Trainer Frank Newberry has long believed that turfcare sector employers like their supervisors to be as good, if not better, at communicating than they are at gardening, greenkeeping or groundsmanship. Good technical skills seem to be less important at this higher level. It is best, of course, when supervisors have both social and technical skills.
In this article, Frank looks at the advantage this preference can give extroverts over introverts. He invites you to check if you are extrovert, introvert or ambivert. Frank then suggests a few changes you might want to make to increase your chances of getting a better job or a promotion.
Take a moment to examine the two lists below and tick off the words that best describe you. For example, the first one invites you indicate whether you tend to dive into something new at work and get stuck in straight away - learning as you go. Or, whether you prefer to think things through, do some research and - only when you know what you are doing - do you start the task, the conversation, or switch on the new machinery.
2. Proactive (you initiate)
3. Leads and instigates
4. Action (prefer to be active)
5. Talk thinks through
7. Interaction (thrives on involving others)
8. Breadth of interest (knows a little about a lot of things)
2. Reactive (you respond)
3. Follow through and makes good
4. Reflection (prefer to think)
5. Think things through
7. Concentration (left alone to think)
8. Depth of interest (knows a lot about a few things)
No matter which column has most ticks, it perhaps must be acknowledged that extrovert behaviour seems to have more 'supervisory' behaviours than the 'introvert' list.
Not going to happen - but if it does - it will not be for long!
On the plus side for introverts, it perhaps must also be recognised that it is a lot easier for introverts to imitate extrovert behaviour (put on a bit of a show), than it is for extroverts to imitate introversion. We are asking extroverts to be quiet and not put on a show? It is not going to happen - but, if it does - it will not be for long!
The good news is that people are not mainly extrovert or introvert - the majority (50%) are ambivert. They are in the middle of the bell curve (above). Mainly extrovert and mainly introvert people are a much lower figure.
Chances are then that you are an ambivert and have some solid extrovert and introvert traits.
Look at the results of your personal assessment of the two lists. Now look at the ones you have not ticked. Maybe we can eliminate the one about getting stuck in without thinking things through - not many employers want supervisors to have that trait.
It is much easier to do it gradually
That leaves us with perhaps a few new behaviours to adopt (on our own terms of course and without changing our personality). At this point, I would suggest that the important thing with personal change in the workplace is that it is much easier to do it gradually.
So, maybe we should not adjust more than one behaviour at a time. Ask for feedback when you think you have completed the change and then - if the feedback is positive - move on to the next one. If there are several changes you need to make, then prioritise them and do the most important one first.
© 2018 Frank Newberry
A great place to get feedback
A great place to get feedback on your potential as a great supervisor, and to learn how to get your message across to people at all levels in the organisation, is by attending one or more of Grounds Training's Supervisor Seminars this winter.
Dates and venue now confirmed. Attend one, two, three or all four of them!
Getting Better Results 12th December 2018
Enhanced Communication Skills 10th January 2019
Problem Solving and Decision Making 21st February 2019
Taking Charge TBC November 2019
Venue: Allscott Park, Telford TF6 5DY.
For further details and booking visit www.groundstraining.com