How to Determine Someone’s Style When You Work With Them Virtually
“People can practice SOCIAL STYLE® concepts even when they work remotely. In fact, the remote working we’ve all been encouraged to do now has given us a new window into things we perhaps didn’t see with the people that we were working with before.” – Lisa Jones, Senior Instructional Designer, Global, Ernst & Young LLP
Much of today’s working environment is made up of geographically distant teams interacting virtually. Dispersed teams can be slower to act and less effective than teams that work together under the same roof, due to the challenges of working in separate locations and communicating remotely. Virtual teams also run a higher risk of experiencing misunderstandings and conflict, making it especially important that all team members know how to overcome the unique challenges of collaborating remotely.
Determining a person’s SOCIAL STYLE® remotely can be challenging. Non-verbal cues such as facial expressions and body movements—significant indicators of Style—are more difficult to detect in virtual settings. However, there are certain clues that can help you determine the Style of colleagues.
Here’s how to identify a coworker’s Style, even if you’ve interacted with them only virtually:
How to Identify a Driving Style
- Driving Style people will make their presence known. During phone calls and virtual meetings they will be more talkative than some others
- When speaking, these individuals will usually focus exclusively on task-related matters such as priorities and plans.
- Emails from Driving Style people are usually brief and pointed, and they may not provide much context to explain their comments and requests. They will often not include salutations or personal comments.
How to Identify an Expressive Style
- During phone calls and virtual meetings, Expressive Style people will often be very talkative and will speak more frequently and loudly than most others.
- These individuals will speak about personal matters and will share stories about themselves and others.
- Expressive Style people often write emails that are wordy and somewhat disorganized. They may impulsively send multiple emails rather than a single, well-organized message.
- In emails, their comments or requests might be unclear. For example, they might not include details like timeframes or accountabilities.
How to Identify an Amiable Style
- Amiable Style people are generally less talkative than some others during phone calls and virtual meetings. When they do speak, it is often quietly.
- Since they focus on relationships, they tend to discuss people and the effects that projects or tasks have on them, rather than focusing on tasks or outcomes.
- Their emails will be friendly and personable. Amiable Style people typically use salutations and might include personal messages along with work-related information.
- They tend to be wordy in their writing. Rather than making direct requests, they will considerately ask if you will do something, even if their request is an imperative.
How to Identify an Analytical Style
- Analytical Style people will often be quiet during phone calls and virtual meetings, particularly if there are other team members who are more Tell Assertive.
- When they do speak, these team members tend to discuss tasks and information related to work topics, with little discussion of people.
- They are formal and organized in their communications, and this is reflected in their emails. Analytical Style people sometimes send lengthy messages that contain all the information that they think is important.
- When making specific requests, they will typically ask for your assistance, rather than being more direct, and they will ask that you follow up with them.
In 2021, people will need to recognize and understand the differences in the four Styles—regardless of where they’re logging in from—and change their behavior accordingly in order to work most effectively in virtual teams. Join us Thursday, Dec 10, at 11:00 am ET for our webinar on how virtual training will accelerate in 2021. Register today.