What your personality can tell you about how you’ll handle a software switch

Why is it that some people handle change better than others at work? One of the most common questions we get at SherWare is how hard will it be for someone to switch their software? Which means the underlying question is: how much change is this going to be for our office?

143084796_8fe04da177_zChange is inevitable, and really in the long run a good thing. But change can often be uncomfortable, and no one likes to uncomfortable. Well what if your personality could tell you a bit about how you handle change?

Steve Faktor from Idea Faktory came up with nine corporate personalities in a Forbes magazine interview several years ago that are spot on for some characters I’ve had the pleasure of working with over the years. Reading the descriptions got me thinking: What does your personality tell you about how you’ll handle a major change like a software switch?


Bambi’s are typically new recruits or hires in your office. They start out eager to do anything set before them and you can get them to do about anything you ask, as they are eager to use their skill sets learned in school that they’ve been practicing. They are eager to please and love new opportunities and the prospect of mentorship from others in the office.Bambi

How you’ll handle change: If you’re given new leadership responsibilities because of change, access to superiors and recognition for the hard work you’re putting in – you’re on board. You’ll take on whatever is required to get the software up and running, as long as you get the credit deserved for your effort. You’ll be the one to read the entire manual or getting started guide as soon as it’s downloaded. You’ll have written questions out in the margins, and made it a personal goal to figure this out before everyone else to show others your value in the office.


Believers are the people that carry the torch for your brand and they get others excited about coming to work. They proudly wear the company-logoed shirts and hats, use the coffee mug at home and have pictures of company events hanging up in their office.


Alphas are a branch of the Believers – -and the ones who have the dedication and foresight to eventually take over the business. They love competition and moving up the corporate ladder and are someone who others in the company look up to and take their word as truth. They may be a bit forceful, abrasive and come off as a know-it-all, but the bottom line is they get things done.

How you’ll handle change: As long as you have a direct mandate from your boss this is the direction to go, you are on board. You don’t see switching software as something hard or high risk, like you normally thrive under, but with recognition for your efforts from your superiors and deference or praise from subordinates – it’s all in a day’s work. If you’re a one-man show, then you are looking at the software switch as a way to show how much it improves your performance. You’re looking for how to speed up your work, improve your analytics or cut out time spent on the software in general.


Survivors are also a branch of Believers. They move up the corporate ladder into senior positions but don’t necessarily have the drive to run the show. They know how the office dynamics work, know what’s expected of them and have made it to the top by sheer longevity and lack of rocking the boat. They don’t like taking risks and survive by their loyalty to the Alpha personality in the office.

How you’ll handle change:  This is the last thing you want to see happen. You don’t want a new way to handle distributions. Yes, what you do is tedious and often annoying, but it works for you. You probably still have a desktop computer, use a copy of Windows 98 you’ve been hiding on a CD in your desk and have never considered a Facebook account. The only thing that will make change bearable is if you have recognition from others for your effort and the ability to brag to others about it.


Soldiers make up the last branch of Believers. They are team players and excel when told what to do or if they know exactly what’s expected of them. They are dependable, will stay late to finish projects, and are loyal to the company but don’t aspire to run the show. They don’t like to network and schmooze in the office to rise in the ranks.

How you’ll handle change: If switching to a new software program is what’s going down, you’re got it handled. The software switch is clearly something needed, it will help boost the company’s productivity and you’ll get recognized for your effort, so it’s a no brainer. You’ll go through the training required to learn the program, work with the support team to get everything converted accurately and learn how to run the program efficiently.


Pragmatists are very capable at getting the job done, appreciate their job and the company, but aren’t going to take the alpha’s word as truth without data and facts to back it up like the Believers in the office. They’re typically more analytical and skeptical and take more convincing to get on board.


Naturals are a branch of Pragmatists. They are as talented and driven as Alphas, but tend to earn genuine loyalty from building relationships instead of by pure force of personality. They like to network and make decisions based off of what feels right, not just what will get them to the top. They excel in situations where they are working with others who they like outside of the office.

How you’ll handle change: You understand that switching software is what’s necessary to move the company forward, and probably even saw it coming or were instrumental in bringing the need to the attention of superiors. You like having new responsibilities and a challenge at work to learn something new. You can see down the line that this is something that will enhance your job and the company’s productivity.


Heretics are a branch of Pragmatists. They are the ones in the office that you can’t predict what they’ll do. Their harebrained ideas are either pure genius or insane – and it’s a fine line to decide which category they fall. They are big idealists and innovators and will either drive the company to make big exciting changes, or will get bogged down by working in an office with rules and regulations and leave.

How you’ll handle change: Approached in the right way, you’ll easily be on board to handle a software switch. You’ll need to see the big picture of why you needed to change in the first place. But given time to explore the new software on your own and discover how it works without having to worry about manuals, rules or timelines, you’re going to do what it takes to get the rest of the team up to speed with the new software.


Toilers are the last branch of the Pragmatists. They make up the largest population in an office. They view work as a means to support their family and a way to get what matters most to them outside of the office. They aren’t looking for a rise in the company ladder, but will continue on completing whatever is asked – some at incredibly efficient rates and some at super slow paces just because it doesn’t matter to them as long as it gets done. It’s a job. Period.

How you’ll handle change: Change is just another thing thrown at you at work. You could take it or leave it, although change might make the day a little bit more exciting. You don’t really care about the big picture, but want to know what’s the short-term objective. How is switching software going to help you this week, this month, this year? Is there an incentive offered to get it done quickly? You love a little tangible reward to get things done and once you see why switching software is important to your job, you’re on board.

So where do you see yourself?

To read the full descriptions of each corporate personality, check out the article here.

Source: SherWare Blog


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