• Janet Asher Vreeland, The Influence Ecology Podcast, Transactional Competence, Transactionalism

When Being Likable Isn’t Enough with Janet Asher Vreeland

We all assume we can play to our strong suits – but what about when these don’t work? How do I influence or gain compliance when being likable is my primary tool – and it sometimes backfires? As we teach it, all personalities experience themselves as both an asset AND a liability depending on the state of the transaction. For example, if we’re brainstorming new possibilities, it doesn’t work for skeptics to chime in with critical standards. However, skepticism is required if we’re making assessments about the value and relevance of something.

In today’s’ interview, our guest, Janet Vreeland, found herself puzzled when her attempts to be likable were met with disdain. We discuss how each personality may not know that their most powerful asset – can also be their most costly mistake.

Below you’ll find a transcript of this podcast episode that has been edited for your reading pleasure. You’ll also see links at the bottom of this post where you can find more information on the people and ideas mentioned in the episode.

by John Patterson
Produced by: John Patterson & Tyson Crandall

“It’s taken me studying with Influence Ecology to fully respect the different personality types and how my skill of being able to create a mood is one to be honed and refined, and it really is a gift.

John Patterson: Well, first of all, what I’d like to do is I’d like to introduce our guest today. This is Janet Asher Vreeland. And Janet, I want to give you an opportunity to say hello and introduce yourself.

Janet Asher Vreeland: Thank you, John. Hello everyone. This is Janet Asher Vreeland recording live from Long Beach, California. Delighted to be here to put together a podcast that I hope will bring value to the ecology.

John Patterson: Great. And say a little bit about what you do. Tell us about your work and a little bit of a bio, if you don’t mind.

Janet Asher Vreeland: Absolutely. My work is with a firm by the name of Mercer. We’re an international global consulting firm, and my role is to bring in new clients in the US primarily, specifically here in Southern California. And my target client contacts are either human resources or financial executives or other business leaders or organizations that have approximately 200 employees or more. And I’ve been in this industry quite a long time, a number of decades. I started off working for group insurance companies like Prudential and Cigna, and along the way enjoy the opportunity to build relationships, to communicate, to help others help their employees. I’m originally from Kansas and I’ve come to Southern California by way of Texas and Arizona. And my husband, Bob, is a CFO for a publicly traded company, which is just coincidental because he’s also not just my perfect mate in life, but he’s also my perfect target customer.

John Patterson: That’s really great. So that works well. I’m assuming you pick his brain a little bit about how to position this or say that?

Janet Asher Vreeland: Yes, we do, John. We love talking about business, and I absolutely enjoy pillow talk with Bob about business and how people approach him and the marketplace. Just this morning we were having a great conversation about the misuse of reciprocity with somebody approaching him by sending him a Starbucks gift card that he didn’t ask for. And now the follow-up email, now that you’ve received the Starbucks gift card, when can we meet? And I said, Oh boy, that’s just such a shame that it happens so frequently in the market. So yes, he gives me all kinds of great insights.

John Patterson: That’s great. All right. You have been, Janet, studying with Influence Ecology for how long now?

Janet Asher Vreeland: I started in October of 2015 with Fundamentals of Transaction, class 41.

John Patterson: Class 41. Okay. And I got your notes about sort of your journey through your participation here, and I’m eager to talk to you for a couple of reasons. Janet, one of the things that I loved about your notes, you send this great things, and I think it’s the best part in your early days, your kind of journey with Influence Ecology. It sounds like one of the things that you recognized and you wrote it that, I was puzzled when my attempts to be likable were at times met with disdain.

Janet Asher Vreeland: Yes.

John Patterson: And I almost think we could talk about that for, oh, I don’t know, two or three days for a variety of reasons. And one of the reasons I want to bring this up is because as we teach it, as you know, we talk a lot about personality and transactional behavior. So for those that are listening for the very, very first time, do you want to talk a little bit about the four personalities and then talk about your own?

Janet Asher Vreeland: Oh, absolutely. Think of a transaction cycle. So at the very top you have inventor. And you got one step to the right, you have performer, which is where I reside. Come down to the bottom and you have producer. Keep coming to the left clockwise, then you have your judge, and then you come full circle to inventor. The inventor is someone who sees far out into the future. They have unlimited possibilities. They tend to be arrogant. When you first meet them, you might think, boy, this person certainly thinks well of themselves, and that is inherent to the inventor. They are quite cerebral, they’re confident in their intellect, and if you don’t know that about an inventor, you can misinterpret how helpful and how generous they are. In fact, they have an almost unlimited generosity with their ideas.

And then if you go to the right to the performer where I reside, I look at time as real time, right in the moment. I can be late, I can be a little bit early, I can be on time. I don’t dwell too much in the past and I don’t bother myself too much with what might happen in the future. What really motivates me are building relationships, and it’s paramount to me in that process that I perceive that I’m being liked and well-received in my efforts to be helpful. And I was recently told by an inventor friend of mine that the reason he doesn’t trust performers is because he doesn’t see them as being genuine. That they try too hard to be likable, and that he sees that as not being authentic. So that was quite an insight to me on how that could be misunderstood.

John Patterson: That’s great. I think we’re going to come back to that in just a moment too, so please continue. You’re doing great.

Janet Asher Vreeland: Good. Thank you. The other thing I will say about a performer is I have an orientation where I see others relative to others. I am highly inclined to say, Oh boy, John Patterson, I think he would love meeting this friend of mine who lives in Ventura County. I’m going to put the two of you together. I’m oriented toward putting people together outside of how that might support my aims necessarily.

And if you come down to the producer, producers are vitally important to the two personality types I’ve mentioned because they are really focused on accomplishment and execution on getting things done. Producers might seem to be a little bit, not thoughtless necessarily, but they’re such task managers that while it’s critical to a producer to not be left out, I’ve learned you can really hurt a producer’s feelings and not meaning to, if you don’t include them in communications, invitations even in things you wouldn’t think they would be interested in them. Producers don’t want to be left out. And my interpretation of why they don’t want to be left out is that it impedes their ability to be effective. They need all the data and all the input. They’re almost like a border collie, if you know that kind of dog. A border Collie lives to herd sheep, and I think a producer kind of lives to take chaos and list of things to do and to bring them to fruition.

And then you come around to the judge. I’m married to a judge, and I’ve learned in the ecology that it’s not uncommon for judges and performers to do well together. A judge by nature will come across as a pessimistic individual, glass half empty or however you want to describe that personality type. And I learned that with my husband, Bob. I just didn’t understand why he was so cautious and skeptical and worried. And that’s because a judge is oriented toward the past. They draw from that to assess what could possibly take place in the future, and they really can get stuck in analysis paralysis because there’s just so much data to contemplate and consider. Judges make terrific CFOs, so Bob plays the type quite nicely that way. They’re quite loyal. Judges don’t need a lot of relationships. They can have a handful of relationships for life, and they’re critical to the planning process because they will keep you grounded in reality. And then you come back up to the inventor.

John Patterson: That’s fantastic. All right. You did a beautiful job. I think we should all give you a round of applause for that. It’s a beautiful job.

Janet Asher Vreeland: My pleasure.

John Patterson: So now one of the things that I think some of your notes really illustrate in your own journey is that for every one of those personalities you just described, we’re all an asset in some part of a transaction, but sometimes we are a liability in another part of the transaction. And so we tend to, all of us, think about surviving, thriving, doing well in life by playing to our strong suits. So in other words, I bring my strong suits to every situation. And I think that’s where what you point to is so valuable, because it looks like in your own journey that you discovered that this strong suit, this approach, just being likable or being a people pleaser or doing something like that didn’t always fly well with the other personalities. Sometimes it did and sometimes it didn’t. And I just want to find out if there’s anything else you want to say about that.

Janet Asher Vreeland: Absolutely. I’m thinking of a specific example where I worked for a firm with a similar responsibility prior to joining Mercer for 10 years, and in the office, we were constantly bringing on new associates, new colleagues in the role of producer or sales similar to my role. And I remember we brought on this big, heavy rainmaker. He was just going to do great things for us. And in my efforts to build a relationship with him, regardless of the fact that we could be competing for the same client, competing for the same resources, I upon reflection was a little bit clownish in the office. I would see him down the hall in the office and I would take my hands and I would not quite do a jumping jack, I’m just appalled to say this, but I would give a little kick and a clap. I could make certain people laugh, like the receptionist thought that was really funny, but my colleague who is highly ambitious toward making as much money as he could, didn’t see that as being tremendously valuable to him. And I remember a distinct moment when I was giving him my best performer routine and I thought, boy, he just looks horrified.

John Patterson: Was that a bit like … One of the things that you say about performers is that they campaign for moods, right? So to say more about what I mean by that for all of our listeners, many of the performers that I know that are really good at campaigning for moods, they’re often attempting to cultivate a good mood in the room, at dinner. Isn’t this spaghetti delicious? Oh my gosh, isn’t this a wonderful day? Can you believe how amazing that was? Those are kind of campaigning for mood, and some people campaign in a lot of ways. They cheer lead, they ra, ra. Sometimes they do that with their voice, their expression or their body, for example. And it sounds like … Would you say you were doing a little bit of campaigning for mood?

Janet Asher Vreeland: I was. I was. That’s very well put.

John Patterson: And it didn’t land, right? It didn’t do the trick.

Janet Asher Vreeland: It didn’t land at all.

John Patterson: Right. Okay. So it sounds like this was puzzling to you. What did you think about that?

Janet Asher Vreeland: I defaulted in true performer fashion to thinking this guy was a jerk. I thought that, Oh gosh, what a buffoon. The kind of the term we use in performer land. Either the other person’s great or if they’re not great, they’re buffoon. And as opposed to looking inward and evaluating how that might come across that particular physical almost cheerleader type move, how that might come across, I invested in the emotional response that it was a shortcoming of his and I didn’t contemplate changing or behaving differently necessarily, although I probably did tone it down. It’s taken me studying with Influence Ecology to fully respect the different personality types and how my skill of being able to create a mood is one to be honed and refined and it really is a gift. I wasn’t aware of that at that point though.

John Patterson: I think this is an important point. So you began to see that other personalities may not receive your campaigns for mood in the same way. Did you then through our study start to learn more about how to tailor your approach to the different personalities? And if so, how?

Janet Asher Vreeland: Oh, absolutely. I became quite focused and studied on body language as well as linguistic narratives starting with a very simple body language, and that’s smiling. Sometimes you can smile too much, sometimes you don’t smile enough. And I started practicing with my chief financial officer prospects and relationships that I was building here in Southern California and I made a concerted effort to be cordial and pleasant but tone down the smiling, and be a little bit more judicious with the boys and the food grade and everything’s lovely but rather to be more calm, I would say. And it’s helped me tremendously to understand that when I’m in a conversation with a judge and on occasion with a producer as well, that their negativity or their lack of being in a good mood or wanting to laugh is actually quite appropriate for the conversation that we’re having, because we’re talking about a lot of risk to the company. We’re talking about perhaps an HR executive having to deliver bad news to the CEO who in turn will have to deliver bad news to the board of directors.

And it’s really empowered me, John, to be more empathetic, which comes whole circle to being congruent with a performer. I see other performers at their best and I really appreciate that quality and empathy, and that comes full circle to what you asked me about and that’s the personality types and understanding how I can be most effective in creating a mood that’s going to be conducive to a successful transaction.

John Patterson: I think what you’re saying then is that what you’ve learned about different personalities and shaping your own response to those personalities allowed you to do what you want to do anyway, which is ultimately to empathize with their situation and in some way empower whatever needs to be empowered in that transaction to move that transaction forward.

Janet Asher Vreeland: Yes. Yeah. That’s right. That’s funny. I was noticing that myself. Ultimately, I still get to do what I want, which is to play to my strengths, which I think it suits everyone to play to their strengths. It’s taken awhile though. As I mentioned, I’ve now been studying for four years with Influence Ecology and I can see how continued study will yield even greater results, but it’s been a great awareness for me.

John Patterson: Sometimes when I’m training a room full of people about personality and I’m trying to make it normal that a performer is a much more present moment kind of person, right? And a producer is really just trying to get the tasks done. And a judge is really concerned with the past and the standards and the evidence and so forth. The inventor is just really committed to the future, the longterm future, that we often don’t get the opportunity in life to consider that the degree to which we compare ourselves to other people. So for example, sometimes with judges, judges will spend a lifetime being told to, Hey, cheer up. Stop seeing the glass so half empty. Hey, you know what, pull the stick out of your butt. Just chill, relax, lighten up. Right?

Performers may hear quiet the opposite. Hey listen, this is serious business. Come on, don’t you take this seriously? My performers, I’ll sometimes talk about the degree to which they spend a lifetime trying to get more disciplined, all of that kind of stuff, like trying to get, I need to be more disciplined. I find a lot of performers trying to work on that, because they can see it around them, people doing things like they’re using their calendars and schedules and showing up on time. And for the performer for example, that’s not necessarily what happens. In the present moment, what’s going on for performers, whatever’s going on in the moment, in that moment, it’s what matters, not the future, not the past, whatever’s going on right now.

So I’m bringing all of this up to say that for every one of the personalities, and I think you’re doing a beautiful job here, there was a kind of accounting for how do I temper, tailor, shift my own approach so that it works for the other personality, so that it speaks to them in their language. And I wanted to find if there’s anything else you want to say about all of that. And I have another question for you.

Janet Asher Vreeland: Well, the one thing I would say to all that is that it helps to be biologically prepared to deal with other people. And my mantra for years has been the secret to success at business is to be hydrated and well rested. If you don’t fundamentally start out with enough sleep, and if you don’t drink enough water, just as key examples, other people will just exhaust you if you don’t exhaust yourself. So I would just offer that as a little bit of advice that physical fitness is a key component to being able to study and manage and develop a skillset for customizing your approach to take into consideration other personalities.

John Patterson: Now, tell me a little bit about what you discovered here at Influence Ecology about indifference.

Janet Asher Vreeland: Oh boy, that’s a tough one. Indifference hurts deeply to a performer because you feel you’ve lost your magic. You don’t have that ability to pull yourself up by your bootstraps and be helpful or thoughtful kind of that level of helplessness that’s typically seen as positive and likable. Indifference, I first noticed it as I was becoming, I think, more ambitious and moving away from being an adult in terms of my thinking and behavior and becoming more in tune with my aims and what I wanted. And as I was getting a sense of a narrative in my mind about my aims around the condition of life, and I would approach others within the ecology or outside of the ecology, that’s when I became sensitized to how indifferent other people are to your aims.

John Patterson: And so for people that are listening that may not know exactly what we’re talking about, to make it really clear, one of the things we teach here is we want to make it very clear for people that every day, 7.5 billion people get up to transact to satisfy their own aims, and they may in fact be indifferent to yours. And that if everybody else is indifferent to your aims, then it’s your job to, of course, to transact powerfully because no one’s going to make sure your aims get met. That’s your job, right? So sometimes it’s really profoundly upsetting to consider the reality that people are indifferent to your aims. In the fundamentals of transaction program, it sounds like something about this really opened your eyes to that all pervasive indifference. What can you tell us about what you experienced, what you went through and how you dealt with it?

Janet Asher Vreeland: Well, I’ll correlate it back to Mercer, which is what inspired me to join Influence Ecology. And that as I was new to Mercer, although not new in my career, I wanted to take full advantage of being at such a prestigious firm and such a robust market. And I had a sense that Southern California and Mercer would be a competitive environment. And yet I wasn’t fully prepared for … The day I was hired, as an example, I was hired with another person in the exact same role and I was perplexed by her behavior toward me. First it was, Oh, let’s be best friends. Let’s take coffee breaks. Oh, let’s go home early. Let’s not fully comply with what was being asked of us as new hires, which made me very anxious. And yet she seemed to want to be great friends. And it didn’t take very long for me to realize that she was behaving quite differently with other people.

And I feel that her goal was to undermine me, to kind of disarm me, sort of take me out of play so that she could build up more powerful relationships in the office. And when I recognized that, I distanced myself versus accepting every invitation to coffee breaks and every invitation to happy hour and that sort of thing. And I was shortly promoted above her to move into a management role in the region. And when I shared that with her, I could just absolutely see that look in her face of hurt and upset. And within maybe five, six months, this particular individual had filed a claim against the company, not about me, but with regard to another manager and subsequently left shortly. So it wasn’t very long before I was confronted with somebody who was ostensibly going to be a peer and a colleague who’s also a contemporary, same age by the way, but was not any of those things at all.

John Patterson: And so all of that kind of indifference must have been quite surprising. It sounds like the world that you know and the world you trafficked in, that was not necessarily something you expected to come across, but you did. Did you then discover a kind of vulnerability that you sometimes have as a performer personality? Can you say something about that?

Janet Asher Vreeland: I did. I did. I recognize that my go-to over the course of my career had been to simply work harder, literally put in more hours, generate more output. And I’d come to a place in my profession, in my career, that it wasn’t as effective for me to work long, long hours or work every weekend. Simply I didn’t want to. I wanted to spend time with Bob. We were relatively newly wed. I say the honeymoon never ends for us. We’ve been married nine years now. But moving here six years ago, we had just married. So I was confronted with a choice. I didn’t want to work harder. I didn’t want to work weekends. I was already on a number of volunteer boards at the leadership level, putting in a lot of hard work and labor.

I recognized that I needed to do the harder work of having powerful conversations with those personalities in the office leadership. And I still worry every day I had the chance to practice and to learn and grow, but instead of putting in more hours rather to think more strategically or thoughtfully about how I approach the leadership, my consulting colleagues, my prospects, to derive a better result. I don’t know if that makes sense or not.

John Patterson: It does. It does. It’s a kind of working smarter, not harder. Being more strategic. Well, I would also call it that as we describe an ambitious adult, so an ambitious adult moves strategically and tactically to satisfy their aims, which requires a kind of thinking that is a bit uncommon, right? And I think that leads me to my last question. How are you now? How’s life now? I understand before Influence Ecology, there was a kind of life where your personality didn’t win every game, right? And you learned to tailor that and everything. How is life now? How is life now? How’s work? How’s career? How’s money? How are things now?

Janet Asher Vreeland: Things are fantastic, I would say, now. I guess what I mean by that is I can think more accurately across my conditions of life and recognize life for all of its positives and challenges. It’s been a very extreme year for me. I lost my father earlier this year, and-

John Patterson: I’m so sorry.

Janet Asher Vreeland: … I know. I know. Everyone’s been very supportive, John. Just such a dear close person to me and at the same time I learned so much from him and his focus on legacy that it’s helped me put into perspective how I think about my own legacy. What’s life like for me when I’m past my profession that I’ve cultivated so carefully for so long. So I would say life now is informed for me by far more accurate thinking. I’m extremely appreciative of being with a judge with that personality type. We do financial planning together and it’s a pleasure. So we have a clear sense of our resources and our planning for the future.

I have a greater ability to appreciate my resources available from Mercer and here in Southern California. I’d have to pick and choose my ecologies. I was on too many boards, I was volunteering to do too many things, and I took the opportunity this year to resign in good standing from two volunteer leadership boards, and this evening one of those boards is hosting a happy hour in my honor to thank me for my service to them. So that validates that that was a good decision, and it freed up all kinds of time on my calendar. I feel really quite fortunate and want to thank Patricia Tyler who introduced me to the ecology, and you for taking the time to have this webinar with me so that I can share how grateful I am for the learnings and that Bob too appreciates the quality of thought that I bring to our conversations now. And I feel better prepared to deal with the inevitable breakdowns that will occur in life.

John Patterson: Well, Janet Asher Vreeland, thank you so much for sharing your story with us, and we’re grateful for having you participate here as well. It’s been my pleasure and I’ve enjoyed our time together today. Thank you so very much.

Janet Asher Vreeland: The pleasure was all mine, John. I look forward to seeing you very soon.


John Patterson: In today’s talk, you’ll hear a segment of a webinar where cofounder, Kirkland Tibbels and I speak on the subject of the asset and liability of each personality. Here’s the talk.

Kirkland Tibbels: When you consider, for example, the inventor’s asset and liability of ego, it would make perfectly good sense if you know that inventors step out into the future or point in a direction and say, we’re going that way. It’ll make perfectly good sense to understand that that personality has to have a pretty big ego to declare something that doesn’t exist and produce a kind of vision for people to be willing to follow that individual into something that doesn’t exist yet. That takes some brass, right, to step out there and say, that thing is possible. I declare and assert that if everyone goes in that direction, does what they are supposed to do, we can achieve this vision, a possible way to live our life that would have us be better today than we are right now.

To expose themselves in a way that opens themselves up for all kinds of criticism, all kinds of assessments, I mean you name it, when those visionaries that we all know so well point out there and say, we’re going to the moon, we’re going to invent a technology that has never been invented, and in fact, nobody knows this, but they want it, they just don’t know they want it yet because it hasn’t been invented, we’re going to go do that thing, that’s a visionary. That’s the ego. That’s the asset of that personality. And it’s a damn good thing we’ve got people like that, and we live better lives because of it. But at the same time, that ego will run the show to the point that it will overshadow and cause problems for the rest of us who are attempting to do the work and take the action to make that vision something into a mission that other people can follow, work that we can actually get done and declare and pass certain judgment on that being acceptable and satisfactory.

So while that’s a huge asset and it’s necessary, inventors must recognize, and those of us who work with inventors on a regular basis must recognize that it is also a liability we’ve got to confront. What of the personality that is relationship oriented? We’ve got to have people who are mission-driven and who can have a dialogue in the moment with other individuals where people can see themselves on a mission and in the ideal situation, following a vision set by someone like an inventor. A performer’s job is to construct narratives that have people see themselves playing roles and fulfilling the functions required to commit to and do the work and action that produce the satisfaction of many people.

While inventors are global in their perspective, performers are local in their perspective. They are mission-driven and their asset is relationship. They know about producing moods and using influence that anything is possible with enough people will go along with it, and we need people like that. We have to have people who know how to do that, and they live and die by their relationships. And as an asset, it’s pretty easy to see we need people and we need lots of people to be willing to consider our invitations and our offers and be willing to commit, and that’s their job, but that’s also their greatest liability, because they don’t want to give up those relationships. They don’t want to produce consequential environments that threaten those relationships, so they hang on to them for dear life, and for many performers like me, way too long, too often.

And who’s going to do the work, by the way? All that, everything and anything from the vision and the mission, from the great ideas and we’re going to go to the moon to here’s all the people that we need to go, and they’re lined up and ready to go. Who takes care of the day-to-day activity, the work in action? Who produces the deadlines as currency? Who through alliance and force gets the job done, holds people accountable, and in many times is the rigor that’s necessary on the factory floor to get the production taken care of? Well, that’s your producer. Their greatest asset of course is that they want to be included, they need to be included, and that inclusion has them the vision and mission accepting. They want to surround themselves with people who are big thinkers and they want to satisfy the work required of those transactions.

John Patterson: And you want them to be included.

Kirkland Tibbles: And you want them to be included. You need them on that wall. They must be included. And if they’re not included.

John Patterson: Watch out.

Kirkland Tibbles: … you’re in serious trouble. They get belligerent about it even. They’re people oriented in a way that is different than the performer. They build alliances. And this is important to understand that they build alliances to get things done. They are the rigor of production. But at the same time, that inclusion biology can be problematic because they’ll think they want to be involved in places where they don’t belong. It’s our job when we transact with producers to make sure that they understand what they’re being left out of and why. They’ll accept that. What they don’t like is to find out after the fact that they weren’t included in something where they have to be left with the responsibility of getting the job done. That’s a terrible mistake on your part if you do that.

If you go have a meeting and you’ve gotten into the tactical apparatus of a transaction and you walk out and you tell your producers what you’ve just decided without them being in the room, tell the truth, John. It’s brutal.

John Patterson: Never. Never. It is brutal. It’s very brutal. The liability is also when they burden a transaction for the need to be included where it ought not happen. Not a part of that as well.

Kirkland Tibbles: A lot of people misunderstand the mood of determination and rigor as being negative. While I would accept that it’s certainly not a bed of roses being hammered with deadlines and requests, which is the way that producers move, can be unpleasant sometimes, it’s necessary. But being included is the Achilles’ heel of every producer. One of the biggest mistakes we will make in dealing with a producer is this whole inclusion biology. They need to be included in anything that’s going to include them or they’re required to do the work and take the action and fulfill on the transaction. So keep that in mind when dealing with a producer. John, anything else about producer you want to put in there?

John Patterson: Nope. That’s good.

Kirkland Tibbels: When we get around to the judge, that most skeptical and critical and often confrontational personality, we bump up against standards. The asset of standards is that if we follow along the rules, the laws, the regulations, the expectations, the standards, the ethics, the codes of conduct that we all agree we would when we engage in this transaction in the first place, we end up better off for it. The general public, those with whom we engage on a regular basis, our business partners, our superiors, our subordinates, our employees, our vendors, everyone sees a consistent representation of who we are as an enterprise operating by a standard. Those standards include quality, they include consistency, commitment. They include a number of things. Those standards, we pay bills at a certain time, we make our payroll at a certain time, ethics and standards. And that is the asset of having a highly critical confrontational skeptic who is always concerned about whether or not the enterprise and the individuals in it are holding to that standard.

That to me is probably the easiest one to see. Maybe ego, but this one tends to be a pretty easy one to see how it can also get in the way when it’s time for innovation, when it’s time for some creativity, when the standards become bureaucratic, when they become too narrow and they begin to choke the possibilities that exist in re-invention, then it becomes a problem. And judges will hold on until their last breath to every single standard that gets put in place, unless you are working with them continually, ongoingly to recognize which standards are appropriate, which ones work, which ones are becoming outdated along the way.

The mistake to make with a judge is not to have that dialogue on a regular basis, ideally allowing the judge to bring up the standards that ought to be put in place when they ought to be changed, rather than taking the same route of you making that determination Mr. CEO, Mr. President, and then you letting them know that. That’s a terrible mistake just like the inclusion biology of a producer. That’s how judges respond to being told what to do when it comes to standards. When make a rule and you give it to the judge, they’re going to hold tight to that rule. If you’re going to make an amendment, include the judge in that work.

John Patterson: Great. Any conclusive statements about the asset and liability of any personality?

Kirkland Tibbels: If you look at the work we do in our most advanced programs, we begin to see how these personalities work in quadrants. And you can see the benefit of standards and vision coming together when you start to do your planning. You can see the ego needed to think about the future right next to the person who’s there to hold the standards of the enterprise at the same time. When those two personalities work together, you’ve got the proper unit to do the planning on behalf of the enterprise. You can see vision and you can see ego right next to skeptic and standards, and that pairing is very important in terms of planning. You can see the same thing working with the ego of the inventor and the relationships needed to build the mission with the performer.

As you’re looking to invent the strategic intent and commitment of how you’re going to deploy resources, you can see how those two are the perfect two to be in the room to talk and to design the strategic intent of the enterprise or the transaction. And ideally when you get into tactics, the relationships, tactics are mostly how you’re going to have other people take action, right? When you’re talking about people, the two people, personalities in the transaction, the performer and the producer, the ones who go out and build the alliances along with the person who is going to be engaged in making offers, relationship and building alliances and being included in all of what has to be done, tactics. Maybe that’s a good trigger line, John, is anytime you’re working on tactics, that producer better be in the room.

When you’re working on anything that has another human being engaged in work and action, you put the producer in the room, and ideally it’s the performer and the producer working on the specific tactics, the commitments that must be made by other people and themselves to get the work done. You can see how they come together in that quadrant and there’s nobody better to capture the metrics required that get done in work, that get produced on the factory floor, and the person who will be declaring and passing judgment on and drawing certain conclusions about the work in action, in metrics than your judge and your producer together. You can even go so far, and we do in our advanced programs to look at the entire hemisphere of the transaction cycle in the same way.

John Patterson: My special thanks to our guest Janet Asher Vreeland. In our show notes, you’ll find links to connect with her and all the links to websites, books, or downloads mentioned in this podcast.

The Influence Ecology Podcast is produced by Influence Ecology, LLC in Ventura, California. This episode was recorded July 27th, 2019 and was produced by Tyson Crandall and John Patterson. You can find a transcript for this and other episodes at InfluenceEcology.com. This episode is made possible through the assistance of the Influence Ecology Faculty, Staff, Mentors, and Students around the world. Co-founder Kirkland Tibbels and our colleagues comprise an international collective of professionals who are active in the development of the philosophy of Transactionalism and the discipline of Transactional Competence. Kirkland is considered a leading philosopher and authority in the field and he has authored more than 500 papers on the subject, study, and discipline.

This episode includes contributions by Karal Gregory. The podcast theme is by Chris Standring and titled ‘Fast Train to Everywhere.’ You can subscribe to the Influence Ecology Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also find us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or via email at podcast@influenceecology.com.

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Influence Ecology is the leading business education specializing in Transactional Competence, having published and contributed to the only comprehensive text on the subject, Transactionalism: An Historical and Interpretive Study by Trevor J. Phillips. Co-Founder Kirkland Tibbels has authored more than 500 papers on the subject, study, and discipline of transactional competence and is a sought-after lecturer at universities, major corporations, and civic organizations around the world. 

Influence Ecology’s curriculum includes conferences, webinars, online tools, podcasts, and mentorship utilized by men and women in over seventy countries around the world. Our membership includes an international assembly of accomplished professionals, faculty, and peers from a variety of countries, industries, and cultures.