By Barry Breit, Co-founder, Pro Resume Center, LLC
Part 2 of 2-part article. See Part 1 here.
Do you ever find yourself wondering why your colleagues just don’t get things done like you do? Maybe you think your admin or boss would be more efficient if only they went after their daily tasks and projects in the same manner as you?
Guess what? Not going to happen.
Everyone has a different working style. Not everyone gets things done like you. You know what else? They're probably thinking the same thing about you. It is important to remember in the workplace that it takes many people to get most things done and each brings their own style and contribution to the table. Teamwork works best when we understand our own working styles AND the styles of those around us.
So how do you figure that out? All these different personalities and work styles bumping into one another and colliding on projects, with a variety of egos, personalities, sensitivities and eagerness creating stumbling blocks along the way to the end goal?
Most of these different working styles can be grouped into four major categories. Knowing your own working style and the styles of your colleagues, team members, clients, vendors and supervisors can vastly help everyone you work with get things done more efficiently.
So which style are you? Which style is your client, colleague or boss? You may find that you fit into two or three of the categories listed below – as most people have a primary style AND a secondary style.
Let’s take a look at the four major working styles:
- Driver: Drivers are to the point. They like to check off their lists and jump head first into their projects without “dilly dallying”. They are focused. In fact they are so focused that they might forget to look up once in awhile and tell you what they have accomplished because they are so busy checking off their list. Their mantra is shoot first, aim later. They are great task masters and look at their lists as mountains to be climbed and conquered. Their often in-your-face dominant working style and personality traits can at times be abrasive to others. These folks need to be aware of how their style may derail the camaraderie on a team, as they may make others feel inadequate or afraid to speak up. No need to beat around the bush with drivers. They respond best to a “go do this” style without adding the “do you think you might want to do consider…” part which works best with other styles.
- Expressive: Expressives are leaders. They like to create the vision and inspire others. Everyone loves to listen to and follow the expressives because they are charismatic and motivating. But leaders can be detached from the rest of the group, so wrapped up in leading they forget how to communicate to those who cannot see their vision. The best way to delegate to this type of working style is to praise their rallying ability and assign them the task of overseeing a project, helping others stay on task and motivated.
- Amiable: Amiables are the ones who work hard to build harmony on the team, making sure everyone is getting along and sees eye to eye at the office. They are consensus builders and believe that if everyone works well together as a team, success will come. They are sensitive to words, body language and the subtle nuances of communication and have a pulse on everyone else’s emotions. Amiables, however, tend to stink at follow through and detail work. If left to their own devices, they will do their best to make everyone in the room feel good but may not get tangible work done if not followed up with. They play a great supporting role on the team and respond best to being asked to do something, rather than being told.
- Analytical: Analyticals are learners and researchers. Analyticals don’t like to be told what to do in specific terms, but more so, like to be given the big task and then will break it down into their own list and structured steps of 1 through 10. Disciplined and deliberate, analyticals tend to think more strategically than their counterparts and thrive on coming up with better, faster, more efficient ways to do things. Problem solvers extraordinaire. But they cannot thrive without the other styles on their team. With no one to execute the strategy, without a team ready to act, their strategy can fail.
It's also important to mention, this material is most often taught in a two or three day class, so keep in mind that these are high level generalizations. Most people do not fit one style to a “T” because they also have a secondary style. For instance, I am an expressive analytical. My primary style is an analytical but I also have the qualities of an expressive. I like to know the big picture to be accomplished and then break it down into actionable steps to complete the task. At the same time, I also naturally thrive in leadership type positions, and really feel like I'm in my element when I am “rallying” the troops to finish our project.
The sooner you can figure out your own true working style(s) and that of your colleagues, clients, bosses and even your significant other, the better off you will be in improving your communication to others and helping them do their best in a team environment.
We all have unique strengths and once we can align ourselves with the strengths in others, there is nothing we cannot do. It streamlines and supercharges our abilities to achieve success with projects, goals and more. Identify your own style and then learn to communicate with others in their style to complete the work in a way that leaves everyone feeling accomplished and successful.
Would love to know your thoughts on the above and if you already have implemented this in your workplace, how it has worked for your team, and if not, could you see value in introducing this at your current job?
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