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Use SOCIAL STYLE When Collaboration Issues Occur

At The TRACOM Group, we recognize the importance of relationships. We believe that pursuing effective relationships creates a more productive workplace environment, and boosts morale. But what happens when working in teams seems to be hindering us more than helping us?

Nick Tasler’s HBR Blog “How to Avoid Collaboration Fatigue” describes the dark side of collaboration.

“Picture this: A complex issue is identified. A diverse, cross-functional team is assembled to solve it. Key stakeholders are gathered. Information is collected. Options are debated. Approval is sought. And then… nothing happens. So more information is gathered. More stakeholders are invited. More conference calls are logged. More debate ensues. More approval is sought. Round and round the project goes — when, where, and how somebody will decide, nobody knows.”

Sound familiar?

Many times these situations can occur when we don’t know how to properly communicate with one another. When we work in diverse groups there can often be a disconnect between our methods of communication as well as different strategies to handling situations. The most effective teams have the ability to recognize and adapt to each other’s unique Behavioral Style which allows these relationships to form.

Utilizing SOCIAL STYLE allows for teams to work more efficiently together. SOCIAL STYLE teaches you to to:

  • Recognize and value each other’s communication styles
  • Understand others’ likely reactions to stress or adversity
  • Determine which team roles or tasks will resonate most with each member
  • Reach mutual understanding in team conflicts
  • Coach and support each other towards personal success

There are four unique behavioral patterns recognized in the SOCIAL STYLE model. The four STYLEs include

  • Driving Style people control their emotions and speak assertively. They prefer to control a situation and are focused on big-picture results. They are often seen by others as highly efficient and not concerned about relationships or feelings.
  • Amiable Style people show their emotions openly and prefer to ask questions rather than give orders. Relationships, feelings and personal security are important to Amiable Style people. Others see them as friendly and warm.
  • Analytical Style people control their emotions but tend to ask questions rather than give orders. They are focused on accuracy, and they act deliberately to achieve that end. Others see them as slow-paced and detail-oriented.
  • Expressive Style people show their emotions and speak assertively. They enjoy sharing their ideas and perspectives openly with others. Others see them as creative, but unfocused.

There is no good or bad SOCIAL STYLE. Each Style displays both positive and negative characteristics when working with others. Research shows that people of any SOCIAL STYLE can be successful in any profession.

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. Learn more about the difference between Versatility and job performance through the Managerial Success Study.

According to Tasler “the reason you pursue collaborative ventures in the first place is because you need to address an ambiguous, highly visible, boundary-crossing issue for which responsibility and control is spread evenly across many people. Decades of research show that these high demand/low control situations are a veritable petri dish for job stress and burnout. But you can mitigate the fatigue even in a situation like this. The fact is collaboration also has a bright side over and above its (occasional) connection to performance. Human beings are wired to connect. It just feels good. You can leverage that positive inclination in order to produce more positive results — objectively and emotionally.”

To learn more about how SOCIAL STYLE and Versatility can improve team performance, take a look at Working in Teams With Style, available in print and as an ebook on Amazon.com.

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