By Skot Waldron
See if you can identify these personalities from your last meeting.
First, there’s the person that doesn’t say anything for fear of rocking the boat or offending someone.
Then, there’s the person that always wants to do things differently and “shake it up” a little, but has trouble selling ideas because no one understands what they are talking about.
There’s the person that asks a million questions and seems to be the “downer” always telling us why something won’t work.
There’s the person that just wants everyone to work together and collaborate, but gets offended easily when their ideas aren’t executed.
Lastly, there’s the person that dominates the entire meeting and then shoots down anyone that challenges their ideas.
If we don't take the time to understand the “why” behind each one of these personalities, we are going to continue having ineffective meetings, decreased trust, diminished morale, and lack of productivity.
I’d like to introduce you to the 5 Voices. Understanding this simple framework will change your future meetings.
News Flash! Not everyone thinks or wants to be led like you. I know, surprising, right?
People want to feel valued, heard, and understood in every environment. So, how do you know which team members want to be led in which way? First, seek to understand yourself, then seek to understand others. The way you communicate will lead to building or destroying your workplace culture.
Champions of people, relational harmony, and values. Quiet voices who undervalue their contributions to the team. You need to draw them into conversations.
Champions of future ideas, innovation, and organizational integrity. With a lot going on upstairs, they may struggle to communicate their ideas effectively.
Champions of due diligence, resources, and efficient systems and processes. Guardians can be right in what they say, but wrong in how they say it. They may also struggle to see the value in social networking and conversation that seems to “waste time.”
Champions of relational networks, collaboration, and effective communication. Connectors can be very inspirational and will always push us to be better, but they can take critique or criticism personally.
Champions of strategic vision, results, and problem-solving. Pioneers are driven to win the war, not the battle. They are very competent but can be dismissive (to put it lightly) of those they see as incompetent or that jeopardize the chance of success.
Now, ready for some rules of engagement for your next meeting?
As a general rule, the quietest voices go first. That means we want to hear from nurturers first. Then, creatives, guardians, connectors, and finally, the pioneers. It’s going to be difficult for the connectors and pioneers to be patient, but that is generally what’s needed in order for everyone to feel heard.
What the team wants from you: To hear your honest opinion and what you really think.
What the team promises in return: To be considerate with how they bring critique, considering others, and helping you feel safe to share your ideas.
What the team wants from you: Dream big and share your ideas with everyone. The idea doesn’t have to be perfect.
What the team promises in return: Ask clarifying questions to really understand what a creative is saying.
What the team wants from you: Do your due diligence and keep asking the difficult questions, but try to limit the number.
What the team promises in return: To stay engaged with your questions for as long as we can.
What the team wants from you: Sell your ideas as passionately as you can and continue to push for collaboration.
What the team promises in return: To challenge your ideas but understand they don’t intend for it to be personal.
What the team wants from you: They need your strategic insights but beware of the strength of your critique. Listen to everyone else’s view first otherwise, others will struggle to challenge it.
What the team promises in return: To put on their body armor and provide real challenge.
As you can tell, each one of these voices will need to be led differently. I want you to stick to the platinum rule. The Golden Rule says “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” The Platinum Rule states, “Do unto others as they would want to be done to them.” Lead them how they need to be led, not how you think they need to be led.
Want to find out your Voice? Take the free 5 Voices Assessment at www.giant.tv.
We want to hear from you!
What is your voice and will you share this assessment with your team?