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 Always Knew Where You Stood...

It was probably 2003 or 2004, when I was walking through a fairly secluded part of the facility I worked in and a friend pulled me aside to ask “Was that guy who just came through that Terry guy? I hear he’s a real &#%[email protected]!” I confirmed that it had indeed been Terry and asked what the issue was. Terry and I, along with a few other safety team members, were doing a walk-through of that entire area to identify at-risk behaviors with hopes of addressing them and preventing potential injuries. He told me that Terry had gotten on him about not wearing safety glasses, something that was in fact required in the area where he was working.

Later that morning, I was able to catch up with Terry to get his version of the story. Terry explained that the fellow who stopped me, a long term employee and all around great guy, was fastening a banding strap around a box and had his safety glasses resting on top of his head. Terry simply tapped the side of his own safety glasses as...

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But I Don’t Even Smoke?

A little over twenty years ago, a friend of mine was promoted from his role as a machine operator in the department we worked in to supervising that same department on an off shift. In those days, even the night shift crew had a ton of seniority and experience. That company had a much deserved reputation for being one of the best employers in the area… I had been there for two years or so and was still one of the newest people in the building!

While nearly everyone had significant experience, I’m not suggesting that everyone was actively engaged and working to exceed expectations like we’ve been discussing through the last few posts… In fact, one of the most senior guys on the shift, although being a true master of his craft, was about as actively disengaged as anyone I’ve ever seen!

Let’s pretend his name was Tim… Tim was a smoker. Before I move on, this isn’t meant as a shot at anyone who smokes - it’s just the story I...

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Attack the Issue, Love the Person!

We’ve been looking at different scenarios where team members aren’t performing to the level they’re capable, whether that be through their words or their deeds. In some cases, it can be very intentional. But there are certainly times where they’re just not aware that more is needed. 

For the most part, supervisors, and owners have great relationships with the people around them. That’s how it really should be, right! Solid relationships lead to long term working relationships, but that can also make it pretty tough to have a candid conversation… That said, not addressing a situation can lead to all kinds of yucky business down the road!

One of the fundamentals I learned early on with behavior-based safety, more specifically when addressing at-risk behavior with a peer, was to be very intentional about pointing out the potential for injury from that behavior and be very careful not to question their ability or intent in the process....

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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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Expanding Your Ripple Effect...

Hopefully this comes as good news… I’m still alive! I knew attempting to squeeze in three or four messages last week as Cindy and I prepared for the in-person and socially-distanced LIVE2LEAD:Harrisonburg event last week was going to be a fairly tall order but I wasn’t expecting to miss the entire week. That said, I believe we had an outstanding event given the Phase 3 guidelines we’re still operating under in Virginia. I’ve posted some of the amazing images captured by Andy Sams Photography on our webpage for this year’s event, as well as the special message that Mark Cole recorded for us while I was with him in Atlanta a few weeks ago. If you haven’t been able to participate in the 2020 LIVE2LEAD:Harrisonburg experience yet, we’re hosting a final public virtual option on Friday, November 13 and registration is open now. Finally, I want to make a special shout-out to Andy Vanhook with Appeal Production for being such a blessing to us...

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The Hardest Person You’ll Ever Have To Lead Is...

Before I dive into how we can handle the hardest person any of us will ever have to lead, I want to share a link to a video I posted on our social media channels a few hours ago calling attention to the amazing work that’s done by the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank and why we’re so excited to be able to work with them again this year as Community Partners for LIVE2LEAD:Harrisonburg!

I also want to share a link to a blog post I just read from The John Maxwell Company that ties right in with what we looked at in the last blog I posted, what we’ll be working through here, and what we’ll be digging into with the next few blog posts. Their post was called Leading from the Middle: I’m Not the Boss! You Do the Leading! I won’t speak for you on this, but the fact that this is something they’re addressing as well tells me that the misconception that you have to have authority in order to lead is pretty widespread!

How will you recognize the hardest person...

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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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