Have you ever found yourself working with someone who, for whatever reason, didn’t quite “get it”? Even small breakdowns in communication or understanding can quickly lead to frustration with your team. At the beginning of my career, I worked as a client success manager for a start-up IT firm. The setup was pretty unique… there were two groups, a Sales and IT team. As you can imagine, this created an interesting dynamic. Naturally, the Sales team was a vibrant bunch of extroverts, brimming with energy and creative ideas. On the other hand, the IT team seemed like they were operating on a completely different frequency. At first, I’ll admit, the differences between the two groups were a bit frustrating. But then it hit me – each of us has unique ways of approaching things.
Reflecting on my personal preferences, I realized I felt the most energy engaging in collaborative problem-solving with my team. However, it also dawned on me that not everyone felt the same about these activities. I quickly learned a fundamental truth – understanding the people you work with is paramount. It’s about noticing what lights them up and channeling that energy for the greater good. Think about it. When people are in a state of flow, their potential becomes practically limitless. Essentially, everyone has their own unique way of expressing themselves, and understanding this language allows you to connect with them in a way that truly hits home.
You can try three strategies to help you authentically understand and relate to others, personally and professionally. Putting these concepts into practice will foster an environment where everyone feels acknowledged and valued for their unique contributions. The result? A stronger sense of camaraderie and engagement across the organization.
So back to my story – my awkward interactions with the IT team helped me realize that everyone is wired very differently. With this in mind, I tailored my approach in hopes of meeting their unique needs. And each time we met, I tried to create their ideal setting – maybe they preferred a peaceful space to immerse themselves in thought. The impact was astounding. And the best part? The enthusiasm was infectious. My team embraced the challenge and joined in, as well.
Diverse Needs – Now it’s time for you to embrace a new challenge – think about a recent situation when everyone came together to tackle a project or task. What if you could’ve customized the game plan for each person’s unique style? How do you think that would’ve played out? Would the results surprise you? The next time you’re working with others, remember this challenge. Embrace the uniqueness, tailor your approach, and watch how these differences radically improve engagement.
As I was navigating through the initial awkwardness, I realized that “people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” How could I meet someone’s needs if I haven’t tried to understand who they were? At first, our conversations were mainly made up of surface-level small talk. But, as time went on, I noticed that these exchanges became more meaningful. And you know what? I felt like I had struck gold. Soon enough, they felt completely comfortable sharing more about themselves. That’s when I channeled my creativity to tailor our interactions in a way that resonated. Once they realized how much I truly cared about them as people, they became more than co-workers.
Connect and Thrive – Here’s another challenge: for the next week, make it your mission to have at least one meaningful conversation with each member of your team. Dive beyond the surface and discover their working styles, passions, and aspirations. Take note of the unique energy sources that drive them. By the end of the challenge, incorporate a small change in your interactions that demonstrates your genuine understanding of each team member.
The insights I gleaned from these conversations were truly a game-changer. I quickly learned to adjust my approach and meet them on their terms. I was all in with the Sales team; their language came naturally to me. But the IT team was a different story. So, I became curious. I started asking more questions and noted the little details that could unveil their preferences. Rather than just going off their behavior, I learned to look deeper to understand their intentions.
Take the Test DRiV – Here’s the ultimate challenge for you and your team: embark on the Test DRiV together. The results will provide invaluable insights by uncovering what fuels your energy and what might be sapping it. Once you’ve completed the test, engage in meaningful conversations exploring your shared traits and unique distinctions. What revelations did you unearth about your team dynamics?
Incorporating these strategies into your interactions will deepen your understanding of others and amplify collaboration, nurture authentic connections, and pave the way for collective growth. Remember, the true strength of any team lies in its ability to honor and harness each team member’s unique drivers. So, embrace the challenge, adapt, and watch how these differences catalyze remarkable transformations in your work and personal life.