Keys to Persuading Amiable Personalities

How would you like to meet Sandra Bullock? She always plays characters that are so nice and now she’s going to be nice to you. Imagine for a moment you have a big favor you want to ask her. How will you persuade her to say “Yes?”

This week we’ll take a look at how best to persuade someone who is an amiable or facilitator personality type. When I think of an amiable, Sandra Bullock jumps out at me because she seems to be someone who is more relationship-focused than task-oriented. But unlike Oprah, she doesn’t seek to control situations and others. Rather, she prefers to focus on self-control. The follow describes this personality type:

Amiable people really enjoy relationships; tend to focus more on feelings than facts; don’t consider themselves very assertive; are usually willing to set aside work if someone needs to talk; don’t like change; when they need help they prefer a real person to help them even if it takes more time.

Of the four personality types, fewer people taking my survey identified themselves as being amiable (14%) when compared to the other personalities: pragmatic (32%), expressive (24%) and thinker (29%).

Because amiable personality types are relationship-oriented, like the expressives, it will come as no surprise to find out they chose answers that engaged reciprocity and liking far more than did the pragmatic and analytical personality types, personalities that are much more task focused than they are on relationship building. Some influence advice when dealing with an amiable:

Make it a point to work the likingprinciple with these folks, because they want to know and enjoy the people they interact with. Can’t you just image Sandra wanting to get to know you and be your friend before you get down to business? I sure can. The good news is, if she likes you then she’ll probably go out of her way to help you.

While amiable personality types didn’t respond to reciprocityas much as the expressives they did place a higher value on it than thinkers and pragmatics. Do them a good turn or something thoughtful and it’s highly likely they’ll look for ways to return the favor.

Like the other personality types, when it comes to business decisions, helping amiable people deal with uncertainty is huge.

Amiable folks were persuaded by what others were doing – the principle of consensus– a little more than thinkers and expressives. When it comes to personal decisions consensus is even more important. This makes sense for someone relationship focused because they would rather go with the flow than buck the system.

Sharing facts or relying on the advice of experts is the most effective route with this group.  However, despite the fact that authority was the #1 principle chosen by amiables, it was not as effective as it was for thinkers and pragmatics.

When it came to using consistency– what someone has said or done in the past – this was the #3 choice for amiables. With these folks it’s not about being right as much as it is feeling obligated to live up to their word. My guess is part of this has to do with being liked. If you can tie your request to his or her beliefs or values the chance you’ll year “Yes” will increase significantly. You’ll also learn more about them so you can connect even better.

Scarcitywas least effective with this personality type when compared others. If something is truly rare or going away, by all means incorporate that into your request but don’t spend much time on it. You’ll get far more out building a relationship (liking and reciprocity) and helping t them overcome uncertainty (consensus and authority) in the business setting.

When it comes to the amiables in your life they may not be as nice and personable as  Sandra Bullock, but you’ll still be better off focusing on certain principles that will help you more than others. In order, here are the most effective principles of influence for amiables:

  • Authority
  • Consensus
  • Consistency
  • Liking
  • Reciprocity
  • Scarcity

Next week we’ll take a look at the final personality type, the thinker, also known as the analytic.

Brian Ahearn, CMCT®
Chief Influence Officer
Helping You Learn to Hear “Yes”.
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