I’m not a big fan of categorising people into boxes and whenever I’m asked, “What star sign are you”, I feel my eyes roll to the back of my head as I say to myself, “How can there only be twelve types of people in the world?”
"Categorisation" is the brain’s tool to organise nearly everything we encounter in our daily lives. Grouping information into categories simplifies our complex world and helps us to react quickly and effectively to new experiences.
However, categorisation and simplification only work up to a point and then become problematic. The key is striking the right balance and being appropriate to the situation and context.
In our upcoming Club Managers Webinar on Leadership Styles (https://www.elevateb.com.au/club-managers-webinar-june28) we discuss Cognitive Preferences. Which is a fancy way, and a constituent part of referring to someone’s Personality Profile – categorising ourselves and others by the way we absorb information and learn new things.
Understanding the cognitive preferences or personality profiles of both yourself and your colleagues provides insight into how you collectively learn, work and interact. Using this information, you can focus on creating a club environment that is more conducive and productive.
As a leader and club manager, your team are the backbone of your club. They are at the frontline every day dealing with members, setting your standard of quality and forming your reputation. They are your greatest assets, but if you’re like most clubs, they can also be a bit of a liability.
With skills underutilised, strengths unidentified, and communication styles unrealised, your team could be costing you thousands in lost productivity, opportunities and sales.
One of the ways to unleash the power of your team and uncover their hidden strengths, talents, passions, personality quirks and communication styles is by understanding “what makes them tick”, “how they think”, “why they react and do tasks a certain way” – their cognitive preferences.
Just imagine if you could communicate more effectively, delegate more clearly, understand the ‘why’ behind certain behaviours and have the ability to unlock your team’s peak performance.
Having an understanding of the cognitive preference of the person you are communicating with means that you can connect with them in a way that encourages a positive response. For example, you might tailor an email to someone who prefers direct, to-the-point delivery differently than if it were to someone else who prefers a more personal and friendly approach. Knowing this before sending the email can avoid you waffling or coming across as rude to the wrong recipient.
Adjusting the way, you communicate can also help to avoid misunderstandings or confusion. It also increases the chance that the person will be receptive to whatever you are trying to communicate, making them more likely to understand your point of view. This could be:
a team member who will be more likely to get involved with a new club project;
your CEO who will be more likely to authorise funding; or
a member who will be more likely to visit the club regularly.
As well as better communication, understanding cognitive preferences lets you work better as a club. Gained insights allow you to put together stronger teams of people whose strengths and weaknesses complement each other. Within these teams, it is also easier to delegate tasks based on an individual's strengths. This translates to stronger team dynamics and a more proactive way of working in all areas of the club.
Within the club through there will be an opportunity for a greater sense of openness among team members, when you and your team all recognise the unique mix of cognitive preferences that exist.
When it comes to avoiding and resolving conflict, people will be better prepared for someone else’s approach to a certain task or how they might react to a certain comment. This reduces the chance of someone getting offended by another person’s blunt tone, for example. It could also allow feedback to be delivered in a way that will not be construed as overly critical by the recipient.
So, whilst it’s not about putting people into boxes, recognising differences in your own and your team member’s cognitive preferences helps build your managerial skill sets in developing a cohesive, enjoyable and productive club environment.
If you would like to dial into the 28th June Leadership Styles webinar to explore this and other aspects of Club Leadership and Management, please go to https://www.elevateb.com.au/club-managers-webinar-june28