Whether you work in an office, telecommute or freelance, you most likely have to collaborate with others to get things done. That means meshing together work styles and personalities in a way that is productive and harmonious. While you can probably characterize the personalities of others, do you know your own style? Where you're strong? And where you need to make some concessions?
The collaboration software provider PGi has identified five working styles as well as tips on how you can dial up (or down) your personality to get stuff done in a team. Which one are you?
1. Dictator: You believe you know what's best for the good of the project, and you're eager to share your insight with collaborators. You're compelled to monitor and be updated on progress around the clock. Without your vigilance, things will quickly fall apart. You're not bossy; you simply care (too much.)
How to work well with others: Monitoring and managing are good things, but leave room for team members to take on responsibilities and be accountable. This will help keep them engaged. Continuous, constructive feedback is good, too. It helps to be as transparent as possible with the team about processes and decision-making.
2. Hoarder: You understand the true value of things. You keep detailed notes and save every memo, research link, and draft revision. All. Of. Them. After all, you believe those who forget the past are doomed to make a completely avoidable mistake. And you know the rest of the team will be eternally grateful when your foresight averts disaster.
How to work well with others: Your stored "treasures" will be worthless if you can't find them when you need them, so stay as organized as possible. Be sure that you're not just focused on maintaining and managing data. You're part of a team and that means contributing, too.
3. Analyst: You are driven to understand every detail. After all, how can you be sure the Sales Modeling in phase 3 works properly if it isn't reconciled with the beta integration 2.4 plug-in? It's just common sense, right?
How to work well with others: You need to keep sight of the forest in spite of the trees. If you detect a problem, diplomatically communicate your concerns through appropriate channels to the appropriate people. Don't blast out alarming metrics.
4. Nurturer: It can be difficult to get your own work done when you're spending time forwarding blog posts that directly relate to their assignments. And the research you found that they should know about. And the funny cat video they'll really enjoy.
How to work well with others: It's possible to be too helpful and overly enthusiastic. If your team has communication guidelines about what to share with whom, pay close attention to them. And consider removing colleagues from your "update list" who don't respond to your first share or two. (They're probably sending a subtle message.)
5. Boy Scout: You're always prepared for everything and willing to pitch in to work with anyone at a moment's notice. You share resources and responsibilities appropriately and are willing to accept constructive feedback. You also know when to help other team members and when to mind your own beeswax.
How to work well with others: As open as you are to cooperating with the rest of the team, be just as open to ideas that sound like they're completely at odds with your own. Sometimes the smallest bit of common ground - or an alternative path - produces the most innovative solution.
Not sure which work personality best describes you? Take this fun quiz.