Join Tatiana Kolovou for an in-depth discussion in this video Making decisions differently: Being type vs. action type, part of Communication Tips Weekly.
- We all differ in the way we live our lives, execute our schedules, and get things done. Based on the Myers-Briggs Personality Indicator, what I like to call Action types, or Judging preference, are decisive, task and goal-oriented, and they prefer clear expectations and deadlines in their work. On the other hand, Being types, Perceiving preference, adapt easily by being flexible, open to new information, and they find ways to incorporate it into their plans, even though it's past the project start.
One style is not better than the other. People have a preferred way of operating but can also adapt their ways when working with colleagues who operate differently. The trouble starts in the workplace when colleagues do not appreciate one another's style. They don't flex to it and as a result communication suffers. Let's consider a workplace interaction between a Being and an Action type. Jane, who is Action oriented, is asking Scott for a detailed training material that he will use during a one-day training he's about to deliver.
- [Voiceover] So Scott, do you have your Leaders Guide broken down in time segments for tomorrow? What time should we bring lunch into the room? - [Voiceover] Uh, I was thinking lunch would start sometime between 11:45 and 12:30, but I have to see how the groups will do with the initial brainstorm phase. - Jane would have the training broken down into five minute increments if she was doing it. She likes the structure and the predictability. For her Action style, prepared means everything has to be laid out and sticking closely to the plan.
If and unexpected issue came up in the training, she might have a hard time adapting. No matter what her preference is, Jane recognizes that Scott takes a different approach, and when working with a Being-oriented colleague she needs to do the following. Allow for reflection, exploration, and discussion before making major decisions. Be mindful of sharing her opinion so that it doesn't sound too decisive and final, especially early in a project process.
Ask open-ended questions and provide options. Be inclusive with decisions that involve other types, especially if those decisions involve demanding timelines. Now here's another example where a Being type needs to be more flexible. - [Voiceover] What does everybody think about the holiday party plans? Do you like the paintball idea? Should we instead go back to the bowling alley? - [Voiceover] I cannot believe that we're discussing this again. Does everyone have to agree with everything? Where's the agenda for this meeting? - Jody wants to reach consensus through discussion on the holiday party, which seems to be Sue's point of contention.
Jody's preference is open discussion. This is what people like Sue will perceive as unstructured communication style. When it comes to running meetings, Jody will be the perfect facilitator for getting everyone's input and buy-in. For Jody to be more effective with Sue-like Action-oriented people, she needs to do the following. Negotiate timelines that provide her with flexibility. Move faster than she would prefer. Be decisive and avoid tacking on last-minute items to the agenda.
Prioritize her ideas and narrow the list before she presents them. Both Action and Being preferences get things done in the workplace. They just get them done differently. If you want to be an effective communicator, be sure to reach out and adapt to styles that are different than yours.
- Understanding introversion and extroversion
- Persuading people
- Negotiating your needs
- Making small talk
- Saying no
- And more…
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