Everyone has a different way of working. This can be beneficial when working together as it brings different approaches, ideas and creativity to the relationship. It can also create tension. You may find that the people who you find it more difficult to work with are those who have a different working style.
Thinking about your working style
Consider your own preferred ways of working. For example:
- are you a people person, eager to gain consensus, to network and to work collaboratively?
- are you primarily focused on results, highly task-orientated?
- are you an ideas person who likes to look at the big picture?
- do you prefer to work with facts and figures and to analyse and reflect on your work?
You probably use all these, and other, working styles at different times, but may have one style that you will use if left to your own preferences.
Improving your working relationships
Think about how to work better with colleagues with different working styles. For example, if your colleague:
- prefers ‘facts and figures':
- make sure that you include facts and figures when talking to them
- give them time to make a decision, but give them a deadline too
- value their thoroughness. It is a real asset.
- is results-focused:
- talk to them about the outputs or outcomes of your work
- encourage them to think in the medium to longer term
- value their consistency. It is a real asset.
- is a people person:
- ask for their help, they like to feel needed
- go to them for support
- value their trust, friendship and loyalty.
- is an ideas person:
- talk to them in terms of the bigger picture
- tap into their enthusiasm, but bring them back to reality, if necessary
- value their creativity. It is a real asset.
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