The next time you reach for a snack during a meeting, beware; it might tell
colleagues more about you than you realise.
Renowned workplace psychologist Gladeana McMahon caused a storm among
Personnel Today readers in 2003 when she unveiled her research on the link
between biscuit choice and personality type.
A year later, she has analysed another cornerstone of snack culture – the
"In the workplace, during meetings, events and presentations, the crisp
flavour someone chooses will often tally exactly with their approach to work
and personal characteristics," McMahon claims.
The study was modelled on the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, which is used
worldwide to analyse personality types, each of which are associated with a
unique set of behavioural characteristics and values.
Cheese and onion – The coach
The Coach is devoted to developing others, producing agreement and harmony
while trying to create a positive team atmosphere so that a consensus can be
reached. Cheese and onion reflects their goodness and honesty.
Ready salted – The curator
The Curator clarifies ideas and information, producing better knowledge and
a clearer picture of any situation. The classic flavour of these plain crisps
provides a focus for the Curator’s clear thinking.
Prawn cocktail – The innovator
The Innovator uses imagination to gain new ideas and perspectives. It’s the
tangy nature of the prawn cocktail-flavoured snack that fires the imagination
of this team member.
Salt and vinegar – The conductor
The Conductor produces structure and introduces a logical organisation into
the way things are done. The Conductor does not suffer from poor performance
and the sharp flavour of the salt and vinegar supplies the energy needed for
this individual to keep things up to scratch.
Thai sweet chicken – The scientist
The Scientist provides the many explanations needed while generating models
to demonstrate how things work. It is the experimental flavour of Thai sweet
chicken that both intrigues and impresses this individual.
Bacon – The sculptor
The Sculptor makes sure that projects happen, producing action to address
the most urgent matters, using tools or techniques that they know from
experience will work.
Flame-grilled steak – The explorer
The Explorer is an individual born to look for the potential in situations
and people, and it is the flame-grilled steak that appeals with its
down-to-earth meaty taste. This flavour fortifies the Explorer to deal with the
work at hand, helping them to remain focused on fulfilling their potential.
Barbecue beef – The crusader
The Crusader produces a sense of priority, stressing the issues that are
important so that discussions are focused on the most valuable topics. The
strong barbecue beef flavour is a reminder of the force of character needed to
keep going when the journey starts to get tough.
By Michael Millar