We all have a preferred way of doing things.
You may prefer that your colleagues proactively come to you with problems. You may prefer to think through answers rather than blurting them out on the spot. You may prefer to avoid tough conversations.
It’s easy to figure out what your preferences are. There are hundreds of tests from Myers Briggs, to DiSC to Colors and everything in between.
The problem is that, just because you prefer to do something in a particular way, doesn’t mean that the situation you find yourself in is suitable for that approach. If people don’t come to you proactively with their problems, you’re going to have to go to them.
If you need time think, but your boss needs an answer right this minute… well, you’re going to need to figure out how to give him/her that answer. And, if you don’t like tough conversations, avoiding them isn’t going to resolve the issue.
As a leader, we don’t get to operate the way we would ‘prefer’ to operate. We need to operate in a way that the situation requires us to operate. That means from time to time, we’re going to need to park our preferences and adjust our approach in order to get the job done.
What’s a preference you need to park this week?