Clear Instructions to Finish What They Started

As we look at this group that represents the final 25% of our equation, it’s unlikely that quality will be the issue. The folks with this Reserved and Task-Oriented behavioral style are very CONSCIENTIOUS about performing everything they do with accuracy and precision. The work that they do nearly always follows a very organized process.

That said, their CAUTIOUS approach can sometimes cause them to put too much time into an amount of detail that may not be necessary. Where the DRIVEN folks we looked at as we started this process are more likely to charge forward toward the finish line without bothering to read the instructions (yep, that’s me…), our CONTEMPLATIVE team members tend to process all the information they can get their hands on before moving forward…

Regardless of the issue we need to address with someone who’s primary style is more CAREFUL, we should be prepared to provide them with very clear instructions on what needs to be done in...

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I Appreciate You and I’d Like to Help You

Now that we’ve covered some things we can do to apply The Platinum Rule when we have those candid conversations with our folks who have those first two primary communication styles, our more Outgoing and Fast-Paced team members, we’re doing to need to dial it down a bit as we prepare to chat with this next group. In case you didn’t notice, I was very intentional about using an exclamation point in the subject line of the last post, You’re Amazing and You Can Be Even Better!... I’m being equally intentional by NOT using one in today’s subject. 

In situations where we need to provide the “Alliance Feedback” (like Jeff Henderson suggested in Know What You’re FOR) with our Reserved friends, it’s extremely important for us to manage our pace and be sure our tone is geared to their SUPPORTIVE nature. With this group that represents around 35% of the population typically being a bit more SHY than most everyone else...

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You’re Amazing! And You Can Be Even Better!

As we move from the DRIVEN folks we looked at last time who only make up about 10% of the population to this next group who are just as Fast-Paced and make up around 30% of everyone we’ll ever interact with, there are some very key differences we need to consider as we prepare to have a candid conversation!

While the individuals with the last primary behavioral style we looked at tend to lock onto the task at hand, our more INTERACTIVE team members will typically be more focused on the people who are involved than just what needs to be done. Their INFLUENTIAL nature is great for rallying the team together, but it can also lead them to get INVOLVED in more things that could ever possibly have time to see through.

This INSPIRING group loves to be in the spotlight any time they have a chance, and the perceptive their team members have of them is extremely important to them! While they truly feed off INITIATING fun activities for the groups they’re a part of, looking bad in...

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Firm Guidance for More Effective Action

Through the last several posts, we’ve taken a hard look at just how important it is to have candid conversations with our team members when they’re not keeping it between the ditches rather than ducking the issue and hoping things will get better on their own. While we’ve looked at some very specific examples of what works, and some that just don’t, there’s one more thing we can do to increase the effectiveness of those often difficult conversations!

In a LinkedIn article I published recently called How THEY Want to Be Treated, I touched on how much The Platinum Rule applies in these situations. If you’ve been reading these posts for more than a few weeks, you know where that reference will lead us over the next few. If that’s not ringing any bells and you think that was just another one of my grammatical errors, put The Platinum Rule in the search box here on our blog and you’ll find all you need to get up to speed in a hurry…

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Rip That Band-Aid Off!

In the last blog post, I shared a story about a fellow who thought the owner of the company rigged the soda machine to squeeze a few more nickels out of him. Then I shared a little bit about how the negative comments he made about the owner openly in front of his supervisor and many of the team members he worked with every day can impact an entire organization’s performance. Even if he had been the hardest working and most productive guy in the bunch, those comments weren’t OK. But he wasn’t…

I emphasize again here, he was remarkably knowledgeable in the work he was doing; I can’t take any of that away from him. Truth be told, I’m not sure anyone in the company knew how to perform the job better than him!

All that said, having knowledge and applying it in a way that exceeds expectations are very different things…

For the sake of the point I’m driving, let’s just pretend his actual performance was hitting the mark; one time,...

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Sometimes We Need to Go All In!

A number of years ago, I was scheduled to visit some job sites with the field supervisor at the company I was working with. I met him at the warehouse just before 5am so I could have some time with his team members as he was making sure they each had the materials they would need at each of their jobs that day. Before everyone went their separate ways, one of the most senior team members had apparently lost a few nickels in the soda machine. He was stopping around like someone had kicked his dog. He made a comment about how fitting it was that the soda machine was there. He said it was just like the company, always taking and never giving…

I’m not gonna kid you. That comment went through me like a knife! This fellow had been with the company for around 25 years and was one of the highest paid guys on the payroll. Compound that with the fact that the soles of his shoes likely wore out long before his work gloves, and the fact that the owner of the company was an...

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Like It or Not, That’s How It’s Gonna Be… Really?

Have you ever been told that by a company you’ve done business with? Like it or not, that’s how it's gonna be… Have you ever heard a supervisor say something like this to one of their employees? Have you ever been that employee???

I remember being told something very similar to that by an administrative assistant for the attorney I was dealing with about 15 years ago following a nasty car accident and the other party had a less than stellar insurance company. After being jerked around by the other insurance company for weeks and not hearing back from the attorney for quite a while too, I began calling daily until I got a response. After a few days of this, she told me “You’re not our only client. We’ll get to you when we get to you.” That didn’t go as well as she thought it would…

While I can’t say that I’ve ever been anything like that by a supervisor, I’ve certainly heard it said a few times. It’s one...

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Authority or Influence?

In early 2001, I read a book by John Maxwell and Jim Dornan called Becoming a Person of Influence. One of the most significant things I remember from the first time going through that book was how John shared that so many of the folks he interacted with who were serving at high levels of their respective organizations seemed to have very little interest any what he was teaching about leadership but those same folks were devouring what he was putting out on developing influence. As executives and upper level managers, they were often of the opinion that they were already leaders so why waste their time learning any more about that. Many of them did, however, recognize a need for learning how they could develop more influence with the individuals reporting to them…

That explanation was the first time I recall John making the statement that “Leadership is influence. Nothing more, nothing less.”

As I was reading that book, fresh off reading The 21 Irrefutable Laws of...

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Kind and Reassuring, or They’ll Disappear!

Unlike the last two groups we looked at who like to see things moving along fast, this more Reserved group won’t appreciate being rushed through the process - especially when tension is building! While we can expect confrontation from the DRIVEN group and often a sarcastic comment (or fifty) from the INSPIRING group, the folks who tend to be more SHY are more likely to do all they possibly can to avoid ruffling anyone’s feathers. And in many cases, this very SUPPORTIVE group will accept the loss and be on their way.

With the exception of what I dealt with just this past week, I’ve rarely ever been in a customer service situation where the person tasked with handling the issue wasn’t trying to find a resolution as quickly as possible. Not only did the folks I was interacting with seem unconcerned about the amount of time it was taking, they clearly had no real interest in solving the problem either… The typical approach of fixing the issue as...

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Keep Things Light and Show Their Value!

As I posted the last blog, I thought it was only fitting to use an image of The Incredible Hulk; that’s certainly how I felt during much of the eight hours tied up with one company and four more the following day with another… Now that we’ve looked at some steps we can take in mending fences with the more DIRECT and DETERMINED folks, let’s jump to the next primary behavioral style - the INSPIRING and INFLUENCING ones.

While a blind spot for this group is that they can be ILLOGICAL at times, that’s almost always because of their desire to be INVOLVED in a lot of exciting projects and activities where they can help the people around them have a great time. But when things get really tense, they can show signs of being INFURIATED just like that last group!

The one thing these two groups have in common is their Outgoing and Fast-Paced approach to nearly everything they do. Be it good or bad, that certainly spills over into how both groups handle the most...

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