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bashful  |  dopey  |  sleepy  |  sneezy  |  doc  |  grumpy  |  happy

What characters did you run into at your last business meeting or gathering of family and friends? Doc? Sleepy? Dopey? GRUMPY?!


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Even though you’re not eight years old, you may want to give the classic “Snow White” another good read if you want to have more productive meetings or gatherings of friends and family.

Dr. Sharon Livingston, founder of Executive Solutions, Inc. has conducted over 5000 meetings in her twenty years as a marketing consultant. Although she doesn’t necessarily fancy herself to be Snow White, Dr. Livingston says “It’s amazing — in every meeting people seem to fall into one of the classic roles. They even seem to sit in the same positions each time. And once you know who’s who, it’s a piece of cake to run the meeting!”. For instance:

“DOCs”: These people feel intense pressure to “know it all.” They can’t provide an idea unless they’re sure it’s the right one — and the only one!. So you have to do something to take that pressure off. Ask them “What’s the worst way you could think of to....” or “Let’s discuss 10 ways we could accomplish this.” Avoid asking them for THE answer.

“SLEEPYs”: This person dreads meetings. (S)he’s either bored to tears with the usual protocol or simply hasn’t had enough sleep. Either way, you need to do something unusual to get their attention — say something provocative and be ready with a joke to diffuse the tension once it’s out.

You can find out which characters are in your life, how to leverage their strengths, how to avoid their weaknesses, and more generally how to get along better with them simply by filling out our Snow White Test! (You can also fill it out about yourself, of course, if you are curious).

In her facilitator training sessions, Sharpen The Focus, Dr. Sharon Livingston details how to recognize (and deal with) the classic characters in business and in life!



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