How different personalities can all find something to love about your favorite summertime activities.
By Callie Verderosa
Summer in the workplace can often mean casual Fridays with bare toes you never want to see again, post-work happy hours that get a little too happy, or group retreats that last way too long. But knowing a little about the four main personalities that show up in your workplace can help you pick summer activities that are fun for everyone.
At Plaid, we use The Birkman Method assessment to help us understand the four main personalities seen in people worldwide. (If you’re unfamiliar with the Birkman, you can learn more here). This tells us how people are likely to act, react, and feel based on their interests, underlying needs, usual behavior and behavior under stress. When we’re developing programs and team-building sessions, it allows us to pinpoint why exactly a diverse group of people can enjoy the same activity. We share this with you so you can consider the infinite options you have for your next Friday-after-five gathering that everyone in your office can enjoy.
Take kickball, for example. Casually competitive kickball leagues are a great way to get a group of friends or colleagues together to enjoy time outside after work this summer. If you’ve never played on a kickball league, here’s the scoop: These leagues are often heavy on the social atmosphere and light on the competition. They provide a great alternative to a happy hour at your local brewery (been there, done that), and it gets you outside, moving, and engaging with your friends or colleagues in a different way than just over a drink. Whether it’s the love of the sport, socializing, or the community, people are drawn to the opportunity to gather as a team and work together.
We know what you’re thinking, can everyone in the office really enjoy the same activity – especially kickball, outside in the heat of the summer? Absolutely! They just enjoy it for different reasons based on their personal needs and interests. This gets your resident social committee to stop stressing about a creative social event that caters to just the unique hobbies you hear about at the water cooler, but instead incorporates aspects of each main personality type into the activity. That’s why it can be a great way for anyone to de-stress and relax this summer.
We can take a look at how one activity can appeal to different people. Let’s do it the Plaid way —by breaking down components of the Birkman Method. The Birkman uses colors to simplify and describe the four main personality types we’ve hinted at, but all you really need to know are the code words: The Communicator, The Thinker, The Doer, and The Analyzer.
The Communicator is drawn to the community and social atmosphere of a team. They enjoy team sports because it gives them the ability to work together with the team and build camaraderie. Their interests may have aspects of competitiveness, and they might want to take home the championship t-shirt and trophy at the end of the summer, but the most common characteristics amongst Communicators are the ability to form relationships and create connections on the team.
The Thinker is attracted to the act of thinking, ideating and strategizing. A Thinker will look to the creative aspect of most tasks, taking part in creating a team uniform or tshirt, a team name, or chants for the sidelines. You can count on your Thinkers to create and design the beloved end of season paper plate awards for each player on the team.
The Doer enjoys being active and using their energy. They love to work with their hands, toil in the outdoors and feel the sun on their face. They don’t care if the field hasn’t been mowed or if it’s muddy; they show up, ready to play and are willing to slide into each base if that helps the team accomplish their goals. They often feel a sense of accomplishment from completing tasks, and will share that pride with the team, high-fiving and patting members on their backs for a job well done at each game.
Last, but not least, The Analyzer gravitates towards order, process, and systems. They enjoy having rules and guidelines, and part of what makes their experiences enjoyable is following the process. They enjoy coordinating or scheduling the games, keeping track of the team’s batting order, and each team member’s walk-out song. They enjoy the routine of the pre- and post-game traditions, like group stretches, popsicles or orange slices, and sending the calendar invitation for post-game celebrations at a favorite local restaurant or patio.
Sure, a kickball team can be a great activity for you and your colleagues this summer, but so can any activity. Importantly, you don’t necessarily have to try so hard to please everyone all the time. Different personalities will find some aspect they enjoy about almost any activity. Everyone has different interests, but when we look at an activity with a bird’s eye view, we can start to see why these four personalities can each find something equally enjoyable about any Friday-after-five gathering.
Have you found an activity that you and your colleagues like take part in to kick back this summer? Share with us in the comments below!