Suggestions Offered for Enhancing Business and Client
Chicago Kitchen and bath designers searching for a way to better
“connect” with clients, employees, sub-contractors or other
business partners should consider using a different approach, one
that is based on recognizing the personality style of the other
person and tailoring presentations and communication styles
That is the opinion of Evonne Weinhaus, president and founder of
Communication Works, who presented a seminar here at the recent
K/BIS on ideas for better managing interpersonal relationships in
Based on Weinhaus’ research, there are four different
personality styles. Each of these, she notes, has specific traits,
strengths and weaknesses, which must be considered when trying to
communicate effectively with others. The four personality types
- “L” Style: This style represents someone who is loose and
lively with people. The strengths of this peronsality type include
their emotions, enthusiasm, optimism, persuasiveness and people
oriented nature. These types of people are generally very open,
popular and lively, Weinhaus believes. “L” style individuals also
tend to be more fast-paced and assertive than any of the three
Their weaknesses include being excitable, reactive, disorganized
“L” personality types are generally best motivated by applause
or praise, according to Weinhaus, who notes that this is important
to recognize when dealing with “L” types of personalities.
- “R” Style: An “R” style person typically rushes to get results.
These personalities are fast-paced individuals who tend to be
action oriented, power-oriented, determined and confident.
According to Weinhaus, “R” style people may feel that they’ve lost
control at any point in time, in which case they will move into
over-control mode. It will be important for them to choose their
own methods of reaching goals.
Their strengths include being practical, independent and
However, their weaknesses can lead them to become pushy, impatient,
possessive and insecure, Weinhaus notes.
“R” personality types tend to be motivated by achievement, Weinhaus
- “E” Style: Efficient and easy going are the characteristics of
this personality style. Many times, “E” personality styles will
outwardly agree with a client or designer even if they do not
entirely agree, just for the sake of avoiding conflict. Their focus
is relationship oriented, and they believe very strongly in a team
concept. Feelings of appreciation are very important to them. Their
strengths include being extremely dependable, agreeable and
They also are likely to remain reserved and calm even during times
of conflict, she notes.
Agreement tends to motivate “E” types, Weinhaus adds.
- “F” Style: Finally, the “F” personality style describes
individuals who figure out facts. These individuals need time and
space, mostly to help them gather more data or come up with a date
for completion of a design. According to Weinhaus, they tend to
work on a timetable and are somewhat serious. Their strengths lie
in that they ask for more information than they need, are very
persistent and accurate. They are also very task
In contrast, these personality types are slow to make decisions,
are critical and judgmental, and can be picky.
“F” types tend to be most motivated by accuracy, Weinhaus
Understanding these personality types will help designers know
how to address different types of people more effectively, Weinhaus
believes, while helping to limit misunderstandings and conflict.
However, she warns that simply knowing what “type” of client,
employee or business partner you’re dealing with is not enough. You
also must also learn how to communicate effectively with them by
“mirroring” their communication style.
Weinhaus suggests that communication can be enhanced by using
words that “match” the personality style of the person you are
speaking with. For instance, “L” types of people react positively
to words like “ideas,” “brainstorming” and “special;” “R” types
react well to words like “goals,” “results” and “outcomes;” “E”
types tend to react well to words like “feelings,” “team effort”
and “appreciate,” and “F” types tend to respond well to words like
“facts,” “figures” and “thoughts.”
Once dealers identify the personality type of the client, they
can learn to relate to them effectively by doing the following, she
- Match the viewpoint of the other person: Try to adapt your
style by looking at things from the other person’s point of
- Move cooperatively to solve problems: When facing a conflict,
find joint solutions that attack the problem instead of each
Finally, Weinhaus offers these tips for communicating
- Diffuse, don’t ignite conflict.
- Listen carefully to what the other person is saying, verbally,
and non verbally. Different types of people can say things
differently based on their communication style, yet mean the same
thing. Listening beyond the words will help enhance
- Keep the other person involved in problem solving.
- Use negotiations wherever possible, so both parties feel like
they are “winning” something.