- The first key to determining temperament is knowing whether you are an S (Sensing) or an N (iNtution). These two letters are most important for understanding how you lead and react to situations. This category has to do with how you take in information. Sensing or Intuition is the first part because the difference in how people gather information about the world is the starting point of most interactions with others. In order to communicate well, you need to know how people gather information, whether through big picture thinking and a future-orientation (Intuition) or through a detailed focus on the here and now (Sensing). In order to make decisions, you need to know how you and others get the information to make those decisions.
- If you are Sensing, then you prefer to gather information in a concrete, realistic, practical way. So the next letter you would look to is whether you are a J (Judging) or P (Perceiving) because you want to know what you do with the data that you’ve gathered.
- If you are an SJ then you prefer to organize the data you have gathered.
- If you’re an SP then you prefer to seek more information after gathering data.
- If instead you are Intuition, then you prefer conceptual and abstract (i.e. big picture) ways to gather data. So the second category of most importance is to determine how you prefer to evaluate the data that you’ve gathered. Do you evaluate it through a T (Thinking) or F (Feeling) approach?
- If you are an NT, then you evaluate the data objectively, taking a logical approach.
- If you are an NF, then you evaluate the data subjectively, taking others’ views into account.
Therefore the 4 Temperaments are:
SJ – Guardians
SP – Artisans
NF – Idealists
NT – Rationals
Each temperament is associated with a different leadership style, summed up below:
- Their information-gathering process is practical and realistic (sensing) to which they prefer to give organization and structure (judging)
- Called Guardians or The Company People because they see power in the structure, hierarchy, and traditions of their organizations and work teams
- Their data collection process is practical and realistic (sensing) to which they bring spontaneity and flexibility (perceiving)
- Known as Artisans or The Troubleshooters because they exercise power by solving problems
- They look at the world and see possibilities (intuition) and translate those possibilities inter- and intra- personally (feeling)
- Known as Idealists or The People People because they see power as residing in personal relationships
- They gather data consisting largely of abstractions and possibilities (intuition) which they filter through their objective decision making process (thinking)
- Known as Rationals or The Competency Strivers because they see power in being competent
- What is something unique about yourself that you want an admissions officer to know and that won’t be included anywhere else in your application?
- Why is that important to who you are? Why do you want a college to know this about yourself? Keep asking yourself “why” after each answer until you arrive at the core.
- What originally triggered this unique thing about you?
- Brainstorm creative openings that start your story on an intriguing note.
College Essay TipsWhy the essay matters:
- It gives you the chance to stand out apart from your grades, SAT or ACT scores, and extracurricular activities.
- Colleges say that the main requirement for a student to stand out is someone who tells their story.
- You must know yourself and how your unique combination of experiences makes you who you are. You must be able to communicate why/where you want to be headed.
- “What is it that makes you unique, and how will you contribute to the life of our campus?” What are the stories people always tell about you?
- Show your leadership, how you take initiative, how you serve others, willingness to take risks, etc.
- Display your broader passions, but showcase your specific strengths.
- SHOW don’t tell.
- Write in your own voice and keep the essay focused and personal. Don’t write what you think colleges want to hear.
- Introduction: Start with a hook. Body paragraphs: Stay focused to the main point and be specific with examples. Conclusion: End with a hook. What did you learn about yourself; how does this relate to your future?
- Use your own voice in the essay.
- When you read the essay aloud it should sound like you’re telling a captivating story about yourself.
- Try writing several different versions of the essay with different openings or closings. Have your friends and family read them and tell you which one they thought was the most compelling read.
- Don’t list out a lot of different examples and stories throughout your essay. You have a limited word count. Instead it’s more powerful to stick to one main theme or story that encapsulates the broader points that you want to communicate about yourself.
Relational Management Part II:As a review, relational management is your ability to develop and maintain healthy relationships. You demonstrate this capacity in an interview through clear communication, your leadership capabilities, and conflict management skills. Here are some final ways to show your people skills during an interview: • Be a leader.
For the most part, employers will want to hire someone who can take the initiative on projects, lead a group of diverse people, and manage change.You cannot display these leadership qualities in an interview without actual leadership experience. So first, whatever company or school you are currently in, find a way to take the lead on a project. Regardless of whether you are assigned a specific leadership role, take the initiative to uncover a problem and lead the implementation of a solution. Taking this initiative provides practice for communicating your vision and shows your passion in an interview. It also demonstrates your ability to rally a group of people who aren’t formally assigned to the project, which shows the interviewer your ability to be a catalyst for change and an inspirational leader. Leadership also gives you practice managing a group of diverse people, which is another relational management component that interviewers look for in a candidate. Collaborating with others in different departments or areas of focus and of different backgrounds or ethnicities shows that you can effectively work with others toward a common goal. • Manage conflict. Thriving companies know how to engage in healthy conflict. Their employees can discuss disagreements with managers in order to find the best solution to problems, and co-workers can disagree respectfully when everyone’s primary goal is the organization’s mission. Before going into an interview, be sure that you’ve had experience in resolving controversies, whether people-issues or work-related problems.
Conflict management involves listening to the other side and seeking to understand before trying to be understood.It then incorporates your communication skills to clarify your point-of-view. Negotiation techniques or other problem-solving methods are then employed to resolve the disagreement. You’ll likely be asked in an interview to describe a recent conflict or difficulty that you navigated. In some cases, you’ll be asked to respond to a case study that involves a conflict. Either of these questions gives you the chance to show how you effectively manage conflict. • Follow-up with a thank you note that stands out. Part of relational management includes maintaining relationships. One way to do this after the interview is to send a personal thank you note. In addition to sending a thank you email, you should always send a handwritten thank you note to everyone that interviewed you. In this note you should hit on key points that you learned about the company, and thank the interviewer for their time. You also want to mention something that will make you stand out.
Your note should include something that brings to the interviewer’s mind who you are, such as a specific conversation that you had.With several to hundreds of other people interviewing for your same position, including these details in the thank you letter will trigger their memory of your interview. For instance, you could write, “I really enjoyed our conversation about traveling to South America. Your experience gives me a new perspective on my international volunteer work with orphans.” Including a specific conversation such as this example will help the interviewer remember something unique that you have to offer. • Be intentional about adding value for others. Another part of maintaining relationships is building a lasting bond and cultivating a meaningful relationship. In the interim between sending your thank you note and waiting to hear back from the company about their decision, you can send the interviewer an article on a topic that you discussed in the interview or a resource that fits into the company’s strategy.
Seek to add value for others, instead of only searching for what’s in it for you.Whether you are offered the job or not, this principle of adding value is important. If you want another opportunity to interview at the company or you are networking throughout your job search, find ways to continue meaningful conversations. Your intentionality could be the extra step in the decision process or what brings your name to mind when a new job position opens up. One last point, remember that all aspects of Emotional Intelligence are important not only to a successful interview but also to your overall career success. Throughout this Interviewing with EQ series, if one area stood out that is more difficult for you than others, spend time trying to intentionally develop that aspect of your EQ. Having someone hold you accountable and help you set actionable goals around that area can be a helpful resource.
Part IV: Relational ManagementRelational management is your ability to develop and maintain healthy relationships. You demonstrate this capacity in an interview through clear communication, your leadership capabilities, and conflict management skills. Relational management is critical to your career success because people skills (“soft skills”) are much more difficult to teach an employee than the specific, hard skills that are required for a job. Employers are looking for indicators of social skills to know that a future hire will be able to understand and communicate well with others inside and outside of the company. Therefore, this final article of the Interviewing with EQ series is broken down into two parts because of the importance attributed to relational management during interviews. Relational Management Part I Here are specific ways to showcase your social skills in an interview:
- Be courteous to everyone that you meet.
For example, one CEO informed me that he tells the receptionist ahead of time when someone is coming in for an interview. He then asks her to take notes on the interviewee’s behavior.How the person interacts with the receptionist is very telling about their desire to engage with others. Are they personable and friendly or do they immediately sit down and stare at their iPhone? You can find out a lot about somebody through this dynamic, so be courteous and friendly, and put your phone away.
- Communicate effectively.
When the interviewer asks you a question, be sure to give a direct response and to actually answer the question.This statement may seem obvious, but it can be easy to begin telling a story about yourself and forget to bring it back around to the specific question. At the end of every example, sum up your answer with how it relates to the question that was asked. You can also use good communication principles while giving examples of your previous work experience. For instance, if you are asked, “Tell me about your last job,” don’t just answer with your job title and role. Instead, tell a story that best encapsulates your day-to-day responsibilities and leadership.
- Ask good questions.
Part of communicating effectively is asking good questions in the interview. When you’re asked at the end of the interview, “Do you have any questions?” you want to have well-developed questions in mind. By not asking any questions – or asking the wrong questions – you will end the interview on a less than favorable note.Interviewers say that they can tell a lot about a job candidate by the questions that they ask. So, what type of questions should you ask? Here are some examples:
- “What qualities are you looking for in the person you are wanting to hire?”
- Questions about the company, specific projects mentioned during the interview, or how the organization is structured will help you better understand the job position.
- “What is your favorite thing about the company?”
- “What does it take for a person in your organization to move up in the company or to become a leader/manager/partner (i.e. whatever you aspire to)?”
- “How much vacation time do employees get?”
- “How did I do in this interview?”
- First, research the organization by conducting a SWOT analysis.
- Anticipate the company’s needs and areas of growth.
- Get a feel for the people dynamics and company politics.
- How does work actually get done?
- Regardless of what is touted, are employees collaborative or competitive?
- Develop an understanding of others.
An interview is not just for the company to screen you. Approach it more as a conversation where you can get a sense for the company, what team you’d be working with, and the management style of your potential boss.
- What is it that they are looking for in a new hire? If the interviewer is vague about a part of the job, ask follow-up questions. The interviewer will appreciate that you are intentional about learning about the company and finding a good fit.
- Also try to read between what is explicitly stated. What does the interviewer really need and want for this position?
- Pay attention to cues from the interviewer.
You shouldn’t just pay attention to your own body language in an interview; you also want to gauge how the interviewer responds through nonverbal cues.I often tell my students that they should mirror the interviewer’s body language.
- Is the interviewer to the point and serious? Then don’t add unnecessary details to your responses.
- Is your interviewer passionate about the company? Then show your enthusiasm for the industry and how you hope to contribute your personal strengths to the job.
This advice doesn’t mean that you can’t be yourself. Instead, be the best version of yourself and present yourself in the most appropriate light.Be sure to check back for the final post in this series on how to use relational management during the interview process.
“‘Cognitive empathy,’ or the mental ability to take others’ perspective, begins rising steadily in girls at age 13, according to a six-year study published recently in Developmental Psychology. But boys don’t begin until age 15 to show gains in perspective-taking, which helps in problem-solving and avoiding conflict. Adolescent males actually show a temporary decline, between ages 13 and 16, in a related skill—affective empathy, or the ability to recognize and respond to others’ feelings.”The teenage brain continues to change, especially in developing critical social skills. Whereas girls’ affective empathy is stable and high during their teenage years, boys’ don’t regain this sensitivity until late adolescence. What I found fascinating is that in my work with high school students, empathy was the second highest most prevalent strength on their StrengthsFinder results. Since I last published these strengths statistics, the top strengths have slightly changed to reflect the following:
- Adaptability (39% of high school students had it as a top 5 strength)
- Empathy (34% had it in their top 5 strengths)
- Futuristic (32% had it in their top 5 strengths)
- Relator (29% had it in their top 5 strengths)
- Strategic (27% had it in their top 5 strengths)
- 37% of female high school students had it as a top 5 strength
- 43% of male high school students had it as a top 5 strength
- 41% of female high school students had it as a top 5 strength
- 21% of male high school students had it as a top 5 strength
- 30% of female high school students had it as a top 5 strength
- 36% of male high school students had it as a top 5 strength
- 41% of female high school students had it as a top 5 strength
- 7% of male high school students had it as a top 5 strength
- 26% of female high school students had it as a top 5 strength
- 29% of male high school students had it as a top 5 strength
“People exceptionally talented in the Empathy theme can sense other people’s feelings by imagining themselves in others’ lives or situations.” “People exceptionally talented in the Relator theme enjoy close relationships with others. They find deep satisfaction in working hard with friends to achieve a goal.”According to the research, three years later than girls, boy’s affective empathy catches up with girls.
However, by this time is it too late to cultivate empathy as male strength?Sue Shellenbarger, author of the “Teenagers Are Still Developing Empathy Skills” article reports that there is intense social pressure for teenage males to “act like a man.” As a result, boys often feel that they have to repress empathy. So for those males who had empathy as a top 5 strength, are we providing ways for them to express this strength? Are strengths like relator and empathy unrealized in some high school boys because there’s not an easy outlet for them to develop this strength? Research shows that parents can develop empathy in their children by being empathetic themselves. And for boys, their father’s empathy and support is especially important. How can we as a culture model empathy and encourage teenage boys to be empathetic to their peers? How can we recognize teenage boys that display signs of empathy and help them to develop that strength in the adolescent years? This post merely raises questions, but I think they’re important ones to think about as Generation Y enters into adulthood.
Part II: Self-ManagementThe second part of your EQ is self-management, which naturally builds on self-awareness. Once you understand your thoughts, emotions, and actions, managing them is the next step. This skill is critical to interviewing because you must respond to various situations that the interview presents, such as analyzing case studies or answering difficult questions. In addition to controlling your behavior and emotions, self-management also involves being adaptable, taking responsibility for your performance, demonstrating integrity, and being innovative and optimistic. Interviewers look for all of these characteristics in a potential new hire.
Here are ways to demonstrate and use self-management in interviews:
- Make corrections based on your practice interviews.
- Practice controlling your emotions.
- When something at work doesn’t go your way, whether it’s an angry voicemail or a coworker you can’t rely on, how do you respond?
- Or, does what’s happening in your personal life affect how you act at work?
- Demonstrate your adaptability.
- In your daily life, notice how you respond to adverse, uncomfortable, or different situations from the norm.
- In changing circumstances can you remain patient even when it’s frustrating?
- Consciously put yourself in different situations and practice responding rather than reacting.
Take this example from Barry Rush, a founder of The EQ Workshop: “I was sitting in on an interview over lunch, and we were interviewing a young guy in his 20’s who is normally cool, friendly, and able to fit into every situation. During the interview, he reached over for the salt and knocked over his glass of tea. We watched him try to recover, get a laugh with all of us, but turn beet red in the process. You just need to be ready for anything!”Showing that you can take unanticipated turns of events in stride – and be able to laugh at yourself or not take yourself too seriously when a faux pas happens – also demonstrates your adaptability.
- Be transparent, yet maintain integrity and optimism.
- How can you communicate that your current job is not a good fit for you without throwing your employer under the bus?
- Maintain motivation and take the initiative.
“…Fundamentally everything starts with a deeper sense of self-knowledge that so many people want to skip past… How do you find out what those things are that are meaningful to you… without actually knowing a bit about yourself?”The people that Fields interviewed all over the world who found the most meaningful work had a self-knowledge that most shy away from discovering. However, what Teresa Amabile, Professor of Business Administration and a Director of Research at Harvard Business School, says in this same interview is telling:
“Self-knowledge is critical… Understanding what really drives you in your work, what really gives you satisfaction and then trying to find some way each day to protect at least a little bit of time to do that kind of work can lead to tremendous satisfaction.”This “tremendous satisfaction” comes from trying to do small things everyday that contribute to something that matters to you. If you reflect at the end of each day on what parts of the day were most meaningful – however small – you will start to notice patterns about yourself and your passions. Fields says,
“What is kind of interesting to me… is that a part of getting to know yourself is actually doing all of those little things and then seeing which of them actually give you that response… maybe without even knowing that you’d feel that way. But then looking at that and saying, ‘Oh that’s kind of interesting, how fascinating that I responded so viscerally to something so small. What does that teach me about myself?'”If you can understand enough about yourself to know what matters to you and what ignites your passions, then you can intentionally find ways to integrate these things into your every day. The amount of meaningful work that you accomplish every day does not matter. It’s about the consistency. “Meaningfulness infuses everything,” says Amabile. And when you start to do all of these little, but meaningful, things every day, you in turn learn more about yourself in the process. Self-knowledge and meaningfulness are a circular relationship. Deeper self-knowledge fuels meaningful work, which then produces more self-awareness.