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What Do Your Co-Workers Think of You?

When it comes to how we perceive ourselves, it’s not uncommon to live in a world of disillusionment. According to a Wall Street Journal article, “How to Tell if You’re a Jerk at Work”, author Daniel R. Ames writes “Knowing your own strengths and limitations, and how others see you and your behavior, has been linked to a range of positive outcomes. But when it comes to understanding how others see us, many of us are in the dark.”

Research conducted by Daniel Ames, a professor at Columbia Business School, asked people to negotiate, and at the end of deal-making, classify if they were underassertive, overassertive or appropriately assertive. They then asked their counterparts the same question. What was found is that the correspondence to how people categorize themselves and how others categorize them is “disturbingly low – not much better than flipping a coin.”

This is similar to TRACOM’s findings. With data on millions of individuals, we’ve found that slightly more than 50% of people self-identify their own SOCIAL STYLE differently than others identify them.

Peoples’ self-awareness, or lack thereof, ranges greatly, as some people can fall on one end of the spectrum, viewing themselves negatively, and thinking others view them this way also. For example, these people might make one mistake at work and become incredibly critical of themselves, viewing their efforts as a failure and thinking others think this of them as well, when in reality, others see them as an asset to the team and one of their most reliable co-workers.

On the other end of the spectrum are those who live in an illusory state, thinking they approach and interact with people exactly how people want to be interacted with or they might believe all of their work contributions is the key reason for their company’s success.

The truth is, people often don’t accurately assess their ability to work effectively with others, and here the inaccuracy is revealing.  People with high Versatility (as rated by others) often rate their own Versatility lower, while people with low Versatility (as rated by others) rate themselves to have high Versatility.

The research shows that highly effective or Versatile people hold themselves to a high standard,” said Dr. Casey Mulqueen. “Whereas the people who actually are low on these crucial performance skills think they are doing great. This is a major blindspot for many people and it demonstrated the importance of getting input from other people through multi-rater assessments.”

Professor Ames says “Not realizing how others see you leads to bad decisions and spoiled relationships. And when others sense that you’re clueless about your personality, it can undermine your general stature and credibility. Unfunny people who know they aren’t funny are one thing; unfunny people who think they’re hilarious are another entirely.”

For more than sixty years the SOCIAL STYLE Model™ has been the world’s most effective behavioral style model. It is comprised of four unique Styles which include: Amiable, Analytical, Driving and Expressive. 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.

Understanding the concepts of SOCIAL STYLE and enhancing Versatility is especially important because it can lead to improvements in leadership performance, coaching skills, increased sales, building relationships, an ehanced ability when working in teams and improved communications. According to TRACOM research, managers with higher Versatility are 27% better at leading teams, 25% better at coaching others and 19% more likely to be promoted.

Our Multi-Rater profiles allow users to see how their beliefs about themselves align with their co-workers views of them. While this can sound intimidating, the feedback is anonymous and incredibly useful in understanding one’s self and how others view them. More importantly, it can be a key instrument for improvement and success down the road.

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