You’ve probably heard of the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have other do to you. Basically, the Golden Rule tells you to treat people the way that you’d like to be treated. There’s a problem, though.
What if people don’t want to be treated like you?
Every individual is just that–an individual. That means that applying the same experience, be it eLearning, management, or just daily interactions, to everyone you work with may be a disservice to different people. You might think you’re applying to Golden Rule, but learners and colleagues are wishing you’d treat them differently.
Perhaps the Golden Rule isn’t to treat people the way you’d like to be treated, but to treat people the way they want to be treated.
In order to achieve this, it’s important to understand the four interaction styles. Most–if not all–the people you come in contact with can fit into one of the four following categories, allowing you to toggle the way you work, talk, and interact with them.
An analytical person operates with facts and logic, rather than ideas and imagination. They want hard numbers, and won’t really make a move until the payoff is absolutely sure. Rather than come up with ideas, the analytical prefer to ask questions and form hypotheses, acting in a cautious and careful way. When interacting with an analytical type, it’s important to bring hard facts and clear numbers to support your ideas.
The person who is all about results can be considered a driver. Drivers make quick decisions and thrive on fast environments and tons of competition. They’re definitely considered extroverts and are the ones who take action. Because of this, working with drivers means to be able to show results and execute quickly–or risk getting steamrolled along the way.
There are people that can be considered real team players. Whether it’s making sure everyone’s included or participating in conflict management, the amiable type prefers to be a peacemaker. Amiable workers know that everyone does their best when relying on and working with one another, so they make great team leaders. They are sometimes quiet, but endlessly patient, so they operate best where they can solve problems and keep everyone on track.
Sometimes known as the dreamers of the interactive styles, the expressives are those who love to brainstorm, come up with new ideas, and look at the big picture. And, not only do they get excited about their lofty projects, they’re able to get other people excited about new ideas, too. This means expressive types and invaluable as motivators and taking initiative to start something new.
Getting to know your own interaction type is just as important as getting to know the types of those you work with. Once you understand how you prefer to interact with your team, you can adjust your style to treat people the way they want to be treated–whether or not it’s the same as your preferences.
Let us know which interaction style you most relate to in the comments below.