Why Do They Do That?

Have you ever looked at a co-worker (or two) and wondered, “Why do they do that?”  Maybe they procrastinate endlessly.  Or perhaps they seem to be so social that they lack focus.  Are you someone that ‘says it like it is’ and yet you don’t seem to get the reaction you are looking for?  After all, you are being straightforward, what don’t they understand?

In this 4-part series “Why Do They Do That,” we are going to take a glimpse at four work styles to see what makes them tick.

For this first installment I am going to take the veil off of the person that tends to be bold and blunt.  

assertive “Supervising Look” by marcolmDo you work with (or live with) a person that wants immediate results?  They may consider themselves the ‘idea’ person and rely on those around them to execute. Qualities that you may recognize in this person are self-confidence, directness, risk-taking and energized by competition.  They may describe themselves as fast-paced, assertive, bold and even skeptical.  Does this description sound like someone you know – or does it sound like you?

Let’s be clear, this style is not me.  And because it is not me, I have spent considerable time learning about people like this because I found them to be a challenge.  The challenge is that their boldness could send me running for cover!  They like conflict … I do not, so when I saw them coming, I wanted to go the other direction.  I would often take their blunt comments very personally and walk away feeling crushed.

I needed to work with people that are different from me, so I couldn’t go trotting off into the landscape to avoid this work style… I needed to understand them!  The short version of what I learned about the ‘bold and blunt’:

  • Give them the bottom line!  They don’t want to hear all of the back-story about why you did what you did and what color you prefer to wear on Tuesday.
  • It’s not personal.  It is not about you (usually), it is just their style to ‘say it like it is.’
  • They hate not being in control.  Enough said.

Tips for working with a ‘bold and blunt’ person:

  • State your point confidently and clearly.
  • If they try to rush you, give them a reasonable date for completion and tell them, directly, if you need anything from them.
  • Don’t use emotion to get your way or make your point.

The bold and blunt work style is a valuable asset in any organization or group.  They are often the visionaries that can see the big picture and have daring ideas that will force us out of our comfort zone.  We need to be forced out once in a while – and we need them to keep us on our toes.

If you want to learn more about personalities in the workplace, contact me!  This is the good work that I get to do each day to bring humans a better understanding of each other to make a greater impact.

Next month we will open the cage on the ‘social animals’!

(Image credit – marcolm via freedigitalphotos.net)