Thursday, September 22, 2011


As I am about a month in to my senior year ofcollege, I am recognizing how much I truly love my major and the career I have ahead of me. I attribute this passion to my dad, who was the one who originally encouraged me to apply to the Pamplin College of Business as a Marketing Management Major. My Buyer-Seller Relationships class is one of my favorite marketing courses thus far not only because I think the material is so relevant to many aspects of life, but also because it reminds me of my dad, a real estate broker. One particular class last week reminded me of my dad.

Since I was about 15 years old, my dad has emphasized the importance of understanding your personality, its strengths/weaknesses, and its reactions. There is an assessment, called "Bulls/Tigers/Owls/Lambs," that he gives to his real estate agents to help them understand their personality as well as their clients' personalities. I have taken this assessment multiple times, and my dad has coached me on interacting with other personality types.

I truly believe that my dad's lessons on personality coaching have helped shape the person I am today. I have learned the invaluable lesson that not everyone responds to the same approach to conflict, criticism, or direction. This seems like a "no-brainer" concept, but it is incredible how many times I have encountered campus leaders, supervisors, classmates, and friends who treat criticism with one uniform approach. I believe that the best leaders are the ones who know their followers well enough that they understand how to convey their message in the way that will be best received. In some instances, I want to remind people that "you catch more bees with honey."

Last week, my Buyer-Seller professor gave the class a personality assessment that measures one's responsiveness and assertiveness. After scoring myself on criteria ranging from decisiveness to openness, I found that I scored highly for both the assertiveness and responsiveness categories.

Ranking high in assertiveness means that I have a tendency to be opinionated, fast-paced, and quick to speak out. While I think that my reactions definitely depend on the situation, I admit that I agree with these results. I am firm in my beliefs, direct in communication, and I don't like to "talk around the subject."

High scores in responsiveness reveal that I am relationship-oriented, openly emotional, casual, informal,and that I like to talk through my ideas (love collaboration). I completely agree that this is spot-on...Except for maybe the casual/informal part, seeing as I wear a dress to class nearly every day, and I always like to have a plan. Other than that, I love group dynamics, am empathetic towards others, and ultimately want to touch peoples' lives.

With combined high scores in these two areas, I am cast as an "expressive." This means I am animated, highly communicative, dislike being alone, uninhibited in communication, enthusiastic, open-minded. I am big-picture oriented, spontaneous, but not necessarily organized in my daily life (I like to call it organized chaos). These are very accurate descriptors of my personality, and are very much coordinate with other personality assessment results I have taken. I think that it is critical to understand your personality and how you fit into a group, for both the workplace and you social life. I feel very fortunate to have started this lesson early on and to have professors who further invest in this development.

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