December 15, 2008 08:00 ET

IPEVO Identifies Top Five Conference Call Personalities

Personality Expert Provides Techniques for Communicating With Coworkers

SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwire - December 15, 2008) - Effective conference call communication can have great career advantages. Michael "Coop" Cooper, executive coach and personality type expert at LEVER/edge, Inc., and IPEVO, a designer of communication and collaboration devices, have identified the top five personality types commonly encountered on conference calls. Furthermore, Cooper provides his recommendations for successful colleague interaction with each personality below.

"The biggest skill that propels careers forward is learning how to communicate, behave and engage with others to reach a desired outcome," said Michael Cooper, co-founder and leadership strategist for LEVER/edge. "This means not only clearly communicating your intended message to colleagues, but also understanding the communication styles of others. By learning to customize their interpersonal approach, professionals can influence the result and position themselves as effective leaders."

Conversing in today's work environment can be challenging, especially when the majority of meetings are held over the phone. However, these communication tips will help set the stage for success:

Positive Patty: This person goes along with the consensus of their colleagues, leaving participants on the call desiring feedback. Cooper suggests communicating with this personality type by showing appreciation when they do provide input. Additionally, when dividing up group assignments, try asking Patty which role she would like to play. This personality type may require a little prodding to determine why they agree with the group consensus.

Negative Nancy: With no constructive commentary of his / her own, 'Negative Nancy' tends to berate others' ideas, leaving the group feeling frustrated. When communicating with this personality type, Cooper recommends framing comments in the context of making the situation or project better. Nancy is a deficit-based thinker, meaning that she sees the glass half empty. Her intent, however, is usually to improve the situation in the long run by identifying where things may go wrong before they do, but rarely communicates her intent when she makes comments.

Chatty Chad: This personality takes straying from the agenda to the extreme, distracting the group from accomplishing the task. To keep the group on point, Cooper proposes asking Chad questions directly related to the agenda, such as 'Chad, what do you think about item number one?' Or, 'How can you see this affecting the people on your teams over the next two weeks?'

Since Chad is social, he is most likely trying to establish rapport before jumping into business. Allowing for some rapport-building time will keep this personality focused on how the agenda impacts him and the people around him.

Silent Sally: On the flip side, the 'Silent Sally' personality type rarely pipes up with any commentary at all. To most effectively garner feedback from this personality type, Cooper advises drawing information out of Sally by asking questions, such as 'What do you think, Sally?' However, Sally may be shy, and still may avoid speaking up in a crowd. If you are the meeting manager, it may be helpful to follow up with Sally offline to ask for her opinion. Additionally, she may need time to process the information provided during the meeting, so wait a few hours or a day before following up.

Pushy Paul: This personality type means well, but Paul can give the impression of pushing a personal agenda. Furthermore, when others disagree, Paul can become easily irritable and defensive. To deflate this aggression, Cooper recommends drilling down into what's frustrating Paul. It's likely that the same situation is frustrating others in the group as well. Be sure to go below the surface of the problem, as the surface topics are usually just symptoms of a deeper problem, rather than the source of it. A good example might be, 'We seem to get stuck and frustrated every time we talk about this project. What is really going on between all the major contributors when we're not in this room?'

If Paul seems to be pushing his own agenda, ask him to view it from a different perspective, such as the client, or co-workers or the market. Often, seeing a situation from another's point of view can soften an approach, build empathy and lead to consensus.

"Communicating with colleagues on a professional level is an important part of most everyone's job description," said Ed Lucero, vice president and general manager, North America, for IPEVO. "We believe that IP collaboration tools, in combination with effective communication training techniques, will aid businesses in becoming more successful and productive."

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What you experience, you believe -- IPEVO creates communication and collaboration devices that expand and enhance the overall Experience over the Internet. Renowned for its iconic line of best-selling VoIP hardware, IPEVO has established a reputation for developing award winning, innovative designs and affordable products to help make the Internet a better place for what matters most -- connecting, communicating and sharing with the world around us. For more information, visit

About LEVER/edge

LEVER/edge, Inc., is an Executive Coaching and Leadership Training consultancy based in San Francisco. LEVER/edge has provided coaching, consulting and training to some of Silicon Valley's most promising leaders and most innovative companies. Visit for more information.

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