What work style works for you?
Updated: Apr 19
Does it irk you as much as us when you hear that the early bird got the worm? Sounds great, but what about the worm? Was he just a morning person that was looking for coffee? Or was she a night owl forced out of bed early to finish a deadline and unfortunately ambushed?
And how many times have your contacts re-shared the Moving Horse post to know which side of the brain you use the most? Is there even a scientific rationale behind this?
If we are all Type As and Type Bs, then none of us should feel like square pegs in round holes. Yet, sometimes we do.
So how do we know what such labels mean and where we belong? So we went down the rabbit hole to find some answers to the most philosophical of questions- who am I (in the context of work)?
Every one of us that is hustling - from home, from the office, or moonlighting from the traffic jam we are stuck at, has some core traits that would serve us well if tapped into.
Know thyself to Know thy Workstyle
Nosce te Ipsum - Written at the entrance of the temple of Apollo in Delphi is this ancient pearl of wisdom - Know Thyself. The relevance seems timeless and could not have come at a better time.
No human trait has enamoured anthropologists, counsellors, and coaches more than this one- who can we be when nurtured into our fullest potential? Who can we become when we choose to grow in a manner that nourishes us?
There are a few relatively easy ways to help us understand our work selves better, largely because some of these tests and models have become more accessible over time. For example, the DISC model, the MBTI test, and the Big 5 model tests are easily available to take online. We find that these tests can be interpreted in more than one way, which is why we believe these serve as primary indicators of who we are and not necessarily who we can become with some help.
[Also Read: You’ve Set Your Goals, But How Will You Nurture Them?]
At RainKraft, we like to work with a range of tools, and it's useful since each tool works well in the proper context.
The Drivers questionnaire derived from Transactional Analysis is a compelling window into who we are at work and home as a result of the behaviour patterns we embrace from our formative years. But, as an adult, how can we use this awareness to examine how these traits are helping us or sometimes acting as a hurdle?
The EUM Framework is a means to understand our 'universe' and the influence of its many components on us, and vice versa. In this context, our universe refers to the various aspects we have control over or have power over us. Our priorities, work styles, energy levels, and several other factors influence us on any given day. The EUM framework is a significant step ahead in understanding how to tweak this universe to be better each day.
The Harrison Assessment is again a great tool to assess your skill sets and behaviour preferences and how it impacts your performance and satisfaction at work. Two theories govern Harrison. The first is called Enjoyment Performance Theory. It is based on Behavioral Theory. The second one is the Paradox Theory. It is an extension of the "psychological opposites" theories explained by Jung and, to some degree, by Freud.
It is pertinent to note also that test ranges capture extreme personality traits, and most of us would land somewhere in between this range. For example, the INTJ personality type in MBTI is often characterized at the extreme by a supervillain. Still, most INTJs are usually just quiet, highly analytical individuals who crave their fair share of social interaction.
Moreover, the definition of each of these traits varies from individual to individual, and this is where the guidance of a coach can be immensely valuable. Ambition, for example, is subjective and personal; hence sticking to the spirit of the trait and not the widely accepted definition is a good reminder that we are doing just fine for now.
When dealing with self and others, a general rule of thumb would be to look at patterns - what keeps us going, what drains us of energy, and ultimately, what feels good and what does not. The end goal for any of us is fulfilment at work or outside of it. Knowing whether we're the early bird or the worm that got caught unawares helps us be kinder to ourselves, our teams, and the world at large.