Different Strokes for Different Folks

Understanding yourself well and studying the behaviour of others allows you to improve your performance in relationships both at work and at home. According to Daniel Goleman, author of “Working with Emotional Intelligence” and a recipient of the American Psychological Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award, emotional intelligence now plays a more pivotal role in determining one’s overall success. Goleman contends that sixty-seven percent of the competencies needed to manage and lead others are emotionally based. Your ability to communicate and interact with others effectively is the key ingredient in building collaborative teams, resolving conflict and motivating others to perform at their personal best.

Worth Remembering … “A common core of personal and social abilities has proven to be the key ingredient in people’s success”. – Daniel Goleman

Dr. William Marston, the creator of DISC, believes that there are four distinct styles of behaviour and that each style communicates and interacts differently. Each style likes to be managed and likes to manage others differently. If that is true, then all you need to do is learn how to communicate and interact with them in a style that they like. If you can learn to do that – then chances are they’d be more receptive to your management style because you are working with them in a way that they like. People like to work with people they like. You need to be able to make that emotional connection.

Worth Remembering … “The task of an executive is not to change human beings. The task is to multiply performance capacity of the whole by putting to use whatever strength, whatever health, whatever aspirations there is in individuals”. – Peter F. Drucker

There are four distinct styles of behaviour. The key to managing and leading others is to work with them in a style that they like.

D: Dominant. They like to be in charge and lead the charge. The key to working with a D is to make communication brief and to the point. Respect their need for autonomy and be clear about rules and expectations but let them go about accomplishing them – their way.

I: Interative/Interpersonal. They love being around people and work well in a social setting. The key to working with an I is let them verbalize thoughts and feelings. Provide written details on what you want to accomplish but keep the conversation light.

S: Steady. They are very loyal. However, they can be indecisive for fear of making a mistake. The key to working with an S is to provide a consistent and secure environment. Be logical and systematic in your approach and let them adapt to change slowly.

C: Conscientious. They are your best planners. They believe knowledge is power. The key to working with a C is to be precise and focused. Be sure to give clear expectations and deadlines. They strive to be perfect.

Different strokes for different folks. Ken Blanchard said it best. “Everyone has peak performance potential. You just need to know where they are coming from and meet them there”. If you can learn to adapt your management style to be more in tune with theirs – you’ll be amazed with how effective you can be.

Copyright (c) 2020. Brian Smith – https://briansmithpld.com. To find out more about DISC and how it can help you manage and lead others more effectively contact Brian at brian@briansmithpld.com

Entrepreneurship – Look Before You Leap 23

Have you alentrepreneurship[1].jpgways dreamed of being the one that makes all the decisions – the one that calls all the shots? Are you tired of working for someone else? Before you take the plunge and jump into the deep end of the pool have you done the market research – put a business plan together – and really thought it through? Have you thought about the impact it will have on your family and your personal life?

Before you quit your job and strike out on your own you might be interested in my answers to a series of questions I was asked by a former business student of mine. I hope my answers provide you with some valuable insight into what it takes to be successful.

What made you decide to get into business for yourself? Timing – it really boiled down to timing. I knew I wanted to make a career change. I was beginning to feel stuck and unfulfilled. For me – it’s never been about how much money I made. Now don’t get me wrong – money is important – but if it’s your only reason for getting into business for yourself – then you’re going to be disappointed – especially in your first few years. Make sure you have enough money saved up to pay your bills, put food on the table and keep a roof over your head for at least a year.

What are some of the challenges you faced in starting your own small business? I faced – and continue to face some of the same challenges everyone entrepreneur faces. Self-employed persons don’t have the luxury of a steady pay-cheque coming in. That puts a great deal of strain on your personal and family life. Everyone must give up something to get something. You need to decide what you and your family are willing to give up so that you can live your dream. Everybody needs to be on board. You need to be committed to doing whatever you need to do to be successful. If you and or your family aren’t willing to pay that price – then it’s best you stay where you are.

Any lessons learned that you can pass on to anyone wanting to start their own business? You need to be really passionate about what you are doing. You need to be prepared to work 80 hours a week for very little money. Have a budget and stick to it. Don’t spend money you haven’t generated yet. Find your niche Become an expert in something not a generalist in everything. What do you know or what product are you selling that someone else will pay you money to learn or have?

Food for thought: The two major reasons businesses fail are (1) Lack of management skills – and (2) Lack of financing. Most businesses fail within the first three years of start-up. (When I say most I mean over 90% fail) We have a tendency to overestimate revenue so divide your sales projections by half and run it by those numbers. You need to live and die by the numbers. Make business decisions – keep your emotions out of it. Always think worst-case scenario. That will help keep you grounded.

If I haven’t talked you out of getting into business for yourself after reading this article – then maybe – just maybe you have what it takes. Maybe you’ll make it to year five. I’ve been self-employed since 1998 and I’m still having fun. I wish you all the best.

Copyright (c) 2019. Brian Smith. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you visit: https://briansmithpld.com

The Way We Manage is Changing – Are You?

management-training-1[2].jpgI’m old enough to remember working in the 1960s. (Yes – I’m that old.) Back in those days, you didn’t question authority. When management told you to jump – the only question you were allowed to ask was how high. Social Psychologist Douglas McGregor branded that style of management as Theory X. Management believed that people were inherently lazy and needed to be bullied or brow-beaten into performing their work. Unfortunately, there are still managers out there who use that style in an attempt to motivate their workforce. Times have certainly changed. What you need to decide now is – will the management style that got you here – be the same style that will get you to where you need to go? Would you work for you?

There’s been a dramatic shift in people’s attitudes towards work. Worker’s wants and needs have changed. For the newest generation, life outside of work – is just as important as life at work. Today’s managers and business leaders must manage differently to keep pace with that change if they want an engaged and productive workforce. Productivity is still the name of the game and that equation will never change. Management’s role is to minimize input and maximize output. Unfortunately downsizing, another word for layoffs and thin margins have put added pressure on managers to hold the line on the expense side of the ledger while still growing the profit side. In order to accomplish both managers must switch from being task-focused to people-focused.

Daniel Goleman, in his groundbreaking book – Working with Emotional Intelligence, said it best. “We are being judged by a new yardstick: not just how smart we are, or by our training and expertise, but also by how well we handle our selves and each other”. If you can’t make an emotional connection with the people you work with and interact with, you stand little chance of managing or leading. The good news is that managers and leaders aren’t born – they’re made. You can learn how to communicate and interact more successfully, build collaborative teams, problem solve, negotiate win-wins and motivate others to perform at their personal best. It just depends on how willing you are to change. Trust me – If you don’t, you’ll go the way of the dodo bird and dinosaurs.

Copyright (c) 2019. Brian Smith-PLD. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for and your organization visit: https://briansmithpld.com

Are You Ready For Generation Z ?

Are you ready for Generation Z? If you thought managing and leading Millennials was a challenge – Generation Z is a whole different ball game. Gen Z, born between 1995 and 2005, are the first truly wired generation who adopt quickly to new technologies. The leading edge of this generation are just entering the workforce. According to the most recent stats they now make up 40% of the working and consumer population. Chances are they are already working for you. The data suggests they will soon out number millennials. Are you ready?

The good news is that people are just people. Everyone wants to feel that they are valued and are treated with respect. They want to be included – not excluded – on matters that will impact them personally or professionally. They want to know that they have been heard and that their contributions to team success is not only encouraged but are appreciated. They want management to take a vested interest in their development by equipping them with the skills set they’ll need to take advantage of any opportunites for advancement.

No one likes to be micro managed. You need to inject some autonomy and allow them do their thing their way as long as it accomplishes the task on time and on budget. Timely face to face communication is important. They need to know how they are doing – good or bad. For the first time in our lifetime we have the potential of working with 4 different generations in the same workplace. Each generation communicates and interacts differently. Each generation is motivated by different wants. Each generation manages and likes to be managed differently. However, when you get right down to it the common denominator is that people are just people. Treat them accordingly and the challenges managing and leading each generation won’t matter.

Copyright (c) 2019. Brian Smith, Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about Brian and how he can help you and your organization visit: https://briansmithpld.com