BY ROBERT P. MADER
Of CONTRACTOR’s staff
WASHINGTON — Contractors should try to find out who their employees really are, consultant Bill Kimmel, Grandy & Associates, told contractors meeting here, so they “don’t have to run adult day care.”
Kimmel quipped, “Your people don’t plan to ruin your day — it just comes naturally.”
Kimmel addressed members of Quality Service Contractors, an enhanced service group of Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors – National Association, at the group’s recent Power Meeting here.
Contractors should come to understand themselves first as a step to understanding others, he said. How did it affect them, he asked, when they themselves were misunderstood. Kimmel advocated using a behavioral model as a way of understanding people’s behavioral styles. Contractors should learn to read body language and tone of voice. Behavior is composed of a person’s behavioral attributes — how they do things — and their values, which explains why they do things.
Kimmel is an advocate of the DISC model, which stands for Dominance, Influencer, Steadiness and Compliant. People can adapt for a while and act against type, he said, but it requires a lot of energy and eventually the real person comes out.
Kimmel explained the four character types.
A Dominant person or “high-D” does not do well in routine work. The predominant emotion for a high-D is anger.
An Influencer is charming, optimistic, motivates other people and is a team player. They need a high degree of people contact. They’re bad with details and they trust other people too much.
A Steady person is amiable, sincere, dependable and they don’t like attention. If they are under stress, they won’t show it. They dislike controversy and unwarranted change. They can be unemotional.
A Compliant person loves details, has high standards and likes facts. They are conscientious and steady. They are good problem-solvers, good critical thinkers and excel in technical or specialized areas. They get fussy under stress and can be defensive. Their key emotion is fear.
Most people are some combination of two or more personality types, Kimmel said. Contractors should look at an employee’s attributes and change the way they communicate to fit the person.
Kimmel also suggested benchmarking jobs, not people. A service technician, for example, has to have a high degree of personal accountability, desire to learn continuously, and ability to self manage. Contractors should look for personalities that match the job.
“Match a person’s passion to a job that rewards that passion,” he said.