Success Skills

Breaking down your breakdowns

- Jason Kiesau, leadership and talent development manager with Aureon HR, writes about success skills and is the author of FOCUSED - Your Future Starts Now! and Leading with Style for Senior Living Professionals.

Take a moment and think about the last conflict you had at work because of some breakdown.

Why did it happen?

Conflict in the workplace is normal, right? Even with all the Success Skills training, there is going to be conflict. Conflict is OK. Sometimes it's needed; most of the best solutions are the result of experiencing a little conflict and tension. And sometimes it's just simply unavoidable.

Though conflict doesn't scare me, I don't like it when it is unavoidable; and unfortunately a lot of it is unavoidable. When I was a business coach with E-Myth, a core skill we tried to support our clients in obtaining was the identification of root causes when problems occurred or things didn't go as planned. In my experience, when there is something that didn't go as planned, we look to see who did what or who didn't do what, rather than taking a step back to find the real cause of the breakdown.

Think back to the last conflict you had that I asked you to think about at the beginning of this post. Were you able to identify why it happened? Raise your hand if your answer came down to what someone did or didn't do.

It doesn't have to be that way.

Yes, sometimes people are going to screw up and make mistakes, but most of the time when things break down and things don't go as planned, it's the result of a lack of one of these four things:

  • Clear Goals - People aren't truly clear on objectives, goals and desired results.
  • Clear Roles - Roles and responsibilities aren't defined, so people aren't sure who is doing what.
  • Clear Communication - Important information isn't communicated clearly to people who need it.
  • Clear Processes - The best way to get the desired results has not been defined and documented.

A few months ago a member of my team came to me frustrated. He was frustrated because he and two other team leaders were planning 12 months' worth of webinars and it was going to require resources from multiple teams to successfully execute them. He was frustrated because he felt everything was on his shoulders and the other two leaders weren't giving it enough attention. Once we started talking, the root cause of this issue became clear. This wasn't a people issue.

All three parties agreed on the desired result of scheduling 12 months' worth of webinars. Each person knew resources were going to be needed from multiple teams; everyone was on board. This new problem was occurring because nobody really knew who was doing what. The roles and responsibilities weren't clear. My team member expected the team leaders to do more because they were involved. They were on board, they just didn't know what to do. The next time they met, my team member led the discussion, and together they identified and agreed on who was doing what and were able to move forward productively.

I have a client whose home office is in Alabama, with seven locations throughout the southeast United States. They needed to create a scorecard that would allow them to measure the success of each location fairly and consistently. This desired result materialized in the form of a one-page checklist that regional directors would use twice a year to ensure each location was in alignment with the corporate vision.

When I received the first draft of the checklist, I thought it was awesome. They had identified over 60 key success measurements that contribute to the overall success of the organization. One measurement was "Curb Appeal." Another measurement was "Greeting" customers upon arrival. Each location's attention toward and ability to satisfy each of the 60+ success measurements will determine this organizations overall success.

Let's take a closer look at this situation:

  • Clear Goals
    On the surface, objectives are clearly defined through the 60+ success measurements. Everybody in the organization will know what success looks like. I have encouraged them to take a step further and clearly define what each success measurement means. "What does curb appeal mean?" Though they have them outlined, right now each of the success measurements is left up to the interpretation of each person using them, which will lead to a breakdown. Defining each measurement keeps everyone on the same page.

  • Clear Roles
    They have done a nice job at defining clear roles at the corporate office. Regional directors will be responsible for facilitating this audit twice a year at each location. Now they need to make sure roles are clearly defined at each location for everyone to be successful.

  • Clear Communication
    Clear communication is going to be key to the success. They have clear goals and clear roles, knowing they need to make both a little clearer. To be successful they must create an intentional internal communication strategy that sets everyone up for success. Failure to do so will lead to a breakdown.

  • Clear Processes
    This checklist of success measurements is great example of a clear process that when followed will lead to more consistent and predictable results. They key word is WHEN followed. If the goals aren't clear, roles aren't defined and there is a lack of clear communication, the likelihood that this process will be used correctly and consistently goes down.

So, conflict isn't bad and breakdowns are going to happen. How we respond to a breakdown will determine our success moving forward. The next time things break down and conflict occurs, don't make it personal. Assess your situation to ensure there are clear goals, roles, communication and processes. If and when you find a gap, allow that to be the focal point of resolution, so everyone can agree and move forward on the same page.

SOCIAL STYLES Conclusion: Moving forward!

- Jason Kiesau, leadership and talent development manager with Aureon HR, writes about success skills, and is the author of FOCUSED - Your Future Starts Now! and Leading with Style for Senior Living Professionals.

In a series of blog posts this month, I've introduced the SOCIAL STYLE ® methodology for identifying four interaction styles of most workers. They are: 

Today I will summarize and help you and your team gain higher versatility. 

SOCIAL STYLE recap:

SOCIAL STYLE is the world’s leading behavioral style model. It has been used by thousands of organizations to improve leadership performance and sales results. Each of the four Social Styles have positive and negative characteristics when working with others, but research shows that people of any Social Style can be successful in any profession.

If someone’s Social Style is not inherently good or bad, what is the point of studying these behavioral preferences? Understanding Style allows you to identify the preferences of others and modify your behavior to make others more comfortable. This is known as versatility, and it is strongly linked to career and business success.

In this series I focused on what type of fuel each Style needs to be successful. The more we understand the fuel of those around us, the more proactive we can be in meeting their needs, developing a productive relationship and, most importantly, getting results.

What fuels each Style?

  • Driving Style people are fueled by getting results. They are assertive, independent and focused, but can be seen as cold and impatient. These are the members of your team who are focused on getting things done.

  • Expressive Style people are fueled by attention and approval. They are relational, enthusiastic, and creative but may not manage their emotions appropriately. These are the members of your team who get others excited about what's happening.

  • Amiable Style people are fueled by stability and security. They are relational, supportive and adaptable, but may not speak up or share their feelings if they perceive they will create conflict or won't be well received. These are the members of your team who will bend over backwards to make sure everything is OK and have a bad habit of putting others' needs ahead of their own.

  • Analytical Style people are fueled by making the right decision. They are logical, organized and detailed, but can be indecisive if they don't feel they have enough information. These members of your team will cross t's, dot i's, and make you think about things you never thought of.

Each Style has positive characteristics that make them valuable to your team, while also having negative characteristics that can make them challenging to work with. SOCIAL STYLE is all about understanding others' Style, making an effort to fuel others correctly,and getting desired results together. 

Achieving High Versatility

Versatility is our ability to adapt to people and situations as needed. If we have low versatility, we expect others to adapt to us. When we have high versatility, we recognize the value in meeting people where they are and working together to get results.

I am an Expressive Style which means I'm assertive and emotional. I'm fast-paced, creative, and relational, but can become frustrated when things aren't moving at the pace I want or I don't feel my ideas are being considered or respected.

I achieve versatility when I am able to get out of my own way and adapt to the Styles of others and fuel them properly. When I work with people who have a Driving Style I am less "fluffy" and more direct. When I work with others who have an Expressive Style, I am creative with them, but I try to be more detailed and logical. When I work with people who are Amiable, I try to be more steady and compassionate while making them feel like they can do anything. When I worked with people who have an Analytical Style, I know I need to be more thoughtful and organized and they are likely going to ask me questions about things I either don't find important or I haven't thought of.

Low versatility is becoming annoyed with others for whatever reason and allowing that to affect the level of trust and respect we have for them, ultimately impacting how we work together. High versatility is understanding people are different, appreciating what everyone brings to the table and fueling them properly because we know that is the best way to achieve results and achieve success skills mastery.

Things to think about:

  • Are you owning your Style? (the good, bad and ugly)
  • Are you fueling the people around you properly? (if not, don't get mad when their performance suffers)
  • What do you need to do to achieve high versatility? (It is a choice to be made.)
  • What if your whole team achieved high versatility? (That is leadership.)

I've been fortunate to work with hundreds of leaders across the United States. There is a difference between people who strive to achieve high versatility and those who expect others to adapt to them because of their ego or position. As you might imagine, their results are quite a bit different too. Commit to high versatility.

 


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SOCIAL STYLE #4: Analytical Style

- Jason Kiesau, leadership and talent development manager with Aureon HR, writes about success skills, and is the author of FOCUSED - Your Future Starts Now! and Leading with Style for Senior Living Professionals.

Think about your employees as though they were a fleet of luxury cars, each of which require different kinds of fuel or power to achieve top performance. That is how I introduced SOCIAL STYLE ® in my first post in this series, which outlines the four different Styles of people that make up your workforce.

  • Driving Style
  • Expressive Style
  • Amiable Style
  • Analytical Style

In part two, I tell you how best to work with people who have a Driving Style.

In part three, I wrote about working people who have an Expressive Style.

In part four, I discussed people who have an Amiable Style.

Today our focus will be on people who have an Analytical Style.

How do you know if people have an Analytical Style?

There are really two ways to discover someone's Style. First, you can guess, but Tracom Group says that when we guess, we are wrong 50 percent of the time. Our recommendation would be to have them take the SOCIAL STYLE, Self-Perception Profile and you can schedule that by emailing me at jason.kiesau@aureon.com. If your choice is to guess, let me try to help you out.

Style is determined by how we say and do things. This is called our "observable behavior" and it's based on our assertiveness (how assertive or passive we are) and our responsiveness (whether we respond to things emotionally or emotionally controlled). People with an Analytical Style are less assertive and emotionally controlled. This means they are more passive when they want something and they tend to respond to things with logic and little to no emotion. They are organized, detailed, and value processes. 

Who do you work with that might be an Analytical Style?

What are their strengths and why do you need them on your team?

Of all the Styles, people with an Analytical Style are the ones who will cross t's, dot i's, ask questions and obsess over details to ensure the best decision is made. They are the ones who will poke holes in your master plan and make you think about things you never considered. 

How do you correctly fuel them?

People with an Analytical Style are fueled by making the right decision. Analytical Style people get a bad wrap for being challenging and difficult because they ask a lot of questions, poke holes in ideas and need to think about things. They are not trying to be difficult. They are fulfilling their need by ensuring they are making the best decision possible. Rushing them or expecting them to make a decision with little information is like siphoning gas out of their tank. They won't move. 

How do they prefer work and make decisions?

People with an Analytical Style prefer to be logical and thoughtful with how they do things and they make decisions in that same spirit. What does being thoughtful mean? This means they prefer to learn more, ask questions, process, analyze, organize and make sense of things with the sole purpose of greater understanding so the right decision can be made with the littlest risk.

What are their weaknesses and opportunities for growth?

People with an Analytical Style try to make everything black and white, but you and I both know the world is not always black and white. Most of the time it's gray, blurry and ambiguous. They are not always going have all the information they want. The Analytical Style's opportunity for growth is to be more decisive. When they don't have enough information they can get caught in paralysis by analysis and stall whatever progress is being made. Sometimes we have to make a decision with what the information we have and move forward.  

What stresses them out?

Tension rises when they are rushed or forced to make a decision without all the information. This can happen when working with a Driving Style who is impatient or an Expressive Style who is too "fluffy" and hasn't thought through all the details. 

How do they behave when there is too much tension?

When tension gets too high, people with an Analytical Style will check out and can become passive aggressive. At some point they may stop trying to convince us to be more thoughtful and may just watch us crash and burn if we aren't willing to value their opinions. 

How can you work with them to maximize results?

First and foremost we have to value what they bring to the table. They keep us out of trouble. As an Expressive Style I am visionary, creative and get excited about things. I don't always like it, but I expect people with an Analytical Style to ask me questions and challenge me to think about things I haven't considered. Knowing what gives them security I have had to change my expectations from creating urgency to respecting their process. If I need to work with someone with an Analytical Style my top two questions for them are: "What other information can I provide?" and "What else do you need?"

The last post of this series is later this week. In it, I will bring everything together with a summary of the previous five parts and end with the concept of achieving higher versatility.

 


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SOCIAL STYLE #3: Amiable Style

- Jason Kiesau, leadership and talent development manager with Aureon HR, writes about success skills, and is the author of FOCUSED - Your Future Starts Now! and Leading with Style for Senior Living Professionals.

In the introduction to this series, I compared your team to the luxury cars that may be parked in your garage. Like a fleet of cars, your people must be fueled properly to achieve top performance. And each may require a different kind of power, which may be thought of as the four different SOCIAL STYLES of workers:

  • Driving Style
  • Expressive Style
  • Amiable Style
  • Analytical Style

In part two, I wrote about how you can best work with people who have a Driving Style.

Part three was about how you can best work with people who have an Expressive Style.

Today our focus will be on people who have an Amiable Style.

How do you know if people have an Amiable Style?

There are really two ways to discover someone's Style. First, you can guess, but Tracom Group says that when we guess, we are wrong half the time. Our recommendation would be to have them take the SOCIAL STYLE, Self-Perception Profile and you can schedule that by emailing me at jason.kiesau@aureon.com. But if your choice is to guess, let me try to help you out.

The four Styles are based on how we say and do things. This is called our "observable behavior" and it's based on our assertiveness (how assertive or passive we are) and our responsiveness (whether we respond to things emotionally or emotionally controlled). People with an Amiable Style are less assertive and more emoting. This means they are more passive when they want something and they tend to respond to things with emotion, both positive and negative. They are highly relational and supportive. Of all the Styles, people with an Amiable Style are the "people pleasers". They might have a hard time saying no and they want everyone to be OK.

Who do you work with that might be an Amiable Style?

What are their strengths and why do you need them on your team?

People with an Amiable Style are master relationship builders. They are friendly, supportive, adaptable and want to serve people. These are the people who won't think twice about going the extra mile for the team or a customer. 

How do you correctly fuel them?

People with an Amiable Style are fueled by security and stability. They just want everyone and everything to be OK. Being too assertive, confrontational, inconsistent or unpredictable is like pouring bleach in their gas tank, it will ruin it. The challenge with people who have an Amiable Style is you may not know there is damage until it's too late.

How do they prefer work and make decisions?

The nurturing spirit of people with an Amiable Style lead them to put relationships ahead of results and avoid conflict like the plague. They prefer to build close relationships with people they can count on. They are the utility people on your team that when someone doesn't show or something needs done, they will jump in to serve anyway they can. When it comes to decision making and overall being decisive they can be passive, timid and lack confidence. Unless made to feel secure they aren't forthright with opinions and feelings if they perceive they won't be received or will create conflict.

What are their weaknesses and opportunities for growth?

People with an Amiable Style are people oriented. However, in the spirit of serving others and making sure everyone and everything is OK, they may not speak up when they need to. Their opportunity for growth is to be more assertive. First, they need to know their opinions and feelings matter just as much as everyone else. Second, disagreement and conflict is OK. People with an Amiable Style will shut down if they feel like what they have to say won't be received well or if it will create conflict. The challenge is you might not realize it. They tend to not address things and bottle things up until it's too late.

What stresses them out?

Tension rises when they don't feel security and stability with people or situations. They want everyone to be OK and situations to be steady and consistent. 

How do they behave when there is too much tension?

Of the four SOCIAL STYLES, people with an Amiable Style may show they are stressed the least. When things get too tense they withdraw. If they do share an opinion or idea and it isn't received, they will quickly give in and retreat, but you may never know it. People with an Amiable Style are accommodating to begin with, but don't confuse their accommodations for approval. 

How can you work with them to maximize results?

As leaders, I think it is our responsibility to create a culture that helps people with an Amiable Style find their voice and learn how to be assertive. They have the people skills down and will bloom as their confidence grows. In team settings, make sure they have a voice. If you want feedback, specifically ask them and give them a chance to answer; don't expect them to compete with others because they won't. Make sure they know their thoughts and feelings matter and they are a valuable asset to the team. Give them permission to find their voice. Let them practice being assertive and demanding. They are loyal to a fault and will kill it with your customers. Growing their confidence will strengthen your team and make you a better leader.

In my next post, I will talk about people who have an Analytical Style. People with an Analytical Style are described as less assertive and emotionally controlled. They tend to be more reserved, organized and detailed with a focus on facts and data. Who do you work with that could be described this way? I look forward to sharing with you how you can work with and fuel people with an Analytical Style to achieve maximum results in your pursuit toward success skills mastery.

 


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SOCIAL STYLE #2 - Expressive Style

- Jason Kiesau, leadership and talent development manager with Aureon HR, writes about success skills, and is the author of FOCUSED - Your Future Starts Now! and Leading with Style for Senior Living Professionals.

In PART ONE I talked about your people being like the luxury cars sitting in your garage. Like your cars, your people must be fueled properly to achieve top performance. I introduced SOCIAL STYLE ® and outlined the four different Styles of people that make up your workforce.

  • Driving Style
  • Expressive Style
  • Amiable Style
  • Analytical Style

In my second post, I talked about how you can best work with people who have a Driving Style.

Today our focus will be on people who have an Expressive Style.

How do you know if people have an Expressive Style?

There are really two ways to discover someone's Style. First, you can guess, but Tracom Group says that when we guess, we are wrong 50 percent of the time. Our recommendation would be to have them take the SOCIAL STYLE, Self-Perception Profile and you can schedule that by emailing me at jason.kiesau@aureon.com. If your choice is to guess, let me try to help you out.

Style is determined by how we say and do things. This is called our Observable Behavior and it's based on our Assertiveness (how assertive or passive we are) and our Responsiveness (whether we respond to things emotionally or emotionally controlled). People with an Expressive Style are assertive and emoting. This means they are assertive when they want something and they tend to respond to things with emotion, both positive and negative. They might be described as fast paced, enthusiastic, creative and emotional.

Who do you work with that might be a Expressive Style?

What are their strengths and why do you need them on your team?

People with an Expressive Style are creative, enthusiastic and highly relational. Their energy is infectious and their ability to adapt allows them to contribute in a variety of ways. 

How do you correctly fuel them?

People with an Expressive Style are fueled by attention and approval. They want to be liked and need to know they are doing a good job and appreciated. Not considering their ideas or being overly critical and negative toward them without a foundation of trust and respect can be like a spark hitting a gas can; things can get explosive. 

How do they prefer work and make decisions?

People with an Expressive Style are assertive, enthusiastic and spontaneous. They are not bound by rules and processes and prefer to be creative. If you are person who values details, processes and predictability; people of this Style might be challenging to work with. People with an Expressive Style tend to make quick decisions, based on feelings and opinions.

What are their weaknesses and opportunities for growth?

People with an Expressive Style have a few key areas of weakness and opportunities for growth. The first is how they respond to things. They are assertive and they wear their emotions on their sleeves. You know when they are happy and you know when they are not. People with an Expressive Style need to make sure they manage their emotions properly. Their second opportunity for growth is to not take things so personally. As stated above, people with an Expressive Style are fueled by attention and approval. When they don't feel approval they can take it as disapproval and take it personally, leading to insecure and unproductive behaviors that hurt themselves and the people around them. Finally, in their creative and spontaneous nature, people with an Expressive Style need to give more attention to important details and time frames. Sometimes they can get so caught up in what they are doing they may miss or ignore things critical to getting results.

What stresses them out?

Tension rises when they don't feel listened to, accepted or approved of. People with an Expressive Style depend on social cues and nonverbal communication to know where they stand with others. They may struggle when working with less relational Styles like Driving and Analytical who tend to be less emotional and more focused on the job and desired results.

How do they behave when there is too much tension?

Of the four SOCIAL STYLES, people with the Expressive Style can be the most challenging when their tension rises. If unmanaged, their assertive and emotional nature, mixed with a tendency to take things too personally, may result in them becoming defensive, if not confrontational. 

How can you work with them to maximize results?

Understand their need for attention and approval and make an effort to fuel them. If you tend to be relational, fueling them shouldn't be a problem. If you are someone who is more results focused, you may get annoyed with the perceived neediness of the Expressive Style. You have to get past that. Their productivity and your overall success may depend on them. When fueled properly, people with an Expressive Style get after it with great enthusiasm and that's good for everyone.

In my next post, I write about people who have an Amiable Style. People with an Amiable Style are described as less assertive and emoting. They are highly relational and supportive, but may lack confidence to voice feelings and opinions in fear of "rocking the boat". Who do you work with that could be described this way? I will tell you how you can work with and fuel people with an Amiable Style to achieve maximum results in your pursuit toward success skills mastery.

 


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SOCIAL STYLE #1: Driving Style

- Jason Kiesau, leadership and talent development manager with Aureon HR, writes about success skills, and is the author of FOCUSED - Your Future Starts Now! and Leading with Style for Senior Living Professionals.

In the introduction to this series last week, I wrote about employees being like the luxury cars sitting in your garage. Like your cars, your people must be fueled properly to achieve top performance. I introduced the SOCIAL STYLE ® theory and outlined the four different Styles of people that make up your workforce.

  • Driving Style
  • Expressive Style
  • Amiable Style
  • Analytical Style

Today our focus will be on people who have a Driving Style.

How do you know if people have a Driving Style?

There are really two ways to discover someone's Style. First, you can guess, but Tracom Group says that when we guess, we are wrong 50 percent of the time. Our recommendation would be to have them take the SOCIAL STYLE, Self-Perception Profile and you can schedule that by emailing me at jason.kiesau@aureon.com. If your choice is to guess, let me try to help you out.

Our Style is determined by how we say and do things. This is called our "observable behavior" and it's based on our "assertiveness" (how assertive or passive we are) and our "responsiveness" (whether we respond to things emotionally or emotionally controlled). People with a Driving Style are assertive and emotionally controlled. This means they are assertive when they want something and they tend to be less emotional when they respond to things. They might be described as independent, driven, cold and impatient.

Who do you work with that might be a Driving Style?

What are their strengths and why do you need them on your team?

People with a Driving Style are action oriented and they get things done. They don't get bogged down by details or the opinions of others. They see what needs to get done to achieve the result and they go for it.

How do you correctly fuel them?

People with a Driving Style are fueled by results. They know what they want to do and they make it happen. If you work with a Driving Style you must respect and support their need for and pursuit of results. Getting in their way with too many details or too much fluff would be like putting diesel fuel in your hybrid, it's not going to work. It will lead to poor performance.

How do they prefer work and make decisions?

Remember, people with a Driving Style are described as assertive. They move fast and tend to be more formal. They don't get caught up in paralysis by analysis or overthinking. They see what they want to do and BOOM, they take action toward it. They tend to make quick decisions which can be positive or negative. They like to keep things moving.

What are their weaknesses and opportunities for growth?

In their assertive and fast-paced pursuit of getting desired results, people with a Driving Style may not listen to the people around them or show they even care what they think. They can become very focused on what they are doing and impatient when they feel they are being held back or slowed down. Their opportunities for growth are to become more patient, a better listener, and more relational. If they aren't careful, people with a Driving Style will make others feel put down and run over. Understanding what others need will be key to their growth.

What stresses them out?

Tension rises within a Driving Style when there is a lack of progress toward the desired result. 

How do they behave when there is too much tension?

When tension becomes too much, people with a Driving Style may become very autocratic. They will stop listening to others and caring what they think. They are likely to become demanding with orders and may decide to ignore other efforts and just do it themselves. When tension rises within a Driving Style, try not to be confrontational or take it personally, but see it as an opportunity to learn why they are stressed and what you can do to lower their tension and move things forward.

How can you work with them to maximize results?

Understand the desired results and support their efforts. Be direct with them and don't get too detailed or fluffy when communicating because you'll lose them. Encourage thoughtfulness and patience and remind them that things are best achieved when people work together.

We are a culture that values getting things done and of all the Styles, none are more efficient in getting things done than someone with a Driving Style. In my experience, most top leaders and/or producers have a Driving Style as they tend to focus on the goal and take action to get results. For how productive they can be, people with a Driving Style really need to learn to appreciate and value other Styles. Results are important, but how they get their results could be the difference between great success and frustration.

In the next post, I will write about people who have an Expressive Style. They are described as assertive and emoting. They are fast paced, enthusiastic, creative and tend to respond to things with emotion, both positive and negative. Who do you work with that could be described this way? I look forward to sharing with you how you can work with and fuel people with an Expressive Style to achieve maximum results in your pursuit toward success skills mastery.

 


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Treat employees like luxury vehicles

- Jason Kiesau, leadership and talent development manager with Aureon HR, writes about success skills, and is the author of FOCUSED - Your Future Starts Now! and Leading with Style for Senior Living Professionals.

If you are a leader in an organization, your employees are a lot like the luxury vehicle(s) you may have parked in your garage.

  1. They are expensive.
  2. Their performance is dependent on regular checkups and maintenance. 
  3. Poor performance is frustrating.
  4. If they break down, you go nowhere.
  5. It's hard to get ahead if you are constantly replacing them.

Let's pretend for a moment that you own four different luxury vehicles and each vehicle takes a different type of fuel.

  • Your sedan takes regular unleaded gas.
  • Your SUV takes diesel.
  • Your hybrid takes unleaded fuel, while also powered by electricity.
  • Your fourth luxury vehicle is 100 percent powered by electricity.

I'm no mechanic, but common sense tells us that if you want top performance out of each of your four luxury vehicles, a good place to start would be to make sure you are fueling and powering each with the fuel and/or power they are designed to take.

Would you agree?

I mean, if you ignore the needs of your vehicles and try to use the wrong fuel or power, what results should you expect? Do you really have a right to get frustrated when you put diesel fuel in your hybrid and its performance is poor, or worse it doesn't run? What do you do then? Do you trade it in for another vehicle you hope will meet your performance expectations or do you figure out how to fuel it and power it correctly?

Your employees are like your luxury vehicles.

Forty years of research suggests you likely lead, manage and work with four different types of people. Like the four luxury vehicles outlined above, each type of person needs a different form of fuel. Failure to fuel people correctly will lead to poor performance and frustration. Success Skills Mastery is understanding the fuel needs of the people around you and giving them what they need.

We use a program called SOCIAL STYLE ® to help clients learn more about the people they lead, manage and work with and what fuel each needs to achieve top performance. SOCIAL STYLEs says your workforce is made up of the four following Styles of people:

  • Driving Style
  • Expressive Style
  • Amiable Style
  • Analytical Style

Over the month of May, I am going to detail each of the four SOCIAL STYLEs in greater detail. In subsequent posts you will learn the following things about each Style:

  • How to identify an employee's Style
  • Their strengths and why you need them on your team
  • How to correctly fuel them
  • How they prefer to work and make decisions
  • Their weaknesses and opportunities for growth
  • What stresses them out
  • How they behave when there is too much tension
  • How you can work with them to achieve maximum results

Your organization can have purpose and vision. Your strategic plan can be well developed with meaningful goals, plans, and processes. But, none of that matters without people to share your purpose, be inspired by your vision, and have the desire to achieve your goals.

Take some time to think about different individuals you work with. What makes them valuable to your organization? What gives them security? What motivates them? How do they prefer to work? What is their decision-making process? What are their weaknesses? What stresses them out? How do they behave when stressed? How can you help them succeed?

Fuel your people. Fulfill your vision!

Part Two Preview: In part two I will talk about people who have a Driving Style. People with this Style are described as assertive and emotionally controlled. They are fast-paced, independent, and get things done. Who do you work with could be described this way?  I look forward to sharing with you how you can work with and fuel people with a Driving Style to achieve maximum results in your pursuit toward success skills mastery.

 


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The great workplace divide

- Jason Kiesau, leadership and talent development manager with Aureon HR, writes about success skills.

Please take a moment and think about two people in your life.

  1. Someone you work well with.
  2. Someone you work with who drives you nuts.

There is a great divide in the workplace that can be the root of workplace conflict and issues between leaders, managers, and their workforce: it's results-focused people vs. relationship-focused people.

Results-focused people tend to be task focused, less emotional and less relational. They tend to be more formal, less social and keep their personal and work lives separate. They are driven by results and making the right decision and prefer to avoid "fluff". In pursuit of getting their desired result, they can easily become impatient and frustrated with people who they perceive are not as focused and slow them down.

Relationship-focused people tend to be people focused, relational and more emotional. This can be seen in their passion and enthusiasm when they are excited about something, as well with how they respond to things that frustrate them. They tend to be more informal, more social, and blend their personal and work lives. They are driven by the positive experiences they have with others and are most productive when they feel appreciated and liked. When they don't feel appreciated and harmony with the people around them they can easily take things too personally, impacting their motivation and productivity.

Are you results focused or people focused?

These two types of people can be like oil and water because they don't understand one another.

Results-focused people get annoyed with relationship-focused people and say things like:

  • Why are they so emotional?
  • Why can't they just stay focused?
  • Do we need to talk about everything?
  • It's not a big deal.
  • Why are they so needy?

Relationship-focused people become frustrated with results people and say things like:

  • Why are they so serious and uptight?
  • It's not all about money.
  • Don't they care about people?
  • Are they mad at me?
  • They are not very friendly.

Earlier this year I worked with a top leader who is results focused and who was at his wits' end with a member of his team who is relationship focused. He didn't understand why she didn't just listen to him and why she overreacted about everything.

When I talked with her I learned that his direct and cold demeanor made her feel like she was failing and she was starting to feel like she couldn't meet his expectations. At the end of the day, if this top leader wants to get his desired results, he needs to be more relational with her. He needs to show more appreciation and approval as he is giving her direction and expectations. She needs to manage her emotions better, stop taking things so personally and be more task focused.

If you can relate to any of this, I challenge you to hit "reset" with the people who frustrate you and try to understand why they do. Also, in the spirit of self-management, understand why you are frustrated. Results-focused people do care about others; they just show it differently. Relationship-focused people do care about the results; they just need to know you have their back. People are different. We have different needs, preferred ways of doing things, weaknesses and things that stress us out.

These dynamics don't have to create a workplace divide. To achieve success, we must get the best out of ourselves and the people around us. To do this, we must understand, respect and appreciate what everyone brings to the table in order to maximize everyone's potential together.

That is success skills mastery.

 


 

Jason Kiesau is the leadership and talent development manager with Aureon HR, and the author of "FOCUSED - Your Future Starts Now!" and "Leading with Style for Senior Living Professionals." 

Connect with Jason on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Introducing new blogger: Jason Kiesau

- Jason Kiesau, Leadership and Talent Development manager for Aureon HR, writes about success skills on IowaBiz.com.

Greetings Central Iowa!

My name is Jason Kiesau and I am the Leadership and Talent Development Manager at Aureon HR, Inc. and author of FOCUSED – Your Future Starts Now! and Leading with Style for Senior Living Professionals. The role of our team at Merit is to provide to our clients’ leaders, managers, and workforce, the training, coaching and learning opportunities that support them in achieving their goals in alignment with their organizational goals. We believe this starts with what we like to call Success Skills Mastery.

I’m on a mission to forever change the term “soft skills” to Success Skills, because without them you won’t succeed. It doesn’t matter if you are leader, manager, or an employee; you can be the smartest, most talented, and the hardest working person in the room, but if you lack Success Skills you will have limited success and will never fulfill your potential.

Success Skills Mastery will be the subject I write about for IowaBiz.com.

The three most critical Success Skills I will focus on are:

  1. Self-Management
  2. Relationship Building
  3. Strategic Planning and Goal Setting

Regardless of what you do for your employer or what board you serve on, pursuing Success Skills Mastery will quickly raise your value and make you more effective; leading to greater success.

To be successful we must:

  • Manage our attitudes, emotions, actions, and reactions and adapt them to people and situations as needed.
  • Create win/win situations and build mutually beneficial relationships by understanding others’ needs and meeting them where they are.
  • Understand strategic thinking and set and measure long- and short-term goals that align with our vision and strategic plan.

I’ve been fascinated with personal, professional and leadership development since my early 20s. I am passionate about helping people live a high-quality of life by confidently pursuing and achieving meaningful results. Prior to joining Merit six years ago, I was a strategic partner with Profiles International helping clients hire the right people and a business coach with E-Myth Benchmark (now Benchmark Business Group) working with small business owners all over the United States, supporting them in achieving their strategic objective by working ON their business, not IN their business.

Thank you for your time and attention in reading this. I look forward to contributing to IowaBiz.com and supporting your pursuit towards Success Skills Mastery! Please let me know if our Leadership and Talent Development Team at Aureon HR, Inc. can support you in achieving your goals.

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