Difference ways of relating at work
In part 4 of this series we looked at Sam’s perceptual filters for tackling tasks and getting things done at work – his need for procedures, tangible things and details.
Now let’s decode the filters Sam’s boss Roger uses to achieve results at work – his passion for options and preference for working with general concepts rather than concrete details. Once again think of decoding the subtext of language and other unconscious behaviours. (See part 4.)
Decoding non-verbal behaviour
Roger usually drives with one hand on the steering wheel and a blackberry device in the other. At the same time he’ll be carrying on a conversation using one of his manycell phones. Hands-free, of course. On the scale of his career, he’s the consummate multi-tasker! Juggling several projects at once gives him the variety he craves and the freedom to enjoy it. And that’s a clue signaling Roger’s passion for spontaneity and creating options, choices, alternatives.
Another tip off
Taking Roger through a methodical discussion leading to a final decision is impossible. He jumps from topic to seemingly unconnected topic, interrupting the flow of conversation. Making leaps of logic and generally racing ahead to insightful conclusions.
No decision is ever final. He can change his mind and his plans in an instant, and numerous times. Yet Roger intuitively knows when ideas will jell. He makes brilliant connections because he thinks in not just big, but huge pictures.
In addition to options, those behaviour patterns signal a resistance to procedural activities and a preference for thinking in very general terms. (And Roger does prefer leaving the details to others.)
Decoding language – structure and process
The words Roger uses reveal more. He peppers his language with phrases like ‘creating alternatives,’ using ‘multiple approaches,’ having ‘the freedom to choose’ and keeping his ‘options open.’ He talks of ideas and concepts like ‘taking advantage of opportunities,’ ‘getting people on board’ and ‘high impact results.’ Intangible and general terms rather than concrete ‘things,’ you can see, hear, do and measure. And the details are conspicuous by their absence.
A mis-match of filters
Roger and Sam are polar opposites in the way they filter information and function at work. So it’s little wonder they find it less than easy to communicate. It also explains why Sam is struggling to fit the role Roger expects him to fill.
While there is no one right or best way to filter information, the key to motivation and productivity is to match people with jobs where core competencies and essential tasks fit their natural way of filtering information. They in turn will be able to function in ways that meet your criteria for success.