Archive for December, 2010


My mother-in-law told me a story that perfectly points out the difference in how people make decisions.  I’d like you to reflect on it and answer for yourself, “Are you a talker or a doer?”

When her father passed away it was up to my mother-in-law and her younger sister to figure out what to do with his home. It was a cute little bungalow he’d bought in the 1940’s near the beach in Southern California in the area called Belmont Shore.   Through the skyrocketing house prices in the area, the little house had appreciated in value very nicely.

My mother -in-law and her sister decided to rent out the home while they decided what to do with it. Sell it soon? Keep it long term as an income property?  Wait for more appreciation and then sell? There were several choices and several things to consider.

They advertised the rental and a woman came to look at the house.  Both sisters showed the home to the prospective tenant. The woman liked the house. The location was perfect; near the beach and boutique shopping, yet on a quiet street.   She was interested in renting it. But she didn’t want to move in only to have to move again in a few months.  So she asked a simple question to both sisters. “Are you talkers or doers?”

The two sisters laughed and replied in unison, “We’re talkers!”  They knew themselves. They are delightfully chatty people who analyze every detail and delight in discussing every nuance.

“I’ll take it,” the woman said. She figured that “talkers” wouldn’t make a decision about whether to sell quickly.

That renter had asked exactly the right question. She got to rent that little house for a full two years because it took the two sisters that long to finally decide to sell it. A doer would have sold the house right away, or remodeled it quickly then sold it.

Are you a talker or a doer? There’s no right answer. Both have their pros and cons. What’s important is to know which you are so you understand how you problem solve and make decisions.  A combination of ‘talkers’ and ‘doers’ in a team or in a family is a big benefit. Then you’ve got the best of both worlds:  the people who make sure all the questions are asked and answered, and the people who take action.

Post a comment: Are you a talker or a doer?  How do the different types help your team?

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Category : Goal setting and achievement | Life and Work Balance | Blog