Do you know these people who are always active? Francis is a fascinating guy, and well yes I call him a friend even if it’s sometimes difficult to stay in tune with him.
He usually has a challenge to win somewhere, will take swift actions and make fast decisions. These are great qualities, especially if you are able to follow. Yet if you can’t, you’ll notice that he expected you to follow and won’t support you too much to keep up with him. Along the way I learned that it isn’t that important for him, being out of business one day never meant that the next day we wouldn’t be again working at making the things happen.
Francis has a great capacity to adapt himself to the situation he meets, problems are momentary inconveniences and he’ll find a way to persuade the right person or whoever is needed to make the necessary changes. This makes him a real winner and an exciting person to work with.
We both have been working a lot together. He followed me in realizing several projects, as they provided enough room for action and excitement. Knowing that there were some opportunities for him to be in the limelight he always made sure that the big picture looked right, leaving me the part to make sure that everything is ready.
A reason for our successful collaboration was that we didn’t fuss around; if a decision was to be taken we went straight to the point and didn’t lose time with lengthy discussion. That’s the most effective way I found to communicate with him, he even is ok to receive blunt instructions and follow them. Especially in situations where there was no time for discussion, it was great to have someone in the team who is capable to take orders.
Oh yes, Francis and I have our differences regarding leadership. When under stress, and expecting that every team member should be able to handle almost anything, he would make achieving the goal his first priority even with little consideration of the relationship. To shake everybody up, Francis could be providing single team members with an information that others didn’t like their work or had changed the plan. As usual in such circomstances a lot of excitement was created with everybody reacting, yet only leading to discussions as well as to the difficulty to keep a healthy relationship in the team instead of leaping towards the goal.
Someone like Francis finds it great to meet people as well as to be all over. Whenever I attend a promising event he will be there, usually in a discussion with a group of people who will mostly be listening to him. As he likes to make contact he goes towards the people, mingles in different groups and enchants everyone with his charming style. Expect that the nicest compliments you’ll hear not only on such an occasion will be from someone like Francis.
To be so charming, helps to make him special in everybody’s mind, which is important to him. To show that he is someone special he also will show-off. You might not always notice this at first sight as he might do it with little details, when dressing he will pay attention to have some stylish and expensive accessories. The next time you are at a party just have a look at the wristwatches and check who is wearing the expensive ones.
You might have met personalities similar to Francis who perceive the world through action, have you been watching action movies lately?
But how can get along with them? Try the following suggestions, I found them to be helpful when working with personalities like Francis.
- Make short working meetings and avoid long discussion. You can also invite them only for the parts of the meeting relevant to them.
- Go right to the matter and share the bottom line of the task with them. Don’t be afraid to be too direct, it won’t offend them.
- Avoid giving them too many “second chances” and be clear about it. It is ok to confront them when needed as they are quite thick skinned when it comes to accept a “no”.
- Add a challenge or a healthy competition to the task you give them, they’ll like the excitement.
- Quick rewards are also a great idea, thus never wait until the project is accomplished to give them for example a motivational talk. By paying attention to them you respond to their desire to stand out of the crowd
- Define rules but avoid to make them too strict as for example a requirement to be present during specific office hours (8 to 5)
This post continues my series about different personality types and follows Emotional Competence.
[Original publication via frogstalk.com, Nov 01, 2010]