Over the years of ever-changing work culture, evolving business trends and personality types; harnessing group and team efforts seems to be a major concern for the leaders today. „Business Metrics‟ no longer define the success of an organization alone, and thus „People Metrics‟ drives overall productivity and growth of the business.
Social Style consists of predictive patterns of behavior and action in order to determine personality traits as individuals and group them accordingly. The Social Styles theory had been originated by David Merrill, who determined the two basic scales for identification of personality type, namely- „assertiveness‟ and„responsiveness‟ resulting to be the four-quadrant model of Social Styles.
“Managers who consistently accomplish a lot are notably inconsistent in their manner of attacking problems and approaching situations. They continually change their focus, priorities, behavior patterns and their own leadership styles based on with whom they interact” as stated under the Harvard Business Review, 2008.
Understanding these four broad personality traits and aligning the organizational team accordingly eases work allocation and group formation by improving interpersonal communication and relationships, recognizing each style under stress and flexing to their style preferences.
While we work with behaviorally diverged workforce, we observe that one-third of the people work differently when in group, are more adaptable and motivated, manage time and tasks differently from the rest. These set of people balance between leadership and versatility. To determine a person‟s social style in particular, it is advised to take up the Merrill & Reid‟s Social Style Assessment questionnaire analysis see HERE. Upon the identification of a person‟s social style, one can be categorized into one or more of the four types- Driver, Analytical, Amiable, and Expressive.
They are generally faster paced who tend to make efforts for setting the pace for others by trying to direct others irrespective of their position, work in the present timeframe, goal-oriented, disciplined and not much concerned about value in relationships and highly focus on the „Action‟ component. They tend to make direct-eye contact, rigid in their body posture and have control over their facial expressions.
They aim at results and their orientation being action, they shall practice more of listening. Donald Trump possesses the skills of this style.
Slower by their pace, they make efforts to relate to the pace that has already been set up, easy at coping with change and work in the present timeframe. They tend to show supportive action and avoid conflicts. Being people-oriented they focus more on opinions rather than data or facts, thus have a casual body posture with an animated-expression.
In the need of harmony, under the orientation of relationships they shall learn to speak up. Paul McCartney is a fine example of this style.
Faster by their pace, these people make efforts to get involved in groups, enthusiastic and less concerned on going by the routine. Working more in the future timeframe, they tend to act impulsively and avoid isolation. Highly idea- oriented they seem friendly and approachable who go by opinions and stories rather than facts and figures. They make direct eye-contact while have their body posture relaxed with animated expressions.
They wish to be recognized, perceived by spontaneity yet shall work upon restraining. Barack Obama truly depicts this style well.
People under this type are more likely to go slower paced yet making efforts on organizing their work, not as much concerned for relationships and work in a historical timeframe. They appear too cautious while making decisions and taking actions and tend to avoid any sort of personal involvement and emotional attachment. More of being task-oriented, they prefer to be accurate and precise in their approach. Thus they neither make direct eye-contact nor do they control their facial expressions.
Demanding accuracy always, they are labeled as „thinkers‟ and thus shall quicken up their decision-making. Bill Gates is popularly classified under this style.
Here‟s a humorous instance of each reacting while getting on an elevator-
Striking a balance between persons belonging to these four styles within in a team poses a great challenge to a leader but ultimately pays off ripped fruits as a result of adequately coordinated, efficient and effective teamwork where a person from each style compliments the skills of their counterparts harnessing optimum productivity.
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