skills

MBTI Bite: Three Tips for Working with P's

Perceiver Many of the P’s (Perceivers in Myers-Briggs) I know have a duality about them.  On the one hand, they feel like they are a mess: they can’t seem to “get organized” or finish what they start.  On the other hand, when they are in their element and have room to just be, they can chill or be the life of the party.  They love that part of themselves, and those of us who are J’s (Judgers) love watching it. (Okay, to be completely real, we are envious of it.)

The P’s whom I have coached in corporate America mistakenly believe they need to hide their "P qualities” for fear that those qualities will hold them back from climbing as high as they desire.  However, nothing could be further from the truth.  They actually need to leverage those qualities, and we who are J’s can help them.

If you are working with a P, there are three tips for drawing out the best in them.

  1. Set plenty of mini-deadlines ahead of the true deadline – P’s tend to work in bursts.  A burst magically appears about an hour before the deadline is due.  The amount of creativity which P’s show and the work they get done in that last hour is amazing.  J’s who are working with P’s or managing them often feel like the P’s are driving them nuts.  They wish P’s were more methodical.  If you are collaborating with a P, break down the project into multiple parts, then set clear and hard deadlines for each of the parts.  Make sure that you give yourself enough time at the end to refine the work that is being completed because P’s often wish they had “a little more time” to correct some of the pieces.  By leaving time to refine, you can both work on sharpening it.  You will appreciate the ingenuity a P brings to each part of the project.
  2. Don’t suffocate them with a rigid schedule – J’s like to be scheduled.  P’s like to be open-ended.  Many companies I work with have so many meetings that a P tends to feel suffocated.  The calendar is full, which works against their natural desire to be flexible.  If you want a P in a meeting, please make sure the meeting is essential.  All of us need space to think, plan, and review.  P’s also need open-ended space, where they can draw out their gifts for the good of all.  Granted, the higher they climb, the harder it will be to find open-ended space.  However, I would encourage P’s to carve out at least a two-hour, non-negotiated block in their week for free thinking.  Ideally it should be more, but even with that much, they will accomplish so much more than without it.
  3. Feed P’s with knowledge, wisdom and tips and watch them brilliantly mix and match them at the right moments – P’s know how to wing it.  The sharp ones are able to pull from multiple sources in order to wing it well.  They can adjust on the fly and come up with brilliant ideas that seem so well-thought-out, you would think they had been thinking on it for hours.  What P’s often need in order to nail this gift is more knowledge, wisdom, and tips.  If they are N’s (iNtuitives), they could accomplish this through reading the first and last paragraphs of an article and scanning the rest.  If they are S’s (Sensors), they typically they want details.  I would suggest they become thought leaders in the most essential part of their role.  If they set aside even 30 minutes per day to accumulate more knowledge, wisdom and tips, you will see it pay off dividends in meetings where their wing-it skills are praised.

All personality types are equal.  None are better than the others. We need to leverage each other’s natural gifts in order to accomplish the greater good.

Chew on This: How do you need to adjust for the P’s who are on your team?

Ryan C. Bailey is an Executive Coach who helps business leaders develop in-demand high performing teams.

7 Steps to Becoming a Better Listener

Become a Better Listener Have you ever had someone really listen to you?  I don’t mean half-heartedly listening, but rather when someone truly wants to understand what you are saying, what you are not saying, and captures your perception better than you expressed it.

The first time I remember experiencing this type of listening was a tremendous experience.  The professor was fully present with me.  It felt like I was the only one that mattered to her even though she had a class to start lecturing.  In just a couple of minutes I felt valued, understood, and I felt important.  I was energized by the exchange.  I felt confident.  I knew I was trusted.  I became fully engaged and was grateful.  That led to me wanting to make her proud and to really excel in her class.

Have you ever had someone who you could tell wasn’t fully listening to you, but was only listening to reply to you?  Of course you have.  This is the norm.  At times when I am with someone who is listening to reply, I feel like they value time or being right more than me.  I often feel like the person doesn’t really get what I am saying or get me.  This usually leads to an increase in misunderstanding, which then leads to a lot of wasted time.  Sometimes these misunderstandings lead to conflict, lingering resentments, and lower engagement.

You can supercharge your team by just becoming a better listener.

So how do we truly listen to understand?  When a direct report speaks to you:

  1. Rephrase what you have heard them say or what they did not say.  Ask “Am I off?” Once they are done speaking, don’t reply yet.  Instead capture what they said in a single sentence and then follow it with the phrase, “Am I off?”  So, one way of saying this is: “Jack, let me make sure I understand what you have been saying.  You have shared....  Am I off?”
  2. Listen for what is not being said.  Ask them what the repeated phrases mean to them.  Also, look out for something they are they afraid to acknowledge or say.  Ask them about that, “It seems like you are struggling with _________.  Am I off?”  If you are wrong, the “Am I off?" phrase helps them to know that you are really trying to understand them.
  3. Turn on empathy. Empathy fosters connection.  It also leads to you understanding them better.  This helps you to really capture what they are perceiving.
  4. Turn on your curiosity.  When we become curious, we allow ourselves to fully focus on what they have to say.  Set the goal to being able to capture their perception and give it back to them before you reply.  This shows them that you value them.
  5. Listen for what is said. What words or phrases do they repeat?
  6. Ask clarifying questions to make sure that you really want to get what they are sharing with you. If they share something that isn’t really clear, ask them about it.
  7. Don’t reply until you have heard them say something to the effect of “You get me.”  Often you will know that they felt heard when you see them smile.

Chew On This: What benefits would you gain by becoming a better listener?

 

If you have any questions feel free to email me at  ryan@ryancbailey.com or call (404) 421-8120.

 

Ryan C. Bailey is an Executive Coach who helps business leaders develop in-demand high performing teams.

Leadership: What's Personality Got To Do With It?

Personality Affects Leadership How well do you know your employees?  Do you get how they are wired?  If you understood how they were wired, how would it impact the way they serve one another, your clients, the company as a whole?

As businesses grow, you as a leader cannot do everything on your own.  You must delegate to other people, which requires working with various personality types.  This can be a good thing.  Hopefully those who report to you have a variety of personality types that can benefit the company.  The more diverse the personality types, the better; they can catch blind spots, they have a wide variety of strengths benefiting the company, and more growth can happen for all.

However, different personality types can also present challenges.  For example, there can be more conflict than you are comfortable with as people misunderstand why other personality types communicate the way they do or work the way they do.  Some can seem frustrated or stressed by an assignment while others are energized by the same assignment.

Most leaders use the one style they feel most comfortable using or the style they believe will be most effective.  Some employees respond and others don’t. This leads to spending time and energy trying to bring up those who are lagging or to higher turnover in the hopes of finding more motivated employees.  Without realizing it, these leaders may be working harder than they need to be.

Quick Fix to Help Understand Differing Personalities

Want a simple fix that really works?

Administer the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).  It is the most-used assessment across the globe with over 2 million taking it every year.  It only takes ten minutes to complete, yet the results are powerfully long lasting.

You will gain insight and understanding on how each of your employees is wired and you will quickly learn:

  • How to work successfully with each of your employees
  • How to motivate them
  • How to avoid frustrating them
  • What pitfalls they need to work on
  • What the warning signs are when they are stressed out
  • What they look like when their stress has reached a chronic level

Think of how this would impact your leadership.  You would know how to adjust your style to empower those who work with you.

Using Myer-Briggs Personality Test in Hiring Process

Now let’s take it a step further.  What if you used this as part of your hiring process?  Among the other things you do to determine if someone is a good fit, the MBTI can also help you find the right personality type for the current needs of your company.

Leadership is about bringing different personalities to work successfully together to reach a vision.  When leaders understand how those different personalities are wired, they are more than well on their way to achieving their greatest goals with less effort than they have done so in the past.

Chew On This: How would knowing the way each of your employees is wired impact 2016?
 How would each of them knowing how the others are wired impact your company?

If you have any questions feel free to email me at  ryan@ryancbailey.com or call (404) 421-8120.

Ryan C. Bailey is an Executive Coach who helps business leaders develop in-demand high performing teams.

IQ vs. EQ: The Intelligence Battle

EQ vs IQ

For many years, IQ has been praised as a determining factor of success. More intelligent people have a higher capacity for innovation and efficiency. One might assume that more intelligent individuals would also be more successful. However, recent research found otherwise. Dr. Travis Bradberry found that people with average IQ's outperform those with the highest IQ's 70% of the time. What could this mean? If IQ is not the indicator of success, then what is?

One could argue the answer is emotional intelligence (EQ). If book smarts aren’t getting you there, then maybe the ticket is a little more people skills. Dr. Bradberry’s research demonstrated emotional intelligence as the strongest predictor of performance, contributing a full 58% of success in all types of jobs. Am I arguing that IQ is irrelevant? Absolutely not. A combination of IQ and EQ is a great formula for success. Intelligence of all forms is necessary to our world, it’s function and it’s growth. Which is why a well-rounded intelligence is needed- so that we can be holistically effective.

Now you may be asking, what exactly is emotional intelligence? It’s a difficult question to answer, because it is one of the more abstract aspects of our behavior. It is complex and somewhat intangible. We can start by describing some of the skills that emotional intelligence is comprised of.

  • Leadership
  • Social Skills
  • Customer Service
  • Time Management
  • Empathy
  • Management
  • Presenting and Communications Skills
  • Relationships
  • Decision Making

These skills are all similar in that they are not subjects taught in school. They are more practical than they are academic. Emotional intelligence is essentially the ability to understand and work well with people. These talents are critical to business and leadership.

The good news is that you can develop the areas where you are weak. It’s true that emotional intelligence comes more naturally to some than others, but just like any other skill they can be learned. Practice makes perfect right? The same is true for emotional intelligence. There are actually synapses in your brain that connect when you exercise a skill. Rehearse it enough, and it becomes second nature!

What skill do you need to work on? How could it impact your leadership and your business?

It's Not You, It's Me (And Other Management Skills)

Management Skills

A lot of times, it’s easy for managers to blame the downfalls of the company and its work environment on the fault of the employees they are managing. Their thoughts are full of ‘if only’s and ‘should have’s.

“If only my employees were more motivated.”

“This employee should have worked harder for a better outcome.”

But what if the problem isn’t your employees? What if the root of the problem is actually you?

The Manager Controls the Outcome

It’s easy to play the blame game when the outcome depends on the performance of others. However, our role as leaders is to manage our employees in such a way that the team reaches its goals together. It is the responsibility of the manager to ensure success. This can be accomplished in a number of ways, and it will depend on the unique structure and environment of your workplace and employees. Your behavior today will drive tomorrow’s results. Regardless of present circumstances, you can make changes now as management that will change the future outcomes of your organization.

Communication is Key

If you expect specific results, you must be able to communicate those expectations to your employees. When you’re unhappy in a relationship, you must communicate the changes that need to happen for the relationship to succeed. Otherwise, the relationship will continue on as it is.

Just as a football team can’t play well if the coach never calls the play, your employees can’t perform if you don’t communicate the game plan. Seeing the big picture of where you are taking the company may be the push your employees need to make a change. It is hard to move forward with no direction. Perspective will give your employees new insight and reduce your frustration as a manager.

We’re All in This Together

Don’t allow yourself to get into the habit of a “me vs. them” mentality with your employees. If you are just as liable for the performance of your company as they are, then you should be in this together. You are their accountability, and they are yours. You can’t do it without them, and vice versa. So don’t make it a competition between you and them. You’re on the same team, partners in the same relationship, hopefully working toward the same goals. Maybe it’s time you get in the game alongside them.

 

Ryan C. Bailey is an Executive Coach who helps business leaders develop in-demand high performing teams.