A colleague recently became ill and had to bow out of a major project that she had volunteered to do for an organization.

My first reaction: fill me in on the tasks. I wanted to know all of the details about the project, where we stood, what I needed to do to pick up the baton, etc. Of course, I was concerned about the person, but I will admit my initial thoughts were about the job.

Another colleague wrote this to her: “I’m far more concerned about you than I am the work. Beth and I can figure that out. May I stop by on your lunch break tomorrow? Or bring you soup on Thursday? ❤” Obviously her initial reaction was about the person first and the task second!

If you have done True Colors or other personality profiles, you’ll immediately see the different temperaments in action! Neither is right or better but it helps to be aware of the differences on your team so that you can complement each other and play to strengths.

Think of this example when you’re assigning tasks. Who is best suited to complete a project and who is most natural bringing soup? Your organization will be better served if you match the jobs to the person as often as you’re able.

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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