Work styles are so important for teams because we all have different preferences in terms of how we approach work. This influences our communication, decision making, stressors as well as many other ways we approach work.
Here’s what I share in Day 2 of the 90 Day Guide for Success.
Part of the greatest challenge and opportunity in teams is their diversity. Research continues to show that teams that thrive are well balanced, rather than necessarily being all the same. Today’s complex and uncertain environment requires that we look at things in different ways, leveraging different skill sets and being able to work with, and foster, diverse perspectives.
The HBR article by Alison Reynolds and David Lewis, “The Two Traits of the Best Problem-Solving Teams,” delves into this topic. Amy Edmondson’s book, with Jean-Francois Harvey, Extreme Teaming: Lessons in Complex, CrossSector Leadership, also feeds into this conversation with teams (and leaders).
Our styles are an inherent part of us. We all have different preferences in terms of how we approach work. This may be shape by our socialization, professional orientation, and simply who we are. Learning more about ourselves and our preferences is key in the remote space, as it can help us understand what we will find easy and what may be challenging. That information can signal tasks which might be better done with support or collaboration, versus things we can do on our own.
A deep well of information and knowledge is available in this area. One framework which has been iterated on is the research done by Marston in which he identified four types of styles—Dominance (D), Influence (I), Steadiness (S), and Conscientiousness (C). In essence, people vary across two continua: Task versus People, and Fast-Paced versus Moderate-Paced. Our styles influence our decisions, our communication, what we prioritize, and what we find stressful.
Teams and Styles.
When we are part of a team, it’s important to think about how you are showing up.
Consider these questions:
• What are my preferred ways of working?
• Under times of pressure and stress, what gets magnified?
• What is important to communicate to others who are working with me?
• What do I need to consider about the people I work with? Think through what each
person values and needs in a working relationship.
• What’s your style?
Just like a cocktail party, each one of us brings our own unique identity. We have about 8 seconds to
make a first impression. Therefore:
• What’s the impression you want to make?
• How do you want to be remembered?
• How you are being seen?
• Are you the one dressed up with the tails and top hat?
• Are you fashionably late?
• Are you always showing up with a partner, or do you go solo?
• Are you approachable?
• Are you the one looking to close a deal?
• Are you the lone wolf?
• Do you need to reach another shore?
• Are you giving the queen’s wave?
• Are you the silent observer?
• Are you curling up with a good book, or are you ready to engage in deeper discussion, in learning?
Also, a part of the cocktail scene is opening the conversation. What are you going to do to put the other person at ease? What will you say to open the dialogue and exchange? What can you ask to engage? What do you want them to explain?
(Excerpt pages 160 – 161, 90-Day Guide for Success, © Jennifer Britton, 2021. All Rights Reserved)
Enjoy the conversation,
Potentials Realized |Reconnecting Workspaces | Group Coaching Essentials
Team and Leadership Development | Coaching | Retreats
Follow us on Instagram @ReconnectingWorkspaces
Check out my TEDx talk
Looking to bring your workplaces back together, whether you are remote, hybrid, or face-to-face? Pick up a copy of my new book, Reconnecting Workspaces, at Amazon.