People Person

July 10, 2007 psipsina

My boss, Clare, told me a story today.  She’d been in a meeting with our department head, whom I’ll refer to by his initials, DOC.  I really admire DOC, and I respect Clare a lot.

Mike, one of the other managers, gives a lot of thought to personality in the workplace, and he mentioned one of the common systems for measuring personality.  There are people who are more data driven in making decisions, and there are people who are more people-driven.  Data people give more weight to facts; people-people give more weight to taking care of other people.  We are a software shop, and Mike thinks we are out of balance – too many data people, not enough people-people.  To succeed, an organization needs balance.

DOC asked Mike, “So who in our organization do you think is people-driven?”

Mike thought for a minute, then named Clare.  And after another pause, he named himself.  (I think both those are true, more so for Mike than for Clare.  Mike is, and I don’t mean this at all unkindly, the motherliest man I know.  It’s a rare quality.)  And then another pause, as Mike searched his brain for other people people.

Then DOC spoke up and said, “I’d add Psipsina to the list.  It’s clear to me that her entire focus is on building relationships and making sure that everyone has their needs met – customers, team members, everyone.”

Aw, shucks.

I think the fact that I’m pleased to be thought of as a people person is evidence that DOC is right.  If I didn’t think that caring about other people’s needs was valuable, I wouldn’t think it was a compliment, would I?  Plus, because I admire DOC so much, it is pleasing to find his assessment of me is so spot on.  I am not always sure he’s paying attention.

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Entry Filed under: compliment, life, management, Uncategorized, work

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