How to Recognise and Manage Different Work Styles

There are many different work styles that you may encounter in your project management career. Understanding them helps you come up with the best course of action for a particular company or team. In this article, we’re going to explore how to recognise and manage different work styles.

Independent Work Style

A person with this work style typically works independently, often without any contact with other team members. They prefer to be given a clear goal and then left to their own devices. There might be times when they may not be very efficient but they can produce high-quality work. To perform outstanding work, independent team members require their own space, and they prefer to solve things on their own. With this type of work style, supervision and micromanagement are not the best approaches.

Cooperative Work Style

Cooperative members enjoy working in groups and giving and receiving feedback. They prefer to convey their thoughts openly and generate them with the support of the group. As a result, cooperative team members are usually excellent communicators. Individuals with this work style struggle to work alone. Without collaboration, ideas may not come as effortlessly, and they may become restless without frequent team connection.

Idea-Oriented Work Style

A person with an idea-oriented style is someone who likes to delegate tasks and share responsibilities with others in order to get things done quickly. These team members see the big picture, promote big changes and inspire their teammates to think bigger. They are often very organised and good at managing time effectively, but they may not be very detail-oriented and might need extra support with working out the little details.

Supportive Work Style

These team members like to bond with others, create strong relationships and boost the morale of the team. They are emotionally intelligent and often take on the role of a mediator when there’s a conflict. That said, they can be easily distracted and find it difficult to make tough decisions.

How to Manage Different Work Styles

  • Understand Different Work Styles: Find out what motivates your team members and what their passions are. Use their strengths to build a better workforce.
  • Adapt Your Style: Once you figure out everyone’s work styles, it’s important you adapt yours to get the most out of the employees. Determine how everyone’s strengths benefit your business and what you can do to bring them out.
  • Put the Right Person in the Right Job: After you find out the strengths and weaknesses of each team member’s work style, you’ll need to assign the right people to work on the right tasks.