How willing are you to accept, accomodate and support the behavioural preferences of others?
No matter what methods you use to understand different behaviours their are generally always four main categories so that means 75% of behavioural styles will be different to yours. Of course that assumes a workplace divided equally and we all know that when it comes to hiring and promoting we all have our own unconscious biases i.e. we are more likely to choose people similar to us - so that will of course skew the numbers. The point is that we have different styles and whether at work or in relationships we have to choose if we will try and accomodate them or try and force fit our style with others.
“The rule that surpasses all rules is that you must be connected, willing to see what's in front of you, and willing to move if what you're doing isn't working.” ~ Terrence Real
The benefits of behavioural versatility are many:
- the higher our behavioural versatility the better we as leaders perform
- more effective we are at supporting diversity and inclusion
- we are better at leading teams
- we are better at coaching others
- we manage conflict better
- we have a positive influence of others
We are just better because making people comfortable by focusing on and supporting their behavioural style creates a more productive and comfortable workplace = better results!
How can we improve?
It's important to understand that it takes effort and a belief that investing in this skill is not just about 'bending to others' it's about getting better and more meaningful results in a way that is beneficial to everyone. It's also important to know that this is something we can indeed learn.
I'm sure that you have noticed that no matter how hard you try you simply cannot just MAKE others change, you can however control the things you change about yourself and you can change other peoples attitudes with your behaviour.
Do you come from a place of 'it's all about me and what I need/want' or 'do you try and walk in others shoes'?
- Do hold firm to your 'right' point of view or do you listen to understand?
- Do you focus on achieving only your objectives at any cost or helping others achieve theirs?
- Do you communicate in a way that is easiest for you or easy for the listener?
- Do you expect others to behave like you or are you open and curious?
Looking at the above logic would tell us that we will achieve more if we simply did the later in each question. The thing is that it's often our emotions and beliefs (why should I have to be the one to change all the time? they just need to try harder! etc.) that stop us from being more versatile.
Ultimately, behavioural versatility is about saying “what can I change about my thinking or my behaviour that will result in a different and improved outcome?” When you have behavioural flexibility you can change and adapt to different situations; you can expand your mind, your behaviour, your thinking, your performance and be flexible in your communication with others but importantly you get better results!
“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” ~ Albert Einstein