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Wednesday Wisdom: Get to know your people

This continues our Wednesday Wisdom series where we review some of the top leadership issues we are currently assisting our clients through.

It happens every single day…in non-profits, in volunteer-based organizations and small and large companies alike. Leaders are trying to lead people who they do not even know. They put people into boxes and treat everyone all the same.

Does your leader know what experience you bring to the table? Do they know what level of education you have attained? Do they know what other jobs and positions you have held prior to the one you are in right now? Are they aware of any other training, licenses or certifications you have?

Unfortunately, I think the majority of you would answer NO to this question.


Simply put, we just do not get to know people. This goes for friends, co-workers and people we are responsible for leading. We just go about working with, interacting with and trying to lead them.

I was recently told by someone in an organization where I am a volunteer that because I was in the military, that I had a “handicap” because I did not understand how their organization was run. In another situation, my writing skills were micromanaged and brought into question without the people who were hovering over me knowing that I am a published author and that I used to write for Forbes. Another time, I was instructed how to run a virtual meeting without someone knowing that I used to run virtual meetings for teams that had people in six different countries at the same time.

If as a leader, or even a co-worker you do not get to know your people, you will fail. What makes someone tick? How do they best receive direction? Do they need a lot of direction and supervision? What are their “hot buttons”? What are their dreams? What are their strengths? Their weaknesses? Where can they augment someone else who does not have the skill set they do?

Do you know the personality types of the people you lead? What about the people you work alongside every day? It does wonders to have your team take a personality assessment such as DISC and share it with everyone. Once you learn the inner workings and personality styles of another person, it changes everything.

I am a DISC consultant and trainer. Shortly after getting the certification, my husband and I both took the assessment and I learned so much about him and began to understand some of the things that he did that drove me crazy. However, not that I understand these unique parts of his personality, I know how to adapt in certain situations.

Do yourself and your people a favor. You people are your best asset. Get to know them. Find out more than just the superficial things. I promise you, it will be a game changer for you, for them and for your organization.


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