Everyone likes the security of being in control of their time and their environment, but some people like predictability more than others. Guardian personalities (ESFJ, ISFJ, ESTJ and ISTJ) are hard wired to seek out situations they can control, where they do not feel any risk and where "business as usual" reigns supreme. This preference sounds great on the surface, but it has a habit of binding Sensing-Judgers in imaginary shackles that prevent them from taking on any challenge that might not be successfully overcome.
In just 10 minutes, you can accurately predict whether your team will perform well or badly on a certain project – and it's all to do with how they communicate. Here are six of the most destructive types of communication that may be hindering your performance, plus tips for what you can do to improve your communication skills across the board.
Meetings bring results and solve problems – theoretically. In practice, they can lead to nothing, waste dozens of labor hours and throw up some of the most idiotic suggestions you've ever heard in your life. And in the end, no one feels responsible for implementing what has been decided. Why do we even bother if there are no motivational or productivity gains to be made?
It seems that everyone hates feedback. Employers and managers hate giving it as much as employees hate receiving it. No matter how tactful you are, or how thick-skinned your employee is, it doesn't take much for it all to go pear shaped. We're sensitive souls when it comes to the judgment of our work effort. It doesn't take much criticism to shatter our self-esteem.
So, how do you tell an employee there's room for improvement and leave them feeling inspired? Here are some tips.
The role of the manager is not to change the personalities of her employees to fit into a mold. But inevitably, you will be tasked with managing personalities who are just plain difficult. From the guy with the huge ego who thinks he knows more than you do to the talented loner who refuses to collaborate, some people do not want to be managed - and they may respond poorly to your efforts to do so.
How to react? By adopting one of the responses below.
Picture this: you've built a successful company from the ground up with dozens—maybe hundreds—of employees. But you are dissatisfied with how your staff are working. You're paying them well, and they all have terrific skills, but they just don't seem to be as dedicated, or as loyal, or as happy as you need them to be. What's going on?
Every workplace suffers conflict; it's unavoidable. And this being a personality blog, we spend a lot of time blaming it on personality clashes. It's comforting to think that all we have to do to stop conflict is take a personality test, recognize each other's quirks and foibles, and make sure certain people never work together. Analyzed through the personality lens, workplace conflict doesn't seem like a big deal at all.
Picture this: you walk into the office one morning and there's already a heated conversation going on. Brandon is berating Donna for not responding to his emails and causing him to miss an important deadline. Donna is furious with Brandon because she thinks his criticism is unfair – she has been snowed under with other commitments and helping Brandon did not feature highly on her list of priorities. She's upset that he's shouting at her in such an insensitive way.
We all know of those all-hands sessions where senior management announces the big, corporate goals that will determine the next few months and years. For some, it's energizing to hear about the great vision the organization has set for itself. Everyone should feel like they are contributing to the success of the business, and some personalities – notably Intuitives – get a real buzz when they feel part of something big.
People with a Perceiving preference – that's the "P" in their Briggs and Myers four-letter personality code – are spontaneous and adaptable workers. These types thrive in dynamic and ever-changing environments and may seek out employers that offer flexible working arrangements so they can remain wide open to schedule changes. If you need quick-thinking people who can respond resourcefully to changing situations, it pays to get a "P" or two on your team.
Take care if you think that Feelers are the peacekeepers of the workplace. While they certainly strive to maintain harmony and appear caring and tactful, the fact is: Feelers communicate differently than Thinkers and this can be to their own detriment. Feelers tend to argue less, apologize more, and personalize each and every experience – all of which can undermine the team's success.
Here are five ways that Feelers unwittingly sabotage communication in the workplace – and some tips on what you, as a boss, can do about it.
In an ideal world, personality type would not be a predictor of career success. But, we don't live in an ideal world.
Birds of a feather flock together, as the aphorism goes, and it's just as true for humans as it is for groups of animals in the wild. We all have a tendency to associate with people of similar personality to ourselves based on our shared attributes. This can affect our social networks. To cut a long story short, most of us have a stable network of contacts who look a lot like ourselves. What we're lacking are challengers, opinion leaders and mentors that can add a little salt to the soup.
Interaction. Connection. Honest commitment. Everyone knows that building a basic sense of trust among team members is essential for creating a synchronized and top-performing team. Even if an employee works alone on the frontline, he or she will always fit into a wider team with each member reliant on another and communicating constantly. Having the ability to trust your teammates and speak up when there's a problem is an absolute necessity.
To help your employees stay on track and to keep them engaged and productive, you'll need to set some metrics or milestones that you can measure and work towards. Most companies hand out performance goals at the annual performance review. Properly considered, they can help employees improve performance and job satisfaction.
The powers-that-be have announced it, the managers are fired up to implement it .... and the employees just aren't ready for it. So, they resist.
What are we talking about?
Leaders have the most challenging of jobs: leading a team of diverse employees to get behind a single vision and work collaboratively to achieve a common goal.
Not all leaders can do this effectively however.
Why do some leaders succeed while others fail?
One old adage of management theory is whether you motivate someone by dangling a juicy carrot in front of his nose (money, promotion or vacation time) or beating him with a stick (pay cuts, firing or being publicly lambasted for failing to hit sales targets).
As much as I like to sing the praises of the 9-to-5, the fact is, these hours are pretty much obsolete these days. From checking emails on weekends and phones keeping us on call 24/7 to the relentless rise of technology that lets workers access work at anytime from anywhere, the reality is, we're all working much longer hours than a decade ago.
Retaining your top managers should be an ongoing priority - not only are they expensive to replace, your employees will feel the loss of a supportive manager like a wound. Yet many companies don't have the first idea why their long-serving, long-suffering managers are leaving. If you think it's about money, then you couldn't be more wrong.
In fact, it's a company's fierce urge to fit every manager into the same box that's driving the best managers away. Here are the five main reasons why good managers may be quitting your company, and what you can do to buck the trend.