Clear Expectations with Specific Details

Originally shared in A Daily Dose Of Leadership on August 7, 2020.

To this point, we’ve looked at specific action steps we can take in being intentional about including team members with the first three of the four primary communication styles. Let’s close the loop by digging into some ways we can provide that same sense of inclusion with the final group: the more CAUTIOUS ones…

So how can we ensure that we’re providing those who are typically more CRITICAL and CAREFUL with what they need so they can feel like they’re accepted as part of the diverse team we’re building?

These Reserved and Task-Oriented folks are where the phrase “measure twice, cut once” had to originate! They have a strong desire to make sure everything they put their hand to yields an accurate result. One of the best ways for us to help them feel included is to be sure we’re providing them with a very clear set of expectations and all the specific details they’ll need to complete the task at hand.

Unlike the INSPIRING and SUPPORTIVE groups we looked at in the last two blogs, this CONSCIENTIOUS bunch won’t need much praise or recognition but they will appreciate some reassurance that they’re doing things exactly as expected. And don’t be thrown off by their lack of expression. While they can come across as COLD at times, this is usually just a sign of them processing their work and CONTEMPLATING how they can deliver an excellent end result…

To be sure we don’t push them away, we’d do well to avoid rushing them – especially when we’ve not provided them with answers to all of their questions. This can create an overwhelming level of stress. If there’s a lot of joking around in rushed situations, that will only increase their frustration and their feeling of being excluded from knowing the information they need to produce the best possible result.

We could clearly work through scenarios on how each primary style is best included in our teams for weeks to come, and that still wouldn’t touch on the importance of understanding the unique style blends of each individual we interact with… That’s more than we could ever go into remotely, but we do exactly that when we help teams build these tools into their culture! I just finished an updated page on our website covering some of the ways we do this, but if you really want to take that next step in creating authentic diversity and inclusion throughout your organization we should really have a one on one conversation…


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