Work Style Assessment Helps Bridge Differences

Partnerships that Work

High levels of communication, cooperation, and teamwork are all by-products of partnerships that work. Relationships are important; we know this. But, have you ever wondered why working with some people is easier for us than with others? With some, we work seamlessly together without a hitch, and it’s mutually productive and satisfying. With others, we try to collaborate but our differences get in the way and set us apart. It’s a drain. How can we bridge our differences and work more effectively with one another—especially when decisions need to be made, when problems need to be solved, and when our work depends on coordination?

Over the years of providing team development and consultation services to dozens of organizations and work teams involving hundreds of people, the single greatest challenge experienced by most is not in the world of things, but in the world of people. I speak from multiple perspectives, both personal and professional, when I say that one’s success or derailment comes down to showing results and working well with people. It’s the latter that keeps even the most competent and technically savvy individuals and teams from excelling. Trouble with people is a common career staller and one of the more prevalent reasons why teams get stuck.

Work Style Differences — a  Source of Conflict

Successfully managing in any work environment nowadays requires the ability to work with many different kinds of people and in a variety of situations. The challenge lies in the handling of our dissimilarities and the subsequent conflict that can develop. If you and I have different procedures for handling the same thing, or we have different ideas or solutions to a problem, we are likely to experience conflict. More often, however, the source of conflict comes not from circumstantial differences in our methods or opinions, but from the inherent nature of working with people with different personalities, priorities and work styles.

The competencies needed in today’s workplace are many, but the ones I hold high for every employee in just about any employment situation are the ones that contribute directly or indirectly to better teamwork, strong partnerships, and high levels of productivity. These competencies include:

  • Flexibility/Adaptability – being able and willing to modify one’s style and approach, and ready to change course in response to situational variables.
  • Interpersonal effectiveness – able to interact with others tactfully and diplomatically, and conveying sensitivity and respect for individual differences.
  • Personal Development – demonstrating commitment to learning and self-development, and seeking feedback to enhance personal effectiveness and improve performance.

Work Style Assessment — A Solution for Bridging Our Differences

Everything DiSC Workplace provides a solution for building better partnerships, stronger teams, and enhancing the quality of workplace climate. It’s all about diversity — helping employees appreciate their differences and develop strategies to working more effectively together.

Visit our website and experience the work style assessment firsthand.  Enter blog43014  in the coupon code and we’ll take 20{f94da991e202564913aa01919ab99335a342b126d4c71e0c32f4d1c6cf3b153a} off (expires 4/30/2014). Invite a colleague to experience it as well, and we’ll create a 10-page two-person comparison report that will illustrate your similarities and differences and provide you with conversation starters to help you strengthen your relationship.

Tom Sullivan is an executive leadership and organizational development consultant with ProGrowth Associates.

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