August 9, 2023

How to use the architect personality to win clients

https://youtu.be/gPRqN155TqY

Architects: Ever tie your affinity for “architect glasses” to your career? Or the idea that embracing who you are could turn you into an architecture marketing pro? Truth. They are not just connected – they are impossible to separate. The tie? The architect personality – the ULTIMATE architect marketing strategy.

Every person has a unique way they see the world based on who they are. Believe it or not, it’s game-changing in the workplace. In this post we look at how different personality types (via the DISC Personality Profile model) play out in architecture. We’ll cover:

  • Personality in architecture
  • DISC personality profile
  • How personality and architecture mix
  • Personalities and architect stereotypes
  • Harnessing your personality power
  • Understanding clients

This is like armchair psychology (my favorite!) times a million, except it also can help you win more projects (my other favorite!).

The power of personality

I’m going to let you in on a secret: I’m a big-time people-watcher. Three decades of it, actually. It’s my thing. Here’s what I gathered from all this “spying” – and a bunch of research: our quirks, our personalities? They are not just for show. They drive everything – and yep, that includes architects.

Once you better understand your personality you can get it working for you.

You can learn about your personality through things like the DISC Personality Profile and Myers Briggs assessments (hey, fellow ENFJs!). I used the DISC Personality Profile as a reference.

DISC Personality Profile Model

Think of DISC as a cheat sheet to figure people out. It reveals what feels like some obvious information – and then gets you with something super specific.

A DISC assessment gauges how you interact with tasks and people, and how fast-paced or… not… you are. You are one of four different personality types: D, I, S, or C.

  • Dominant (D)s are confident, often emphasizing results.
  • Influential (I)s are more open, emphasizing relationships and influencing or persuading others. 
  • Steady (S)s are dependable, with an emphasis on cooperation and sincerity.|
  • Conscientious (C)s emphasize quality, accuracy, expertise, and competency.

Play armchair psychology with me for a moment…
Look at the people on your team at the architecture firm and see who fits where. Now look at what they do – does it make sense?

The Dominant (D) and Conscientious (C)s are often more into math and enjoy the challenge and detail. Influential (i) and Steady (S) personalities are stronger in teamwork and other aspects of design, with math not necessarily being their thing.

the four categories of the DISC personality profile written out by a shown hand - Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, Concientousness

The effect of personality on architecture firms

Your personality influences everything – what you do, how you do it, and even how you communicate about it. Your style? Personality. The minutia? Personality.

Learning what it’s doing means you can harness it to work better for you.

For example, the Dominant (D) might do really well in leadership, pushing boundaries with their directness and desire for control. Influential (I)s thrive on social interactions, are excellent communicators, and are great with client relations and design presentations.

Planning and project management are never an issue if a Steady (S) is on the team. And the Conscientious (C)s don’t miss any details.

DISC personality vs. architect stereotypes

Wondering if this actually applies to you? It does. Let’s get a little more context on how it applies to your world. Check out how the individual DISC types can match up with well-known architect stereotypes.

The Math Wiz

The Dominant (D) and Conscientious (C)s are often more into math and enjoy the challenge and detail. Influential (i) and Steady (S) personalities are stronger in teamwork and other aspects of design, math not necessarily their thing.

The Tortured Artist

Our Influential (I) and Dominant (D) personalities are often more expressive and driven by their creative visions. But… Steady (S) and Conscientious (C) personalities can be equally passionate – minus the dramatics.

The Lone Wolf

The Dominant (D) often exudes independence. The Steady (S) and Conscientious (C) can also appreciate solo work while maintaining strong team collaboration. The Influential (I)s are not lone wolves.

The Workaholic

Our Dominant (D)s, driven by results, definitely show tendencies towards working nonstop. But – all personality types – when excited about their work – may burn the midnight oil to get their designs just right.

Harnessing the Power of the Architect Personality

Now we’re getting into the fun stuff – how to take action. This “lets” you acknowledge your strengths and, your (very few) weaknesses, too. You see where to lean in, and where to get help.

Then – it’s GOLD. You can adjust based on what you now know. So embrace it, flaunt it, or roll with it.

Embracing your unique architect personality type

I’m going to give it to you straight: accept what it reveals because you are who you are. See what happens. Bonus: the increases in self-awareness and emotional intelligence are huge assets in client interactions and teamwork.

Leveraging your unique architect personality

Now to make it work for you. The new understanding helps you get even better at what you’re good at, and support where you need it. Then – use this new info to tailor your approach to tasks, client interactions, and team collaborations for better results.

Facing your personality type’s challenges 

Of course, each architect personality type has its own challenges but fear not! You’ve been doing great with them thus far. Now you can just do it better (and be more competitive) – which has long-term returns. So… do what you need to so you overcome these hurdles.

If a Dominant (D), remember to slow down and listen to other ideas. The Steady (S) folks? Try to embrace change when it comes. And for the Conscientious (C)s… sometimes it’s okay to see the forest for the trees.

Related for some of you... who considers yourself an introvert? Check out this post about how introverts are killing it at networking (and how to be even better).

a serious woman in black thinks as she looks out a window

Mastering Client Communication and Architect Marketing

Now that you better understand your personality, you can study your clients to tailor the approach to be better than ever. Figure out what makes them tick and you’re ahead of the architect marketing game. Actually use that information to better customize your interactions, materials, and more – and you can be confident you meet clients where they are.

ProTip: I talk with a lot of your clients – they notice the architects who make things EASY.

Customize

Architect marketing strategies and messages should always speak to clients’ needs, desires, and aspirations. Now, you can add another layer – their preferences, by personality. You can stand out, show clients you GET them and make things EASIER for them. That is where you get more successful materials.

Be Authentic

You need to be authentic to build trust and establish architect-client relationship. Pay attention to verbal and non-verbal cues – they can give you insight into their personality types. Listen to and adjust to their communication style to create a better connection.

Communicating your unique value

Now it’s time to share that unique value with clients. Tailor your architecture marketing messages to showcase the qualities that set you apart from the competition.

ProTip: Use real examples from your projects where your distinct personality turned the project around. Have you diffused a situation, added a lighter touch, or solved a problem? That is who clients want on their team. When potential clients see the person behind the projects, they buy into YOU.

Conclusion and Call to Action

You’ve learned to use your unique architect personality strengths to be even better in architecture and marketing. Time to put this knowledge to work. If ever you started feeling overwhelmed, remind yourself: you were doing great before this. Anything on top is gravy.

Next steps

  • Architects: Take my “WHICH ICONIC BUILDING ARE YOU?” QUIZ to learn your iconic building AND its corresponding DISC personality. I created it to go along with this post. Consider this the unofficial but FUN way to get your results. 
  • Take an official DISC personality assessment. You can get a free DISC Personality Test.
  • Reach out for support when needed. You are a unique individual with extraordinary talents. Take the stuff that doesn’t work as well off your plat
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I'm Barb
I’m a 20-year architectural marketing veteran sharing resources and insights from my architect-adjacent life. Useful information with stories and humor.
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How to use the architect personality to win clients

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I'm Barb
I’m a 20-year architectural marketing veteran sharing resources and insights from my architect-adjacent life. Useful information with stories and humor.

hey there!

Ready to be the only architect clients think of?

what iconic building

ARE YOU?

See what sets you apart from 
everyone + get strategies for YOUR UNIQUE PERSONALITY to stand out and win more!


I'm Barb
I’m a 20-year architectural marketing veteran sharing resources and insights from my architect-adjacent life. Useful information with stories and humor.

hey there!

Ready to be the only architect clients think of?

what iconic building

ARE YOU?

See what sets you apart from 
everyone + get strategies for YOUR UNIQUE PERSONALITY to stand out and win more!