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3 Mar 2011

Everyone’s a People Person until People are the Problem

How many times has a people person ducked a people problem?

What does being a people person really mean?

Getting things done on any kind of group level begins with people. Those who relate well to people can help here. Are they a people person though?

How many times do we hear, “I’m a people person”? Yet, when people are the problem, we cannot find those folks in the country. Who are they trying to convince?

How Many Times

How many times though do we hear employers say, “My people make my business”? Then, a bit later, they say, “The worst part about running a business is dealing with employees.”

How many times do we hear salespeople say, “I’m a relationship specialist”? Then, when it comes their assistants, they stumble over themselves and run to human resources?

How many times do people want to be managers? Then, when it comes to less desirable employees, they give them satisfactory reviews. They follow this up by passing them on so they do not have to deal with them.

What Does A People Person Mean?

Is a people person high in emotional intelligence? As some research shows, a people person might be someone who is as turned on by social interaction as he is by food, sweets and sex. What does his brain show when people are the problem?

Extroverts mingle with the best, smiling, shaking hands and joking. When conversation turns from light and pleasing to stressful and problematical, what happens? Some models suggest they retreat into a shell.

What does it mean to socialize or work a crowd? How many like these? Are they seeking problems or just a turn on? Do we even link these activities with a tool to solve people problems?

Data Problems versus People Problems

Many people like to look at data. Numbers trigger our emotional need for safety, security and certainty. These folks like to look at data to find problems to solve.

How many like to visit people and find problems to solve? How many would prefer reviewing the latest figures looking for problems?

Perhaps the next time someone says, “I’m a people person,” we should ask two questions:

  1. What was the last people problem you tackled?
  2. Why did you enjoy it?

What does it mean to be a people person? It means liking to solve people problems.

4 Responses

  1. Hi Mike. As hopefully soon an employer, I will now thanks to you see if so-called “people persons” do any voluntary people problem-solving. For example, counselling and similar.

    Me an ‘ENFJ’. And a volunteer counsellor. 🙂

    1. Mike Lehr

      Thank you for stopping by, Peter. I am pleased you will be on the lookout. Holding these folks accountable is important. I’m sure you will be an excellent counselor, volunteered or paid. Thank you again. ~Mike

  2. Jon

    Remember that extroverts are simply using their interactions to feed their own energy. There’s nothing people-person’ish about that, if you’re suggesting that being a people person has a dimension of altruism or care about it.

    1. Mike Lehr

      Why do you think introverts don’t do the same, Jon, (use interactions to feed their own energy)?

      In terms of the phrase “people person” in this post, I’m not suggesting it has a dimension of altruism. I appreciate you stopping by to visit and leaving your insights.

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