by Nicole Usiondek, Head Editor, INALJ Michigan
Work Style Preferences
I recently attended a seminar that focused on work style preferences. This was the first session of a leadership series. The premise of the seminar was to teach leadership skills by being able to identify the different work style preferences people have and how to successfully work with each style; basically to help people recognize other styles so that they can create teams based on team members strengths.
At the start of the seminar the participants were asked to complete a “Work Preference Inventory,” to determine which of the five possible categories each participant fell into. The categories were Focuser, Relater, Integrator, Operator or a combination of the previous four styles.
Focusers are the people who get things done; a focuser is the person you go to because you know they will be able to implement projects successfully. Relaters base their approach on gut feelings. They see the big picture and excel at coordinating activities. Integrators are the problem solvers. They ask and answer “why?” The Operators monitor and analyze things. They ask and answer “how?” The Combo is someone who has all of these traits.
I fell into the Combo work preference style. Essentially, what this means is that I am able to work with and understand most people and can handle most tasks thrown my way. I have found this to be true in my career. I am able to work with people that others describe as “difficult,” and not have the same problems that others have experienced. I think it is because once I understand where someone is coming from I can adjust my approach and find ways to accomplish the goals.
The take away of this seminar for me was a better understanding of workplace communication. The instructor stressed that questions are the tools of a leader and I do agree with that stance. When people are happy and feel valued they tend to get along with different groups and they are able to accomplish great things. I now view friction points as a chance to ask questions and find out where the communication came off track. It is a chance to understand how your team members tick; and it gives you the chance to ask the right questions.
I have been able to use this tool to overcome potential hurdles in the workplace and I am grateful for the chance to work through the friction points. My experience has been positive and I feel like the end product is stronger because of this tool set. I am looking forward to the next session in this leadership series.
This post can be found at http://www.nicoleusiondek.com/1/post/2013/02/work-style-preferences.html