I remember my mom saying this as my brother and I grew up together. Always "egging each other on," we were the kinds of brothers who pushed the envelope, walked the line, were always on the edge...You know, the kinds of guys that those sayings were built for.
Years later, and as I continue to show up in the world, I realize just how true THIS saying is: It takes two to tango.
One of the most amazing things about working with clients as an executive coach and professional mentor is getting to share my "as-objective-as-they-can-be" observations. Lately, I've spent several days working with different management teams, studying their professional workflow systems as well as their individual, personal effectiveness methods, systems and systems.
Before you read this, it might be worth it to create a "mind-map" or some other diagram of your immediate team. As you review each person, reflect on his or her styles, preferences, organizational strengths (and weaknesses). Most significantly, spend some time reviewing how you can work most effectively with them building from each person's natural and learned tendencies.
Over the past week, here are some of the things I've seen over and over again:
1) Some people need to touch it. Their organization processes and structures are built up around them as stacks of papers and files, in drawers of supplies and equipment, on shelves and in briefcases or backpacks. One suggestion: Separate these areas into TWO different areas - ACTION reminders and REFERENCE materials. Instead of fighting natural tendencies, the kinesthetic worker MUST be able to put their hands on it...Quickly, and efficiently.
2) Other people we work with need to hear it. The way they work, what they remember, and how they get things done has to do with the reminders they hear or tell to themselves. If you have people on your team who can hear and learn, you'll generally have more meetings with them, have to remind them what you asked face-to-face, and might get some extra interruptions from them coming by your office asking you if you have "just a minute." [We just published an article in a leadership journal on this one; let me know, I'll send you a copy!]
3) To keep this post a little shorter (than it could be!), I'll talk about the kind of folks (like me!) who need to write it to get it. This is the reason I like journaling, blogging, posting Twitter notes, adding to Facebook walls, etc. Personally, when I write it, it just seems to go in another way. Generally, when I learn something, practice with that thing, journal about it, then even write an article or two...I've got it! [By the way, many of you have heard this, but...That's the "gauntlet" any material I present in a seminar must go through before I share it with an audience.]
It DOES take two to tango, now, take a look at how you prefer to work, and map that to how the people around you prefer to get things done. If you really want to maximize this information, I'd recommend looking into some other topics like:
- Howard Gardner, he talked about learning modalities
- Marcus Buckingham, wrote about strengths at work
- Myers-Briggs, an informational personality assessment