Many times, miscommunication occurs when people don’t understand someone’s way of thinking.
One factor that greatly influences how we think and act is our personality type. In part two of our NFDA convention workshop series, we briefly highlighted four personality types presented by Corey Poirier. But now, we want to explore these personalities deeper and how they impact funeral planning and grieving.
If your funeral home’s staff understands these personalities, you can better cater to your client families’ needs and prevent miscommunication.
Below is a breakdown of the four personalities; also keep in mind that someone can have traits of multiple personalities.
Red Personality: The Busy Bees
A few common characteristics of Red personalities are:
- Constantly busy
- Short and to the point
- Time efficient
- Not very emotional
When funeral planning with a Red, a short and pre-scheduled meeting may work best. While planning, you should go for more simple explanations rather than detailed versions. They want to get things done as quickly and easily as possible and don’t like to waste time. It doesn’t necessarily mean they’re rushing through the process; that’s just their personality. But you should make sure they’re aware of all their options while planning.
For example, when choosing a stationery theme, they may not want to take the time to page through all the options. Instead, before the meeting, do some research and organize the information you have about the deceased. Then, you can find a few options to show them first rather than everything at once.
A Red may not show a lot of emotion, but that doesn’t mean they’re not grieving. With their busy schedules, they may not have time for attending support groups or grief seminars. Instead, they may be interested in your funeral home’s grief webinar that they can watch on their own time. Or, they may want to schedule a meeting at their desired time with a grief counselor.
Yellow: The Social Butterflies
A few common characteristics of Yellow personalities are:
- Not time efficient
When funeral planning with a Yellow, plan for the process to take longer than expected. A Yellow is a sociable personality, so they’re likely to tell stories about their loved one during the planning process. It doesn’t necessarily mean they’re avoiding the process, but you can help get them back on track if needed.
For example, you can use their storytelling to your advantage. By taking notes, you can use details from their stories in their loved one’s obituary. Not only does it help tell a life story, but they’ll appreciate that you took note of their stories.
When grieving, a Yellow may be interested in a group support setting. Your funeral home can inform them of grief support groups in your area. Also, you can invite them to your funeral home’s upcoming grief events. However, you should suggest some solo grieving activities, as well.
Blue: The Detail-Oriented
A few common characteristics of Blue personalities are:
- Emotional when they have a bond with you
When funeral planning with a Blue, they want more detailed explanations. They care about the little details that come together to make a unique and personalized funeral service. They also may ask a lot of questions, so be prepared to try to ease their concerns. You may even answer their questions before they ask them by giving them more detailed explanations.
For example, when choosing funeral stationery, they’re the ones who want to page through to find the perfect one. To save time, you can ask them what type of theme they’re looking for to honor their loved one. Then, you can show them some options that relate to their desires.
A Blue may prefer to grieve with close family and friends rather than at a support group. But your funeral home should still recommend some grief counselors if they want to seek grief counseling. A detail-oriented task also may help them grieve and honor their loved one, such as a memorial craft project.
Green: The Conflict Avoiders
A few common characteristics of Green personalities are:
- Avoid conflict
- Not very social
- Don’t like making decisions
- Want peace of mind
When funeral planning with a Green, they may be indecisive and agree with whatever you or their family says to avoid conflict. But it’s your job to make sure their voice is heard so the funeral meets and exceeds everyone’s expectations. They may not be as social or vocal as other family members, but their opinions should still be heard.
For example, you can have everyone write down a list of the top three things they want from the funeral. Whether it relates to the décor, theme, location, or another funeral element, everyone can briefly share their thoughts. Then, you can compile all the answers, determine which are most important, and try to accommodate as many as possible.
When grieving, a Green may prefer a one-on-one grief counseling setting if they’re not as social. They also may be interested in your funeral home’s educational grief seminars or webinars. They need a grief activity that gives them some peace of mind while honoring and remembering their loved one.
Coming Together as a Team
To plan a funeral, family members of all personality types need to come together and work as a team. Together, they balance each other out and bring a unique point of view to create a personalized and memorable funeral. And by understanding these personalities, your funeral home’s staff can better support them and help them through funeral planning.
What personality type(s) are you? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!