Why Do They Do That? Part 3: Steady and Supportive

Last month I wrote about working with and understanding the ‘Social Animals’ in the workplace.   I had one person thank me for telling ‘her’ story and she shared it with colleagues so they knew something about her!  Brilliant idea if I do say so myself.  I also shared that I was one-half Social Animal and this month I will reveal my other half…Steady and Supportive.

Do you know someone in your workplace that enjoys supporting others more than shaking things up?  By that I mean they enjoy coming to the meeting, collaborating with everyone, and then will go away and tackle the list and make sure that it all gets done on time…and they make everyone around them look good.  I call this third workstyle in this series the Steady and Supportive, S&S for short.  The S&S group is probably most affected by the Bold and Blunt (BB).  They run for cover when a BB is in a ‘mood’ and that’s because this style really really dislikes conflict.

417px-The_Tortoise_and_the_Hare_-_Project_Gutenberg_etext_19994The Steady and Supportive style can appear to be indecisive and change-adverse.  There are a couple of reasons that this may seem to be the case, but I’ll explain a bit further.  The S&S likes to make sure that they hear all sides of a story, project or idea before they come to a conclusion.  They do not want to disrupt the harmony or upset anyone.  You may see how these aspects can come across as wishy-washy, when really they are quite important in making us slow down and not get too far ahead of ourselves.

What do you do when you need to work with a Steady and Supportive co-worker and you want to push them along?  The short version of what would be helpful to know:

  • Recognize that they want to do things well and make you look good – this is the supportive side.
  • They tend to work at a steady pace – remember the Tortoise and the Hare?
  • S&S will strive to maintain comfortable, stable environments  – there is value in this for everyone!

Tips for working with a ‘Steady and Supportive’ person:

  • Ask them directly what kind of support they need – they may not speak up and become overwhelmed trying to do everything on their own.
  • Share your expectations early and clearly and do it in a friendly way – you will definitely get more from them when being kind. (You don’t have to be sugary sweet, kind will do.)
  • Encourage them to take chances and even reflect on some of their successes in the past when they did step out of their comfort zone.

As with all work-styles, the Steady and Supportive brings tremendous value to an employer, organization or household.   They will be THE one to do the leg-work on a project, and do it well!  They are a team player and typically far calmer than the Social Animal when it comes time to collaborate and get the work done – this creates a nice balance.  EVERY team needs an S&S or two … or three.

Next month, in the final installment of ‘Why Do They Do That’, we will take a calculated look at the Data Driven person on your team.

Learn more about styles in the workplace – call me and catch the enthusiasm for communicating with anyone, anywhere, with style and grace!