Hi folks!

I hope you had a fantastic weekend.  Things have been rough for us with Evan, but we continue to plug along.  I am gearing up to raise money and walkers for the 2010 NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Walk.  It is an amazing event that I never would have known about if it weren’t for Evan.  I’ll share more about it as we get closer to the walk on October 2, 2010.

Last week, we discussed maximizing productivity with Drivers.  This week, we’ll look at Expressives.

Expressives:  Just like Drivers, Expressives are also big picture thinkers, fast paced, and extraverted.  However, unlike Drivers who are extremely focused on results, Expressives are more focused on relationships.   Expressives are extremely communicative, like praise and recognition, and social rejection is extremely difficult for them.  To improve productivity with an Expressive:

1. Allow a few minutes before or after your business conversation for socializing.  You may be frustrated by taking the time on the front end, but it will save loads of time on the back end.  If an Expressive feels like you care about and appreciate them, they will bend over backwards to help you.

2. Help them remain focused.  Expressives have tendency to “chase bunnies” while in the middle of a conversation.  They get easily distracted.  The good news is that they know this, so gently guide them back to the conversation at hand.

3. Know that niceties are a big deal to Expressives.  Take the time to write “Good morning” in an email, rather than just jumping into to facts.  End with “Thank you” or “I appreciate it”.  Once again, a small time investment on the front end will save a whole lot of time overall.

4. Expressives are also big picture thinkers, so just like the Driver, email in bullets and attach more detailed information.

5. Provide ideas for implementation.  Expressives have amazing and creative ideas.  They struggle, however, with implementation.  Talking through strategies, challenges, issues, etc. will help them think through the process.

When you are frustrated by having to modify your approach, remember to ask yourself, “Is my goal to be right or get it right?”

The following story is a great reminder.

Life is an Echo
by: Author Unknown

A son and his father were walking in the mountains. Suddenly, his son falls, hurts himself and screams: “AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!”  To his surprise, hears the voice repeating, somewhere in the mountain: “AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!”

Curious, he yells: “Who are you?” He receives the answer: “Who are you?” Angered at the response, he screams: “Coward!” He receives the answer: “Coward!”

He looks to his father and asks: “What’s going on?” The father smiles and says: “My son, pay attention.” And then he screams to the mountain: “I admire you!” The voice answers: “I admire you!” Again the man screams: “You are a champion!” The voice answers: “You are a champion!”

The boy is surprised, but does not understand. Then the father explains: “People call this echo, but really this is life. It gives you back everything you say or do. Our life is simply a reflection of our actions.

If you want more love in the world, create more love in your heart. If you want more competence in your team, improve your competence. This relationship applies to everything, in all aspects of life; life will give you back everything you have given to it.” 

Make it a wonderful week!

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