Communicating Amongst The Animal Temperaments

In this third and final installment let’s look at some of the general relationship strategies that we can use when working together with other “animal” temperaments? Listed below are some working ideas to help you better understand your team mates and/or colleagues and become ‘lord of the jungle’:

Lion TemperamentLions (D)

Wants You to Be: efficient and to the point

Provide Them With: options, information on what it does and by when, freedom to act, immediate action

General Strategies: be efficient and competent, support their goals and objectives, if you disagree – argue facts and not personal feelings, be precise, time disciplined, well organized, focus on the results or bottom-line, do not waste their time, let them make the decision

Otter TemperamentOtters (I)

Wants You to Be: stimulating and interesting

Provide Them With: quality, information on how it will enhance their status, increased talent, originality, uniqueness

General Strategies: be interested in them, support their dreams, feelings and opinions, be sociable, do not hurry the discussion – give them a chance to verbalize, try not to argue, don’t deal with details – put it all in writing, do not be shy, agree on the specifics of any arrangement

Retriever TemperamentGolden Retrievers (S)

Wants You to Be: cooperative and pleasant

Provide Them With: assurances, information on how it will affect their circumstances, popular ideas, risk sharing, reliability, assistance in presenting to others

General Strategies: be non-threatening and sincere, show personal interest and support their feelings, don’t push, move along in a slow manner, show that you are listening, be easy-going, assure them that you stand behind any decisions

Beaver Temperament Beavers (C)

Wants You to Be: accurate and precise

Provide Them With: evidence, information on how they can logically justify, systematic plans, progress reviews

General Strategies: be thorough and well planned, support their thoughtful approach, demonstrate through action rather than words, be exact, organized, and prepared, give them time to verify your words, don’t rush decision making, avoid gimmicks, provide evidence that what you say is true and accurate

I hope these last three articles have been helpful and have added additional “tools” to your management and personal communication “tool belt”. As always, the application of knowledge is often the hardest part. Take what you’ve learned and move out one step at a time. Even if you pick out just one strategy to work on over the next couple weeks, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the results.

Related Links
Understanding the Animal Temperaments
Leadership Styles: Dictatorial, Authoritative, Consultative, Participative
Leadership Styles: When To Use Them
How Leadership Styles Affect Productivity
You Might Be A Micromanager If…


12 thoughts on “Communicating Amongst The Animal Temperaments

  1. I have not seen anything about this for many years it was good to find it agian. The context I first found it in was a marriage retreat, interesting hugh! Thanks

    • Eric Brown says:

      The DISC assessments classify four aspects of behavior by testing a person’s preferences in word associations (compare with Myers-Briggs Type Indicator). DISC is an acronym for:

      Dominance – relating to control, power and assertiveness
      Influence – relating to social situations and communication
      Steadiness (submission in Marston’s time) – relating to patience, persistence, and thoughtfulness
      Conscientiousness (or caution, compliance in Marston’s time) – relating to structure and organization

      Find the full write up here on Wikipedia:


  2. Rob says:

    I am a prison officer,which means I work in a dictatorial authoritative environment.I am also a facilitator and would love to
    deliver a workshop based on your research.What copyright issues are involved?

    • Rob, the original material was developed by Dr. Gary Smalley and Dr. John Trent (see the first post on this topic). Give them credit and you should be fine.

      Let me know how it goes! -eb

  3. Jenifer Rice says:

    I took the personality quiz at a teacher professional development workshop. It was so much fun! The leaders put us in groups and we discussed our teaching styles and even exchanged email addresses afterward. :) Would I be allowed to use this in my middle school classroom? Where could I get the actual paper pencil quiz like the one we took?

  4. Pingback: Design

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s