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Using Disney's "Encanto" to Understand Your Employees

Andrew Adams

If we’re not talking about Bruno, can we at least talk about the other characters in Disney’s Encanto and how their personalities and gifts exist in your workforce as well? Each character in the latest Disney hit has a unique storyline and important characteristics that are important to find in your employees. While this may not be the latest personality test, it’s a good way to understand what your employees need and how you can best help them thrive.

If you’ve gone this far into 2022 without seeing Encanto, you definitely don’t have children. Luckily, there is still a lot to be learned from the characters in the movie, without even having to see it.

Mirabel

The story follows Mirabel, a member of the Madrigal family, who doesn’t fit in with the other family members. In this storyline, Mirabel is missing the “gift” that each family member receives from the magical town in which they live.

Mirabel is determined to be a part of the family, even though she feels like she doesn’t belong. Throughout the story, you see her perseverance and determination when faced with difficult situations and also when her family isn’t supportive. As the hero of the story, Mirabel plays a significant role in the success of the family.

A Mirabel in your workforce may be someone who is strong and determined despite adversity. They may seem to not fit in but they work diligently to make sure that the company prospers. Mirabel’s are the strong and resilient team members that solve problems.

Managing Mirabel

You should reassure them that they’re a critical part of the team and trust their ability to take care of problems. They may be used to being overlooked but they have an ability to solve problems regardless of what gets in the way. Support them and they will help with the most difficult issues.

Isabela

You can’t miss Isabela in Encanto and you definitely won’t miss her in the workplace either. She’s the perfect member of the family. Throughout the movie, she displays a perfect life and as the family faces adversity, Isabela struggles to keep up her perfect demeanor and grows weary as she tries to follow the perfect life that’s been created for her.

You’re probably already thinking about someone like Isabela in your office. They’re always striving for perfection and may seem like the teacher’s pet. They work extremely hard to manage expectations and ensure that they are reaching or exceeding what people expect of them. A great employee to have - until, like Isabela, the pressure to be perfect erodes their ability to get things done.

Working with Isabela

If you’re managing or working alongside someone like Isabela, sometimes they just need the reassurance that being perfect isn’t necessary. While they’re focused on being a perfectionist and making sure everything is in order, they may get overwhelmed or frustrated. It’s also important that if they’re not perfect, which will happen, that you respect them and help them understand perfection was never on the table.

Luisa

Luisa is the character you can count on. She’s been gifted with super strength and the people in Encanto rely on her to fix almost all of their problems. One of the most popular songs from the movie, “Surface Pressure,” focuses on Luisa and the pressure she faces to keep everything together and be the strong member of the family.

“If I could shake the crushing weight of expectations

Would that free some room up for joy

Or relaxation, or simple pleasure?

Instead we measure this growing press”

Luisa struggles in the movie to keep up with the growing pressure of the caretaker while her strength wanes. In your office, you can most likely point out Luisa. It’s the employee that everyone relies on to get things done. It may be the office manager, a secretary or someone else, but everyone turns to them when they need the strength to finish a project. And like Luisa, those people sometimes have a hard time bearing the weight.

Take a Load off Luisa

You often rely on the Luisa of the office for all of the heavy lifting. You get used to throwing every difficult project to them and they always deliver. However, focus on them and make sure they’re not overwhelmed with the weight of the responsibilities you’ve placed on their shoulders.

Dolores

Dolores is the person you go to when you want to know what’s going on. Whether that’s family drama or the latest gossip in the workplace. She is full of insight - because of her magical gift of hearing, well, pretty much everything. Maribela approaches her to gain insight on the family's magic and also about … well we don’t talk about him.

Another main character in every work place, Dolores. They know EVERYTHING. They keep their ear to the ground to stay one-step ahead of anything that could happen and they also create a solid network of coworkers to gain even more information. When you want to know something happening at work, you always go to Dolores.

Gain Insight from Dolores

Sometimes, Dolores gets a bad rap at work for sharing too much or knowing something they shouldn’t, but as a business owner, you can use their incredible hearing and insights to your advantage. Curious about employee morale? Ask Dolores. Wondering if someone is looking for another job? Ask Dolores.

Now that we’ve talked about a few of the characters, maybe we should talk about Bruno?

Disney's Encanto

Bruno

The most popular song from the movie focuses on Bruno. The shunned Uncle of Mirabela who left the family home after being criticized for his gift. Bruno has the ability to see the future, whether good or bad. He becomes estranged from the family because he was seeing too many bad things in the future. We’ve all been there, stop telling us the bad stuff and focus on the good.

In the workplace, Bruno may seem like a pessimistic person but they may also have valuable insight or opinions on the future of the company - whether good or bad. Depending on your company culture, it may be hard to bring up the bad, however, the good thing about Bruno is that they don’t mind sharing what they may see as a negative.

In the movie, and in the workplace, Bruno’s insights may be the key to the success of the company and you definitely don’t want to miss that.

Embracing Bruno

How do you embrace an employee like Bruno? Value their opinions. They may share a pessimistic view on a situation sometimes, but in their mind, it’s a realistic concern that could affect the company. Bruno would have done the family a disservice if he only told them the sunshine and rainbows of the future without leaving out the rain. You want employees who can share their concerns openly. Make sure you’re harnessing a culture that does that.

Keep the Magic Alive

Every member of the Madrigal family wanted to keep the magic alive and thriving. Your employees want to do the same thing for your company. They each bring a unique gift that will help your company succeed and understanding how to manage them and their personalities will help you grow your business and improve your culture.