Working Better Together – 2. Understanding Others

In my previous blog we explored how working better with others starts with understanding ourselves better. Having determined your own preferences using the social styles model, you can now consider how well you will work with others.

This is not about changing (unless you want it to be). This is about noticing and adapting. Noticing how your preferences are impacting on others and adapting your style to lessen any impact that is adversely affecting the outcome of whatever it is you’re working towards.

We’re exceptionally capable of doing this. And the more we pay attention to the clues that others are giving, the more skilled we become in adapting for the greater good; to achieve outcomes more effectively and to help others feel good abut themselves and valued.

Taking time to notice how a person walks, dresses and engages can be helpful. So too can noticing their respect (or otherwise) for time keeping, agenda setting and note taking. From this, we can learn how they are being and how we can adapt our style (if necessary) to get the best out of the situation.

Using the social styles model referenced in the Understanding Ourselves blog, this (by no means exhaustive) reference guide may help to start to overcome any stickiness in the relationships you have at work (and at home!) Try it out and see how you get on.

You are They are Action
Driver Driver Notice similarities, work at pace, agree actions/owners/timescales
Driver Expressive Engage in small talk, find common goal, agree review points
Driver Amiable Discuss people impacts, slow down, encourage opinions
Driver Analytical Engage in detail and logic, give freedom to approach task as they wish
Expressive Driver Dial down the small talk, be punctual, stick to the agenda
Expressive Expressive Agree purpose of meeting in advance, use others to keep on track
Expressive Amiable Discuss people impacts, engage in small talk, engage one to one
Expressive Analytical Engage one to one, respect their contribution, stick to the topic
Amiable Driver Be prepared, get to the point, remind them of the people impacts
Amiable Expressive Engage in small talk (ask questions), speak slightly louder, be assertive
Amiable Amiable Remember to look beyond people impacts, challenge yourselves
Amiable Analytical Engage one to one, respect different perspectives, agree clear actions
Analytical Driver Respect their time, headlines not detail, findings before process
Analytical Expressive Go easy on process and order, try to engage in small talk, be patient
Analytical Amiable Engage one to one, try small talk, discuss people impact
Analytical Analytical Enjoy fast pace and level of engagement, consider people impact

Or don’t. Either way you will get to an end point. You will achieve what you set out to achieve or you won’t – for a variety of reasons. But, should you try the noticing and adapting approach, you will have a smoother experience in the process, reduce friction and tension and have people working better together.

Next time, I will cover some influencing techniques that will help you to achieve what you want whilst also giving the other person what they want. Working Better Together by Boost HR.