Different Personalities, Different Drivers
Different personalities have different drivers. Without understanding this, it can feel like you’re fighting over one of those optical illusions. Is the dress blue or is it yellow?!
side note…it was blue!
Thinking about this practically, do you want someone to ‘tell you straight’ or do you want someone to ‘soften the blow’? Do you want to ‘chew the fat’ and talk ideas out or do you want time to ‘reflect and process’ before giving a considered response? Do you want to ‘get going’ or do you want ‘the details first’?
What does your team prefer?
Have you asked?
Not understanding people’s personalities and their needs at work is one of the biggest contributors to friction in the pharmacy. This stifles communication, progress and outcomes. It weakens relationships, trust and growth. It makes life harder than it has to be. But, if we can make space for personality differences, the benefits are huge. People who have their personal needs met perform better, contribute more and are more flexible. This increases trust, speed and efficiency.
Additionally, when we allow people to bring who they are to the workplace and create a container for them to contribute, the pharmacy and the team benefit from accessing many more perspectives. This means that challenges can be viewed more wholistically and solutions identified from areas that previously may not have been considered.
How can we make space for others’ needs?
The easy answer is to say ‘improve psychological safety’ but we all know that that really is made up of micro steps that culminate in people’s willingness to take interpersonal risk. So let’s break that down.
1. Seek to understand
Self-awareness and awareness of others set the foundation for making space. What do you need to perform at your best? What do others in your team need to perform at their best? Also, consider what people perceive as their strengths and the shadows of their personalities. Their responses may surprise you!
2. Explore context
Next, explore how these needs play out in the workplace. When are these needs met? When are they not? When do they feel they can bring their strengths? What situations do they find challenging? By exploring specific examples that occur in the workplace, you can then look at what is working and what isn’t. Maybe there is a pattern that begins to occur or you might identify an anomaly that only occurs in one situation.
Once you begin to identify when, where and how people’s needs are or aren’t being met, the next step is to brainstorm ways to leverage and learn from the positives and find ways to mitigate the negative. In this step, all options should be placed on the table.
Last but not least it’s time to identify what changes can and will be made and roll them out. Changes may be as simple as supplying information in multiple formats, giving people an agenda before a meeting and an opportunity to contribute in one. Other examples may be trying to be more direct in communicating with someone but taking a softer approach with others. In the action step, it’s also important to address how feedback should be given and when. If any change is to truly be made, it’s important to keep circling back to ensure you’re on track. This also helps changes become a team effort.
Let’s Gamify It!
To help remove some of the awkwardness if this is really new for you and your team, I have developed a ‘This’ or ‘That’ game to help get you started. The concept is simple and is designed to get people talking during the course of a day. To download this free game fill in the form below.