In Business and In Pleasure

By Phillip Fernandez

A question that all generations have asked and will continue to ask themselves is how realistic is our self-belief and how do we accept our limitations. Sustainable self-belief is critical in our ability to achieve objectives and personal goals. The other side of the coin is also accepting our limitations and as business owners using this knowledge to achieve positive outcomes.

Why do we act in a certain way? Why do we say and do certain things unconsciously and get the appropriate reactions and results? Some of these reactions are perhaps not what we might like to hear or see, so how do we change that response to one we want to hear and feel?

It is not that easy to just change our behaviour in order to get the desired outcome. Behaviour comes from beliefs that are ingrained and create our make-up and so affect our personality. Personality is a combination of behavioural traits that we carry through life unconsciously. It’s a bit like a dog chasing its tail, but – guess what – it never gets the tail! Some people’s lives resemble this and so they go round in circles, doing the same thing every day, and expecting different results.

Self-belief comes from four main areas in our lives: Generational, Experiential, Cultural and Spiritual. Weather we are aware or not, these have a profound effect in our lives and what we now say and do at times stems back to these self-beliefs. Have you ever heard yourself saying “This is the way I feel about this topic and I will not budge on it”?

In summarising this to achieve certain desired outcomes we need to change self-belief which in turn affects behaviour and so produces a different desired result or achievement of a goal.

In assisting you in understanding your own behaviour or personality and so being able to understand others and thus communicate better and achieve the desired results, I want to introduce you to the Dr. David Merrill concept of human behavioural patterns.

In order to understand our staff and even our customers we need to understand ourselves first. So you have to ask yourselves the question “What is my personality style?” This comes with a certain style of communication.

All human beings instinctively fall into one of four personality styles or types, which determine our communication style. This is not to say that we all also float into each style at different occasions, but we really do act and communicate from one distinctive style unconsciously.

As early as 400 BC, Hippocrates observed similarities and differences in human behaviour and classified four distinct ‘root elements’ or traits. Hippocrates labelled these Fire, Air, Earth and Water.

In 1921 Carl Jung developed four ‘types’ into four psychological functions: thinking, feeling, sensation and intuition. He then further divided these four types into ‘introversion’ and ‘extroversion’.

In 1964, Dr. David W. Merrill, an industrial psychologist and university professor, began researching predictors of success in selling and management careers. Through his empirical studies, DrsMerrill found that people tend to display consistent, observable behaviors, and that others consistently agree on words to describe each behaviour. This work became the foundation of the Social Style Model.

The original Social Style profiling instrument was a list of adjectives developed from an initial pool of more than 2300 words. Study of these words revealed adjective clusters that measured dimensions of human behaviour. Through extensive factor and reliability analyses, a total of 150 adjectives measuring three scales were finalised and labelled Assertiveness, Responsiveness and Versatility. By combining the two dimensions of assertiveness and responsiveness, four patterns of behaviour, or Social Styles, were identified: Analytical, Driving, Expressive and Amiable.

Since then Dr. Merrill`s findings have been used extensively throughout the world in many large corporations. As a Human Strategy specialist I have always worked with Dr. Merrill`s principles and have spoken on this subject and facilitated many workshops with various companies and individuals on behavioural patterns that can be harnessed and ultimately lead to effective work performance. However I have made it more interesting and aligned these four behavioural patters with birds .I have found most people can easily identify with birds and so find it more easy to associate with their behavioural traits that make up their personality profiles.

The first part is to examine the four quadrants in the extreme, the reason being that no one is this extreme in the pure sense.

The first part is to look vertically at the two sides of the brain. One type of person is very number-oriented. This person is only interested with facts and figures and likes detail and systems. However they have little or no regard for people and their concerns.

The other type of person is totally interested in people. This type is much more conscious of people`s feelings and someone that would do very well in the front line customer service sector.

Then we go across horizontally and look at the introvert and, of course the opposite, being the extrovert. Society has traditionally put more emphasis on being the extrovert thus being the opposite does not bring many opportunities and so has been looked upon as more of a negative. However, this discriminative view is definitely not the case, as we can have many strengths being an introvert and equal amount of weaknesses being an extrovert.

Visualise a vertical line with a number-focused person on the top and a people-focused person at the bottom. We now also know we have a horizontal line crossing the vertical line, with an introvert on one side facing the extrovert on the other. We now have a basis for four quadrants and I will describe the four types in detail.


– Controller 
– Task-oriented 
– Gets the job done 
– Visionary 
– Strong leaders 
– Autocratic 
– Extroverted 
– Empathy with facts, systems and procedures 
– No empathy with people

The Eagle is very much the controller and task-orientated. They get the job done, whatever the cost. They have vision and tend to be strong leaders, although could be autocratic in the pure sense. They are extroverted and have more empathy with facts, systems and procedures rather than people.

This style apprears on the top-right quadrant between numbers and extrovert. Even though the style is an extrovert, the emphasis is on numbers.

– Showy 
– Promoter 
– Influential 
– Natural leaders 
– Like to be liked 
– Motivators 
– Gift of the gab
– Extroverted
– Vision and big picture-focused 
– More empathy with people 
– Not too good on detail

The Peacock is the showy promoter who has the natural ability to influence and so is a natural leader. They like to be noticed and work on others liking them. They are great motivators who possess the gift of the gab and are usually the life of the party. They are very extroverted and have a strong empathy with people as opposed to systems and procedures. They have vision and always paint the bigger picture, but not too well with detail.

This style appears in the bottom right-hand quadrant between people and extrovert. This style is also extroverted but with the emphasis on people.

– Analytical 
– Detailed 
– Observant 
– Logical 
– Strong affiliation with facts and figures
– Less empathy with people
– Not natural leaders 
– Can occupy senior positions 
– More introverted

The Owl is the analyst. A detailed observer and very much the one people turn to for the facts. They thrive on their logical, numerical skills and usually dominate in the background of most businesses. This style is more introverted and communicates well if the other person has similar interests and level of intelligence. They are not natural leaders but are sometimes put in senior positions,for their knowledge and logical reasoning. Strong affiliation with facts, systems and procedures, but not with people.

This style appears in the top left-hand quadrant between numbers and introvert. This style is numbers-driven but more of an introvert.

– Supporter 
– Good listening skills 
– Strong empathy with people 
– Loyal 
– Reliable 
– Usually occupy background, field or worker roles
– More introverted 
– Good team player

The Dove is the true supporter: “a friend in need is a friend indeed”. This style of person is the worker and the one who listens to orders and carries them out. They can be talkative or quiet ,but one thing is definite; they have a strong affinity with people, even if they have good analytical skills and tend to be more introverted. Some people see this side and so the Dove can be used by others or walked on by bad managers.

This style appears in the bottom left-hand quadrant between people and introvert. This style is definitely very people-focused but is more introverted.

The above four behavioural styles are in the pure sense and after reading them we should all be able to put ourselves in all of the four categories, at varying degrees. The question you ask your self is: “What is my true personality style?”

The answer is that we all are born with one dominant style and we act in this style when we are under pressure or stress, in the unconscious state. Let me explain this phenomenon by using an analogy of being caught in a building that is in flames where your life and the lives of others are in danger.

• The Eagle style will say `”There is a fire here but no need to panic. Just pick up your belongings and follow me to the exit, down the stairs, and out the front door. We’ve got about five minutes. Let`s go.”

This was very clear, direct and showed a person willing to take control and get the job done with little or no emotion in the delivery.

• The Peacock style will say “Right, everybody,quickly get up and move towards the door and down the stairs. There is a fire in the building! We have minutes! Come on, let`s go, let`s go!!”

This style is more emotional and feels the urgency and of course gets the message across but could also cause some mayhem along the way.

• The Owl style will say “Ladies and gentlemen, I have just been notified that there is a fire in the building. No need to panic as we have about 10 minutes to evacuate. Just before we go, I’d like to do a quick roll call to ensure that all bodies are accounted for. This will help with identification if, heaven forbid, anyone should perish in the fire. Now get your belongings and follow me in a single file starting with the people on the right. We will go through the exit, down the stairs and out through the second door on the left. Let’s go!"

This person, in spite of being more of an introverted style has taken control, but in true style was painfully pedantic with the details.

• The Dove type will say “ Well guys, I have just heard something terrible: the building is on fire and we all have to evacuate. I do not want to lose any lives here, so please don`t panic. Get your things together and go through the exit sign down the stairs and out the front door. I will make sure no one is in the bathrooms and will follow soon. Go now, please!”

This person, in true dove fashion, will always think about others first and themselves last. This style is more introverted but their concern is really about the people.

Now let`s take a helicopter view at these four quadrants. The varying combinations of the four quadrants, with a dominant or more than one dominant make up the personalities of the entire earth`s population. What an interesting world we live in!

It doesn’t matter what we are but more importantly understanding and accepting ourselves, our strengths and limitations, and understanding and accepting our family, friends and customers for who they are. We then have the ability to understand and communicate more effectively which in turn leads to a more congenial relationship whether it is business or personal with positive outcomes.

For more information, contact Phillip Fernandez at his business, Wizard Business Consulting, phone 1300 747 389 or 0402 213 813, or visit the website

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