and it will be more stressful. Aligning our work and life to our abilities helps us do what we do faster and reduces stress!

Can you see that a person with a professional/researcher profile may be better suited to managing the database than a renaissance person? Or that a performer might be more naturally suited to conducting planned giving seminars than a person with the people influencer profile?

Take a look at which profiles best describes you and the others on your staff or team. Are you hiring people like yourself or are you developing a team with a mix of abilities? Do the requirements of the various job responsibilities line up with each person’s ability profile? If not, share this series with your team and see if you can shift responsibilities to make for a better fit.

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