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How to Work with Someone Who’s Good at Their Job, Passionate ... or Both

February 14, 2017

Nothing can break a newfound business relationship faster than a misunderstanding of personalities and intrinsic qualities. Understanding and appreciating one’s mind frame and personality goes a long way to creating and maintaining a successful partnership. It also offers an opportunity to understand how to engage and inspire team members of varying personalities to work cohesively.

When it comes down to it, people typically fall into one of three categories – those who are good at their job, those who are passionate about their job, or those who are lucky enough to be good AND passionate. In this blog, I’ll outline some of the significant qualities of each personality type and how you can best manage your business relationship based on varying personalities and motivators.

Determining Someone Who’s Good at – Versus Passionate About – What They Do

Someone good at their job is extremely qualified for and likely successful at what they do, but they lack passion. They’re sometimes viewed as control freaks and nitpicky perfectionists; often, they’re very critical of others, which is frequently a reflection of how they treat themselves. They’re naturally driven to do their job well but are rarely influenced by emotion. They lack the icing on the cake, if you will. They’re focused on doing what they need to do to become their best, period.

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Working with someone who is strictly good at his or her job can be a chore. They thrive on details and like to control everything around them. This can be extremely hard to manage in a business situation, especially if you’re the recipient of their delegations. Your best bet is to earn their trust by being consistent, avoiding indecision, staying ahead of the curve, and understanding their thought processes so you can acknowledge and account for their objections before they can.

Working with Someone Who’s Solely Passionate About What They Do

The average person spends 30% of their life working, so if you’re not doing something you love, you’re spending a third of your life doing something that doesn’t give you pleasure. To a passionate person, that’s simply not an option.

Someone passionate about their job, but not necessarily good at it, is identifiable as the person unapologetically enthusiastic about something. They live by the saying, “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Their passionate pursuits make them happy and inspire them to keep pushing forward. They’ll work around the clock because they love what they do so much that they don’t want to be separated from their passion. They have one gear – high – and their passions are deeply ingrained in all facets of their life. However, they take little to no time to reflect on whether they’re good at what they do; instead, they’re focused on following their heart.

To work with such a passionate person, you need to be consistent and be their balancing calm. That might mean helping them see how their behavior affects the big picture or staying on course during their storm. However, be mindful not to squash their enthusiasm – if you attack someone’s passion, they’ll take it to heart and lose their direction… and maybe their purpose.

Never give up on a passionate person, though. You cannot teach passion, and their passion can be an irreplaceable benefit to your company. Make it an opportunity to guide and refine their skills instead of trying to tame or bridle their spirits.

Working with Someone Who’s Good AND Passionate

passion2.jpgThis person is the perfect storm, and when you’re working with them, you’ll know it right away. Someone both good and passionate is obviously qualified for and successful at what they do, but instead of being nitpicky perfectionists, they’re charismatic, excitable, and vivacious. They’re doing what they love and they’re doing it well, and it’s paying off for both you and them.

These are the people with the icing on the cake. They might lead you down the occasional emotional rabbit hole, but when you resurface, it will be with an idea of matchless value.

If it comes down to being good or passionate, you want to be both – Every. Single. Time. You’ll spend your days doing what you love as well as something you have a keen understanding for and interest in. You’re following your life’s calling and your heart, and you’re lucky enough to be good at it, too.

How to Make the Differences a Workable Relationship

I’m willing to bet that you encounter each of these personality types every day in every situation, and, at least in the case of passionate people, it’s glaringly clear.

Recently, here at Leading Results, each of our team members took a DiSC personality assessment, which helps individuals learn how they’re motivated, how they respond to conflict and stressors, and how they work with others. After taking the personality assessment, we shared our results, and subtleties we’d never noticed – or never understood – became clear and we had a new understanding of, and, really, appreciation for, each other.

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Consider the results of a personality test primarily to learn how you’re motivated and what triggers you respond to and, correspondingly, how you can tailor your emotions and perceptions in a way that bests serve your team and surroundings. We’ve all learned that we cannot change anyone – we can only manage ourselves and alter how we react to situations.

Secondarily, look at the results of a personality test to gain an understanding of how your team members are motivated and how they respond to triggers. In doing so, you’ll have an appreciation of how they’re wired, which can help you work more cohesively.

Having – and most importantly, utilizing – this knowledge can strengthen teams and lead to better collaboration and, overall, better days at work.

Have you taken a personality test before? What was the biggest lesson that you learned? Sound off in the comments below.

Courtney Stallings
Written by Courtney Stallings

Courtney writes and edits content for Leading Results and their clients. She has been described as a Grammar Nazi and enjoys crafting writing with excellent spelling, punctuation, and grammar.

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