In a well-balanced workplace, there is diversity of strengths.
- There are D-wired individuals who are drivers. They move swiftly, speak directly and in short sentences, and often use action words. Their focus is on results.
- There are I-wired individuals who also move fast, but different from their D-wired counterparts, their focus is usually on fun, creativity, and connecting with people.
- There are the S-wired individuals. Their focus is on comfort, harmony, and process. They move at a different speed than the others, yet when it comes to getting things done, they are those who make it happen. Their strengths are in details and efficiency.
- There are the C-wired individuals. These amazingly focused individuals can sit still for a long period of time – thinking – and then come up with the perfect solution to a complex problem. Once they have identified a solution, they can actually execute quickly, but they must first be accorded that all-important thinking time.
Problems arise when there is imbalance.
When an organization does not have a good representation of all four strengths, something breaks.
- If there are no D-wired individuals, results will be adversely impacted.
- If there are no I-wired individuals, there will be little innovation (and frankly, not a lot of fun in the workplace.)
- If there were no S-wired individuals, the work environment would be chaotic and inefficient.
- If there were no C-wired individuals, there would be a breakdown in quality and technology.
What does this mean?
While many judge business success based on results, the fact is, there is an entire supporting cast behind those results, and every part must be played well.
How can you create a team that plays well?
1. Get the right ratio.
Here’s a point many miss. In a successful operating scenario, the ratio of D’s and I’s to the S’s and C’s in a given workplace should be at least one to five. This is based on what it takes to actually DO the work determined by D-wired leader or the ideas generated by the I-wired leader.
The S’s and C’s create the systems, solutions, and processes to make these ideas and directives a reality – and the reality is, details take time. To expect otherwise is a source of stress to introverts and frustration to the extroverts.
If you as a D- or I-wired leader are expecting one individual to carry out all your ideas at the speed you relay them, this is an unrealistic expectation. But if you have a team, your initiatives can be spread across several individuals, and the details can be executed at a more acceptable speed for both.
2. Get the right players.
Have you ever noticed that gymnasts, football players, basketball players, cyclists, and such each have unique physiques geared to the functions they perform? Each is incredibly strong in their own right, yet they are different. You would never put a gymnast up against a linebacker, for instance. The results would be disastrous.
Yet, in the workplace, this is a frequent occurrence.
Employees are put in positions that simply do not fit them. Two things will happen as a result: (1) They will stress themselves to the point of injury or illness trying to adapt, and (2) They will not perform well, despite their best efforts.
As a leader, one of your main responsibilities is to place your players in the positions that fit them best – then equip them for success and let them do what they do best. You will be amazed at the results.
3. Get the right attitude.
There is strength in diversity. There is also inherent strife. Let’s face it, we really would like it if everyone worked like we do. If you’re an extrovert, you expect speed. If you’re an introvert, you expect peace. These do not naturally co-exist.
But they can.
If you train yourself and your team to recognize each person’s strengths and respect them, you will come to value the perspectives each brings to the table.
If you are thinking, “They are so slow! This should have been done YESTERDAY when I gave it to them,” stop and consider that they are doing the details that could prevent a future lawsuit or quality control issue. Be thankful they are thinking through and doing the details.
If you are thinking, “They move too fast! My plate is full, and they just unloaded the whole buffet on top of it…with an ASAP cherry on top,” stop and consider that they are giving it to you because they respect your ability to help them get it done. Ask yourself what can be done to spread the work across the team and get it done…or discuss priorities and realistic timelines with them so they know things are getting done efficiently and methodically. Then keep them updated as you progress.
As the CEO of Strength Leader Development, Deb Ingino is a highly sought-after international executive mentor, coach, trainer and speaker. Deb is well versed in global business operations and helps business leaders and their teams to discover and leverage their strengths, so they can create highly collaborative teams that deliver great results. With a refreshingly direct style, Deb helps leaders and their teams to deliver profitable results. Connect with Deb to learn more about her mentorship and coaching programs to equip you with advanced strategies to elevate your results.