Diversity as 'Variety'. Why is diversity important? How can
maintaining a diverse pool of employees make a rent to own store
Most people, when they hear the word diversity,
focus on race and gender. Race and gender are easily measured,
therefore receive the most attention. While a culturally diverse
team that mirrors the community is crucial, maintaining diverse
personality types is equally important and often overlooked. "It
takes all kinds" to achieve world class results. The affect of
varying personality types on a relationship-based business like
Rent to Own can be immense.
Left Brain Vs Right Brain
Studies show that most people fall into two distinct categories,
left-brained and right-brained. Left brain types tend to excel
at logical thinking, analysis, and accuracy. Right brain types
tend to excel at empathy, creativity, and aesthetics. Both
personality types have advantages and disadvantages.
Left brain types will tend to group accounts
based on numbers and see things in logical progression. The
payment is due on Friday, it's late, therefore...
Right brain types will tend to empathize with
customers and rely on hunches. The payment is 14 days past due,
I have a hunch they will pay, therefore...
Having an entire staff of left brains will
result in a close rate that will be the envy of the company, but
may result in a high degree of customer churn. An entire staff
of right brains will result in a higher customer count, but
close rates will be inconsistent and tend to be higher.
When a group of left brains is given a goal of
5% close, they look at the numbers. Accounts are 1-7, 7-14 and
all 7-14's are equal. I will need to pick up X number of late
BOR to meet goal. Given the same goal, a group of right brains
will agonize over the effect on individual customers.
What's the solution?
Learn the value of
diversity. Study the personality traits of your employees. Are
they all the same type? Employers tend to "hire themselves."
It's important that we think outside the box and not restrict
the hiring process to those people that look, and think, like we
do. In an industry dominated by the relationship between
customers and store level employees, a diverse team will insure
Are you Left or Right Brained?
Vision is another area where hemispheric dominance (left vs
right) occurs. The
following exercise allows you to observe this process and
As you look at the illustration below, cross your eyes so you
see a third circle between the blue and red one. When you get
your eyes focused right, the middle circle will seem to have a
cross on it. To reduce eye strain, sit farther back. 1 to 3 feet
Watch the cross on the third circle. Every few seconds, it
will change from a horizontal line to a vertical line and back.
This is because the hemispheres of your brain are alternating in
dominance for this activity. When the right brain is dominant
you see the blue circle and vertical line on top; when the left
brain is dominant, the red circle and horizontal line are on
With concentration, you can train your brain!
Now look at the illustration again, but this time, try to make
the cross on the middle circle steady. You want a pure cross,
not a horizontal or vertical line.
Personality Type Factoid: There are nine personality types...
The principled, idealistic type. Ones are conscientious and
ethical, with a strong sense of right and wrong. They are
teachers, crusaders, and advocates for change: always striving
to improve things, but afraid of making a mistake.
Well-organized, orderly, and fastidious, they try to maintain
high standards, but can slip into being critical and
perfectionistic. They typically have problems with resentment
and impatience. At their Best: wise, discerning,
realistic, and noble. Can be morally heroic.
The caring, interpersonal type. Twos
are empathetic, sincere, and warm-hearted. They are friendly,
generous, and self-sacrificing, but can also be sentimental,
flattering, and people-pleasing. They are well-meaning and
driven to be close to others, but can slip into doing things for
others in order to be needed. They typically have problems with
possessiveness and with acknowledging their own needs. At
their Best: unselfish and altruistic, they have
unconditional love for others.
The adaptable, success-oriented
type. Threes are self-assured, attractive, and charming.
Ambitious, competent, and energetic, they can also be
status-conscious and highly driven for advancement. They are
diplomatic and poised, but can also be overly concerned with
their image and what others think of them. They typically have
problems with workaholism and competitiveness. At their Best:
self-accepting, authentic, everything they seem to be–role
models who inspire others.
The introspective, romantic
type. Fours are self-aware, sensitive, and reserved. They are
emotionally honest, creative, and personal, but can also be
moody and self-conscious. Withholding themselves from others due
to feeling vulnerable and defective, they can also feel
disdainful and exempt from ordinary ways of living. They
typically have problems with melancholy, self-indulgence, and
self-pity. At their Best: inspired and highly creative,
they are able to renew themselves and transform their
The perceptive, cerebral type.
Fives are alert, insightful, and curious. They are able to
concentrate and focus on developing complex ideas and skills.
Independent, innovative, and inventive, they can also become
preoccupied with their thoughts and imaginary constructs. They
become detached, yet high-strung and intense. They typically
have problems with eccentricity, nihilism, and isolation. At
their Best: visionary pioneers, often ahead of their time,
and able to see the world in an entirely new way
The committed, security-oriented
type. Sixes are reliable, hard-working, responsible, and
trustworthy. Excellent "troubleshooters," they foresee problems
and foster cooperation, but can also become defensive, evasive,
and anxious–running on stress while complaining about it. They
can be cautious and indecisive, but also reactive, defiant and
rebellious. They typically have problems with self-doubt and
suspicion. At their Best: internally stable and
self-reliant, courageously championing themselves and others.
The busy, productive type. Sevens
are extroverted, optimistic, versatile, and spontaneous.
Playful, high-spirited, and practical, they can also misapply
their many talents, becoming over-extended, scattered, and
undisciplined. They constantly seek new and exciting
experiences, but can become distracted and exhausted by staying
on the go. They typically have problems with impatience and
impulsiveness. At their Best: they focus their talents on
worthwhile goals, becoming appreciative, joyous, and satisfied.
The powerful, aggressive type.
Eights are self-confident, strong, and assertive. Protective,
resourceful, straight-talking, and decisive, but can also be
ego-centric and domineering. Eights feel they must control their
environment, especially people, sometimes becoming
confrontational and intimidating. Eights typically have problems
with their tempers and with allowing themselves to be
vulnerable. At their Best: self-mastering, they use their
strength to improve others' lives, becoming heroic, magnanimous,
The easy-going, self-effacing
type. Nines are accepting, trusting, and stable. They are
usually creative, optimistic, and supportive, but can also be
too willing to go along with others to keep the peace. They want
everything to go smoothly and be without conflict, but they can
also tend to be complacent, simplifying problems and minimizing
anything upsetting. They typically have problems with inertia
and stubbornness. At their Best: indomitable and
all-embracing, they are able to bring people together and heal
The above descriptions were provided to RTO Online by Don
Riso and Russ Hudson of The
Enneagram Institute. All Rights Reserved
RTO Online is the official channel for Rent-to-Own Industry News and the
only independent source of news for the rent-to-own, rental-purchase,
lease-purchase trade. RTO Online (Rent to Own Online) represents the choice
of the entire RTO Industry for trusted information, as it happens.
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