One of my closest friends is a very black and white kinda guy. I mean straight black and white – no grey, none, not even a hint or a shadow. Go straight from point A to point B no deviation, no alternative no looking out the windows just get from point A to point B period.
Now me, on the other hand, I’m more of a scenic route kinda girl. I stop and pick some flowers, take pictures, get lost, discover something new. My route to point A to point B resembles more of a three year olds scribble drawing. I get things wrong, laugh at myself and try to learn going forward.
When we work together on a project you would think it would be quite the mess.
Years ago it was like World War Three; but over time I have come to acknowledge his thinking and communication style and have learned how to adapt in order for us to communicate better and actually work well together.
He likes things short and to the point therefore I have to take whatever I was going to say and reduce to a third.
He is a visual person so I have to either draw it out or actually move things in order to help demonstrate.
He never thinks he is wrong so I have learned to say “I appreciate what you are saying and I get that” followed by “I’ve got something stuck in my head – will you listen and see if it makes sense to you?”
That was a biggie. Instead of disagreeing, which he would take as a personal attack, I have, to a degree, agreed with him but then introduced another possibility but do so in a way that I am asking for help.
Lastly, if we agree to do things using my approach I have learned to shut up. Telling him I knew I was right or he was wrong would only close the door to any future pleasant working conditions.
I don’t make a deal out of it, I simply complete the task at hand and move on.
When you are working with someone is it more important to get your way or prove you are right or to just accomplish the task? How you approach the project – even after completion – makes all the difference in the world.
Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW
Certified Professional Resume Writer
Career Polish, Inc.