We all know the “personality” who constantly seems to get in his or her own way. Short-tempered and shortsighted, the person(ality) doesn’t realize that these traits are getting in the way of greater business and personal success.

Are you killing your own business? Can your public personality mean the end to your small business?

Such people often don’t know how others feel about them. So, how are you to know if this is you? And, if you have developed bad habits, how do you change them?

Perform a personality audit.

Periodically survey your partners, peers, employees, and customers about your own performance. You can do this casually in the form of conversational questions meant to evoke an estimation of your personality presence. Or, you can use a survey service to seek the input. Doing this annually, for example, will tell your public that you are on top of this and that it is meaningful t you. Of course, it also suggests you will improve in response to the feedback.

Pick a peer.

Meet regularly with someone you trust,someone whose opinion you value, someone you can be candid with and who will retain your concerns and confidentiality. Pick an advisor from your Mastermind Group or even a customer who regularly sees you “in action.”

If you’re a family business, bring the family together for reasonably “lay it all on the table” meetings. If you’re small enough and your employees are vested in your success, invite them to speak up in a structured atmosphere. If you are big enough, seek feedback from your customers, clients, suppliers, and employees – but respect their privacy.

Build a model.

Assuming the feedback gets your attention – and who of us is perfect – fix what is easy to fix. But, personality habits are often deep seated and long practiced.

If it turns out that your personality might really be getting in the way of your business, find a role model. Look around your community, church and club, among your friends and your own business dealings for someone who seems to have their business and personal lives together. Such people are likable, their business is growing, people seem to respect them and flock to them. Identify and model some of the behavior traits that make them successful. My guess is that you will find these traits:

  • Patience
  • Humility
  • Transparency/honesty
  • Humor
  • Resilience and flexibility
  • Willingness to teach or share information

Start identifying these and other traits, find someone you can model, and start implementing these changes gradually. Personality is largely something we are born with. It is challenging to change, but it is done every day. Be patient with yourself, continue to seek honest feedback and you will find your relationships, business and otherwise, drastically improved.


by Steven Schlagel