A good friend and client was making a presentation to his “boss” and as he was making what he thought were the more profound points the “boss” started looking away at her computer screen and answering email. To say the least, my friend was livid but kept it under control since it was his “boss”. We got together afterwards and discussed the presentation that he made. It, as expected, was very well organized and loaded with data to support his desired outcome.
I inquired as to the Thinking Attributes of the boss. Recall that with Emergenetics there are Four:
Social Thinking is sympathetic, connected to people, socially aware and intuitive about people.
Conceptual Thinking is imaginative, creative, innovative, visionary and intuitive about ideas.
Analytical Thinking is logical, rational, objective, factual and skeptical.
Structural Thinking is practical cautious, predictable and methodical.
As we continued the discussion it became obvious that the boss was a Social/Conceptual Thinker. It was also clear that the presentation my client made was Analytical/Structural in content and guess what…my client is an Analytical/Structural Thinker. It
was a great presentation but it did not resonate with the audience and she checked out and said “no” to the request.
I worked with my client to reframe the presentation except this time we did it in a Social/Conceptual format.
He said, “I won’t get another opportunity to make this presentation.” I replied, “Could your boss tell you were upset in the meeting?” “Yes…she could”. “Well”, I went on, “If she is Social as you think then she will likely check back with you to make sure you’re OK or she will at least revisit the subject in some way with you because she does not like the idea that you are bugged with her.”
The very next day his supervisor asked if he had 10 minutes to talk. She wanted to make sure he was “OK” from yesterday’s meeting. Queue up the Social/Conceptual presentation. He was finished in 15 minutes and had approval for the project later that
Alright…I admit that it doesn’t always work out this way this fast. However, when we invest a little time in understanding who we work with and how they think we can revolutionize cooperation, communication and progress at the workplace. The fact is…the supervisor did want that for which my client was advocating. My client gave her a better opportunity to understand the request when she made it in the “boss’s” thinking language.
Ask WindRiver Strategies a question about your work interactions and maybe we will anonymously blog out some approaches and possibilities that might help?