by Meera Raghunandan 3 minutes read

As it happens it big organizations, I soon found myself reporting to another person due to a re-organization. During my first syncup meeting with my new boss, I tried to do some story-telling and chit-chatting as I used to do earlier. I immediately noticed that my new boss had the expression that said: “Stop it. Get to the point.” She was also not forthcoming in sharing her stories. I remember coming out of the first meeting with her feeling like I was at the wrong end of a quiz program, where all the questions began with “What is the status of?”

I also remember feeling very negative and missing my old boss, who was like a friend to me. And it took me a while to realize that it was up to me to adapt to the new boss ’ s expectations, and my old one was not coming back. So, from then on, whenever I went to meet her, I would go prepared with a list which had two sections. Section 1 was for updates and FYI type of items. Section 2 was for decisions that she needs to take for me to proceed. That’ s about it. No talk about the trac or the lack of exercise or the weather. Our meetings ran exactly for 30 minutes and we worked together wonderfully from then on.

I learnt that she was not looking for a friendly relationship at work. She was focused only on work and was extremely happy that I went prepared to the meetings and our focus was only on the way forward. We had a long and productive working relationship which eventually turned into friendship over several years.

The point is: what works with one person does not necessarily work with another. Each person brings their own style of working to the table, and if you are looking for harmony and productivity, look at how you can adapt quickly to their style, giving them what they need, and you will find that you are able to work well with dierent kinds of people.

There are people like my first boss who are completely relationship oriented. They build bonds with people, laugh and joke, pull every one’s legs and are charmers. They love to hear the stories behind the decisions. People’s opinions matter to them. If you are working with such people, focus on building rapport, focus on the big picture and share their energy.

And then there are people who are warm, soft-spoken, great listeners and great team players who keep the team together. These people love to work in groups. Don’t end up pushing them in a corner or expect quick decisions or rapid pace of work from them.

There are many people like my new boss who are so focussed on work that a check-list approach works best with them. They love to feel in control and love power, so do your bit to defer some decision-making to them.

There are a whole bunch of people who are very analytical in their approach; they are even hesitant to make eye-contact with others, being most comfortable only with data. Such people make sound decisions which are completely fact-based. While working with them, forget about story-telling and relationship-building, focus on facts and figures alone.

As you can see, there are several types of people out there. Instead of working in one constant style which you are most comfortable in, build harmonious working relationships by providing the people whatever they are expecting. Adapting to their style will make you one of the most indispensable people for them.

Talk to workplace coaches and experienced mentors at Mentoring Matters about the challenges you are facing with meeting others’ expectations. You will find yourself equipped with several techniques to deal with the challenges!

Mentoring Matters


Meera Raghunandan is the co-founder of Mentoring Matters, a platform for businesses and individuals across industries to drive holistic professional growth across mid and senior-level positions through dedicated coaching by certified professionals.


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