April 10, 2013

News & Opinion: Personality and Presence

By: Sally Haldorson @ 6:03 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

We've all experienced it. Maybe it was one of your professors from college who inspired you to get up before noon and actually attend her class every week. Maybe it was that actor, in that film, not the main star, but the other guy. Maybe it was one of the panelists at the conference who you wished would answer every question. Regardless, you know it when you see it: star power. And it's hard to explain. Is it charisma? Is it confidence? Whatever it is, you want it. And the good news is that the following two books can help you get it. Personality Power: Discover Your Unique Profile -- And Unlock Your Potential For Breakthrough Success by Shoya Zichy with Ann Bidou is a new book from Amacom that fans of books like Strengthsfinder 2.0 by Tom Rath and Quiet by Susan Cain should gravitate toward. Zichy has come up with a "Color Q" model of the four major personality groups first delineated by Jung and then adapted via the Myers-Briggs. Zichy takes those same traits and color codes them:
Golds are Grounded, realistic, and accountable Blues are Theoretical, competitive, and always driven to acquire more knowledge Reds are Action-oriented, spontaneous, and focused on "now" Greens are Creative, empathetic, and humanistic
After taking the quizzes, you will find one primary and one secondary style, as well as determining whether you are introverted or extroverted. The book then focuses on defining the colors as well as delving into the different combinations of the colors that all get their own chapter on how that personality combination can help you in a variety of work scenarios like negotiation. It can also be a guide to help managers and team leaders determine which employees will be best at certain tasks. Own the Room: Discover Your Signature Voice to Master Your Leadership Presence by Amy Jen Su and Muriel Maignan Wilkins is new out this month from Harvard Business Review Press. The authors posit that the number one quality that differentiates leaders and new hires from other folks isn't some kind of innate and rare gift of presence, but instead is the development of a "signature voice." The authors present a methodology called ACE:
A Signature Voice is both authentic and adaptive. You must be true to yourself and connect with others. This is the signature part. A Signature Voice requires using two voices: the ability to demonstrate one's value and distinctiveness and the ability to connect and align with stakeholders. This is the voice part. To condition presence, you have to focus on your whole self: assumptions, communications, and energy.
The authors, both executive coaches, offer many case studies to walk you through the application of their framework, and include a section that can help you when you back-slide (which despite one's best intentions can realistically happen.) The book concludes with a chapter on taking this ACE method and using it organizationally. The book is chock full of tables, quizzes and charts to help readers visualize and create action plans. *** The common factor between these two books, Personality Power and Own the Room is that they both encourage you to be yourself, but assist you in becoming your best self.

About Sally Haldorson

Sally Haldorson's job as 800-CEO-READ’s General Manager is to make 800-CEO-READ a great place to work for our employees, and a consistently high-performing customer service organization for our clients, authors, and our partners in the publishing industry. In addition to her General Manager duties ensuring collaboration, integration, and quality, she reads, writes, reviews, curates, and edits for the company. Helping craft The 100 Best Business Books of All Time used parts of both skill sets. Outside of work, she is most likely to be found hitting a tennis ball around or hanging out with her boys (husband, child, dog) at home.