Management By Strengths (MBS) is a program specifically designed to help companies increase productivity, improve customer satisfaction and employee morale, and create better communication through an improved understanding of how to work together more efficiently.

The skills learned in the MBS program on ASTN enhance team building throughout an organization.

MBS starts by analyzing surveys and creating personal profile reports that are color-coded temperament trait charts.

This information can immediately help you identify the best way to deal with different people, learning how to recognize certain traits within yourself and in others.

Separating these temperament traits into four different categories helps people better understand how to interact with each other, which in turn produces more results and greater understanding.

MBS categorizes temperament trait colors and characteristics are red, green, blue and yellow.

The red profile indicates a direct personality. Green denotes an extroverted nature. Blues are paced and yellow personalities are structured.

The system creates both a greater self-awareness and a better understanding of others. Through training in the system, communication becomes more effective.

Each color and trait is associated with a number of characteristics and behaviors.

A direct (red) person focuses on getting results, being in control and responds well to challenges.

They are usually outspoken, analytical and self-confident and often self-made people. In dealings with them, get to the point, tie things to results and let them decide.

Someone with the extroversion (green) trait is outgoing and friendly, likes to interact, talk and discuss, and is persuasive.

They like teamwork and are enthusiastic, as well as being good at all kinds of selling. Dealings with them should include interaction and discussion.

Those with the paced (blue) temperament appear calm, controlled and cooperative. They are dependable, good planners and are good listeners, as well as being able to pace themselves and work in a methodical way. Calm, relaxed and friendly interaction is most effective with them.

Structured (yellow) personalities tend to focus on being right, are naturally good at details and great organizers. Some can be perfectionists or formal and conservative, but are very conscientious, loyal and quality oriented. They require information before making decision in any dealings.

The MBS program is not a system for stereotyping, but for recognizing positive and strong traits in order to deal with people in the way to which they will respond best.

The program allows employers and managers to capitalize on workers' strengths and learn how to predict a person's behavior in certain situations.

Beyond the employee/manager and employee/employee benefits, the program is also effective in dealing with customers.

While applicable to any industry or company, automotive dealerships comprise a large percentage of MBS's clientele.

The effectiveness of Management By Strengths in dealerships leads to improved productivity, teamwork, gross profits and sales.

Executive Vice President William Musgrave of Hendrick Automotive Group says, "MBS has become a part of our core culture in Hendrick Automotive Group. We believe very strongly in it and we believe in its product."

The principles learned in the Management By Strengths program provide tools to improve relationships and work with the differences between people.

Here are some advantages: * Once the major characteristics and methods are learned, it becomes easy to focus on improving communication, and thus productivity and profit.

* You are able to resolve conflicts that are usually rooted in misunderstanding and teach people how to better support each other.

* Improve your interviewing skills so that you hire employees suited to your organization.

* Avoid losing sales from overselling or underselling, improve closing techniques and get referrals from every deal . . . all from recognizing your customer's decision making style.

* Understand the validity of suggestions rather than seeing them as criticisms.

* Apply the techniques in your personal life to understand friends and family better, as well as reduce the stress in your life.

* Be able to motivate employees instead of creating a stagnant working environment.

Through the MBS program, all of these skills can be learned and put to use, everyday.

The focus of MBS is developing relationships and improving communication. Relationships must start with listening, because nothing can be established if no one listens.

Improving our ability to listen leads to quality communication, which fosters better understanding. Only with understanding can the last and most important step be reached, trust. Once trust has been established, the relationship can begin to improve.

MBS recognizes the responsibility of management is to develop its people. People are the company and productivity, efficiency and customer satisfaction can only result when people understand their environment, their working relationships and each other. Management By Strengths is a tool designed to help companies maximize their most valuable resource . . . their people.

Mr. Postlewait worked 16 years in management with Marion Laboratories and United Business Systems. He founded his own management training/consulting company, Management By Strengths (MBS) in 1979. MBS, Inc. is at 11810 Quivira Road Overland Park, KS 66210 913.469.6700