Navigating Different Work Styles for Better Workplace Collaboration

Finding your unique work style is crucial for personal and professional success, and learning how to excel within it is equally important. This guide breaks down both aspects, helping you discover and thrive from here on out.

by 

James Moffatt

-

June 6, 2024

What are Work Styles?

Work styles refer to the unique ways that each one of us prefer to organize, plan, and execute our tasks in a professional setting. We are all different, and we all have various traits, preferences, and approaches to completing tasks and achieving goals that work for us and make us stick out. These are all encompassed within these types of work styles, and it is therefore crucial to understand them and make sure we set ourselves up best to succeed within the style that suits us most. If fully understood, we allow ourselves to participate in effective workplace collaboration more often than not, and ensure that team members can work together harmoniously. Understanding your style is all about leveraging strengths and compensating for weaknesses.

What are Examples of Different Work Styles?

So, let's get into it. The concept of work styles in the way just explained is often categorized into four primary types of style: the Doer, the Thinker, the Connector, and the Organizer. Each of these styles and each person who fits within them bring different strengths and challenges to our workplaces, and play a big part in influencing how individuals interact with their tasks and team members. Let's go through these four styles now, so that you can understand your style and learn how best to excel within it.

The Four Different Work Styles

  1. The Doer
  2. The Thinker
  3. The Connector
  4. The Organizer

Exploring Each Major Work Style

The Doer

Traits:  Your doers are action-oriented, hands-on individuals who thrive and perform best when completing tasks and achieving tangible results. They are often the most productive in fast-paced, constantly changing environments where they can be fully immersed due to a preference of tackling tasks head-on.

Strengths:

  • Very productive and efficient.
  • Ability to get things done and execute plans (to a high level - achieving short-term goals).
  • Motivates others with their energy, drive and passion for achieving results.

Weaknesses:

  • May overlook the big picture in favor of immediate results. Somewhat erratic, but in good way for their output.
  • Can become frustrated with lengthy discussions or planning phases. Crucial for them to have support in discussion and planning.

Tips for Navigating the Doer Work Style:

  • Make sure you have clear, concise goals and deadlines.
  • Try to achieve autonomy in task completion. Ask for this.
  • Participate in brainstorming sessions and make sure to stay connected to the broader team dynamics while getting your tasks completed.

Tip: As I say, it can be helpful to have support in discussions and planning. Doers can therefore benefit from tools like Bubbles Notetaker, which can join any virtual calls they have on platforms like Zoom and Google Meet. Bubbles helps them stay organized post-meeting by providing full recordings, transcriptions and summaries, allowing them to focus on execution within the call and also afterwards when all of the critical information is available with one click. Bubbles is free to use, so if you are a doer, check it out!

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The Thinker

Traits: Thinkers are the more analytical and detail-oriented people within our teams. Often excelling at strategic planning and problem-solving, this type of worker prefers to delve deep into concepts and ideas before taking action. You might already be seeing opportunities for combining thinkers and doers and achieving a great teamwork flow, but let's examine their strengths and weaknesses more closely.

Strengths:

  • Long-term planning and strategic thinking is their forté.
  • Great at considering and identifying potential issues before they arise.
  • Highly analytical and detail-oriented - rare that they let things slip by them without consideration.

Weaknesses:

  • Sometimes struggle with decision-making due to over-analysis. Not necessarily a bad thing, but important to also have personnel who can make quick calls alongside.
  • Can be seen as slow-moving or indecisive.

Tips for Navigating the Thinker Work Style:

  • Give yourself plenty of time for the analysis and planning you love to do.
  • When making your decisions, give detailed information and data to support your call.
  • Share insights arising from your strategic thinking and analysis with the team to enhance everyone's collaborative work.

The Connector

Traits: The clue is in the name, but connectors are the natural communicators and team players who love to get their work done in collaborative work environments. These people are particularly skilled at building relationships and therefore great at working together to achieve a common goal. They are our social butterflies in the work environment.

Strengths:

  • Again - amazing communicators who help out across the board with the team dynamics.
  • Skilled when it comes to effectively networking and building relationships either internally or externally.
  • As a result of these traits, connectors help form a supportive and collaborative workplace culture.

Weaknesses:

  • Being the social animals they are, social interactions can sometimes be prioritized over task completion. This is often unintentional.
  • Usually, connectors struggle with tasks requiring a lot of solitude or confinement/deep focus

Tips for Navigating the Connector Work Style:

  • If you're a connector, then make sure your skills are being utilized in team-building activities and collaborative projects.
  • Alongside this, grab any opportunities that arise for you to lead meetings or participate in group discussions.
  • Try your best to balance social interactions at work and focus on what needs to be completed.

Tip: Connectors can become distracted in long conversation, and often, we want this, as it will start developing natural and strong working relations. However, for a connector, the use of a tool like Bubbles Notetaker during virtual meetings would be massively beneficial. This will ensure they capture key points and maintain focus (whether that is during the meeting or post-meeting), allowing for a better follow-up and continued communication with external partners or team members.

The Organizer

Traits: Structured and systematic, organizers are there for creating and maintaining organized workflows and general team dynamics. We need these highly detail-oriented and efficient personnel in our teams to stop things going off track. This type of work is best catered to environments where processes are clear and laid out ahead of time.

Strengths:

  • Great at managing workflows and people.
  • They keep things moving in the right direction towards deadlines.
  • Usually, organizers are great at maintaining detailed records and documentation. However, everyone can be by using Bubbles.

Weaknesses:

  • Less adaptable when it comes to sudden changes. Therefore, organizers might struggle in a startup environment but thrive in an established company.
  • Carry a perception of inflexibility when new ideas come about.

Tips for Navigating the Organizer Work Style:

  • As a manager, try to provide clear processes and structured workflows to these people.
  • Again, allow them to take the lead in the organization of the whole operation.
  • As the organizer, try to be open to change and flexibility.

How Technology Can Enhance Workplace Collaboration

As I have alluded to, there are plenty of roles that tech can play when it comes to supporting different work styles and enhancing workplace collaboration. Tools like Bubbles can boost productivity, communication, and organization with personalized support during and after meetings. You would be hard pressed to find a work style that doesn't want help improving those aspects, which shows just how effective revolutionary tech like this can be within diverse teams wishing to keep workflows organized.

For example and to be more specific:

  • Doers benefit from automated meeting minutes and transcriptions, as it allows them to focus on action rather than boring, mundane note-taking.
  • Thinkers appreciate detailed meeting records and insights. It kicks off their thorough analysis and strategic planning easily.
  • Connectors can use meeting summaries to enhance their communication with team members who maybe didn't join the meeting and aren't aligned on the progress.
  • Organizers find value in having structured and organized meeting notes, as it will help when it comes to maintaining efficient workflows. On this note, Bubbles can also be great for organization as it allows users to keep the whole conversation (and follow-up discussion) in one area (or channel).

How to Answer a Work Style Question

You may well be asked to give some insight into your work style in an interview. Generally, if you are asked, it's essential to be honest and self-aware. Here are some tips to prepare:

  1. Reflect on Your Preferences: No one knows better than you, so think about how you typically approach tasks and interact with colleagues.
  2. Provide Examples: Use examples to explain and give context to your work style in action.
  3. Highlight Flexibility: Everyone loves adaptability, so emphasize your ability to adapt to different situations and try new work styles.
  4. Showcase Strengths: How does your work style benefit the team?
  5. Acknowledge Weaknesses: No one is perfect - be honest about areas for improvement.

Combining Work Styles for a Great Team

A diverse team with a mix of work styles and great interpersonal skills can create a really productive work environment. Now that you understand the unique strengths of each work style, you and your team should be able to achieve better balance and productivity. Try to compliment each other's styles and consider the following advice.

Building Relationships and Enhancing Collaboration

  • Open Communication: Make sure that your workplace is an environment where team members feel comfortable sharing their ideas and opinions because if not, any attempt at collaboration is largely pointless.
  • Team Building Activities: Organize activities that help team members get to know each other and understand different work styles.

Embracing Diversity for Organizational Success

  • Diverse Teams Generate New Ideas: Teams with varied work styles are more likely to come up with innovative solutions and ideas. Not just on a cultural level, but people's brains work in different ways. This often means that everyone's ideas will bring a slightly new perspective.
  • Enhanced Team Dynamics: A balanced team that leverages the strengths of all members will be more harmonious and have a better and more sophisticated output.

Conclusion

Collaboration and teamwork is unlikely to be successful without a true understanding and dedication for navigating the different work styles on the team. Try to recognize the unique strengths and challenges of each work style, and leverage these when delegating tasks or planning workflows. However, don't just leverage personality traits. As suggested, make sure to also leverage technology where beneficial, starting with the free and supremely useful, Bubbles.

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Get your point across using screen, video, and audio messages. Bubbles is free, and offers unlimited recordings with a click of a button.

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More from Bubbles

Collaborate better with your team

Get your point across using screen, video, and audio messages. Bubbles is free, and offers unlimited recordings with a click of a button.

Get started free

Make your
meetings matter

Use AI to record, transcribe, and summarize meetings into actions. Bubbles is your home for after-meeting collaboration.

Try it free in < 2 min

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