Style Differences

Newsletter No. 19 – May 17th, 2024
Written by a human. 

Excerpt From the May 2nd Edition of the Harvard Business Review

“…Whether you are a leader or an individual contributor, when you embark on a new collaboration with someone, it makes sense to align around goals, objectives and timelines, roles and responsibilities, expectations, resources, and support. But there’s another key conversation that we often forget.

When working with someone new, it is a good idea to be intentional about first taking time to talk about what’s important to you, what drives you and makes you operate at your best, and then create an open dialogue about how to best work together. When you explicitly talk about each other’s work styles and preferences before diving fully into the work, it is more likely that you will prevent misunderstandings and misalignments down the road. I like to call this type of upfront conversation the “style alignment” or “working-together-effectively” conversation.” 1

1 Read the full article here: Harvard Business Review

If you work with your family members in some capacity, and you’re like 90% of the families I encounter, you have not had “the style” conversation.

More likely than not, you started working together and used your family members’ family style as a baseline for what you expected out of their professional style.

This approach is patently wrong.

While there are going to be consistencies between your family style and your professional style, there will be important nuances that should be discussed, including: values (e.g. being informed or recognized), most productive working times, pace, autonomy, need for social contact, etc.

If you’re thinking about working with family (or currently do), please have this conversation; more often than not, the fractures I see in family relationships are not due to big issues, it’s the little ones that nag, fester, and go unaddressed.

– Josh Gentine

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