Tue, Oct 16, 2012
What do you do when your boss acts like Spock when you’re on the clock? Spock is the linear, logical, left-brained Star Trek character likely used as the model for Sheldon on “The Big Bang Theory.” Both analyze everything and struggle to show emotion. For an office extrovert, this kind of communication is like a foreign language. Fear not, expressive beings, here are three practices to use with your more analytical boss. Use them and you’ll “live long and prosper.”
Those who are more analytical in nature, tend not to communicate with their face and hands. They are not wildly expressive talkers and the words they utter are well thought out before they’re expressed. Listen to their words and avoid the misinterpretation of a furrowed brow or seemingly serious expression. There usually isn’t anything wrong and they are almost always thinking. Expect them to be serious, thinking on the right way to say or do nearly anything and you won’t be disappointed.
The more analytically minded thoughtful processors of each idea and direction need more time to process than those driven by action. This preference, typically referred to as Organizers in the CORE Profile®, like to gather their thoughts, seek out the right way to approach an issue, and accumulate all the information needed before diving into action. The more stress they are under, the more time they’ll need and the less they’ll trust the data they’re getting. Extreme stress will result in analysis paralysis words like “no one’s going to get this right, so I’ll just do it myself”. Give them time and space to think and their answer will be far more detailed than you even requested. When you understand their nature, and value how they think, you can then share a bit of humor about the detailed directions they give. As the old saying goes, when they begin to tell you the history of that watch and how it was built, you can nod and smile knowing they’ll eventually get to the question of “What time is it?”
One of the gifts of those who analyze before they implement, is that of being able to see problems and potential failures long before they happen. They are highly motivated by “getting it right” and as a result, they’re able to spot quickly how it will go wrong. They are not being critical to be hurtful or negative, but rather with the intent of helping you make it right. From pointing out how you share information in a meeting, to how you calculated the figures, to how you put away dishes in the break room, Organizer preferences have a right way to do just about everything. It may not be right for you, but if you can avoid the temptation to take their direction personally and simply see it as their way of sharing information intended to be helpful, you’ll be fascinated by their level of detail instead of frustrated at their inclination to share.
Monica Wofford, CSP is a CEO and leadership development expert who trains and coaches managers who’ve been promoted, but may not have been prepared. She is the author of Contagious Leadership and Make Difficult People Disappear and may be reached via www.ContagiousCompanies.com.