June 1998 - Management Working Styles
Linking Personality with Management Style
Several of our newsletter topics have discussed the relationships between a person's personality and their management style. The topics from October and November 1996 continue to draw the most readers. For this month's topic, we'd like to expand upon some of the earlier information.
In our Nov. 1996 newsletter, we talked about 3 types of people: people-oriented, things-oriented and idea-oriented. We expand on that in this newsletter.
People�oriented people tend to have more team-oriented management styles.
Things-oriented people tend to have more process-oriented management styles.
Idea-oriented people tend to have more innovation-oriented management styles.
Managers tend to be most comfortable when they are surrounded by people they understand. This usually means they appreciate people more like themselves. So if a people-oriented person works for an idea-oriented person, they may both have to stretch themselves in order to have a compatible and highly productive working relationship. The people-oriented person may have to produce more reports, charts or graphics, supply more information or spend more time explaining the "how" and "why" of what they are doing.
A practical exercise: Pay attention to how you work best (with people, things or ideas). Compare that to your boss and to the people who work for you. You might find value in making a chart of where different people work best or spend time discussing the topic with those you feel most comfortable with. Learning to appreciate our own talents and the talents of others goes a long way toward creating better teams and avoiding the frustration of working someone who sees the world differently.
Learning modalities describe the way people take in information. Usually someone has a primary preference for receiving information: verbal, visual or kinesthetic (feeling).
For the Verbal preference, look for some of these clues:
For the Visual preference, look for some of these clues:
For the Kinesthetic preference, look for some of these clues:
A practical exercise: As in the previous section, try to understand other people's learning styles. People who learn best from charts and visual information will respond better to your suggestions when you provide pictures and words. Those who respond best to verbal information, will listen to you more intently if you talk to them rather than show them pictures. Some of the most successful sales training courses and counseling courses use these learning modalities to teach people how to develop better rapport with others.
The Johari Window is a technique for helping managers understand how well they work with others (employees, colleagues and their managers). A series of questions are asked in the questionnaire, then the answers are plotted on a grid to show four regions (or quadrants).
The size of each quadrant illustrates the Exposure process (the open and candid expression of one's feelings, knowledge, etc.) with the Feedback process (active solicitation of information from others). The final chart may look something like the graphic below.
Region I (Arena) is the portion of total inter-personal space devoted to mutual understanding and shared information. This is "known by self" and "known by others."
Region II (Blind Spot) is the portion of total inter-personal space which holds information "known by others" but "unknown by self."
Region III (Facade) is the portion of total inter-personal space inhibiting inter-personal effectiveness "known by self" but "unknown by others."
Region IV (Unknown) is the portion of total inter-personal space devoted to material not know by either party "unknown by self" and "unknown by others."
The value of using personality information
Through the use of various types of personality information and the desire to learn about oneself, good managers can further develop their own skills and abilities. Since each person has a unique personality, there are a vast array of tools, questionnaires, testing techniques and learning methods available. If one method does not "feel right" or seem to fit your style, keep searching until you find those that work for you. Many people try a variety of methods and take a little bit from each to fit their needs at the time.
Page updated: May 11, 2023
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