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Part two of yesterday’s post…

This is how you are supposed to manage people with themes I mentioned yesterday (in alphabetical order this time):

  1. Achiever
  • When there are times that require extra work, call on this person. Remember, that the saying “If you want to get a job done, ask a busy person” is generally true.
  • Recognize that he likes to be busy. Sitting in meetings is likely to be very boring for him. So either let him get his work done or arrange to have him attend only those meetings where you really need him and he can be fully engaged.
  • Help him measure what he gets done. He may well enjoy keeping track of hours, but, more important, he should have a way to measure cumulative production. Simple measures such as number of customers served, customers known by name, files reviewed, prospects contacted, or patients seen will help give him definition.
  • Establish a relationship with this person by working alongside him. Working hard together is often a bonding experience for him. And keep low producers away from him. “Slackers” annoy him.
  • When this person finishes a job, a rest or an easy assignment is rarely the reward he wants. He will be much more motivated if you give recognition for past achievement and then a new goal that stretches him.
  • This person may well need less sleep and get up earlier than most. Look to him when those conditions are required on the job. Also, ask him questions such as “How late did you have to work to get this done?” or “When did you come in this morning?” He will appreciate this kind of attention.
  • You may be tempted to promote him to higher-level roles simply because he is a self-starter. This may be a mistake if it leads him away from what he does best. A better course would be to pinpoint his other themes and strengths, and look for opportunities for him to do more of what he does well.
  1. Deliberative
  • Do not position this person in a role that requires snap judgements. She is likely to feel uncomfortable making decisions on gut alone.
  • Ask her to join teams or groups that tend to be impulsive. She will have a temporizing effect, adding much-needed thoughtfulness and anticipation to the mix.
  • She is likely to be a rigorous thinker. Before you make a decision, ask her to help you identify the land mines that may derail your plans.
  • In situations where caution is required, such as situations that are sensitive to legal, safety, or accuracy issues, ask her to take the lead. She will instinctively anticipate where the dangers might lie and how to keep your flanks protected.
  • She is likely to excel at negotiating contracts, especially behind the scenes. As far as you can within the confines of her job description, ask her to play this role.
  • Honor that she may be quite a private person. Unless invited, do not push to become too familiar with her too quickly. And by the same token, do not take it personally if she keeps you at arm’s length.
  • Do not ask her to be a greeter, rainmaker, or networker for your organization. The kind of effusiveness that this role requires may not be in her repertoire.
  • In her relationships she will be selective and discriminating. Consequently, do not move her quickly from team to team. She needs to be confident that the people she surrounds herself with are competent and can be trusted, and this confidence takes time to build.
  • As a manager she will be known as someone who gives praise sparingly, but when she does, it is truly deserved.
  1. Input
  • Focus this person natural inquisitiveness by asking him to research a topic of importance to your organization. He enjoys knowledge that comes from research.
  • Position him in roles with a heave research component.
  • Pay attention to his other strong themes. If he is also strong in Developer, he may excel as a teacher or trainer by peppering his lesson with intriguing facts and stories.
  • Keep him posted on news within your organization. He needs to be in the know. Pass along books, articles, and papers you think he would like to know about and read.
  • Encourage him to make use of the internet. He will use it to find information he thinks he needs. Not all of his facts-finding will be immediately useful, but it will be important for his self-esteem.
  • Help him develop a system for storing the information he collects. This system will ensure that he can find it when he and the organization need it.
  • When you are in meetings, make a point of asking him for information. Look for opportunities to say something positive about his recall, such as “It’s amazing. You always seem to have the facts we need.”
  1. Learner
  • Position this person in roles that require him to stay current in a fast-changing field. He will enjoy the challenge of maintaining his competency.
  • Regardless of this role, he will be eager to learn new facts, skills, or knowledge. Explore new ways for him to learn and remain motivated, lest he start hunting for a richer learning environment. For example, if he lacks opportunities to learn on the job, encourage him to take courses that interest him at the local college or association. Remember, he doesn’t necessarily need to be promoted; he just needs to be learning. It is the process of learning, not the result, that energizes him.
  • Help him track his learning progress by identifying milestones or levels that he has reached. Celebrate those milestones.
  • In the same vein encourage this person to become the “master of trade” or “resident expert” in his field. Arrange for him to take the relevant classes. Be sure to recognize his learning with the appropriate certificates and plaques.
  • Have this person work beside a master who will continuously push him to learn more.
  • Ask him to conduct internal discussion groups or presentations. There may be no better way to learn than to teach others.
  • Help him secure financial support to continue his education.
  1. Strategic
  • Position this person on the leading edge of your organization. His ability to anticipate problems and their solutions will be valuable. For example, ask him to sort through all of the possibilities and find the best way forward for your department. Suggest that he report back on the best strategy.
  • Involve him in organizational planning. Ask him, “If this happened, what should we expect?” “If that happened, what should we expect?”
  • Always give him ample time to think through a situation before asking for his input. He needs to play out a couple of scenarios in his mind before voicing his opinion.
  • Recognize this person’s strength in the Strategic theme by sending him to strategic planning or futurism seminar. The content will sharpen his ideas.
  • This person is likely to have a strength for putting his ideas and thoughts into words. To refine his thinking, ask him to present his ideas to his colleagues or to write them for internal distribution.
  • When you hear or read of strategies that worked in your field, share them with this person. It will stimulate his thinking.

Again, it does ring true… Now, if you know me, you know what to do 🙂

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