Building a team for your business or organization is a process that is very much like building a house. Team members are your human resources—tools, that when used properly will provide foundation and structure to your business blueprint. Choosing the right team members is as important as using the right materials in a construction project.
Just as the longevity of your cardboard home will be shorter than a home made with brick; no different will be the longevity of your business built without purpose and values to strengthen its foundation with the right team members.
Using your blueprint, the foundation of your fishbowl is to determine the accountability of those you’re considering for your team. “Directional Communication” is a method I learned through training in TOASTMASTERS INTERNATIONAL. It helps us to not only define our own leadership and communication styles; it also helps us gather diverse and varied personalities for our team, so that balance and a variety of skills can be attained.
In the last two weeks I have focused on the NORTH and SOUTH personalities. Today you will learn about those that are EAST’s. Perhaps you are an EAST!
EAST’s are known as Visionaries because they think big and dream big:
East: The Visionary
- Focuses on future
- “Big-picture” view
- Insightful (purpose)
- Explores options and possibility
When working with an EAST, you must be patient. With their big ideas, comes the inability to clearly define those ideas in a way that others can understand and buy into.
If you are an EAST, this should sound familiar to you. If you work with an EAST, then please take note of how you can find ways to have a successful outcome when working with a visionary.
Show appreciation and enthusiasm for ideas
When an EAST comes to you with an idea, it is something they’ve not just thought of in the spur of the moment. On the contrary, it’s something they’ve been pondering for awhile. Even if you don’t fully understand it (and because it’s from an EAST, you probably won’t) you must at least thank them sincerely for taking the time to think through the problem to find a solution.
Listen and be patient during idea generation
An EAST may go off on tangents when explaining an idea. They may not be able to clearly articulate their message because they don’t focus on the integration of the plan—they are just excited about the idea.
I have a dear friend who is an EAST, and the method I’ve used to talk with him in my NORTH style is to say, “…give me in 1-2 sentences what is most important about what you have to tell me, then I will ask questions if I need more information”. I know it’s VERY difficult for my EAST friend to sum up his idea that way. He’s ready to solve the world hunger crisis by traveling around the globe to dig wells and plant crops that will feed thousands in the next 2 years, and I just want him to tell me how much I can donate right now.
Avoid criticizing or judging ideas
An EAST may get upset if they feel you’re discounting what they’re proposing, or if you interrupt their explanation. You may have to clarify what they’ve said so that you gain a better understanding of their idea. It will be helpful to ask, “do you mean….?” as you try to clarify their explanation. If at all possible, you should try to incorporate at least some of their ideas into the solution of the problem you’re facing.
Allow and support divergent thinking
An EAST may be standing on the top of a mountain, and be thinking about what they will do when they reach the third peak over. A non-EAST personality will be thinking about how they’re going to get down the next 50 feet of the steep terrain. You can see that these very different perspectives can cause some tension when planning and implementing events and solutions. It may be most successful to compliment the EAST on their ability to see long term, and then ask for permission to suggest some steps that will allow for an efficient and safe arrival to the destination.
Provide a variety of tasks
An EAST who has only one job to do will not be happy. Asking an EAST to focus on one activity will cause contention, and asking an EAST to return and report will make them uneasy. It’s important to provide them with clear expectations on your desire for reporting procedures and foundations of communication while allowing them to have freedom to create. If an EAST is responsible to delegate tasks to others, assist them in building a team of those best qualified with varied skills for the tasks at hand.
Provide help and supervision to support detail
An EAST will probably not ask for help, and may begin to feel inadequate if you show any signs of wanting to “take their job” from them. If you see an EAST floundering at a task, offer to help them facilitate the end result—that’s what they’ll be most interested in. Since the EAST will generally not be detail-oriented, your support of the details will ensure success.
Provide help for project follow-through
An EAST is so busy and consumed with the “big picture” that they have a hard time seeing the steps that need to be taken to get to their destination. It’s like being far-sighted—it’s very hard to read the small print. Help your friends of the EAST to correct their vision by creating an action plan for them to follow with very specific steps to completion.
Thank goodness for the creative communication of the EAST’s! Nothing would have ever been invented without EAST‘s, nor would we have the beautiful architectural structures or works of art that we have today. However, can you imagine Leonardo Da Vinci on your team as an administrative assistant? NOT!
Please give a shout out if you are an EAST! (And try really hard to simplify your comments)