Consensus. Harmony. Unity. These are the goals of every nonprofit board. Unfortunately, they are rarely part of their reality. So, how does a board leader honor every individual around the table while encouraging them all to move forward in agreement?
In his recent article for Fast Company, “This Is Why Your Passive-Aggressive Office Note Didn’t Work,” Shane Snow suggests that understanding each individual’s outer and inner expectations is the key to creating group agreement. Snow cites a framework presented in author Gretchen Rubin’s latest book, The Four Tendencies, that identifies different personalities and how best to empathize with and appeal to those personalities–rather than avoid them or fight them.
• Upholders will do anything to meet a work deadline (an outer expectation) and also their New Year’s resolution (an inner expectation). They’re self-starters and highly reliable, but they can be defensive and rigid.
• Questioners tend to be good at meeting their inner expectations, but they need to be convinced why to do something before doing it, this way they can decide for themselves whether it’s worth doing. They’re comfortable bucking the system but can suffer from analysis paralysis and get impatient with people who just accept things as they are.
• Obligers are motivated above all else by helping others and by following rules. They can be counted on as responsible but can have trouble imposing limits or saying “no.”
• Rebels are motivated by freedom of choice and self-expression. They don’t want to be told what to do; they want to decide what to do. They’re great at being independent, spontaneous, and creative but not at being disciplined.
Read his entire article here to learn more about your own personality type, better identify the personalities of your peers, and gain strategies to use this framework to create more true consensus in the board room, with your colleagues, and in your personal relationships, too!