Our last Networking with a Twist event series focused on assessing individual working styles and finding our nonprofit “soulmates”. Why is this important, you ask? Each one of us has a different persona in the office, and we all play a crucial role in making sure our teams develop and succeed. By recognizing how we best work and communicate, we become self-aware, and therefore we are able to utilize our strengths and address our weaknesses in the office.
During the event, we categorized people with the same style as being nonprofit “soulmates”, though, in reality, your true nonprofit soulmate may be someone with a different style than yours- someone who compliments you. It’s great to identify those people, and lean on them for support where they excel, but you may have difficulty.
Assess your individual working style by taking this four-question quiz, developed by the Maine Health Access Foundation and inspired by the work of social psychologists David Merrill and Roger Reid. After you complete the quiz, use the key below to help you decode your score. No peeking!
Nonprofit Persona Quiz
- When performing a job, it’s most important to:
a. Do it correctly, regardless of the time involved
b. Set deadlines and get it done
c. Work as a team cooperatively with others
d. Demonstrate my talents and enthusiasm
- The most enjoyable part of working on a job is:
a. Learning from information you need to do it
b. The results you achieve when it’s done
c. The people you meet or work with
d. Seeing how the job contributes to progress
- When I have several ways to get a job done, I:
a. Review the pros and cons of each way and choose
b. Choose a way that I can begin immediately
c. Discuss options with others and choose the one most favored
d. Review the options and follow my “gut” sense about what will work the best
- I am willing to take risky action if:
a. There are facts to support my action
b. It gets the job done
c. It will not hurt others’ feelings
d. It feels right for the situation
If you answered mostly As, you’re...Analytical
Analytical people are cautious, organized and detail-oriented. You like structure, prefer to work alone, and ask many questions. You seek security and always want to be accurate. You prefer objective, task-oriented environments. These are the people organizations want proofreading their reports!
Takeaway: Analytical people sometimes find it difficult working with those who only see the "big-picture", because of your preference for specifics, time frames, and next steps. You are, however, reliable workers who are great with follow-through and making sure things are done accurately.
If you answered mostly Bs, you’re...Driver
Drivers are doers. You take action, act decisively, and prefer maximum freedom to manage themselves and others. You are independent, competitive and work efficiently alone. There’s a good chance a Driver will be running your next meeting.
Takeaway: Although Drivers are sometimes characterized as having a low tolerance for the feelings, attitudes and advice of others, but you are the ones who get the job done. You are results-oriented and great in leadership roles.
If you answered mostly Cs, you’re... Amiable
Amiable people enjoy close, personal relationships with your colleagues. You dislike conflict and are great at gaining support and trust. You are a great listener and work well with others.
Takeaway: While you tend to take your time making decisions, and can often be weak at goal setting and self-direction, you are necessary to making sure groups work together cohesively. Basically, you’re everyone's work BFF.
If you answered mostly Ds, you’re...Expressive
Expressives are spontaneous. You aren't limited by tradition and are likely to make a decision based on your gut instinct. You like working with others, are great at multi-tasking, and generate new and innovative ideas.
Takeaway: Expressive people are leaders. You get your colleagues excited and dream big. Follow through, however, can be a challenge.
The reason for identifying your workplace persona is to gain self-awareness and better understand how to optimize your interactions with your coworkers. For example, if you are an analytical person and find yourself working with someone who displays the traits of an amiable persona, start off on a personal note, and then gravitate to project specifics and expectations. When you make an effort to accommodate others in your work environment, you’re bound to see positive results.
Now that you’ve determined your “nonprofit persona,” were you surprised by the results? Do you see yourself as a mix of styles, like many of our event attendees did? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Kristen Coco co-wrote this piece with Katie Riddle. They are both YNPN Boston Ambassadors on the Events and Programming Team. Kristen works for the Samfund. Katie works for Paint Nite.