No, this isn’t about meeting famous people.
It’s actually about meeting someone way more important. You.
As you think about how different people participate in your meetings, and how you feel about them, here’s a catalyst to get us thinking about the dynamics of the personality mix at meetings.
Firstly, it’s entirely normal and likely that there are people you just can’t figure out and some you just don’t gel with. If you’re wondering why you can’t relate to some people, there’s nothing wrong with you. Or them.
Diversity is the norm
If you’re sensitive about not getting on with some people, it’s telling you something useful about you.
It’s a bit of an oversimplification, but useful, to think of four core behavioural styles. (You might loosely call them personalities.) Being sensitive to getting on with people is a characteristic of the Relater’s style.
Maybe you’ve heard of the other three styles, the Director, Thinker and Socialiser.
In a 2005 US study, Alexandra Luong and Steven Rogelberg proposed that although meetings may help to achieve goals, having too many meetings and spending too much time in them can have negative effects on some people. Which people, you rightly ask?
Directors and thinkers
Rogelberg suggests the demands of attending meetings and your job satisfaction depends on your level of ‘accomplishment striving’. That's the Directors and Thinkers - who like to get the job done, and can feel quite frustrated sitting around talking about it too much.
Relaters and socialisers
In contrast, a Relater and a Socialiser will value the people interaction at meetings, to help them get to clear decisions, even if it takes a bit more time.
Helpful knowing that, isn’t it? What works for others won't necessarily work for you, and vice versa.
It gives us a valuable insight into how we might organise meetings so they energise versus drain you. Knowing each person’s style can help you get the best from each person. So then, a great strategy is to do a personality style exercise together. It gives you an enlightening take on how everyone ticks.
Bill Bonstetter put it well: ‘In order to understand our relationships with other people, we must first understand ourselves.’