Teamwork that will change the world- identifying differences


In the last posts of my long running series, I argued that churches led by teams of very different people will change the world and began to discuss what teamwork that will change the world looks like.

The key point is simply this, that people differ in many ways, but that a simple but helpful way to categorise people and think about how they interact and how I can best serve others in my interactions is the Social Styles model. In the introduction to my teamwork series I linked to a questionnaire that you can take to help you identify which of four quadrants you fall into. I would like you to become able to quickly identify which of the four groups anyone you meet falls into. To fully understand these quadrants you need to see them as two axes of behaviours which vary indepenantly of each other in different people.

As we began to explain in the last post, Paul would have been a very task focussd individual. He is likely to have seemed quite emotionally constrained and not very focussed on chit-chat and relationships. He has a world to win. People who are task-focussed are not necessarily callous and hard-hearted: they just know that the best way to help people is to get the job done. We have all met people like that who are driven to succeed. Of course, not everyone who is task focussed likes to tell others how to act. It is possible to be someone who focusses on getting a job done right but needs direction from others. These people are often quiet behind the scenes people who analyse a project for a protracted period of time before committing.

Below the line are the people-focussed individuals. These again fall into two groups- the quiet relatioship-foccussed individuals who care for others and are the glue of teams, and the expressive ones who are every bit as communicative as the leader/drivers. These guys are usually full of ideas and energy. They will either inspire or exasperate people they come into contact with.

When you first come into contact with this model it can take a while to get used to thinking about where to place people. The trick is to consider each question separately-

1. Is this person task or people foccused- are they guarded or open with their emotions and communication. Do they tell me very little or do they share intimate personal stories with me?

2. Is this person ask or tell? Are they indirect, slow and quiet in their communication or are they loud, directive and fast?

If you can answer these two questions you will be able to make sense of this social style model. In the next post I explain more about the four types of people the answers to these questions will identify.


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