Have you ever wondered why you can provide minor instructions for one person on your team and have to go into detail instructions with another?

We all inherently realize that not all human beings are the same. This is a pretty basic concept that is often overlooked by managers. Consider the differences between us beyond the color of our skin and hair. Our cultural perspectives play a role in our response to instructions as well. There may be language barriers, different educational backgrounds, unknown personality traits, and varying value systems that greatly affect how information is processed and interpreted.

As a leader, part of our responsibility is to engage our teams by varying our approach to meet the needs of our employees.

Consider Suzy who used to work for me. Suzy was very talented and dedicated to the excellence of her work. Then came a short time when Suzy made several mistakes in a row. I came down on her hard, which was a big mistake. Suzy was beating herself up more than I ever could, and I failed to recognize the impact of my words on her self-confidence. Suzy took a long time to get over that incident, and I learned an important lesson.

Jean was a person that really thrived under pressure. The more I threw at her, the happier Jean was. I found that if Jean was not busy, her productivity suffered. Some people work well under pressure, like Jean. Some respond best to tough love, while others take it personally and shut down, like Suzy.

In order to optimize our effectiveness as leaders, we must have the ability to tailor our approach on a person-by-person basis, based on the situation at hand.

Our capacity to execute this concept will play a huge role in our ability to get the best work out of our teams and other partners along the journey. Click here to access Dale Carnegie’s Human Relations principles, which can improve our effectiveness in this approach. 

Posted by Mary Kuniski

Mary Kuniski is passionate about the Dale Carnegie principles delivered over 100 years ago and continues to experience success today by employing those ageless ideologies. Ms. Kuniski is a Dale Carnegie graduate of 2010 and since that time has coached four programs. She has over 35 years of management experience and has held an Executive level position for the past 20 years. Currently, Ms. Kuniski is the Director of Master Data Management at Overhead Door Corporation, a position she has assumed in June 2015. She spent the past 19 years employed by Michaels Stores, Inc as a Vice President of Vendor Management, where she managed supply chain optimization and quality assurance for the company. She oversaw a multi-million dollar budget and drove operational excellence for domestic and international vendor community of 800+ vendors resulting in a 99.84% shipment accuracy ratio. Over the course of her career with Michaels, Ms. Kuniski also held the responsibilities for Vendor and Facilities Management, Store Communication and Store Management. Ms. Kuniski received a Bachelor of Science degree in Fashion Merchandising from Penn State University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.

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