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How is your Working Style affecting performance?

By | David Klaasen | Director @ Talent4Performance | Strategic Organisation and People Development

Is your working environment lowering the productivity of your people? Is your personal preference getting in the way of others? Our working traits and preferences can have a profound effect on our productivity and if the environment doesn’t match our needs we can get stressed and de-motivated. Yet there are often some simple solutions.

One of the things I love about snorkelling and scuba diving is getting up close and observing all the tropical fish and their behaviour. There is such a vast variety, so many different shapes, sizes, colours and social patterns. We often tend to think of fish as social creatures that congregate in large ‘schools’ and while this is the case for some species like Yellow Snappers and Neon Fusiliers in particular there are also many solitary ones who prefer to swim alone like Napoleon Wrasse or Titan Trigger Fish.

The three styles

It is also interesting to notice these social tendencies and preferences in people. In a study of people at work using the Language and Behavioural Profile (LAB Profile), Roger Bailey found 20% of people prefer to beIndependent; they are most productive when they are working alone and fully responsible for achieving the results. Another 20% prefer to be Cooperative by sharing responsibility and are most productive when they have others to work with. The remaining 60% have a preference for being in Proximity with others; they want to be in charge of achieving results but like having others around as long as everyone is clear about who is responsible for what.

A personal example

My wife Pam and I each run our own business and sometimes we both work from home at the same time. I like to have the door open with music playing and I’m frequently on the phone making or receiving calls from clients, I enjoy and thrive on all the interaction. Pam prefers to have her office door closed and dislikes being interrupted – it jars her concentration and makes her less productive. Earlier on in our relationship, before I became a qualified LAB Profile consultant, I took it very personally when Pam would respond to my enthusiastic interruptions with a deep sigh or a very brief and clipped tone.

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