Working Style

Working Style

Working Style Jonathan Poland

Working style refers to an individual’s preferred approach to performing their job and completing tasks. This can include factors such as the pace at which they work, their preferred method of communication, and their approach to problem-solving. Each person has their own unique working style, and it is important for organizations to take these differences into account in order to foster a productive and successful work environment.

Big picture thinking versus attention to detail.

  • Generalist: Thinks in first principles, challenges assumptions, systems thinking, design thinking, strategic thinking, dislikes repetition and seeks new challenges.
  • Specialist: Attention to detail, expert knowledge, diligent, able to remain productive with predicable work that isn’t necessarily challenging, accurate and precise.

Problem Solving
An employee’s fundamental approach to problem solving.

  • Proactive: Manages risks, pursues resilience and addresses the root cause of problems.
  • Reactive: Addresses the symptoms of problems, ignores risk and takes shortcuts that may be costly in future.

How an employee feels about change and risk taking.

  • Innovator: Seeks aggressive change, considers creative ideas and takes calculated risks.
  • Defender of the Status Quo: Seeks stability, values tradition, avoids risk, embraces conventional thinking, actively or passively resists change.

The amount of direction an employee requires to set goals, solve problems and make decisions.

  • Self-Directed: Shapes their role, finds work to do, sets goals, self-improves, handles problems, makes decisions, handles ambiguity, remains productive without direction, challenges the boss.
  • Follows Direction: Thrives in a command and control environment of clearly defined processes and procedures.

The degree to which an individual requires others to achieve productivity.

  • Collaborator: Views all work as social whereby talking is viewed as productive.
  • Independent: Most productive when thinking or concentrating on independent work.

Planning & Organization
The amount of planning and organization that goes into work.

  • Structured: Plans and organizes all work in advance. May plan for a long time before executing. Changes require more planning cycles.
  • Flexible: Delays decisions and planning to the last responsible moment, able to change direction quickly, work may be ad hoc.

The degree to which an individual can tolerate disagreement, criticism and debate.

  • Tolerance For Disagreement: High tolerance for disagreement, embraces creative tension, willing to challenge others and hold their ground, remains civil.
  • Conflict Avoiding: Avoids conflict and the seeks protection. Shapes work to avoid criticism as opposed to maximizing its value.

Leadership is the ability to get people moving towards a common purpose independently of your formal authority.

  • Leader: Influences and takes on political challenges to lead a way forward.
  • Follower: Avoids politics and craves the protection and stability provided by leaders.

A preference for acting quickly on every idea versus careful prioritization often motivated by a need to achieve work-life balance.

  • Bias For Action: Seeks turnaround time and productivity. Willing to sacrifice work-life balance to achieve goals.
  • Time Manager: Seeks productivity and work-life balance.
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