Arrrrgh! Some People are so DIFFICULT – or is it me?
I believe the real answer is that it’s “us”; personality types not meshing. So where am I going with this? I hate conflict. Heck, I
lose sleep over it while others shrug their shoulders and move on, or they kind of love it.
A successful fundraising program is directly tied to how well you get along with those involved; and how well those involved get along with each other. You will raise more money within a joyful, collaborative team. Conflict creates distraction, and distraction takes your eye off the prize; reaching your fundraising goal.
Here’s a quick and easy solution to conflict resolution: Personality Assessments. Most of you are familiar with Myers Brigg’s and may recall your letter type-indicator. I don’t recall mine, but know it was the same type as other fundraising professionals in the room; and very different than the lawyers.
I just took a similar personality assessment called DiSC®. It’s also designed to help you work with different personality types. This article is not an endorsement for any particular type of test, rather an encouragement that every few years you take one. A refresher course on why some people get on so well with a person you wish would disappear by clicking your heels a few times.
Understanding your true self and how you are perceived by others is pretty important as a fundraising professional. One of the first things I
tell a new client is that, “This is going to be hard work, if fundraising were easy, everyone would do it successfully.” Next, I tell them that
we’re going to have FUN! Authentic enthusiasm is infectious, and the money follows.
Take a personality assessment. Find out how people perceive you, better understand other temperaments and hone your ability to identify them so you can control the traits which are in conflict with theirs. We know you can’t change people, so managing conflict sits solidly on you. By knowing yourself and changing your behavior, you will do a better job of avoiding conflict when it pops up and raise funds rather than tempers.
Wondering where my personality assessment lands? First you need to know what four personalities types are offered: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness,
and Conscientiousness. I was almost perfectly balanced between two types according to the DiSC®: Conscientiousness and Influence. Here’s the irony,
according to the assessment, Conscientiousness and Influence types should struggle. What does that say about me? While I’m a critical thinker, detailed and orderly (Conscientiousness); I am also prone to persuade others to get involved and ensure results are not only accomplished but exceeded (Influence). Lastly, I’m considerate of others because I don’t like conflict (aha!). The assessment does seem to define what it takes to successfully raise money: one needs to be an authentic, fearless, people person AND the nerd who totally digs research and wins those grants. Cheers to personality assessments!