Breath of Clarity

Comment #1: Connecting with Different Styles

Original Post by Alex Johnsen:

Given that I am more of a “cool blue” or “analytical”, it is important for me to recognize my strengths, weaknesses, and ways to interact with other working styles. Some strengths that analyticals generally enjoy are: accuracy, dependability, and follow-through (working style inventory n.d., 6). Some weaknesses are the fact that analyticals can be procrastinators, conservative, and can come across as picky or aloof (working style inventory n.d., 6). Seeing as how I generally fall into these categories, both for better and for worse, I think it is imperative to play to my strengths to accomplish tasks and connect with others. For the most part, I am organized and dependable so perhaps creating to-do lists for tasks that must be accomplished would be beneficial, and resuming to be there for my colleagues when they need me will continue to show my commitment to the team. I already use to-do lists and think I am highly dependable, but now I am more aware that these are some of my strengths and not just tools or an expectation.

Furthermore, I will plan to use the three steps as outlined in the “Social Styles Handbook” to be more versatile when communicating with others. For reference, the three steps are: “Identify the other person’s Social Style, reflect on the person’s style while thinking about what makes people of this Social Style feel comfortable, and modify my own behaviors in ways that will create comfort for the other person” (Wilson Learning 2004, 50). By being able to connect with others, especially of different social styles than my own, I will be a better leader and manager because “research shows that versatility pays off in better performance” and “people who use Social Styles as a tool have trouble imagining doing their jobs without it” (Wilson Learning 2004, 53). Connecting this to our week 1 discussion, by being able to connect with people of all different social styles, I will be more likely to build rapport and gain trust when in a position of authority.

References: (Links to an external site.)

Wilson Learning. “The Social Styles Handbook.” Nova Vista Publishing. 2004.

My Comment:

Hi Alex,

Great plan to implement the three steps from the Social Styles Handbook. In order to build rapport and gain trust with a variety of people, it is so important to be versatile. Authority figures who are not versatile are going to be limited in the amount and type of followers they can have. The consequence of not having a diverse team is having a low diversity of strengths that have the potential to improve operations and increase output quantity and quality.

It is interesting the handbook said, “accept people’s behaviors as a sign of their comfort zones and nothing more” (Wilson Learning 2004, 6). It shows the potential for leaders to adapt, as it is just a matter of going outside their comfort zones. It just takes courage and a willingness to be uncomfortable. Someone who is willing to be uncomfortable for one of their followers reminds me of last’s weeks discussion about building trust. Leaders who sacrifice feeling comfortable for their followers humbly relate to soldiers who experience the unsettling feeling of being in the trenches. When Wilson Learning (2014) describes leaders as having a “willingness to focus on making others feel comfortable without worrying about [their] own comfort levels,” it equates to leaders who are not concerned with self-interest but rather care about the team’s success. Imagine followers seeing that their leaders are willing to break deeply engrained habits in order to make the followers feel supported. It would cultivate so much respect for the leaders.