Archive for April 12, 2007

Why Do You Like Certain Parts of The Task?

April 12, 2007

In any task we perform, we have different steps and procedures to deal with. The personalities residing within us can sometimes help or interfere with the way we carry out tasks.

We also bring with us different task orientations or preferences to stages of tasks. Why is there an inner preference? Because we are all human beings, creatures of emotions and thoughts. Hence at some point of the tasks or work, our interest increases while we dread performing another segment of the project.

Lets say there is a promotional project of some products that must be done within a month. Jay, Dee and Kay are selected to be working on this task.

Jay is excited, gets everyone together and draws out a list of marketing promotion ideas that may work. He loves contributing to the team. He can’t wait to meet up with the rest of the crew to carry out his ideas.

Dee decides that they should have a plan with deadlines so that they can keep to the schedules. She also volunteer to be in-charge of the budget and administrative procedures.

Meanwhile, Kay reminds everyone to make sure the results of promotion gets the desired effect or everything will go to waste. He indicates he has high hopes for himself and the team, urges everyone to work hard for this month.

Somewhere in the middle of the month, Jay, has somewhat slowed down his energy. He knows the importance of the project but just doesn’t seem to be able to bring himself as excited as before. He decides to take it a step at a time and see how things turn out. Jay loves to uplift the spirit of everyone with some jokes and tomfoolery every now and then.

Dee distributes to everybody a work plan and schedule. She insists that it must be followed so that she can keep track of the progress. She also generated forms and keeps minutes of meeting well. With her help, budget is under-control.

Kay justifies all the activities against the original goals that was set out in the first place. He highlights that ROI (Returns on Investment) is very important. Working really hard, he is determined to reach the goals, always ready to change course if a previous plan does not work. He believes that an individual must make sacrifices for this project.

A month later, the promotions are launched and it is a resounding success. Everyone turn up at the celebration. Kay is especially proud of his achievements, Dee is relieved and shows quiet confident that she keeps the team together and systems well oiled. Meanwhile, Jay, while cracking his usual puns, tells everyone how it is his idea for the promotion.

As you can see, during the course of the task, each has somewhat shown certain task preference and orientation. They show varying degree of emotions and rationality in performing the task at different phases.

During some of my seminars for leadership, management and marketing, I highlighted 3 Types of People in Task Orientations:

The Initiator – Full of bright ideas, every excited at the beginning and can’t wait to get things going. Love to sell ideas. Tend to lose steam half-way and left things unfinished. Highly emotional

The Processor – Extremely concerned about the process, the system and methodology. Pays attention to detail and analyses a lot. Be careful of analysis paralysis, can be rather rational and logical. Ensures that things are going well according to plans.

The Concluder – Very focused on the outcome and goal. Task and Results-oriented. Can get things done. Will do anything to get there. Tends to ignore the means. As long as we get there, it does not matter how. Can be a motivator.

(As usual, key preferences might change from time to time.)

In terms of work, it is very useful to put all these 3 types of work orientations together. This will ensure a very high possibility of projects being accomplished to quality standard and effectiveness in results.

Individually, it is useful to develop a bit of all three within the person. It does takes a bit of time for a person to develop all three orientations and shift them about comfortably.

Hence, the reason why different people like certain parts of the task has very much to do with their task orientations. If they can be well fitted to the appropriate types, they will find themselves happier and more efficient at work.

Happy Tasking!