Absolutes in FilmBilliards is a game of absolutes. You cannot play a good game on a bad table.

The same is true of film.  Everything must be perfect.  The process does not work otherwise.  The actor’s true personality simply cannot be present. The audience needs to absolutely believe in the character and the story.  This presents a unique problem for director, namely, how to deal with the many varied personalities of the actors.  How would one do away with individual traits, so that what is left is a blank canvas on which he can create a new character.

A good deal of the responsibility, of course, falls to the actor, but the director must ensure that this erasing of self does indeed happen.

Everyone has a distinct personality.  It is what makes us unique.  Understanding the different personalities and knowing how to work with them makes the difference between an okay performance versus an Oscar-winning performance. This understanding of personalities is the key to unlocking elusive human qualities

The personality theories are surprisingly easy to understand at their basic level. Once you develop an understanding of personality typology, personality traits, thinking styles and learning styles, those theories will allow you to empower the actor.  With this knowledge of human behavior you can learn to motivate yourself and others in the studio and beyond.

Understanding Personality Types

Personality types are classifications of individuals based on behaviors.  Understanding the different types helps you interact with them more effectively.

A good personality type system is cohesive.  Each type is broad enough to classify individuals based on their most obvious and consistent patterns of behavior. There are many systems to choose from.

In the following sections I have included four basic personality types along with tips on how to deal with each type most effectively.

Analytical Personality Type

Analyticals are orderly, organized, consistent, and most importantly, driven by logic.  Typically introverts, these types prefer to work alone. In a group setting, however, they will be most comfortable providing information rather than negotiating or brainstorming.  While open-minded, the analyticals consider a new idea based on one factor: does it make sense? They value knowledge, information, and proven facts.

How to best interact with this personality: Focus on the concrete, not the abstract. Appeal to their sense of responsibility and need for results. Think through your ideas before approaching them.  Always back up your statements with solid information. Be reliable, committed, and focused on a mutual objective.

Supporting Personality Type

These personality types are teachers and facilitators. They are comfortable with themselves and others, and are quick to offer advice, instruction, or assistance. They find satisfaction in seeing others reach their goals. As extroverts, they interact well as both leaders and team players. Like the analysts, the supporters are interested in results. Their focus, however, is on the process and personal growth along the way. They value ideas, cooperation, relationships, and progress. They are firm believers in human potential.

How to interact with a supporting personality: Emphasize process over product. Appeal to their strength as catalysts and motivators. Trust in the goodness of their intentions and their ability to reach objectives.  .

Emoting Personality Type

The emoters  value connecting with others.  But, they assess relationships by the quality of the journey, not the destination. They are highly intuitive and empathetic, tuned in to the emotional energy in relationships and situations. These types are compelled by the need to encourage insight and meaning.  Emotional integrity is of utmost importance. The emoters value honesty and authenticity. They need a sense of purpose, and work most diligently toward goals that support that purpose.

How to interact with an emoting personality type: Remember, the emoters crave connection. Take interest in their concerns and ideas. Be honest and genuine to establish trust. Emphasize the potential emotional benefits of undertakings. Respect their concern for the well being of others.

Directing Personality Type

These types are born leaders. They are assertive, confident, and highly independent. They are driven and authoritative with a natural ability to harness resources toward reaching a goal. They are innovative, comfortable with change, and exceptionally creative. Their greatest strength is in conceptualizing, planning, and implementing, and they thrives on challenge. They are equally at home with others and on their own. The director holds themselves to high standards, and expects quality and performance from others as well. They respect those who are focused and goal-directed. While the journey is important, results matter most. They will thrive on creating and maintaining a sense of direction for themselves and their team.

How to interact with a directing personality type: Directors are most comfortable being in charge.  They do not function well in subordinate roles or highly democratic environments. Draw on their gift for trailblazing and supervising. Present objectives rather than detailed plans. Focus on opportunities and challenges. Acknowledge their strength and can-do attitude.

Dealing with Problems According to Personality Type

Disempowered directors can be domineering. When their strengths aren’t put to good use, they become restless and often channel the energy in negative or contrary ways. They become an obstacle rather than a vehicle toward accomplishment. They need a goal to pursue or an objective to meet in order to reverse the frustration.

Supporters lose confidence and feel unneeded when their efforts to help others are thwarted. They become critical of and overly aggressive with others, forcing unwanted advice and assistance. Pursuing opportunities to help others is the most effective way for supporters to help themselves.

Emoters cannot function without a sense of purpose. Deprived of meaning, they may become passive and emotionally needy. They lose their drive and seek validation in unhealthy ways. Emoters need to be encouraged to create meaning in their lives so their actions have purpose in the grand scheme of things.

Understanding different personality types gives you a powerful tool for interacting more effectively with others. Tailoring your choice of words and context to meet the needs of each type creates more harmonious relationships, deeper interpersonal connection, and more efficient collaboration in every aspect of your life