I Am Who I Am: But You Don’t Have to Be All the Time

This is who I am.

This is the way I am.

I’m too old to change.

At my executive/senior level, why do I have to change?

I hear this more than you might think. Professionals who know their Myers-Briggs http://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/mbti-basics/personality type or the Keirsy Temperament Sorter  or DISC type, the Predictive Index system  or the CVI seem to be clear about their personality preferences. I like to refer to this as their ‘default style.’

Your ‘default style’ is the behavior that is your ‘go to’ conduct. It is easy, comfortable, efficient for you and often effective. It’s fast and automatic. We speak and behave in ways that are almost automatic. We sure like it when the world requires a little less effort from us.

Don’t get me wrong. I like things that are easy and efficient too.

But when the behaviors don’t work and don’t’ produce the outcome we seek, it isn’t unusual to see people continue to behave in their ‘default style,’  hoping that the outcome will change.

It’s true that there are times when that is what happens. These folks get the outcome they want. Not because their behavior was the best to use but because the other person was worn down, gave up, wasn’t up for a fight, or was intimidated.

So my response to those who want to manage and lead more effectively is this: you don’t have to change if you don’t want to. However, you can. And if it gets you a better outcome, or is ultimately more efficient – why wouldn’t you?

Learning is not about age. It may be about energy. You can remain firm in your belief that others should change but not you. You could also be flexible and alter your behaviors and words in order to accomplish the goal you seek with less friction.

If the way you are behaving is not working for you as well as you’d like, why are you continuing these behaviors? There are lots of other behaviors to choose from and learning a few new ones might make all the difference to how effective you are and to those you interact with. What is will require is for you to be more thoughtful and more strategic. Something really great professionals do all the time.

Why not let THAT be your new ‘default style?’

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