YESTERDAY I was sitting in a coffee shop, as I often do, doing a little typing while I was waiting for a friend to arrive.
A man sitting by himself at the adjoining table engaged me in conversation by commenting that I must set myself high targets and be very goal driven. An interesting observation from someone who has never met me.
I suppose he was making an observation on my attention to try and get finished what I was doing before my friend arrived.
We, as humans, naturally have a tendency to make these observations. Was he right?
The answer is not important, what is important is to understand what behaviour he was observing.
What he thought he saw was that I was placing a high value on achieving what I was focusing on in a highly focused and energetic way.
His observation is indicative of a goal-oriented person. Who is likely to be seen as confident, and hardworking, someone who will take the initiative and likely to work in management, sales, or creative roles where the achievement of specific and discrete goals is a high priority.
Interestingly these people are good at collaboration but not the most effective team players.
The focus on goal achievement is less important for administrative, care giving, protective and clerical roles or for production workers.
This is not to day that people in these roles are not goal focused; they are, however tend to be more tolerant to others' views or agendas and prefer to cooperate and collaborate rather than compete, particularly when it comes to climbing the career ladder.
As great team players they prefer making decisions by consensus so they can apply the true concept of team - Together Each Achieves More.
The theme that I am focusing on in this series is to illustrate that we all have different strengths. What is important is to identify the environment and job that best suits those natural strengths.
Dr Brenda Jamnik is a specialist in business leadership with more than 20 years' experience in executive coaching and building high performance teams.