I am an idea man. My mind is programmed to constantly be interpreting the world around me and generating new ideas from seemingly unrelated concepts (I.e. I think about weird combinations of things to draw inspiration from). Not all my ideas are practical or interesting to me, but many times they hold great value for those in other businesses. The creative process is the most valuable part of my non-stop idea factory of a mind. For years I had assumed this skill was a bad thing. I had been taught that you needed to find one thing and stick to it until the end. This was true for me in certain areas (I.e. my overall career path), but in my day to day people would get bored by my relentless pursuit of new ideas and information. This idea craze I had been in all my life was holding me back or so I thought…
The Big Shift
…Recently my wife was in a training for her company’s Six Sigma (Black Belt Program), which teaches leadership skills, management principles, and process excellence tools that the individual is required to use to save the company $1M through improving a major process. Now why did I explain all that? I did so because my life changed from one conversation with my wife on what she learned in her class. This is a person I had been with for over a decade whom I have had many life changing experiences with, but never expected to have such a powerful and earth shattering conversation that would change me to my core.
What was so special about this conversation? It had to do with learning profound insights about individual behaviors, management styles, and personality types. She was able to explain these concepts to me in an hour in such an amazing way that I now was armed with new tools to understand my own abilities, shortcomings, and interactions with others. How you ask? Well for starters, I had been viewing my passion for ideas as a bad thing. I had thought it was something that needed to be hidden as others can be off put by my tendency to make decisions and move onto new issues/solutions quickly. Instead she made me realize that my dominant trait in most cases is what is called a Plant. This is the idea person on a team that offers many solutions to overcome obstacles and is not afraid to throw out new solutions to problems even if they may be perceived as being dumb.
Know Your Personality Traits
She also made me realize that there are other traits required on a team and that people can have more than one trait. These traits can also change depending on the team and group dynamic. For example I can tend to be a shaper (the engineering side of me) when I am on a team with other Idea people. Shapers are individuals who drive action, push to get things done, and add boundaries to keep the team on task. They can sometimes be viewed as the NO person as they are trying to keep people on task. These individuals are not always well liked as it can rub people the wrong way when they push to assign and complete tasks to get the job done. This is an odd combination as I can vary between the idea creator and the idea squasher depending on what the team needs.
These same skills apply to a family dynamic outside of work. Have you ever seen the guy who is so driven inside work, but then needs to be pushed to get things done at home? That guy is me! This is because my wife has the skills and traits that I rely on subconsciously at home.
What is the point?
Now why is all this important? Because with this newfound information you are empowered to create the perfect team. If you know your dominant trait you can assemble a team that complements you (with their skills, not on your outfit!). This means you will create a better product, service, company, family, etc. You can also be aware of what skills are required for you to succeed in a role. If you are aware of all the traits you can then identify them in others and learn the best way to resolve conflict with those individuals or inspire them to perform at a higher level.
Remember that the goal of all of this is to learn about people and how to get the best out of people to help them grow. This is a mutually beneficial effort because by empowering your employees or coworkers you are in turn going to receive higher quality work and higher engagement from that person.
If you had questions or are interested in one on one coaching to uncover the potential profit potential in your business, please contact me via email at Keith *at* SimpleMediaMarketing.com or by tweeting me @MrSimpleMedia