Identifying Personality Archetypes to Achieve Success: 'As the World Churns' Episode 2
"As the World Churns" Episode 2 podcast transcript, featuring Jan Young.
Jung's 12 archetypes, the DISC personality assessment. You've heard of these psychology models. But how can you use an understanding of personality types to better serve your accounts?
Jan Young has a few things to say about that. She's a customer success coach, an interim CS exec at the Success League. She's also a board member of the Gain Grow Retain peer community. Her diverse background in marketing, entrepreneurship, and customer success gives her an informed view into the realm of customer psychology.
I'm super excited to have her here.
I hear that you got out of customer success for a little while and got back into it as a consultant. Can you talk a little bit about what caused you to make that decision and what you like about it?
Yeah, sure. So in the beginning of my career, I did project management and marketing — marketing was not my first love. It was probably very low on the list. Well, I like the questions you ask in marketing. It was like, as a marketer, like in terms of those activities, those weren't my favorite activities. That's part of what I do, I picked up a bag of tricks as go along from all of your experiences, project management, you know, I use all the time, all of the marketing questions that you ask, I use those all the time. And so I found that when I was an individual contributor customer success, I used that with a lot with my customers, right? Those types of questions, helping them strategize around it.
But what I really liked with was working with the customer on their strategy and helping them be successful. That's what drove me and got me so excited every day. And then a little bit had a product hat on for a little while, helping to develop the products for the customers. Also kind of rose up to leadership roles and that sort of thing. When I went to go and do my solopreneur sort of consulting before, I was working primarily with founders and very early stage startups. And that's a really exciting stage when the entrepreneur is so excited about what they bring to market, they're working a hundred hours a day kind of thing. And, you have to be really passionate to work that hard. But what happened often is they would think so much in their own mindset about what they were bringing to market and why get outta your head.
It was hard for them to go into the customer's shoes. And to think about it from that customer perspective, that once they've worked so hard to bring the customer there and acquire them, what were they going to do with them next? ...
And that really kind of changed everything for me, not only because it's so can passionate and smart and giving, but also just all of the questions they were asking about a customer throughout the journey and all of the intriguing topics you get to talk about, whether you're involved in organizations or slack channels or the LinkedIn community and things like that. So that's then how I ended up finding my way over to the Success League and then focusing on customer success again. What really makes me passionate is thinking about that customer. And thinking about where the customer and the company intersects.
Thinking about the customer, that brings us to our topic, which is understanding archetypes and personality. How you can use that to serve them better and ultimately be more successful yourself. And, you know, we always talk about personas, which are ideal customer groups that we want to target as a company. But an archetype is really focusing on the personality of the customer. And there's all sorts of archetypes out there. If you ever took psychology, you got Carl Jung's 12 archetypes, the Explorer, the every man, et cetera, you have literary archetypes. But to boil that down and to make it a little less heady for all of us, what are some archetypes that customer success leaders can employ?
As a leader, when you're working cross-functionally with other leaders, there's going to be different types of personality types that you may find over in the engineering or product world versus over in sales and marketing. Some folks are a little more analytical and others might be more effusive and wanting to speak up and exchange ideas ... And very quickly you have to figure out, you have to assess the situation and how you're going to speak to someone in a way that's going to be relatable and help each other, understand each other where you can understand them too and understand what's important to them. And how you draw somebody out is dependent upon their personality. There's a book, "Getting to Yes", one of the classic negotiation books. They talk about mirroring somebody just like their gestures or the tone that they have and things like that and how that can really help someone feel like they can identify with you. And that can help the negotiation process.
So basically if the customer has their feet up on the desk and you're really intense, are you talking about something like that, marrying their body language?
Exactly, exactly. That sort of thing. So you may not end up putting your feet up on the desk too. Maybe not, but like, if you're a guy and, and you showed up with a tie on and everybody else is not wearing a tie, you might at least loosen it a little bit or take your jacket a off or something to mirror a little bit, what surroundings you're in. Women don't wear ties as often, but they could, you know, so there's other similarities, I was just sort of thinking of, but I guess I was thinking too, especially as an individual contributor where you're working with so many different points of contact in a company and you need to be strategic with each of them, that's when it's especially important because you're working with the customer all day long every day of the week.
I don't love the personality assessments so much because I think there is always this sort of a mix, but I think it is instructive to understand kind of where you generally sort of live and what other traits you may have. It's helpful to understand that about yourself. And also then it helps you to recognize that in others, a lot of companies have the folks or, or you can just on your own look at DISC is like dominance, influence, steadiness and conscientiousness is what they're called. But really dominance is like what? They're also called the winner. Someone who's always sort of competitive and has to win, may not want to admit that they've done something incorrectly. That because they think of win, lose, they're results oriented.
The other type of results oriented is on the other end of the DISC is the conscientious, the analyst, but they're not necessarily competitive. They're more analytical. They may be more interested in the facts. And so if you are going to exaggerate about something in a conversation, they're not gonna take kindly to that. And then you've got the peacekeeper, that's the steadiness, the S and DISC that's someone who wants everybody to get along and is gonna say yes to things, because that's easier to than saying no — that you have to be careful with. If you're getting a yes from them, it's not necessarily a true yes. So you also might need to work a little harder with them to get them to open up and feel more comfortable to tell you. Sometimes you might need to talk to them one on one, instead of in a group situation.
Like what you see? <Hear the whole "As the World Churns" interview with Jan Young here.>