Yesterday I posted Part I of my interview with Dr. Steve Lurie. Today, we continue the interview and discuss whether the skills for career success can be learned:
Can those skills (for career success) be learned?
Yes. But for some reason, employees typically receive relationship skill training much later in their careers in management development programs using personality tools, 360 feedback, etc. that help them to see who they are as others see them and make them aware of others styles.
We have found that people are actually ready and able to absorb and apply these insights and tools as early as high school. In fact readers tell us that the most engaging and useful part of the book is about how to use Connecting Style awareness for better relationship building.
You’ve referred to "Connecting Styles." What does that mean?
Study after study shows that what differentiates the best performers from the rest is not subject matter expertise – the what — but the quality of the connections professionals form with clients and colleagues.
The most powerful connections are formed by those who factor in and respect the learning, communication and interpersonal preferences of the person they are dealing with – and understand their own style and how they are likely to be perceived by others.
While every human being has a unique connecting style fingerprint, we know that people fall into four basic “connecting styles” based on how emotionally and how forcefully they connect:
From this model we can generate a simple roadmap for engaging others based on their connecting style.
For example, analyticals respond best when working within a predictable process that gives them time to prepare in advance, spells out a plan, defines roles, and does not rush them toward a decision. Direct expression of anger, frustration, resentment, whether directed at them or others, makes them uncomfortable and they disengage.
Energizers on the other hand, engage when given the opportunity to express their feelings and ideas and get very impatient when sticking too tightly to process and rules. Once a person understands their own connecting style and how to assess style in others, they can apply these insights with supervisees, supervisors, clients, adversaries, judges, partners, etc. for greater influence and more trusting relationships.