Lions, Monkeys, Koalas and Owls

by on February 13, 2013

Lions, Monkeys, Koalas and Owls

 

What do the job seeker who is having an interview and a person who runs a business and has a product or service to offer have in common?  They are both attempting to influence the person with whom they have come in contact that they are the right person to provide them what they are seeking.  For the job seeker, the product being offered is the “interviewee themselves” and their skill set to do the job.  For the business owner or person representing them, it is that they can best meet the need of a perspective customer by what they are able to offer.

Understanding the personality type of the person you are looking to influence is often a key in making progress in obtaining what you are seeking.  I recently came across an excellent article by Michelle Villalobos, a teacher and trainer to those who are looking how to better promote themselves, that brings the basics of getting to know and understand other’s personality types into four analogies involving the animal world.  Using the characteristics, of a Lion, a Monkey, a Koala and an Owl, Michelle’s piece provides excellent observations and suggestions that can help you in your interactions with both strangers and those you have known for a long time.

There are similarities and differences among these four animal classifications.  Those individuals that can be classified in the Lion or Monkey category tend to do things FAST.  They are individuals who walk fast, talk fast, make decisions fast.  Individuals classified as Owls or Koalas tend to “take their time” in doing the things they do.   They like to consider things more carefully before making a decision.

However, the analogy goes further.  Those classified as Lions or Owls tend to be task-oriented and formal individuals.  On the other hand those who take on the characteristics of the Koala or Monkey are more informal in their style and tend to be more people oriented individuals, interested in establishing a relationship with those with whom they interact.

Each of the four types of personalities has very distinct characteristics which will assist you in recognizing them.    Lions possess a take charge personality.  They like to take control and achieve results quickly.  They only like to be offered a couple of choices when asked for their opinion on a decision to be made.  They like to get to the point, and want those speaking to them to get to the point.  They also tend to stay very professional and regimented in their interactions with others.

While Monkeys like Lions tend to work quickly they are far more informal.  They like telling stories or jokes when they respond to you.  They work best with individuals that stay cheerful and positive around them, even if they are upset.  They love being the center of attention, so let them be in charge, and treat them with importance.

Koalas like Monkeys are people oriented but far more relaxed in their style.  They may seek reassurance that you can provide what they want.  They want to establish a relationship with those they interact so they prefer you to be informal and personable.  They feel best when you empathize with their personal stories.

Owls are like Koalas in that they prefer a relaxed style.  However, when they need reassurance, they prefer to receive it through detailed, thought out and accurate information to their questions.  Much like the Lion, they favor professionalism from those with whom they interact.  They need time to process and think through their decisions.  While going through the decision making process, they may appear distant from you, but it is not something to be taken personally.

While all individuals, including yourself, have characteristics of all four personality types, one style tends to dominate.  Being aware of the style of the person with whom you are interacting or looking to make a connection, and responding to it accordingly will go a long way in you receiving what you are looking to obtain.

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