People Whispering Tip:
We’ve had great fun with our recent webinar series “Recession-Proofing Your Career” which you can read about at www.recession-proofyourcareer.com. As an executive career and leadership coach, it often amazes me how few people spend the time to educate themselves about how to make good career choices based on their unique talents and skills. So many people just seem to stumble into their careers by default (and not just careers but marriages and children, etc.) based upon what their parents, peers, or society via teachers and the media said they should do at the time.
I tend to favor Auguste Rodin’s, the great sculptor of the Thinker, perspective when he said “The world will never be happy until all men (and women) have the souls of artists – I mean when they take pleasure in their jobs.” In today’s world, I would extend that beyond the concept of just a job to how one makes their livelihood or way in the world. In the New Thought tradition based upon the great thinkers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the term creative self-expression is used in lieu of career or job. It is a broader term encompassing how we make our way in the world. The Buddhist concept of dharma is similar with its emphasis on purpose and meaning beyond just making a living. I am interested in helping people to make a better living and a better life.
This is more relevant than ever today when the “average” person has 5 to 7 totally different careers in one lifetime in stark contrast to my father’s day. My father was an organic chemist and business executive who worked for the same company for 39 years before he retired. Even if we wanted that level of consistency, if not “security,” that opportunity is just not realistic anymore. We are called to continually reinvent ourselves such that we are on purpose and are passionate about our lives while we still make a decent living.
Where on earth to begin? The first place to begin is to learn more about yourself and your unique strengths, gift, skills, interests, and capabilities as the special person you are. There are many relevant assessments and ways to uncover these talents which I use with my clients who are searching for direction. Two factors that are essential to understand and uncover are: 1) Role or Job Fit, and 2) Culture Fit or Match.
Once you understand more about your value to an organization or field, you can begin to define the job role fit for you. Tools such as DiSC and MBTI are invaluable to help you understand why you may gravitate towards certain aspects of a field over others. It is never as prescriptive as “you are this style or type and therefore you should do this” as some practitioners who are not fully trained might lead you to believe. There are too many elements to us multidimensional human beings for that. That said, your DiSC style will give you some very strong clues as to what role you would be best suited for all other things being equal.
For example, someone with a primary preference for D behavior thrives in leadership roles that allow them to be in charge and direct change in an organization. They also like to focus on tasks and achieve results and to communicate clearly and directly about how to get things done. Someone with a high I preference thrives in a role where they can motivate and influence others through their persuasiveness and their optimistic, enthusiastic approach to opportunities and problems. They also love to lead or participate in groups and build alliances to get results. A high S individual thrives in a role that allows them to work in a steady, predictable, and orderly manner. They also enjoy working in conventional and proven ways and make decisions through group consensus rather than strictly on their own. Last, a high C individual enjoys a role that allows them to perform work at high standards of quality where they can apply their own structures, methods, and models within the job’s framework of expectations. They also enjoy knowing how things work and don’t like surprises to a process or procedure.
In addition to the best role for each style, it is helpful to find a corporate or organizational culture that matches your style. Even if the overall corporate culture doesn’t match your style, having a work group or team culture match can make all of the difference between surviving and thriving. Prior to starting my own business, I worked in a few large Fortune 500 companies so I can truly speak from personal experience. While I was with Equifax for example, I was on both the credit and the insurance side of the house. As a high I and secondary D, I was the happiest when both my role as a Product Marketing Manager and the work group culture I found myself in while in the Credit Marketing Group matched my behavioral style needs. For the first time in some time, I was surrounded by other high I’s who thrived on interaction, collaboration, persuasion, energy, and excitement. I had come home to my people! In contrast, while on the insurance side of the company, I did market research which I could do, but found relatively boring due to the quantitative nature of the work which didn’t require much interaction with people.
In short, the environment in which you place yourself in addition to the job role you assume, has a tremendous impact on your job satisfaction as well as your performance. Just like a petri dish in a lab, there are ideal conditions for each type of bacteria to grow and thrive. Understanding where you will thrive is a big piece of your evolution to your best self. To learn more, there is still time to order our 3 part webinar series CD package at the early bird rate. Look for details to be posted soon at our site which is www.recession-proofyourcareer.com.
In the meantime, if you are interested in career coaching for yourself or for your organization, I have some room in my practice for additional clients. Please contact us at (404) 327-6330 or email us at Laura@lauraadavis.com.
DiSC Assessment Application:
To learn more about your ideal cultural fit, the classical patterns in the DiSC Classic 2.0 report can offer you a world of insight. The classical pattern looks at how an individual’s four dimensions of Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Conscientiousness come together in combination. Since we all have aspects of all of the dimensions within us, it is helpful to know in what combination and level of intensity each of them combines to give us a richer, deeper understanding of individual behavior.
There are 15 classical patterns which arise showing an individuals’ emotions, goals, how they tend to judge or evaluate others, how they like to influence others, and their value to the organization. It also provides information regarding the behaviors they tend to overuse particularly under pressure due to their common fears. Last, the classical pattern gives some helpful information regarding how one can increase their effectiveness to the organization. This pattern is often so accurate people will ask me if I am a fortune-teller or seer. Often they have received feedback regarding these issues and factors in performance feedback over the years.
In keeping with this month’s theme of planting yourself in a fertile petri dish or soil, it is wise to choose a work culture that fits your emotional needs based upon your classical pattern. Doing so will increase your chances of being more effective, performing at a higher level, being more satisfied, and feeling more energized on a daily basis.
In short, not all D’s, I’s, S’s, and C’s are alike. For example, if you are an outgoing, friendly, expressive and action-oriented High I, Moderate D individual, you would feel completely out of place in a culture that values deliberateness, formality, and low-key communications. On the other hand, if you possessed a Creative classical pattern with an equally High D and C, you might thrive in a more reserved, task-oriented, analytical, focused work environment. A DC style under pressure might get more detached and controlling in order to fix what is wrong while an iD would likely get more emotional and expressive when stressed.
I encourage you to retake the DiSC Classic 2.0 profile yourself to see where your classical pattern falls. I will be giving a webinar on culture fit and your ideal career soon so stay tuned for further details. In the meantime, coaching or a one-time consultation regarding how this applies to you can be arranged by calling us at 404-327-6330 or emailing Laura@lauraadavis.com.
Transformational Coaching Tip:
Since I am on a “cultural kick” this month, I want to remind everyone about the importance of looking at other cultures and belief systems to broaden your perspective on how you view things. The truth is not always obvious since we generally see it through the lens of our own perceptions. In my experience, the more we learn about other times and cultures as well as different beliefs within our own culture, the more we are humbled by the knowledge that our perceptions are based on very narrow, limited views of the universe.
It may shock you to learn that your way is not the only nor necessarily right way even if you don’t think you have the tendency to believe that. That is why travel and exposure to other belief systems is so invaluable. The more we understand that our reality and the meanings we assign to events are influenced by the time and space we grew up in as well as the mass consciousness we are surrounded by, the more we can be open to change and growth as needed.
For my clients who are also in Georgia reading this, you know that only a few years ago, we suffered a major drought and had to operate on severe water restrictions. Recently, we had record rains and flash flooding causing severe road damage, power outages, and property damage particularly in the Northwest suburbs of Atlanta. In other words, a farmer experiencing a drought welcomes the rain and sees it as a positive event. On the other hand, if you are on the roof of a low building as the flood waters rise around you, you’d probably dread the rain and see it as bad. The meaning we assign to an event is truly relative and is largely a matter of context, perspective, and perception.
As you go through the next month, consider how the following key points impact you and your world. Are your perceptions serving you or not?
- Perceptions are generally based on a very limited amount of information.
- Your perceptions often exaggerate or minimize the truth.
- A wider array of perceptions sometimes makes the truth appear less absolute and more relative.
- Your reality is based upon your perceptions of the truth which can be changed.