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Step over the drains and hug a radiator

During my career I have been privileged to coach and guide many people to achieve success. On many occasions I have used personality profiling to help people reflect on their strengths, overdone strengths and to develop strategies to overcome things that they find less easy or even difficult.

Cartoon image of personalities

The available range of psychometric tests is massive. They each measure many dimensions of what we refer to as personality. In the right hands, using personality profiling can be magical. My own career took off when I received feedback that described my personality type using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Using MBTI and other trusted psychometrics with my clients is a great way of beginning a journey of real personal and professional development.

But in everyday life does everyone need to have such indepth feedback? I don’t think so. For all my training and experiences as a manager over the past 20 years or so, I feel you can roughly divide people into two camps – i.e. drains and radiators.

So what do I mean by people being described as drains and radiators?

Do you know people that always seem to be down? Have you worked alongside someone who always sees the glass half empty? What about someone who consistently takes and never gives back? Sometimes it feels like someone has switched off the lights when they walk into the room. I refer to these people as drains. The more you get to know them, the more they drain your energy.

How about the other types of people? The people that seem to turn on the light when they enter a room. The kind of people who are warm, full of life. These sorts of people give you an emotional hug. I guess that you know these types of people too. These people radiate energy.

So having neatly categorised people into being either drains or radiators which ones do you prefer to keep company with? Is it more exciting to be with drains or radiators? If you have people working for you, will a drain or a radiator be your greatest ambassador? I think you know the answer. And so will your customers.

So how about you? How do people categorise you? Are you someone you radiates energy or enthusiasm or are you someone who is pessimistic, downbeat or even downtrodden? If you cannot be enthusiastic about your business, the how can you expect your colleagues and customers to feel the same way?

Yes, I know that we all have off days and we need to manage ourselves during these. But it helps if we surround ourselves with like-minded, enthusiastic people that radiate their warmth, generosity of spirit and support. So much better than being surrounded by people who are negative and emotionally destructive.

So if you decide that receiving your own personality profile is maybe not right for you at this time, then just remember two things: step over the drains and go and hug some nice warm radiators. You’ll feel the difference.

Paul Beesley

For more information on our personality profiling (including market leading psychometrics such as MBTI, FIRO-B and Strength Deployment Inventory the please contact senior consultant Paul Beesley on 01604.2125052 or email him at paul@beyondtheory.co.uk)


  1. Graham on March 31, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    Well said Paul, I’m a plumber by trade and I like to think I “radiate” warmth to my clients LOL. Seriously though, you’re right – the successful tradesmen that I know are the ones who are warm toward their customers. I think the days of sucking the air through your teeth at every quote are hopefully gone – although I do it to get a laugh out of my clients to be honest 🙂 – true success certainly seems to go hand in hand with personable and likeable, especially when dealing with the public.

    Cheers mate

  2. Paul on March 31, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    Hi Graham

    Thanks for your comments. When I founded Beyond Theory two years ago one piece of advice that was given to me stands out above all others – ‘Live your values and people will buy from you’. Having taken this advice on board, I have never looked back.

    Please take a few minutes to look at The Science of Persuasion video on our Beyond Theory TV page. You’ll see that ‘Like-ability’ is a real positive influence.

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