Why Do They Do That? Part 4: Data Driven

Last month I wrote about working with and understanding the ‘Steady and Supportive’ set in the workplace.   Did you recognize anyone you know?  This month will conclude the four-part Workstyle series, Why Do They Do That … we are going to step into the world of the Data Driven person.   This is the group that I had always assumed didn’t much care for me; learn why it felt like that below…

She’s reserved, maybe appears a little (or a lot) aloof and seems to take a long time to get back to you with an answer.  Do you know her?  He’s a cool one; it’s obvious he doesn’t enjoy your small-talk, wants all the data possible to analyze before taking a step forward and it usually won’t be a risky move.  Sound like one of your customers?  You may remember that I am half ‘social animal’ and half ‘steady and supportive’ so this detached, less sociable style doesn’t always connect with me.  They seemed skeptical, snobby and annoyed when in truth they are just different than me and prioritize accuracy, stable conditions and a challenge and not collaborative work and enthusiasm.

data driven by hyena realityWhile I thought they didn’t like me,  now that I understand them more, I can give them the detail and facts that they need and not take their pragmatism personally.  Likewise, when they take the time to understand my style they are less likely to mistake my enthusiasm for flakiness.  No matter what style you may be, understanding and communicating is a two-way street.

What do you do when you need to work with a ‘Data Driven’ co-worker?  The short version of what would be helpful to know:

  • They feel that there are rules for a reason, will tend to follow the rules and get frustrated when others don’t.
  • Precision and accuracy are very important to the Data Driven person.
  • Privacy Please!  They prefer to keep their private lives to themselves.

Tips for working with a ‘Data Driven’ person:

  • Allow them to work independently when possible.
  • Compliment them privately – do not make a big production of acknowledgement or reward.
  • If you need to debate, argue or disagree with them, use hard facts, not emotion.

As with all work-styles, the Data Driven brings tremendous value to an employer, organization or household.   This is the person that will help the rest of us see a rational and objective side of an idea.   They are also going to find a streamlined, efficient way of doing something that will save time and keep the cost within budget.   They will appreciate the effort you make to give them as much detail as possible so that they can get right to work.

Next month I will do one last piece on this Workstyle series to bring it all together: The Bold and Blunt, Social Animals, the Steady and Supportive and the Data Driven.  Interested in where you land in this spectrum?


(Image credit hyena reality)