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Empowerment Systems

"........When Change is the Challenge."

Conscious Evolution

Empowerment Systems Newsletter, #13

"Good Work Isn't Enough"

Laurie Weiss, Ph.D.


His boss wanted Sam to develop better client service skills, and Sam knew he was in danger of having another dissatisfied client.

Sam explained how frustrated he felt about needing to satisfy Trent, a particularly demanding client. I had to agree that Trent, who was calling him many times a day about the progress of his project, was really difficult. Sam, an experienced engineer, had given his client information about how the project was likely to progress and needed time to do the detailed project development work.

Trent simply wouldn't accept Sam's explanation. He wanted to work completed yesterday, and seemed to think that he was keeping Sam on his toes with his frequent calls. Sam stopped answering his office phone, and did everything he could to avoid Trent. Trent left progressively nastier messages for Sam. Although he was angry, Sam realized that blaming Trent for boorish behavior wouldn't solve the problem.

I asked Sam to complete my favorite personality style identification instrument, The Personal Profile. Sam learned his main style characteristic was a focus on maintaining very high standards, and a refusal to hurry when doing so might compromise the work. This made perfectly good sense to Sam. He even admitted that he felt secretly rather contemptuous of anyone who disagreed with his values.

Then we explored the other personality styles that could be identified by the instrument, and tried to fit Trent into one of the other slots. Sam pegged him as committed to results and impatient with details. When we reviewed the lists of what kind of environment would satisfy Sam and what would be likely to satisfy Trent, we found definite differences. Sam wanted to control his own work environment. Trent wanted authority and direct answers.

Sam decided to try giving Trent brief daily updates, so that #1, Trent would leave him alone to get his work done, and #2, so his boss would see that he was providing good client service. Once Trent was satisfied that Sam was focused on him, he let up the pressure. Sam never changed his belief that Trent was acting badly and should know better. He did change his behavior and satisfied his client.

Sam decided that his most important lesson was learning that people with different personality styles have different needs. To increase client satisfaction, respecting that difference was as important as getting the actual work completed.

Coaching tip: Use personality style instruments to help clients learn that everyone else does not have the same needs and beliefs as they do.

EXTRA: We have the self-administered and self-scored Personal Profile System instruments available at Empowerment Systems. You can order yours for only $16 each (includes shipping). Just call (303-794-5379) or send an email to Jon with your shipping information and credit card number.


Coaching Tip: Life planning for retirement is just as important as career planning before retirement.


 Copyright 2001, Empowerment Systems. May be transmitted or reproduced in its entirety only, including this copyright line.

Jonathan B. Weiss, Ph.D. and Laurie Weiss, Ph.D. have helped thousands of people make significant changes in their lives. Working together at Empowerment Systems for 29 of their 40 years of marriage, they maintain a coaching, consulting, and psychotherapy practice in Littleton, Colorado, USA.


506 West Davies Way
Littleton · Colorado · 80120
303.794.5408 · Fax
303.794.5379 · Phone
800.594.4594 · Toll-Free
weiss@empowermentsystems.com · E-Mail


"Committed to helping people use all of their inner resources
to create satisfying and fulfilling lives."