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INTERACTIVE: How to network based on your personality type

Written by Love Energy Savings at 13:33

The importance of face-to-face networking for businesses cannot be understated — and often it isn’t. Plenty of studies have been conducted to judge just how effective all those business dinners and conferences are when it comes to boosting your business prospects.

In fact, a recently published an article investigating networking in the modern world found some staggering stats, including:

  • Nearly 100% of people say face-to-face networking is essential for long-term partnerships
  • 85% of people say they build stronger, more meaningful business relationships during in-person business meetings and conferences
  • Tragically, one in four people don’t network at all

But what if the reason people struggle to network is that they struggle to connect with others in that moment?

And if that is the reason, is there a solution?

Understanding Myers-Briggs and what it means for networking

Everyone is different. For most people, that’s a given. So why do we often speak to everyone as if they’re the same when it comes to networking?

This revelation has spurred the rise in personality testing over the last 30 years — and no personality test has been quite as transformative as Myers-Briggs.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is the most popular personality test in today’s business world. It divides personalities into four areas called “dichotomies”, and within each dichotomy, you can fall into one of two categories. Overall, it looks like this:

 

Personality 1 (example)

Personality 2 (example)

Dichotomy 1

Extraversion (E)

Introversion (I)

Dichotomy 2

Sensing (S)

Intuition (N)

Dichotomy 3

Thinking (T)

Feeling (F)

Dichotomy 4

Judgement (J)

Perception (P)

 

In the above example, Personality 1 would be an “ESTJ”  and Personality 2 would be “INFP”. 

The ESTJ personality type — nicknamed ‘Overseer’ — are extraverted and can make quick judgements, making them quintessential leaders. On the other hand, the INFP personality type — nicknamed ‘Dreamer’ — is idealistic, introverted and sensitive. They are highly creative and often come up with the best ideas.

There are 16 personality types that Myers-Briggs recognises, each of which is made up of a different combination of these dichotomies. 

Often, the results from these Myers-Briggs tests are applied to internal teams to help them reach a common goal. But how often is it applied to the world of networking?

Take the quiz

Love Energy Savings is a specialist within the B2B sector and firmly believes in the power of effective communication.

“We're a company that understands the importance of making strong connections. That's why we take the time to get to know our customers personally, understanding their business's needs so we can make recommendations that we're confident in,” says Phil Foster from Love Energy Savings. “Learning how to interact with different personality types is fundamental to this success.”

To help more professionals improve their networking skills, Love Energy Savings created this interactive infographic. Simply select your personality type (you can make an estimate based on the descriptions if you don’t already know your type), and you’ll get information about:

    • What proportion of the population shares your personality type
    • Which personality types you’ll naturally get on with (and which you won’t)
    • How to connect easily with people from each personality group

Understanding others using data

In compiling the information for our interactive infographic, the data revealed a few key points that are especially helpful for nervous networkers:

1. Protectors (SJ) are the most common personality group you’ll encounter

4 in 10 people fall into the category of ‘Protectors’, who are defined as being dependable, altruistic and honest.

That’s good news if you’re worried about mingling at conferences; it means you’ll more than likely talk with someone who will be genuine about their intentions and more wants to help you more often than not.

2. There’s no personality type that’s exclusively male or female

While there are certain personalities that lean more toward one or the other, there’s no type you’ll encounter that is exclusive to either sex. Understanding this means you won’t make the mistake of assuming the people you network with will be a certain way just because they’re a man or a woman. 

3. Some personality types have more influence than others

In our research into personalities, we came across one study from Truity Psychometrics which found correlations between certain personality types and their influence within an organisation.

Examiners (ISTJs) were most likely to earn the highest income on average (£45k), closely followed by Craftsmen (ISTP). Examiners also managed the largest number of people overall (5.8 on average).

At the other end of the spectrum, Engineers (INTPs) managed the fewest people on average (2.3), probably because their personality type is very hands-on and less people-oriented. Originators (ENTP) had a lower average income than anyone else.

Companies looking to pitch to someone influential would do well to keep their eye out for an Examiner type. However, recruiters on a tight budget might want to steer clear, since their salary expectations are likely to be higher.

Final thoughts

The interactive networking infographic could be incredibly helpful for those who find networking difficult. 

“We hope that once business leaders better understand themselves and how they’ll naturally connect with others, they’ll be more confident and proactive in sourcing new business opportunities,” says Phil Foster.

“In an age where face-to-face communication is critically undervalued,” he adds, “that could prove critical to the success of many UK businesses.”

Want to know more about the power of networking? Check out our advice on why businesses should network more often here.


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