On a daily basis we are all placed in countless situations that require us to behave a certain way. As we mature, we receive both positive and negative feedback that helps shape who we are, but how do we know if the behaviors we are naturally drawn to are helping us to achieve our goals or somehow getting in our way?

The answer is simple, self-awareness. Self-awareness is a powerful gift that allows us to understand our personality, strengths, weaknesses, and motivating needs. Self-awareness also allows us to recognize that others around us may not view our behaviors the same way we do. When someone is self-aware, a door opens allowing them to see how their behaviors impact others and how simple modifications to these behaviors can lead to more successful outcomes.

Let’s take Jack, for example.  Jack is a highly successful manager who runs a very tight ship.  He expects his team to follow the rules and processes he puts in place and demands high quality work, delivered at what can sometimes feel like lightning speed.

Luckily for Jack, he has built a team that is mostly made up of individuals who are highly motivated by following “the book” to produce accurate work, fast. They have learned that if Jack doesn’t think a project is moving fast enough, he will light a fire to get the results when he wants them. They also know that Jack’s processes are the only processes and happily abide by them.

Unfortunately, Jack also has a few outliers on his team who become very flustered by his extreme haste and need for structure. Beth and Steve are also good employees, but they are much more methodical about their work and prefer to have time to ensure the high quality standards Jack demands are met. When Jack approaches Beth and Steve with a task, they are often left spinning and feeling paralyzed by the amount of information, process and deadlines that have just been dropped on them. Instead of being able to jump head first into the project, like Jack expects, Beth and Steve feel stressed and uncomfortable trying to weed through the task at hand. This makes Jack frustrated and leads him to believe that Beth and Steve cannot keep up with the rest of his high functioning team.

This belief may be true, but it may also be a situation easily solved by making small adjustments to the behaviors that come naturally to Jack.  If Jack can gain a better understanding of what drives and motivates Beth and Steve, Jack might be able to adjust his behaviors and produce the outcome he is looking for in the same amount of time, without causing these team members to panic.

By using a science-based behavioral assessment tool like The Predictive Index® (PI®), Jack could not only gain self-awareness and insight into what drives him, but he could also collect accurate, actionable data to help him understand the unique motivating needs and behavioral drives of each member of his team. This data could also offer Jack a better understanding of where differences exist and where slight adjustments to his natural behaviors could make a significant impact on performance.

By asking his team to complete a behavioral assessment, like the PI survey, Jack could see first-hand that while he and the majority of his team are driven to get things done, enjoy pressure and like to juggle multiple priorities, Beth and Steve actually prefer the opposite.  To feel most comfortable, they need to process information before starting a project and thrive when given time to methodically work at a relaxed pace.  In situations like this, making small adjustments to the way work is delegated to Beth and Steve could significantly improve communication, productivity and efficiency.  A simple change such as sending an email with the details, timeline and process before meeting could allow Beth and Steve the time they need to absorb the information, prepare questions and formulate a plan allowing them to spring into action after meeting.

About MCG Partners

MCG Partners a woman-owned, Greater Boston-based consultancy specializing in executive coaching, leadership development, talent management, and organizational development solutions. We help businesses optimize success through the entire management life-cycle. MCG Partners is also a Predictive Index® (PI®) certified partner.

To learn more about what MCG Partners or The Predictive Index® can do to help improve teamwork, communication, productivity and overall employee engagement, contact John Griffith at john.griffith@mcgpartners.com or visit mcgpartners.com.