The C Personality Type
Understanding the C-personality
C's are reserved and autonomous, usually preferring to work independently for long periods of focus work rather than multi-tasking. Although they enjoy deep, thoughtful conversations about complex subjects, their steady, stoic demeanor may make them seem robotic at times. C-personalities are intensely skeptical and use logic to objectively make decisions and are rarely swayed by emotions.
Communicating with a C-personality
Use formal, business-like language and tone when addressing a colleague who is a C-personality. It’s important to give respect to the amount of expertise and knowledge C’s possess on any topic, so allow them time to educate you on the topic at hand. If they go off on a tangent, ask them about a detail that pertains to the main topic at hand to bring the subject back in focus. C’s can be long-winded but tend to be self-aware and aren’t likely to get offended if a conversation gets cut off due to time so long as the person they are speaking to remains respectful.
C’s are perfectionists, completely focused on a high quality outcome for every single project. They are too analytical to handle ambiguity well and they do have a tendency to act disrespectful to those they view as unprepared or scattered. C-personalities do, in fact, enjoy a formal feedback process because it gives them a chance to talk about their work and what interests them in a formal, procedural way. Just be ready to back up any claims you might make.
Ideal Roles / Your Effectiveness
C-personalities are very objective, which makes them very fair when evaluating differences in opinion. Only the facts and how they relate to the plan for the project matter. These are the main reason that C’s are great at both the strategy and execution portions of a task. They don’t naturally take the lead- they are often shy - but they do tend to lead naturally by example because of the high quality of the work. They are our innovators, always seeking new ways to solve problems and figure out a better way to do anything.
C’s don’t typically like working on a team. They can be intense people and they have a tendency to focus all of that energy on doing their best possible work while completely ignoring the relationship aspect. C-personalities just aren’t naturally inclined to worry about feelings at all. If it can’t be proven by data and fact, it’s not overly concerning to the C’s. However, self-aware C’s understand the crucial dynamics of working with a team and can offer support in the strategy portion of a project as well as a thorough, objective point of view when fast decisions need to be made.
C-personalities are motivated by accuracy. They want to achieve a high quality outcome every time and prefer to work independently in order to achieve those standards. C’s like to hear the respect they have earned from their colleagues but rarely care about any public recognition. The best way to recognize a C’s achievements is to continue to provide a flexible place for them to formulate plans for innovative, new, interesting solutions.
Ambiguity stresses out a C-personality. A lack of information, unclear roles, little or no planning period, or just too many mistakes with no time to analyze and understand will cause C’s to withdraw and shut down. Multi-tasking will also stress C’s out pretty quickly because they don’t believe they can achieve the best outcome when focused on more than one thing at a time. C’s also like to be in charge of their work life and if kept to a regimented schedule, they will lose momentum pretty quickly.
C-personalities need to sit alone and think when they are overwhelmed or stress. Very often, they will find a quiet place to sit, think, zone out or just stare out a window. When this happens it’s important to give C’s their space and let them quietly process before they approach anyone or actively participate.
Forcing anything on a C-personality will most likely have negative repercussions so if you approach them, try to give them a head’s up as much as you can. Don’t extend a handshake or try to make small talk. Instead, state your reason clearly for why you are approaching them and let the C-personality figure out how they can contribute. C’s can be shy but are friendly people if they can find mutual ground with whomever they are interacting with.
Do not interrupt your C-personality colleagues unless it is absolutely necessary. C’s are specific, naturally focused people and they don’t like to have their train of thought interrupted. If interruptions cannot be avoided, send some kind of correspondence first if at all possible. A text or email explaining why you need their attention will help ease C’s away from their intentional thinking and be more conducive to switching gears for you. It will be very apparent if the C’s in your office don’t want to engage in dialogue and when that happens, leave them alone but ask for them to approach you when they take a break.
Communicating with a C-personality
When communicating with a C-personality will never be interested in anecdotes or personal stories, especially if these personal references are said while trying to prove a point. Instead, color your conversations with interesting facts, details you’ve uncovered or the reasoning behind anything you say. Try to avoid interrupting the C’s train of thought but if the conversation goes long, it’s ok to excuse yourself. A C-personality will rarely be offended.
C’s want to be as accurate possible and if the instructions you provide them help that cause, then they will be completely open to following. If possible, include them in defining the standards and developing the procedures of a project to give better context for any perspective as you move along. No matter what, it’s important that whatever instruction you provide to a C-personality can be backed up by data and fact. If the C-personality can poke holes in your logic, they will go back to what they were doing and ignore anything you say.
As with anything that involves C’s, you must be prepared. Gather your information, write down your thoughts and concerns and give that information to the C-personality in order to provide logical context for the feedback that is being provided.
Ask C-personalities “Why?” questions for the best outcome:
- Why do you think it is wrong?
- Why do you think a change is needed?
- Why will this help achieve the goal?
- After the meeting, provide your thoughts to C’s in written form so they can analyze and think through the conversation.
Start by stating the purpose of the email in the subject line. Length isn’t anything to be concerned with when writing to C’s. Provide as much information as you can and if you can include bulleted list to emphasize importance, all the better. Make sure you use literal, technically descriptive language and write to them in a steady, somewhat casual tone. Do not use emojis or emphasize your thoughts with lots of punctuation. Doing so will cause a C-personality to take you less seriously.
C’s are excellent resources for creating structure and keeping those involved on a project to the agreed upon plan. C-personalities are naturally warm and prefer to talk about interests they can express expertise in rather than engage in personal small talk. They can be loners and prefer to work independently but will play an active part on a team if they can understand how they can add to the overall quality of the outcome.
- Data Analyst
- Artist or Craftsman
- Computer Programmer