What is your work style? (A definitive guide)

In this blog, we will answer the question, ‘what is your work style?’ and deliberate how these work styles contribute to success. 

The harder you work, the better you get, when you work with the style you put in your best! 

We work because we have to make a living and also because for many, it is passion.

But the way we work and the time we spend at work matter a lot and affect our performance.

Work teams are a group of different individuals coming together and giving their personal best for the success of the organization.

If teams were made of people with the same skills and same work styles, then the success rate will be low. Why?

This is so because each person brings with him or her a uniqueness that comes together with the novelty, thus giving the final concoction of success.

What is your work style? 

This question is usually asked at job interviews, where the candidate has to tell what kicks him or inspires him and what is it that drives him.

What is your work style? This when asked to answer which process the candidate goes through while achieving the target goals.

Is he or she an organizer, a go-getter, a passive recipient of information, analytical, observant or the coordinator?

We can identify how our colleagues work by observing them through these subtle and overt tell signs;

  • Does he/she constantly complete the work early, late or meets the deadlines just in time?
  • Do they write long emails or are very brief and specific?
  • Does he/she wave or flail their hands while talking or getting a point across?

Across the workplace there are people who have different styles of working. They might be

a)      Logical, analytical, linear, and data-oriented

b)      Organized, sequential, planned, and detailed-oriented

c)      Supportive, expressive, and emotionally oriented

d)      Big-picture, integrative, and ideation-oriented

In the Harvard Business Review, Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic and Dave Winsborough point out that “the dynamics of interpersonal relationships depend on individuals’ personalities, not on hard skills or expertise.” 

Teammates can get better at managing projects or giving presentations with practice and coaching, but they aren’t going to suddenly stop being themselves—reserved and laid-back or assertive and competitive—any time soon.

This is why it’s crucial to recognize the distinct personality types of your team members (as well as your own) in order to be able to adapt mindfully to different working styles.

To help you, we’ve broken down the key characteristics of several working styles—based on what we learned from our Insights Discovery session and other research on the topic.

We’ve also come up with a few strategies for how to best communicate and work with each style.

A successful team is an amalgamation of these work styles.

When a project is underway, we should make sure that the team that is involved should be a combination of a variety of work styles. If not, then the project will remain stagnant.

a)      Logical, analytical, linear, and data-oriented

These people will provide the logical reasoning, process and solve intricate problems and will make sure that the project does not exceed the budget.

b)      organized, planned, and detail-oriented

These colleagues are involved in detailing accuracy, order establishment and make sure that work completes on time, after thorough review and edits.

c)      supportive, expressive, and emotionally oriented

They are important in the office for building and maintaining relationships that are vital for the coordination of colleagues.

They also ensure that ideas are circulated among one another effectively.

d)      big-picture, integrative, and ideation-oriented

They will encourage and initiate ideas and act as a catalyst for change. This is vital for the growth and development of the organization.

They will make sure that the team does not lag behind or get stagnant.

Primary Working Styles

A workplace should boom with vitality and vigor and each project should display the strength and style of each member of the team.

Kim Christfort, the National Managing Director of Deloitte Greenhouse Experience, an innovation lab, along with social-personality psychologist Suzanne M. Johnson, identified four primary working styles that are based on how people interact:

1.      Pioneers

These people are innovative, vigorous with new ideas. They have a buzz around them filled with novelty. They make spontaneous decisions and think big.

2.      Guardians

 “Guardians are thoughtful about everything,” she says. “Unlike Pioneers, they’re slower to take on new things, and they look before they leap.” Stability, details and order is their forte.

 3.  Drivers

People who have this working style live on challenges. It is the very idea of tackling a problem that ‘drives’ them. They want to win. “Drivers are goal-oriented,” says Christfort. “They feel more connected when there is a debate.”

4.      Integrators

Integrators are the ones who get everyone and everything together and like a jigsaw puzzle, put the pieces together and make a wholesome organizational group. Connection and getting people together is important for them. “Integrators can understand the context of moving pieces,” she says. “They’re the glue that holds the pieces together.”

The commanders are decisive, assertive and goal focused. They want their team to act rather than be on a sedate level.

They stay focused on priorities and are direct with their instructions. They want to get the things done there and now.

Supporters are reliable and considerate, encouraging their team members along the way.

They prefer to follow the routine, the Commanders should deal with the supporters with patience and give them space to work and make decisions.

The Dreamers are the ones who are known as the ‘ideas people and take up a brainstorming session.

Always with ideas and innovative ways to function, they have an open communication style and get the ideas across their teammates.

Their energy levels are high and this creates a vibe with the entire team.

Doers are organized and detail oriented, getting the things done with precision. 

Butterflies get their energy from moving around, socializing and being among people.

This way building up working relations and getting to know others in the same industry becomes easier, these are the extroverts.

Wallflowers are the introverts that keep to their tasks at hand and this quietness compliments the Butterflies working style. They like work alone.

Each workplace is composed of individuals with different working styles.

The work place comes alive only when the entire team is  a combination of all the styles.

Where one ends the other begins, thus giving rise to the chain of communication that leads to organizational success. 

As Steve Case, Co-founder of AOL very rightly puts it, “the strength of a team is different people with different perspectives.”

In this blog, we have answered the question, ‘what is your work style?’ and deliberated how these work styles contribute to success. 

Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are examples of work styles?

Following are examples of work styles found at a workplace:
Logical, analytical, linear, and data-oriented.
Organized, sequential, planned, and detailed-oriented.
Supportive, expressive, and emotionally oriented.
Big-picture, integrative, and ideation-oriented.

What are the 4 behavioral styles?

The 4 behavioral styles are Dominance, Influencing, Steadiness and Conscientiousness. 

What is your work style interview answer?

An interview answer regarding your workstyle is that I am a flexible person and would take up tasks, get the team together and meet the deadlines.

What is a work style?

Work style is how we work and the way we tackle tasks especially at work.

Titles to Read

  • Advanced Style by Ari Seth Cohen , Maira Kalman, et al.




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