Issue No. 115 of Your Weekly Staff Meeting highlights a must-have book on the four social styles—and how this will help you filter advice about the economy. And this reminder, check out my Management Buckets website with dozens of resources and downloadable worksheets for your staff meetings.
The 4 Social Styles
If you lead a nonprofit organization and depend on year-end donor gifts, you’ll get plenty of wisdom from staff, board members and other donors about how the economy will affect giving. You’ll need to filter that advice through your understanding of the four social styles: Analyticals, Drivers, Amiables and Expressives. It’s all about finding your comfort zone and understanding the comfort zone of others, including donors.
Will your revenue go up or down in 2009? When making decisions, Analyticals avoid risk, based on facts. Drivers take risks, based on intuition. Amiables avoid risk, based on opinion. Expressives take risks, based on hunches. Do you have a mix of all four styles on your staff and board? Do you understand—and leverage—the social styles of your major donors?
Analyticals appreciate data. Your Vision 2010 proposal has 16 pages, but that may not be enough information for an Analytical. Donors who are drivers want you to get to the bottom line ASAP. Forget the PowerPoint and the chitchat. Amiables value an unhurried appointment with a focus on close relationships and peace. Yet Expressives value interaction, involvement and a fast pace. And don’t make it boring!
Stop! Don’t make one more donor call until you’ve read this week’s book. While there are many good “people systems” out there going back as far as Hippocrates’ four temperaments, I recommend you become a student of the four social styles. This system is easy to remember and doesn’t require a one-day seminar or an expensive assessment. For more information and both faith-based and marketplace books (and the science behind the four social styles), visit the People Bucket on my website and read Chapter 7 in my Buckets book.
To order this week’s book from Amazon, click on this title: The Social Styles Handbook: Find Your Comfort Zone and Make People Feel Comfortable with You, published by Wilson Learning Library.
Your Weekly Staff Meeting Questions:
1) Here’s a copy of this month’s direct mail donor appeal. Does it speak to all four social styles (Analyticals, Drivers, Expressives, and Amiables)? How could this letter be improved?
2) What social style is your pastor? Do the sermons routinely speak to all four social styles? Give examples.
Listen! Listen! Listen! - Insights from Mastering the Management Buckets: 20 Critical Competencies for Leading Your Business or Nonprofit
One of the big ideas in the Customer Bucket, Chapter 2, in Mastering the Management Buckets, is to “Listen! Listen! Listen!” to your customers. You must research what your customer (donor, client, etc.) values.
Dr. Robert D. Hisrich, the marketing savvy co-author of our out-of-print book, Marketing Your Ministry: Ten Critical Principles, preaches research, research, research. He writes, “If you have $10,000 to spend, invest $5,000 in researching and understanding the market.” Bob is a world-class guru in global entrepreneurship and has authored dozens of marketing texts, and he is rarely satisfied that companies, nonprofits and churches are ever serious enough about research.
During the early years of EarthLink, Inc., one of the nation’s largest online service providers, CEO Garry Betty spent 30 minutes at the end of each day calling new customers. And Lee Iacocca, the former chairman of Chrysler Corporation, said, “If you take care of your customers, everything else will fall into place.”
“What does the customer value?” is one of five “Drucker questions” that all organizations must ask and answer. So how do you find out what people value? You ask, says Hisrich. “Ask people what their real needs are, then shut up, and listen, listen, listen.”
Check out Chapter 2 for the six strategic best practices for thinking about your customers. Plus, visit the Customer Bucket on our website for resources, more downloadable worksheets, and other book recommendations.