When team members clash, disaster strikes. Project deadlines are missed, HR referees team members, the boss is angry for a week, and the raises everyone expects vanishes in the face of discord.
Which personality is in charge of rallying the team members? Can’t you tell from the noise? It must an Idealist!
Idealist personalities make up 8-10% of the population and populate sales, psychology, and teachers positions. This personality really likes people.
Idealists are enthusiastic and have a knack for motivating team members. When one walks into the room, the energy level naturally goes up. When you need buy-in, bring in these cheerleaders.
This personality is an expert at stimulating conversation. Put them into a “dead" room and watch it come alive!
An Idealist is easily excitable. This can be a good or bad trait, depending on the circumstance. Although he/she may get the group going, they may end up showing off their impetuous side: talking when they shouldn't, jumping to conclusions, or becoming impatient when decisions aren't made fast enough.
When an Idealist feels their ideas are under attack, they will lash out and attack team players. This behavior ends up creating the opposite effect on the buy-in process.
As a supervisor, Idealists tend to lose focus and frustrate their employees. Employees may receive mixed messages depending on the supervisor's mood or direction. On the other hand, some Idealists inspire and motivate their employees to new heights.
Supervisors can get better performance from an Idealist if they:
Idealists in Brief
Value to the Team: Idealists influence people.
Major Strength: Enthusiastic and motivates people.
Major Weakness: Impetuous and does not focus on all the facts.
Communication: Stimulates conversation.
Emotional Response: Excitable and Emotional.
Decision Making: Decides quickly and not always with the facts.
Behavior Under Stress: Idealists, when faced with high levels of stress, will go on the attack.
Being a Better Team Player: Idealists need to take a breath. Their excitement sometimes takes on a will of its own.
For more on Teams and Personality, see the fourth article in this series: Team Personalities: Yes! We Can Get Along!
Chrome Zebra, Inc.
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Rhonda Goetz is the owner and CEO of Chrome Zebra, an online human resource training company. She also is an authorized harassment and discrimination trainer and online instructional designer.
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