Welcome to this issue of "Dr. T's Timely Tips" by Dr. Tony Alessandra. Please send your feedback to info@alessandra.com!

You can tell a person's personality just by looking at the state of their office

You spend most of your days at work, so it is especially important to be able to get along with your co-workers. The best way to do that is to use the Platinum Rule to tailor your interactions with each person. And how do you know a colleague's personality style? By examining elements in their office, which are usually a telltale giveaway for any style.

Indirect and Open

When you enter a Steady Relater's office, be alert for conservatively framed personal slogans, group photos, serene landscapes and posters, and other personal items. Since they seek close relationships, also look around for telltale family pictures and mementos, usually turned so they can view them from their desk chair. They often favor nostalgic memories of stabilizing experiences and relationships in our increasingly high-tech world. These remembrances of a pleasant, uncomplicated past allow them to transform their offices into an environment of friendly, warm ambience. They prefer to arrange seating in a side-by-side, more congenial, cooperative manner. No big power desks for them! If they do have one, though, they will typically come out from behind it to reach out by opting for a more personal touch.
Direct and Open

When you enter the working area of an Interacting Socializer, look around his office. What does it look like? Even if you have never been to this type's office before, you may recognize it from across the room. Remember Oscar Madison? He and other Socializers may strew paperwork across their desks, sometimes trailing it along the floor, too. They react to visual stimuli, so they like to have everything where they can see it. Consequently, their desks often look cluttered and disorganized. If anyone comments, "How do you find anything?" they like to say that they are organized in their disorganization.

Interacting Socializer walls may sport prestigious awards. They may be broad, liberal arts degrees, motivational or upbeat slogans, generalized personal comments, or stimulating posters. You may see notes posted and taped all over the place with little apparent forethought, rhyme, or reason. Overall decor reflects an open, airy, lively atmosphere that often reveals the personality of its occupant. Likewise, the furniture arrangement tends to indicate warmth, openness, and contact. A Socializer seldom sits behind a desk when he talks. He often opts for comfortable, accessible seating, enabling him to meet his goal of getting to know people better. He prefers to sit next to us at a table or on a couch so he can see and hear us better and get a feel for how we respond to him.
Indirect and Guarded

Cautious Thinkers often carry their organizational tendencies into their work environments. Environmental clues include neat, highly organized desks with cleared tops so they can work unimpeded by clutter -- clean, shipshape, and professional with everything in the appropriate place. Charts, graphs, exhibits, models, credentials, and job-related pictures are often placed neatly on their office walls or shelves. Thinkers favor a functional decor that will enable them to work more efficiently. They tend to keep most objects within reach, readily available when needed. Where appropriate, you may notice state-of-the-art technology to further enhance efficiency.

Cautious Thinkers are non-contact people who prefer the formality of distance. This preference is reflected in the functional, but uninviting, arrangement of their desks and chairs, usually with the desks physically separating you and them.
Direct and Guarded

When entering Dominant Directors' offices, look around. The overall tone suggests authority and control. Their desks may be covered with projects and papers, stacked in neat piles. Both their in- and out-boxes typically bulge with busywork. They tend to surround themselves with trophies, awards, and other evidence of personal achievement. Virtually everything about the place suggests hustle, bustle, formality, and power. This type often favors a large chair behind a massive authority structure known as a power desk. Besides non-verbally announcing, "I'm important," the desk separates them from visitors, literally keeping them at a distance.

The walls may include diplomas, commendations, and other evidence of success. One wall may have a large planning sheet or calendar on it... the better to juggle with, my dear. If Dominant Directors have family photos, they may hang behind them or somewhere where they do not readily see them. To this type, their offices are places of business and the fewer distractions they have, the better.

Here's to more personal insight,


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