Everybody loves a good fairytale, especially us. The one we’ve been talking about recently in our office is Snow White and her ensemble of dwarfs, which some say – has a striking resemblance to those characters that you meet in a typical boardroom meeting.
You can probably name just about all of the seven dwarfs, however how well do they relate to people sitting in your boardroom?
The Alpha: Doc
“This is what we should do”
Doc is the leader of the seven dwarfs. He is older and wiser than the younger dwarfs over which he appears to hold complete authority with the exception of Grumpy. Doc encourages rational, organised behaviour amongst the dwarfs.
This character perceives themselves as a natural born leader and better than those around them. They would like everyone to think that they are experts and although at times they can be very intimidating, they are a valued member of the team’s success.
The Negative One: Grumpy
“This will never work”
Grumpy is true to his name and throughout most of the fairytale displays negative, rude and condescending traits. Although he appears as stubborn, he also shows a compassionate side, however he would never admit it.
The ‘negative one’ may be opinionated and typically against change, but is actually also very competent and capable. Their body language usually shows them with their arms crossed, and may answer “no” to many questions. Although their constructive criticism may come across as rude, it can however be made up of many valid points.
The Yes Man: Happy
“I think that’s a brilliant idea!”
Happy is very bubbly and bright, he is the friendliest and most cheerful out of the dwarfs, and does not seem to have conflict with anyone, even his complete opposite- Grumpy. He is the most sociable out of all the dwarfs and was the first to introduce himself to Snow White.
The most sociable, and usually the loudest board member can be very responsive to actions and sometimes is seen as over positive, agreeing with everything and everyone to get on their good side – rather than doing what is right.
The Clock Watcher: Sleepy
“Are we finished yet?”
Sleepy is always weary, droopy-eyed and tired. He is shown as lazy throughout the story with most scenes picturing him as drowsy and mumbling.
This type of character doesn’t just think but makes it clear that he doesn’t want to be in any meeting. From the moment they walk in- they are sighing, yawning and checking how many more items on the agenda have yet to be covered before they can go. You may even catch him heavy eyed falling asleep half way through or staring out the window.
The Forgetful One: Dopey
“Can I look at your notes?”
Dopey was the silly member of the team and is often in the middle of everyone else’s jokes. Though a playful person, a major trait of Dopey is his lack of speech.
This person never reads the agenda, and is always behind on actions from meetings. They may tend to follow the group instead of offering opinions and may only choose to talk when prompted to give an answer. They can however be useful in awkward meeting situations and standoffs by defusing the situation using humour.
The Quiet One: Bashful
Bashful is very shy and coy, he blushes a lot throughout the film, especially in the presence of Snow White.
This board member may have great ideas, but never voices them, they do not speak out and would rather not enter any discussions. They may stutter a lot when being confronted and probably shy away from attending any social activities outside of the boardroom
The Sensitive One: Sneezy
“I don’t mean to offend”
Sneezy’s name reflects his nature, due to his severe hay fever he sneezes consistently throughout the film, preventing him from speaking at times. He is however a friendly dwarf, but does continue to feel embarrassed by his constant sneezing.
This person is sensitive to their surroundings and may be quite shy and timid. Always asking if they can say or do something, and feeling embarrassed when they do. They are usually quick to excuse themselves from meetings because they are very unwell.
Can you relate?
We can all notice relatable characteristics in just these 7 dwarfs, and I’m sure you can imagine a few of them in your boardroom. I have, however missed two main characters out, Snow White and The Evil Queen, I will leave it up to you to decide who fits those roles in your organisation!