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Tell'em to Do It Naked

Want to have more successful relationships with other people — at work and in your personal life? Start figuring out who they are in relation to who you are.

Are they detail-oriented, but you're just interested in the basics? Are they people people while you're more interested in tasks and things? Do they talk about any and everything while you're more focused on what's right in front of you? Go online and simply search the phrases, "personality surveys" and "behavioral surveys." You'll find a variety of free examples. Take'em just for the fun of it and see what your results are. Let folks with whom you work take them. Give them to people you're in a relationship with. Few things start discussions like comparing results on these sorts of surveys. Now, I'm not going to get all Sigmund Freud on you about this ... yes, some of the surveys can be skewed based on a variety of educational/social/racial/economic backgrounds. And, the whole "if you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?" silliness is easy to dismiss. Annnnd, some of the comparisons will generate discussions that may be less than pleasant. But, on the whole, getting a better feel for who you are and with whom you spend your life, personally and professionally, is a good thing. A woman who attended one of my programs took a survey I use and made copies. She and her husband sat down one night with a bottle of wine and did this: First, they each graded themselves based on how they saw THEMSELVES in their marriage. Then, they took a survey and graded how they saw their PARTNER in the marriage.

She said, "The whole experience was wonderfully enlightening. I will say, though, that if you're going to tell people to grade how they see their partner in the relationship ... tell'em to do the survey naked. That way, the argument won't get but so bad."


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