Posted on February 3, 2017 by Heather
Over time, we all become obsessed with the way WE like to work. Perhaps we are list makers, spending the day ticking off a “to do” list and feeling a major sense of achievement as the day progresses. Isn’t that how everyone is? Don’t all successful leaders wake up early in the morning to tackle their \"to do\" lists?
Actually, no. Not everyone prioritizes their work this way. You might find yourself struggling when you try to make your team members follow your example.
Of course, we all know that in life, people are different. Our siblings, friends, family and co-workers have varied preferences for food, fashion and fun. Some love to read, others hate to pick up a book. Some are loud, some are quiet. Some people sulk for days when they’re upset, other people get angry and then it’s business as usual.
When it comes to work, however, we tend to forget that people like to work differently. Have you ever wondered why some people in your team get angry when challenged and others just go quiet? Or why some people like to make those long long lists and others hate it? Why some seem to be terribly organized, and on time for everything, and others just seem to be in a state of permanent chaos?
The key to managing different people is to start by STOPPING the obsession with our ourselves. We need to be mindful of the way we like things to be done, but we also need to ADAPT, to get the best out of others. That doesn’t mean that we start to behave like a chameleon, forever changing and presenting different faces, but the key is to be flexible, to get the best results in communicating with and managing others.
It does of course begin with knowing ourselves. Think about the kind of person you are, for a few minutes. Do you like things to happen quickly? Do you like to spend time analyzing and poring over details before you start anything? Do you like to be friendly and chatty at work or do you prefer to work quietly with minimum fuss. Do you get angry easily? Or are you a sulker? Are you great with details, or better with the big picture?
Once you’ve done that, then think about how your own personal style can affect others. If you’re a super sociable, chatty person, you might freak an introverted person out with too many \"personal questions\". Some people have a need for more personal space, so if you throw your arms around them when you greet them in the morning (cos you’re a touchy feely kind of person) you might make them super uncomfortable. If you expect a really \"big picture\" person to be great with details, then you may be disappointed.
Stop being obsessed with how you’d like things done, and think about how to get the best out of others. Watch how other people react in similar situations. Observe the similarities, and differences with the way you might react. Put yourself in their shoes … and see things from another angle.
There are a number of different assessments and \"tests\" which can also help shed light on your \"personality\" and that of others. They’re particularly useful for understanding team behaviour and dynamics. If you’re interested in knowing more, contact me for a chat over a chai.