I had a great conversation with a pastor in California about how to deal with a lead pastor whose personality style isn’t the same as yours.
It’s a great question, and truthfully, one most of us deal with. You’re not likely to work for someone with the same personality style you have. While a lot of leaders hire people like them, there’s still enough of a separation that each person’s style is different. Therefore, you need to discover the best way to work with one another. If both are well versed in personality styles and lean in each other’s direction, it’s not as hard. But when they’re not, try this:
- Get to know you – You have to first get to know you! If you don’t understand yourself, you can’t really understand why you act, react and process the way you do. And the key to giving information is understanding how you receive information. Once you know this, you can adjust your style to better communicate with others — not changing who you are, just adjusting how you communicate.
- Get to know your leader – A conversation takes two people…for most of us at least. So you need to understand the personality of the person you’re communicating with. How do they give and receive information? At what speed do they process? Do they have tendency to gather all the available information, or do they leave out the details?
- Get to writing – As you learn the strengths and weaknesses of the person you are communicating with, you can identify the areas that will either help or hurt you. In other words, if you are a high C personality, you need details, and that makes working with a high I personality difficult. They will bring excitement, enthusiasm and motivation, but it’s also possible they will leave out some details that you consider vital. So make a list of the things you need from this person every time you communicate with them. Then check the list off as you go.
- Get to resolve – Be sure to replay the conversation in your mind and ask yourself if you received all the information necessary for you to be successful. If not, address those points quickly.
As you do this you will set yourself up for success. But you should also work to convince your leader of the need to know their own personality style. Once they understand themselves, they can do a lot of the necessary work.
Question: How have you made adjustments to get what you need from present or past leaders?
- The Missing Link To Your Communication (ChrisLoCurto.com)
- 7 Simple Ways To Foster Great Communication On Your Team
- 5 Essential Leadership Questions