One of the perks – and sometimes the downside – to being a leader is all the personal interaction you get to enjoy. From customers to employees, working with others can range from humorous to frustrating to extremely gratifying experiences. But, if you try looking at all your interactions through the eyes of Christine Cashen, author, speaker, and America’s Top Humorista, it will be easier to turn those frustrating experiences into humorous, learning opportunities.
As Christine points out in her latest book, “The Good Stuff: Quips and Tips on Life, Love, Work & Happiness,” there are some important things to keep in mind when you work with people each day.
“You are working with people who are not taking their medications regularly.”
Despite your initial reaction of anger and frustration when others mess up or make bad choices, most people need support and encouragement. So give them the benefit of the doubt whenever they do or say something stupid. Sure it’s hard not to respond likewise, but life in general is tough, and being critical or angry won’t help anyone. Plus, there’s a bonus to this mindset – “if you give some stupid rule-breaking person a break, maybe, just maybe, when you do something stupid, someone will give you a break when you need it most!”
“To get along, you must speak in the other person’s language.”
Everyone has probably taken at least one personality test in their professional life, but Christine has broken it all down into four, easy categories:
These are the “people” people who are personable, connected, and want to create harmony. You will recognize them when they ask such questions as “Whose birthday is it?” and “I don’t care – what do you want to do?”
The Why People are curious, creative, and like to challenge the status quo. They’ll give themselves away when you hear them ask questions like “Why not?” and “Why don’t we do it that way?”
These folks are who you go to when you need something done now. They are drivers with a can-do attitude and an aversion to delegation. You’ll know them right away when they ask “What do you want?” and “What’s the bottom line?”
You probably know a How Person – characteristics like detail-oriented, accurate, precise, and organized all fit them to a t. Some of their top questions are “How long will it take?” and “How much will it cost?”
“It’s not all about you!”
Once you can identify each person’s personality profile and communication style, the key is to use the information. The point isn’t to learn your style; the point is to learn what others’ styles are and then speak their language. So, whether you’re walking up to a Who Person to just say hello or a What Person to ask about a project, put this information to use!
No one is an island – you need other people in your life. And, while one of the biggest obstacles in today’s workplace, as well as the world in general, is learning to get along, a little bit of humor can go a long way to smoothing out the bumps. If you need a few more antidotes to get you in a better mood before you take on the world, grab “The Good Stuff.” From teaching you how to have a “block party” in your office to going on a “secret mission,” you’ll be in better frame of mind in no time!
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