What Are The Four Work Styles? Learn More About Your Team's Approach To Work
Similar to the personality quizzes you may stumble across online, if you type ‘work styles’ into the Google search bar, you’ll find an overwhelming number of sources about the different ways people approach work. Work styles influence the way a team member tackles a new project, collaborates with the team, communicates, and shares ideas. Sometimes, colleagues may find it difficult to work efficiently with team members when their work styles clash, but developing an understanding of the work styles and which one each team member falls under is key to achieving a uniform and effective business flow.
So, what are the four work styles, and what is their importance?
Work styles are typically organized into four categories, although they differ slightly by name between organization or website. Generally, the four workstyles are logical, supportive, idea-oriented, and detail-oriented. Upon observing your team working on a task, you may be thinking they are not using the most optimal method, but for their work style, they maximize their efficiency using this specific method.
As a leader, you must understand that there is no ‘right’ way to approach work, and an alternative method may just be the best way for that specific employee to get things done.
Each work style has a different approach for how they would manage their workload. They focus on different details and usually play a different role in its execution. Without further adieu, here is a breakdown of each of the four workstyles.
The logical work style is considered to be the people who take action. The logical type often prefers working with data, and approaches problems head-on. They are the types who take initiative to start on the project and want to see it be completed. They like to answer the question of “what”, and value all relevant data and facts to back it up with research and strategy.
When communicating with a logical work type, it is best to keep things short and sweet with only the important facts being addressed to prevent confusion. Logical work types tend to communicate less due to being too focused on their tasks. Sometimes these work types struggle with the planning stages of a project as they are eager to just get going. It’s important for these individuals to slow down and develop an organized plan of attack before approaching a new task.
At the end of the day, the logical work type is beneficial to have on the job because they always back up their point of view with facts instead of ideas. They are great when it comes to analyzing data and excel at solving complicated problems.
The supportive work style is great at building relationships in the office and communicating with others. They are best at their job when they can work as a team and pitch ideas where there is the opportunity to receive input from everyone. People who are emotionally oriented and can express themselves in the workplace often fall into this style. When planning work for themselves and assigning tasks to others, they frequently take into consideration how their co-workers would feel to ensure that they can and want to take on the task.
These individuals are better-suited to work in groups rather than alone. Due to this, when working alone they may require guidance and support from time to time to ensure they are on the right track. Although, once they are given the requested guidance, they tend to excel with their projects.
A supportive work style is the glue that helps build a community at work. They emphasize offering everyone equal say in projects and keeping spirits high while still being productive.
People who fall in the idea-oriented category are the ones who look at the big picture and offer ideas for how to achieve big goals. This category of people tends to be innovative and find it fulfilling to uncover new ways to better the company and improve processes. These individuals are considered to be very well thought out with their plans but prefer plans that do not require a lot of detail. Idea-oriented people make the best leaders and are great at solving problems.
Idea-oriented people like to focus on the big picture, which sometimes means missing smaller, but just as important details while planning and working. It’s no surprise that these individuals often work best when they have a person with a detail-oriented work style by their side. This duo takes great ideas and turns them into a reality.
Now, what exactly does the detail-oriented work style entail?
People who fall into the detail-oriented category usually have very good planning and attention to detail skills. Detail-oriented people always remember to include the small details in a project ensuring that nothing has been overlooked.
They also tend to proofread well and have great grammar skills. Every paper or email will be flawless before it reaches the boss’s hands, and they always know what questions to ask prior to starting a project to gather all of the necessary planning information.
Although this type has great attention to detail, this can sometimes lead to micromanagement. Since there is a specific way these individuals want to see things done, sometimes they leave little freedom in the hands of the person assigned to the task as they have a particular vision for how projects should be completed.
However, detail-oriented people have great organizational skills, always come prepared, and often show high levels of productivity.
Tips for Leaders and Managers
As a leader, it is critical that you understand what work styles each of your team members have. This can help with planning who is on each team for all projects since certain workstyles thrive when being partnered together and vice versa.
For example, detail-oriented and logical work styles work very well together because logical people sometimes lack thought-out planning skills whereas detail-oriented individuals thrive in project planning.
Furthermore, logical people are great at putting plans into action whereas detail-oriented people tend to focus on getting the project perfect rather than the execution.
When you understand why each team member works the way they do, this can help you make more informed leadership decisions.
If you are confused as to why a task was approached a certain way, ask for insight into their method to understand if your team member was still able to come to a successful outcome.
All four work styles play a key role in the workforce and they should not be underestimated. Where one work style lacks, another one can make up for it with their strengths.
As a leader, make sure you know what each team member is best at and where they need assistance to help achieve an efficient workflow process in the office.
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