Succession planning identified a director as a potential successor for a vice president role. As a result, human resources arranged for psychological testing with an Industrial Psychologist. The psychologist relayed the results indicating this individual would be equally adept at being either a priest or a military officer without elaborating what this meant in terms of performance. The director thought it quite admirable to have such a range, and took this to mean that he had a wide career scope with many options.
This story captures one of many reasons for inconsistent management behavior. From a tendency perspective, this wide spectrum is extreme and includes opposing behaviors. The range could be quite useful if you are very self-aware, but problematic if you remain oblivious while others observe incongruity in your decision making and working relationship dynamics.
Self-management wise, this range generates a busy internal debate between two opposites. The emotional and mental debate zigzags between:
* Be impulsive or be disciplined?
* Approach this creatively or systematically?
* Be flexible or zero tolerance?
* Be self-serving or go for the greater good?
You will often hear me say that every skill and trait is both an asset and a liability. The power is in knowing when it shifts from the asset zone into the liability zone.
You have a good reason for doing what you do. However it may be inappropriate for the situation or the expectations of your role. Any learned behavior can be unlearned – in other words most tendencies can be tamed.
What you do to tame a tendency is unique to you. What works for someone else may not work for you. Is it worth the time and effort to tame a tendency? Definitely! Giving up the inner debate will save you eons of energy. Plus inspiring employees instead of alienating them is always good for them and for your business.