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It was interesting to learn about different social styles and observe these styles through different personalities about whom we studied; Leslie Brinkman being analytical and driver to Taran Swan being more amiable and analytical. In my personal experience, I have worked with peers and superiors who have had different social style than my own.
Before I delve into my own personal style, I would briefly define the four different social styles: 1
They are seen by others as active, forceful, direct and determined.
They initiate social interaction and they focus their efforts and the efforts of others on the goals and objectives they wish to get accomplished.
They tend to be more willing to make their feelings known to others and may appear to react impulsively and openly showing both positive and negative feelings. They are typically described by others as personable, talkative and sometimes opinionated. Amiable: People with this style openly display their feelings to others.
They appear less demanding and generally more agreeable than others. They are interested in achieving a rapport with others who often describe them as informal, casual and easy going.
People with this style are typically quiet, logical and sometimes reserved. They tend to appear distant from others and may not communicate with them unless there is a specific need to do so. I believe I have developed my social style over a period of time by working with different kinds of individuals. Although, I am focused on achieving the set goal, I also believe in open communication, building a collaborative culture and getting my team involved.
I believe this not only builds confidence and fosters sense of responsibility but also gives everyone a chance to learn from the diverse pool of experience each team member brings.
In my previous organization, I faced a challenging relationship with one of my superiors, Mr. S (name changed) whose social style was highly driven much like that of Leslie Brinkman. He was focused on efficiency and productivity; however he rarely took time to develop warm interpersonal relationships with any of us. For example, during the staff meetings that he held to discuss the overall progress of different transactions he would communicate the objectives we all were to achieve as a team, set clear expectations and ask about the progress, but he never was open to listen about the issues that any of the team members faced. On one of the projects due to dependency on a third party vendor, we were going to miss a key milestone. I escalated the matter to Mr. S, however he yelled at me in the meeting and asked me and my team to any how fix the matter. This kind of public backlash was not my style and demotivated me. Although we worked hard to meet the deadline the relationship remained strained and sub optimal.
In the hindsight, I should have arranged a meeting earlier on with my supervisor giving him the update and set the expectations right. I feel understanding the differences in communication preferences, and learning to adapt our own communications to make others more comfortable requires versatility. My lack of versatility and more amiable nature led me to take the backlash more personally; instead I should have proactively come up with an alternate plan showing when we can meet the deadline which would have avoided the relation from becoming strained.
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