Ivan Misner is the founder of BNI, the biggest global professional networking organization in existence. In an editorial for Fox Business, Misner highlights four types of office personalities that any business owner could benefit from identifying in the workplace, as doing so can make the difference between a boss and a professional connector. The results, he says, can not only help an entrepreneur build a better business, but increase his value as a key point of reference in an industry or community network.

Four business models
The specific personalities to compartmentalize for networking purposes, Misner wrote for Fox, depend on the combination of an individual’s focus on work, the speed at which he or she operates, and  his or her typical social modes. For example, someone who is quick with work and warm to others is a “promoter,” while someone with the same speediness and intensity in work but less of a social buzz is dubbed a “go-getter.” The other two types Misner points out are the “examiner” and the “nurturer” – both slow-working employees, but the nurturer is more people-oriented and the “examiner” likely to dedicate as much time as possible to projects.

Misner notes that before being able to assess employees as any of these personalities, a business owner must get to know the people in the office over time. Still, many lines of work do not call for one-on-one chats every week or even every month, so how is a business owner to achieve this?

Make it a holiday
Peter Post, The Boston Globe’s “Job Doc,” suggests some atypical financial investment advice: Throwing an office holiday party could be an excellent way to get close to employees in an appropriate setting, he claims. This kind of event can be a perfect time to talk with workers and learn about their lives beyond typical weekday responsibilities.

For those who may be attending a function where coworkers or members of a professional network will be, it is especially important to avoid several pitfalls, like downing one too many cocktails or, Post notes, requesting to take home leftover food. The expert says making either of these mistakes can put a business owner in a position that is simply not attractive to professional connections and may even call for an apology following the party.

Such get-togethers can be used to form genial bonds and expand company social circles beyond cube mates and department regulars, according to Post. For employees and business owners alike, he suggests, holiday parties are prime events to establish oneself as an integral part of the organization and to get a handle on who those other types really are.