Let’s be bluntly honest: you probably know one or more people you don’t particularly like. Your neighbor Rita may be too loud and curious for your liking. It could be that Uncle George is too picky and picky. Or, maybe, the chatty guy at the bus stop just isn’t giving you good vibes.
Chances are, there is someone in your workplace who you have trouble connecting and communicating with. By collaborating and rowing in unison towards the same goal, any form of discord can slow down the team’s progress on a task. Additionally, at the end of a meeting, you may feel frustrated with a colleague who has not cooperated the way you would have liked.
In the end, talking and working with “idiots” is a challenge. By “idiots” we do not mean a stupid or stupid person. In the eyes of Thomas Erikson, Swedish author and lecturer, an “idiot” is simply an individual who has a different behavioral profile and, therefore, a different communication style. So that you can better understand their complex personalities, it is also crucial to familiarize yourself with your own traits.
This article will discuss how learning more about yourself can both improve your abilities as a leader and really boost your team’s development. Taking inspiration from Erikson’s bestseller ‘Surrounded by Idiots’, we’ll find out how you can better connect with your staff and empower your employees.
Get to know your workers
Humans are not monothematic robots. Instead, each person has their own unique and complex character.
In the office, employees approach and manage tasks in their own way. Some will follow all the rules to the letter, glued to their laptop from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Others will rather go a little easier, alternating work with a playful conversation, even on the busiest days. As a boss, depending on your personality, you will prefer one or the other type of employee. Are you an assertive and rigorous leader? Or are you more people-oriented, prioritizing the well-being of your staff rather than completing tasks on time?
There is no right or wrong answer. We all have our own way of doing business. But shaping the way you interact with your employees can do wonders for your staff’s confidence and self-esteem.
Erikson classifies human behavior into four different colors: red, yellow, green, and blue. In short, each color encompasses a range of components that ultimately shape an individual’s behavior. By understanding what each color represents and how it shapes employee personalities, you can learn to engage and manage your workers in a way that truly values their qualities. Here’s a quick summary:
- Red – A person with significant red strokes tends to be ambitious, straightforward, determined, goal-oriented, opinionated, controlling, and quite impatient. When addressing a Rouge you have to be frank, honest, and argumentative – they don’t like it when someone speaks evasively or sidesteps a point. To motivate them, give them a demanding task rather than a tedious and mundane task. If they are involved in a project, they will thrive in a command post – so be sure to take that into account!
- Yellow – Yellows love company and being around people. Therefore, they strive to always cooperate and involve people in missions. They also tend to be communicative, persuasive, outgoing, adaptable and with their heads in the clouds. Be open and friendly with the yolks – laugh at their jokes and start one in yourself. Self-employment is not their strong suit as they can be a bit disorganized and don’t like isolation.
- Green – A green person is generally calm, supportive, caring, kind, cautious, and somewhat hesitant. They are not big fans of sudden changes and would rather listen than talk. This is because they don’t necessarily want to be the center of attention and feel more comfortable in individual sessions than in group meetings. Make sure to praise them every now and then for their good work – if you criticize them, make it clear that it’s nothing personal, as they tend to have sensitive egos.
- Blue – Finally, people with significant blue traits are often very well organized, analytical, logical and quite reserved. They tend to follow the rules and don’t care too much about bonding with other coworkers. When you assign them a task, it’s important that you explain everything to them meticulously – they like to be aware of every detail. Since blues are usually perfectionists, be sure to give them plenty of time to complete their jobs – tight deadlines don’t suit them well.
Discover your own traits
With an identity kit of your employees at your fingertips, it’s time to take a look at how you can both learn more about your own personality and develop your skills as a leader. Here are a few tips :
- Take a personality test – Just like your employees and all other humans on the planet, you also have your own character traits. Why not discover your true character by taking a personality test? There are many options available online. Powerful and sophisticated tests might not come for free, but they will certainly give you substantial and useful insight into your inner self.
- Work on your weaknesses – By reading your personality report, you can spot specific traits that you can identify as weaknesses. This is not a bad thing, rather, weaknesses provide a great opportunity to develop your character and strengthen your personality.
- Improve communication – Are you a tad impulsive and too direct? If you are giving feedback to your sensitive Green employee, tailor your language to their needs – try to be more sensitive and considerate. Are you a bit unstructured in your communication? Making an effort to be more focused and precise will benefit your Blue colleague. Ultimately, these expedients will help you empower your staff, improving both their productivity and the efficiency of your team as a whole.
- Encourage and focus on the staff – Once you’ve identified your strong traits, be sure to make them available to your workers. Are you a caring and outgoing person by nature? So don’t play the role of the big, scary boss! By putting your employees at ease and focusing on their well-being, you will create a thriving and productive environment that no one will ever want to leave. Not to mention that nurturing your strong facets will advance your personal development exponentially.
Leading a team of people, each with their own unique traits and characters, is no easy task. By identifying your strongest assets and understanding the personalities of your staff, however, you can really increase the performance of your colleagues.
So what do you think? Will you get to know your employees better in the future?