Personality Profiling in Your Consignment Business

Personality Profiling in the Consignment Business

I hired her to manage our online presence.

She was fun, outgoing, sociable, and inspiring. I thought that would translate well to our social media and web outlets. What I failed to assess was her motivation to see results. In her short tenure at our consignment store, she lived up to her personality profile.  She loved to have fun, to hang out, to be inspiring. What she was unable to produce was results.

I fault myself for the wasted time and money I invested in her. If I had hired her as a party planner or door greeter she would have been fabulous.

So where did I go wrong with that hire?

Personality profiling is a tremendous tool for hiring and placement of employees.  It’s also a great tool for you to understand your own strengths and weaknesses and to decide what you bring to your own company and where you need to try to fill the gaps with other people.

Components of a Personality Profile

Most personality profiling tools assess some combination of four personality types.  Those four types have been around for centuries. As early as the 5th century BC we find these temperaments in medical literature. Hippocrates (the father of the Hippocratic Oath) wrote about the four temperaments or personality styles. He called them sanguine (optimistic and social), choleric (short-tempered or irritable), melancholic (analytical and quiet), and phlegmatic (relaxed and peaceful).  Since then these temperaments have been called by many other names and have been combined in limitless combinations to try to define how a person functions or behaves.

More recently Gary Smalley refers to the temperaments as animals.  The Lion is directive and in charge.  The Otter loves to have fun and roll around the river with other otters.  The Golden Retriever is man’s best friend and loyal to the end.  The Beaver is the engineer of the animal Kingdom.  Can you see some similarities to Hippocrates’ descriptions?

The two Dichotomies

In evaluating the personality types, there seems to be two axes (such as an x axis and y axis) that delineate the strengths and weaknesses of each type.  One dichotomy determines if a person is more people or task oriented, while the other axis determines whether one is more of an initiator or supporter.

People vs. Task Oriented

I will give you one guess which of these two the girl I referenced at the beginning of this article was. You guessed right.  She was an extremely people oriented employee.

This axis will help you determine the profile you are looking for with any given job description. It is important before you even begin to look for a candidate to know the orientation of the candidate you are looking for.  Putting a highly people oriented person behind a desk all day is an epic fail.

Initiator vs. Supporter

Ironically, highly people oriented employees are also often great initiators.  They like to draw crowds and call people to a vision.  However, they may also like to stay out of the limelight and work behind the scenes. In this scenario, they may work best in a people oriented supporting role.  That’s how the one axis interplays with the other. It is important to know where a person sits in both axes.

Personality Profiling Tools

There are dozens of options on the market for determining a person’s personality profile. Meyers-Briggs, DISC and Insights are a few. Each of these requires a learning curve and I would recommend you pick one and dig deep so you can execute it well with your staff and yourself.

personality profiling in the consignment businessI am a big fan of the DISC assessment for personality profiling and it has made a big difference in our consignment store.  I prefer the DISC because it keeps things simple while still packing in a lot of information about each of your employees.  The DISC sticks with the four basic profiles and allows you to combine those to determine a more colorful sketch of a person’s personality. The profile I use also measures the difference in a person’s profile in private and in public, which could vary greatly and also help you determine a gap or area of conflict in a personality.

Conclusion

There is no greater investment you make into your business than the one that you invest in your people!  Initially, you can do your business all by yourself, but as you grow you must find the right people to invest in and you must invest intentionally and strategically. The best investment you can make in them is to hire well and task them with the proper roles. In order to do that, you must understand their blueprints.  Personality profiling provides clarity into what those blueprints look like.

Find a personality profiling tool, invest time into learning the intricacies of that tool and then use it to build your dream team.

If you are interested in seeing the tool that I use to profile my staff, email me here. I will be happy to let you know how you can get a copy.