I’m a monkey. So I’ll make this quick.

Posted on November 15, 2011


In 2004, I changed jobs.  The local authority I moved to had issues, and had been classified weak by some bureaucratic Government system or other.  It wasn’t wide of the mark, but it was pretty impactful on the council staff and morale was low.

The council brought in a motivational speaker, Nigel Risner, for a days’ event. Even today, 7 years on, I can remember the power of that event, and in particular, the speaker’s presentation about management and personality types: ‘it’s a zoo around here’. 

This is how I know I am a monkey!

There are 4 basic personality types, of course, we all have elements of each animal in us, but the overriding characteristic is the one you are looking for.  As you read this, see if you can associate these with yourself and the people you know and love!

The Elephant. Likes detail. Likes structure. Doesn’t like surprises or change. Cautious, meticulous, deliberate, sceptical, formal.  If an elephant buys a camera or mobile phone, it will have researched it thoroughly, and will have read the instructions from cover to cover.

The Lion. Likes to lead. Very important. Needs to have straight forward answers. Single-minded, visionary, straight forward, purposeful, persevering.  If they bought a camera, it would be the top of the range.

The Dolphin. Lovely. Very patient, very supportive and quite relaxed in their approach.  Caring, nurturing.  They wouldn’t mind what phone they had, as long as they could phone their team or keep in touch.

The Monkey. Extrovert. Short attention span. Lively and energetic. Playful and persuasive.  The Monkey’s bought a phone or a camera before the Elephant has finished researching; the Monkey will take it out of the box, throw away the instructions and then spend months delighting in finding new things out about their camera (or call an Elephant to ask them how it works).

(If you’re a Monkey, well done on getting this far, without moving on to something else)

My lovely Dolphin and I went to this event together. She heard what the speaker had to say, and turned to me and said ‘that explains everything’ and from that day on, she has managed me beautifully.   

Now you know all about the animals, look out for my blogs about life as a Monkey, and about my dearest friends, the Elephant and Dolphin, who put up with so much!

Posted in: Being a Monkey