Make Your Personality More Appealing – After examining your personality, see how you can make it work more smoothly.
Build on Strengths – Instead of trying to dig yourself out of the holes created by your weaknesses, build up your strengths. Let your team help make your talents complete. If you need to work on weaknesses, then just understand it will take a lot of work and make you uncomfortable for a while.
Personality Backup Style – when people get stressed, the dominant, assertive style takes over. If a person has a more assertive style, they can become argumentative or a tyrant. If they have less, they can get -quiet or give up. They can even go the opposite way, and the driver can just give up and walk away.
Observe, Plan, Act, and Monitor – Check the relationships around you and see how you relate. How could you do better? Then come up with a plan and check how you are doing.
We Can’t See Thoughts – Remember that you can observe behaviors but can’t see inside another person’s head. You don’t know why they are doing what they are doing. Look to see how we can use behaviors without reading their minds.
Take your quadrant, take some of the people around you and try to guess what quadrant they’re in, and see how you have clobbered each other in the past. For example, have you been passive-aggressive and just refused to answer the question? Do you not talk at all? Or do you talk so much and fast, you’re talking over everybody? Try to figure out how the pluses and minuses of the people on the team are helping or hurting the relationships with each other. And then see if there are ways to be more flexible so that we can work together better as a team.
Hello everyone and welcome to the podcast. This is Jill. Have you ever wondered how you can take your style at work and turn it into an advantage and do great things? That’s what we’ll talk about today.
Making a difference in your work is not about productivity. It’s about people. you focus on others and connect with them, you can work together to accomplish great things. John C. Maxwell. T
Today we’re going to talk about a book, People’s Styles at Work and Beyond. So in the last podcast we talked about identifying some of our styles at work. Last time we broke down our styles into more assertive, less assertive, and more responsive, less responsive. And then by breaking people down into those four quadrants, we got the less responsive, less assertive analytical, the less responsive, more assertive driver, the less assertive, more responsive amiable, more assertive, more responsive expressive people. And we talked about some of the character traits that are associated with those and how we really need all four people in management, in not management to make our workplace better. We have to note that all of them have strengths and if the people really go with their strengths and use their strengths it’ll be beneficial to them, it’ll be beneficial to the company and the job they do, it’ll be beneficial to their customers. And so we have to take all those gifts those people have and really work on them and it’s a true benefit to themselves and everyone around them. And some of the styles that they see in those people, analytical people have a lot of logic, they’re very detail-oriented, they’re very dedicated to getting everything right, and they can be a little bit of a stern person, but that helps to keep projects on target. The driver is very quick to make decisions, they’re very good with details and making sure the details are practical, they can work by themselves, they’re very honest and they get things done. I know people in my work that are drivers and they are amazing at really getting the thing that needs to get done, done. Aimable people are team players, they’re supportive, they’re very good at dealing with situations where people are fighting or not getting along and trying to come to a good settlement in that. They’re very patient with other people, and they also tend to be very loyal to the company. And people like that are great. I will say offhand that when I see people like that at work, I will say that a lot of times people don’t notice them. They don’t notice the contribution that they’re making at work, and they’re forgotten. And sometimes those people are the most loyal people you have in your company. People will come and go but amyville people will stick to you and stick to doing a dedicated job to you day in and day out the expressive people are Really charmers. They’re the people who like to have fun. They can go with the flow Like I said when times come or something doesn’t quite go right at a conference I’m the person who gets up and tries to make it work and i’m not worried about being self-conscious I’m up there telling jokes and being silly and making things happen. And I try to be very exciting and energetic. I try to bring that out when it needs to come out. So public speaking is really good. I love public speaking. I do a lot of it, but at least before the pandemic. And they’re good spokespeople for the things that you’re trying to get done. You want to make sure that if you have someone being the face of your company, the expressive people are really good at it. They suggest that when you’re looking at your style and trying to figure out how to either build on your strengths and take advantages of the things you’re good at or try to add to your style so that it works better with other people, is first of all, look, observe, try to see how it is you’re actually dealing with other people. That’s really what worked for me in sort of of adapting my own style. I noticed I could run over people. Sometimes I talk so fast, I could talk over what they’re saying. And so for me, I observed that I could be a little bit too energetic, too expressive, and really by observing how I was interacting with other people, I was able to adapt that. Then they say that you’re supposed to do practice, which means how can you actually act? Now that you’ve observed some of your personality, now that you’ve actually taken into account some of the things that are going right and some of the things that are going wrong, what can you do to change your actions so that it better fits within the team personality? And in reality, we hope that when people get jobs, they are drawn to the types of tasks or the types of jobs that are really great for them, which I think when you can get there is really amazing. And so it’s worth taking some time so that you can see what you can do to be better at your strengths. So some ideas you can take in the book are some ways of strengths and weaknesses. And I always believe that strength and weaknesses are two sides of a coin. You get one because you have the other. It is not sometimes where you could say, well, if you could be more independent, but also collaborate with people more. Sometimes those are on opposite sides of the piece. Maybe Jill, if you could quiet down a little bit, but still be a people person. Huh, not sure how that works. So sometimes you get one because the other side of that coin is the weakness. And so you have people who are candid, can also be abrasive. You have sometimes people who are very good at getting things done, can sometimes really run over other people and not take their view into account. Sometimes you have people who are visionaries, not very practical, and they don’t get things that are realistic in place. So you have to take a look at the fact that when you’re looking at some of your strengths, there’s a opposite side of the coin, which is the weakness. And if you can identify some of those, that’ll help you. They bring up a quote by the Gallup organization, which is the team that is responsible for the book, Strength Finders 2.0. Quote, “You will excel only by maximizing your strengths and never by fixing your weaknesses. You only get anywhere leaning into the things that you’re great at.” I mentioned this before. I think it’s because I spent decades trying to fix all my weaknesses. I was trying to be like this person at work or be like that person at work and emulate their actions and their details. And in fact, I’ve had managers when I told them that I was trying to emulate a particular person, they would say, “Great, I think that’s good advice.” But I never really got anywhere until I just started looking at being the best Jill possible. How can I go into the things that I’m great at? I don’t think that that’s a write-off to say, “Well, my weaknesses are just my weaknesses, and you’re all just gonna have to live with them because I’m working on my strengths.” You do have to take down those weaknesses you have and try to mitigate them, try to make them less of a weakness. The reason that they talk about in Gallup about how you have to really focus on your strengths is it is so hard to change personalities and it takes a great deal of time, effort, emotional interrupt, because your brain wants to work in a certain way and you’re telling it to stop working in this way. It is distracting. It crushes your productivity when you’re working on Overcoming flaws. It’s one of those things that’s going to take you being on top of it almost for the rest of your life So they said it’s important that before you decide that you’re going to try to overcome a weakness That you take into account how much time it’s going to take how much effort it’s going to take and how much I think Is it’s going to interrupt your brain Acknowledge that sometimes when you look at your weaknesses, there’s a cost there to doing things in a different way that is outside your normal flow. And you’ll have to take into account whether that particular item is important enough for you to do. And the other thing to keep in mind is a lot of times we work as teams, which means something that is a strength of mine, maybe a weakness in other people, and something that is a strength in my teammates might be a weakness in me. And so a good manager, a good team lead will bring us together and make sure that we’re working where our strengths are and we’re avoiding those things that are not exactly our strengths. So I have a great manager at work and he does a fantastic job. And the vice president above me, she’s amazing too. And they all work very hard to make sure each of the people on their teams is doing the thing that they’re very good at. that they like doing and that they’ll be great at getting them done. They say that there is a personality backup style and the backup style is something that when we get stressed or angry or we’re put into a corner that we don’t want to be in, that we back into this and sometimes we’ll react in a way that is not very productive and not very team building. and we have to watch out that we don’t get into those situations or that we react in those ways. So an analytical person might actually start avoiding their work because they can’t get enough details down to make sure that it’s perfect to make sure that it’s exactly what they want to do. If they were going to be starting a podcast, they may never get to doing the podcast because it can never be good enough. I can never figure out enough details before getting it done. The driver can become what they call autocratic, meaning they’re going to rule. They’re going to be a tyrant on these jobs and these tasks and these projects, and they’re just going to trounce all over everybody. They may get the project done, but it may not be as good as if they brought in other opinions and it might really burn many of the relationships they have with the people around them. The amiable person will just give in. They’ll give up. They’ll lose their voice. They won’t say the thing that’s on their mind. And they may have an opinion that’s important, that actually means something to the team or means something to the customer. If you take like a software company and the amiable person recognizes that by doing a particular aspect of the software in a certain way, it is not how the people in the real world do it. And if the software developers are a little bit more strong or more assertive than they are, they’ll say, “Nope, it’s the way we need to get this done.” And the Ameable person might be like, “Okay, that’s all right.” But it’s not okay because if this feature comes out and it’s not useful to the customer, that Ameable person lost a chance to make their software better, to make their company better. The expressive person might just start attacking. Remember, they’re high energy, high enthusiasm, and a lot of words come out of their mouth in very fast ways. And so when they attack, it is like getting hit hard from all sides. And it can be a bit blinding to other people. So it’s important for the expressive person not to start attacking others. These are automatic reactions that we have from our gut. And what we have to do is take a step back and make sure we’re not doing the automatic reaction. We’re thinking about our reaction and what it’s going to do to our teamwork, our structure in our company, maybe even our jobs. If we go around attacking people or if we go around and just give up on everything, we might not be in those jobs for very long. And so what we have to do is make sure that first of all, we don’t fall into any of these backup styles, but they also say that sometimes there’s a secondary backup style, which means that the person is going to do the opposite end of their assertiveness continuum. Meaning that if they were attacking before, now they’re just giving up. Or maybe if they were autocratic before, they’re just gonna avoid the project altogether because they can’t get anything done on it anyway. So they may switch to the other assertiveness level. But what we, again, we wanna make sure we do is we stay away from the automatic behaviors and try to derail anything that’s gonna break our team apart. So they said the best thing we can do in order to keep these backup styles at bay is to first of all, make sure that we never get into that stressed area where now suddenly we’re starting to react. But if you can keep your stress levels from going overboard before that happens, that’s probably the better way to go. The second skill that you’ll need to do is to identify the different kinds of things that happen that trigger you and that make you react in the way you don’t want to react. Is it personal attacks? Is it someone taking on your work? Are you someone so sensitive that someone gives you constructive criticism on any task you do? You take it the wrong way? Try to figure out what it is that’s making you so angry or so upset that you have to use those backup tactics. And the best thing too, then is to take time out. Next thing is make sure that you avoid decisions or anything that’s big impact. Don’t rage quit your job. Don’t immediately just say something again that will, that relationship permanently damage. Make sure that you take into account that other person and their feelings and try to avoid anything, avoid any decisions or actions that’s really going to come down to it. They said that the problem with all these styles is, quote, “When people of a different style don’t get along, the problem isn’t incompatibility. The problem is usually inflexibility.” And so that means it’s not so much that we’re different people. It means that we’re not willing to back down on our style at all. We’re not really willing to adapt so that we can get along with other people better. We’re being inflexible, and we’re not trying to make that other person feel more comforted, work within their own style better, or for us to work as a team better. We’re really not doing that well at all. And so the important thing is that we take all our strengths and we work on them so that we can improve our relationship. And so what can you change? What aspect of your personality or style can you change that would make you get along with people better? And in the end, they said it’s important for us to realize that we don’t wanna manipulate other people, we don’t wanna back down either. But the goal of this is flexibility, meaning that we need to know what it is we need to adapt a little bit so that we can work better with the other people on our teams that are different than us. So they said the first step in working together better with other people is first of all to observe, how are you doing? How are you working with other people on that team? Are you doing pretty well? Are you overriding that person a little too much or are they overrunning you? Or is that person never speaking up and never really talking? Have they checked out of the situation? And step two is to make sure that you plan for how these behaviors or how these things are going to go into effect. Can we assign different tasks? Can we change the plan up a little bit so that we’re leaning into the things that we’re good at and avoiding the things that we’re bad at and avoiding situations where we get on each other’s nerves so that we can do better. Maybe the person like me, who’s louder, talks faster, can do a little bit better listening, can do a little bit better being quiet, and maybe not talking quite so fast. I’ve been trying that on the podcast for months now and I don’t know that it’s getting better. Step three is to implement, And that means how you take the plan for making sure that your behaviors are working better and actually do them, turn them into action. And then the last step is, they said to evaluate and take a look and see how you’re doing on trying to correct or be flexible about some of your behaviors. Are your communications going better? Are people not getting overrun? Are the quiet people starting to talk? Are the loud people starting to listen? and see how you’re doing when it comes to your new plan to make your relationship on your team or on your projects better. Some steps that you have to look at afterwards is to monitor it, make sure everything’s going right, keep at it, and keep making sure that the struggles that you’re having with that other person is in fact getting better. After you’re having a conversation or a meeting, do a little bit of critiquing, a little bit of analysis. What went well? Where do people come out and talk about good things? Where could have been better? Maybe if we had done something a little bit different, we could have gotten some of the people out of their shell a little bit to give their opinion. Make sure you’re looking at other people. Make sure you’re not missing something big. Sometimes it’s easy when you have boisterous people, ’cause a lot of times they will argue and bicker and fight. It’s the quiet people that suddenly stop talking. And so it’s harder to notice when they’re struggling on a team because they practically disappear from a project. How can we make them not disappear? They may have amazing viewpoints that’s not getting built in to this particular project at all. They say it’s important that we understand that things that are inside of people, we can’t observe them. We don’t know what’s going on inside. If a person has checked out of our project, we don’t know if it’s because they’re angry or they’re bored, or they’re just not interested in this project, or they didn’t get enough sleep last night and they’re just really tired. You can’t mind read, you can’t build into that other person what you think is going on. You just know the outward behavior. They’re being quiet. They’re constantly attacking everything. All you can do is look at those outside behaviors and then try to figure out what we can do to get around that. Or maybe it’s just a bad day to meet. If this person’s attacking everyone, but they don’t typically do that, maybe it’s best that we meet next week and see if we can do a little bit better job when people are feeling a little bit better about what’s going on. And he said that you can even put people on a grid, draw out that quadrant and put people’s names where you think they may lie on that grid so that you can understand your team and be more respectful of everyone. Make sure that you see them as individuals and that you communicate in such a way that’ll make sense. In the end, they suggest that manners and respect and communication is everything. Because if we don’t have those things, we’ll never get into a good team relationship, regardless of personalities. We will always be at odds with each other if we don’t do at least that. So my challenge to you is now to take your quadrant, take some of the people around you and try to guess what quadrant they’re in and see how in the past you have clobbered each other. Have you been a passive aggressive and just refuse to answer the question? Do you not talk at all? Or do you talk so much and so fast you’re talking over everybody? Try to figure out how the pluses and minuses the people on the team are helping or hurting the relationships with each other and then see if there’s ways that we can be more flexible so that we can work together better as a team. And the fun entertainment advice of the week comes from the movie Steve Jobs. You were saying things about the Apple II and the way you were treating the team. Boss, you get a free pass for life. I gotta get back on stage. We got like two minutes of rehearsal time left. Do you understand how condescending that just was? Maybe you don’t. I don’t want to see you get dragged off on a plane at Plastic Handcuff. I get a free pass for life from you. You give out the pass… You give them to me. You’re gonna have a stroke, little buddy. What did you do? What did you do? Why has Lisa not heard of me? Man, how many fourth graders have heard of you? You can’t write code. You’re not an engineer. You’re not a designer. You can’t put a hammer to a nail. I built the circuit board. The graphical interface was stolen from Xerox PARC. Jeff Raskin was the leader of the Mac team before you threw him off his own project. Everything, someone else designed the box. So how come ten times in a day, I read Steve Jobs as a genius? What do you do? I play the orchestra. And you’re a good musician. You sit right there. You’re the best in your role. I always like using Steve Jobs as an example in a lot of these podcasts because he is such a strong personality type. Is there the company that became Apple without the people around him including Steve Wozniak who was a completely different kind of human being. We need other people in order to make our products and our work great. Alright everyone, thanks so much. I hope you have a great week. Please remember to tell a friend and subscribe, because we can do great at work by taking small steps. [BLANK_AUDIO]