Meet Jake. At our small team daily stand-ups, Jake has more ideas than anyone else and he feels the need to share them all at every meeting. Although, I must admit, Jake is the only team member who is concerned that everyone gets a chance to contribute. Yet, at the large group meetings, he is reflective and quiet and is very intent on listening. When he is asked a question, Jake takes a long time to respond. Jake tries to be friends with everybody and sweet talks the boss, in my opinion. Thriving on consensus, Jake needs to know all the opinions before we make any decision at all. He takes everything personally! The core ethical values of the organization are the rationale Jakes relies on for drawing conclusions. We must be in alignment with them! He communicates well, but it’s feeling based, not grounded in best practices or expert thinking. And team building is his absolute favorite.
Sound like a teammate of yours? What I described is Jake’s learning style, how Jake prefers to take in and process new information. Learning styles are often mis-labeled as personalities. That is how learning can breed team conflict. We see things as personal, not a function of brain-wired learning.
Let’s get back to Jake. Jake is a reflective, feeling learner. He functions more comfortably in small groups, and shows his deep need to be watchful and take it all in. “Sweet talking” the boss has no hidden agenda. It’s Jake’s way of connecting and creating harmony, similar to Jake’s desire to reach consensus with team decisions. Team building is essential to build trust on a team, and Jake brings that voice to the table. Trust is not a :touchy-feely” attribute, it is a mathmatically proven equation to produce better results in the business world.
As for Jake’s need to ground all things in feelings rather than fact…well, that is simply an example of effectiveness striving to balance efficiency.
Next blog, we will meet team members who are also reflective in communicating and learning. However, they are trenched in the facts instead of the feelings.
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