When we understand our strengths, our work preferences and where we thrive, we bring conscious choice to our careers.

If you’re like me, you’ll have a long ‘to-do’ list – probably with a few (dozen) of those items hanging around for quite some time! Why? Well, for me, it’s because I’m constantly pushing them to the bottom of the pile. I like to think of my avoidance of these items as a well-honed art form. But, in reality, they’re just not things I am good at, find effortless, or enjoy. Yet, I also know that they’re required in my role. And I must flex my style to get them done… eventually!

So how does our personality then influence our approach to work?

When we identify and understand our strengths, how we like to work, what we like to do and where we thrive, we bring conscious choice to our careers.

By providing a language that easily describes our work preferences (the second essential aspect of our career framework) we can start to build a career that works for us. Not just a job – or even a series of jobs. But an ongoing journey with intention and pleasure.

For me, I like working on things that are creative, or where I get to use my natural strengths. This might be coming up with new ideas. Or ways of doing things. Or creating new products and services. And the key ingredient? Always with others.

Knowing this helps create clarity – for me and others – around what I am good at and where I will add the most value. It also means that I can start to look for opportunities that are a closer fit to how I like to work.

Successful working relationships are built on a foundation of trust, mutual respect and understanding.

Increasingly, we’re working and collaborating with a broader range of people – both online and face to face. So a key benefit of knowing our preferred approach to work is how we can create more positive, open working relationships – more quickly.

But of course, when we work with others, frustrations can naturally occur when our styles or approach differ.

If you’re the type of person who likes more solitary work, and I need to be around people to feel energised, then we can use that knowledge to help us understand and support each other. For example, if I know that you like some time to process things on your own before talking about them, then I can give you space and time. For me (my poor team know this too well) I like to talk through my ideas to form and shape them – discarding them as quickly as they form.

When we have a shared language around our work preferences, we can have more effective conversations – building trust and avoiding misunderstandings.

Sounds good to me.

So here are a few practical ways of understanding your preferred ways of working and if they are benefiting you in your work:

Create a list

  • Start collecting. Read through your Facet5 Profile – and in particular, your Searchlight and Leading Edge reports
  • Take those words and statements that you feel best represent your preferred style
  • Create a list and ask yourself the following questions:
    • How important is this to the way I work and why?
    • How often am I able to do this in my role?
    • Is this something I must have or are you flexible on how and when you access it?
    • Can you provide an example of how it ‘turns up’ up well and what the impact is if done irregularly or not at all?
  • Shortlist those few critical items – we call them ‘Golden Rules’. This will provide an easy way of engaging others in those essential aspects of how you like to work

Explore through conversations

  • Explore your list with others
  • We can improve our self-awareness and understanding of our impact in two ways. Through Disclosure – when we tell people about ourselves and through Feedback – when we ask for insights that others observe that may not be known to us
  • [for more information look up ‘Johari Window’]
  • Ask for feedback on what they see. And how they experience your approach to work. Can they provide you with examples that will help you grow?
  • Talk through your Golden Rules to help others understand your work preferences and how to work with you more effectively
  • Try connecting to our Family pages that describe your preferred style and contribution – click here for the Advocate
  • As a Facet5 Practitioner, you can access email signature images and links on our Support centre. Click here

Think about a fitness plan

  • While knowing our preferred approach and how ‘you turn up at work’ is a great start, sometimes we have to refine our technique
  • Create a skills fitness plan that outlines those areas you would like to practice more and how you can do that
  • Add to your personal development plan to maintain focus
  • Who can you get support from to help guide or mentor you or just to give you feedback as an observer in-the-moment

Add to your ‘Brilliance of being’ statement

  • Try summarising your key preferred approach into a short personal statement – start with “I am at my best when I…”, “this allow me to….”
  • Combine with your Strengths statement to create a fuller picture of just how amazing you are
  • Remember honest statements in your own words can cut through and create clarity and meaning

Look for opportunity

  • Make time with your manager to explore how you can leverage your preferred approach more often in your current role
  • Consider what opportunities or challenges you have on the horizon where you can:
    • Develop these further
    • Use them more
    • Share and build capability in others
  • Importantly use this as a way of informing your next role or move
  • Create questions that help you check how, when and how much you will be able to work in your preferred approach in any new role, team or organisation

We would love to hear what you would suggest to help people be the best in their role and career.

Grant Gemmell,
Managing Director, Facet5

Read more career articles from Facet5 – see below

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