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Understanding People at Work- What Helps and What Doesn’t

If you are a new manager or a leader, naturally, you would want to understand your team better, its dynamics, personalities within your group, people’s preferences, their working styles, to be able to work with them successfully.

In case that you want to do it quickly here is one thing that can you could do to assess it all and get some really valuable insights:
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For example, when I work with my groups, I would ask them to choose:

– The activity they want to move on next

– If working as a team, they can choose their roles in that activity (when we are learning something)

– Person they want to partner up with instead of me deciding that for them

Give people a choice and then use your emotional intelligence and observation skills to see what their choices are telling you.

And they will tell you who likes to take risks and who likes to play it safe, who is striving for gaining new skills, which competencies they are most confident in, who prefers to work in a group and who they don’t want to engage with perhaps, and so on.

This will not only help you understand the people you are working with better, but it will also sharpen your observation and your own EQ skills that will in turn help you make good decisions and what actions you should take.

β€œWhen dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures of emotion.”- Dale Carnegie.

We bring a number of differences at work, and they all matter, from our skills, knowledge, values, perspectives, moods, expectations, however, most important is that we are able to consider those while we are all working towards the common goal- To make the company we are working at stronger at any level we can contribute to.

Our differences affect our attitudes and behaviors at work and therefore the team performance as a whole. Due to these reasons, we are all motivated by different drivers and if we are in a position to choose how we are going to complete a task, our priorities and other valuable insights can be gained as a result of it.

Guidelines, procedures and structures in place are necessary to have in order to support employees in their decision-making, however, the freedom of choice and accountability is crucial for their development and success as well.

β€œSome managers fear diversity and the possible complexities that it brings, and they make the mistake of hiring similar individuals without any sort of differences” – Guy Kawasaki

In other words, learn to accept differences and learn from them as a leader. Give employees a chance to express their differences while encouraging them to practice having the power and responsibility for their jobs. It will show them that your values lie in having a growth mindset, accountability, which is a great way to create trust within your team, what all great leaders know already.

Author: Ana Toroman, Talent Development Consultant

Being a part of training and development education programs across companies in the Middle East, I help people develop their potential through learning key social skills for career building, with a particular interest in emotional resilience in the workplace. Having started my career in HR and education and working as a Corporate Trainer & Coach in Dubai, I work on self-development strategies for both teams and individuals. Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn here or follow me on Instagram on HR and Wellbeing page here

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