Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Working With Lucy - Creative, Relationship Personality Style

Though not in real life, on the I Love Lucy Show, Lucy (Lucille Ball) was the creative, relationship oriented, often zany personality style.   Everyone loved Lucy because she was fun and funny.  In the business world, Lucy's can be men or women, who are often the most difficult personality style to manage.  Lucy's are not sequential thinkers; that is Lucy thinks in terms of A, G, J, B, Z etc.   As a CEO Ricky personality style, a subject for another blog posting, always facing time pressures, it is difficult for me to deal with Lucy's because it is necessary to sort through their thinking to figure out what they are trying to tell me.   That said, Lucy's can be very successful, with significant management, if their talents and skill set can be channeled to positive effect. 

Lucy's tend to work in fields like Sales, Account Management, Marketing and Human Resources.  And, unless their personality style is tempered by other more disciplined styles, i.e Fred previously described, or Ricky, the authoritarian leadership style, which is not uncommon, Lucy's have a hard time getting anything done because they are easily distracted and tend to go from one thing to another without completion.   Lucy's do not succeed in Sales without some Ricky and or Fred aspects to their personality style because their need to be loved prevents them from asking for the business, fearing rejection.   Lucy's in Human Resources are often the person that enjoys working on all the company fun events.   More important, Lucy's in Human Resources are usually the voice of the employee to Senior Management, which is a good thing. 

When working with, or managing Lucy's,  it is really important to provide them very specific objectives and structure, even for higher level employees, which they typically lack and dead line dates; otherwise weeks turn into months and then years.   Since Lucy's usually lack detail orientation, there must be others behind them dealing with the loose ends.   For example, while Lucy's in Sales can close business, it is probably a Pricing Department that deals with the numbers and a Contracts Department, that will ultimately finalize the deal.   And, specific to training, Lucy's glaze over information very quickly if presented with too many facts.  This has nothing to do with intelligence.  Lucy's can be just as smart as any other personality style.   It has more to do with their inability to focus on any one thing for very long because other things come along that are more exciting and therefore distracting.

Learning for Lucy must be hands-on, fun and experiential, rather than rote book learning.   And, retention is always on a need to know basis.   So Lucy would have been the kid that studied for the test to get the A or B; but then probably forgot most of the information quickly thereafter because it did not relate to daily life.  This is particularly problematic now because Lucy knows that all he or she needs to do is Google it to access whatever information is needed in real time; so why commit anything to memory.    

Working with, or managing Lucy's can be very challenging; however, with an understanding of this personality style, their talents can be channeled to achieve big things.   There are times when dealing with a Lucy is very frustrating; but since they are charmers, we all love Lucy. 

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