I don’t know about you, but I love tests on management, learning styles and anything that can tell me more about my personality and those around me.

Some of these social science tests are backed by a decent amount of research, and can shed some light into characteristics about yourself that you can utilize for personal and professional growth.

If you’re a manager, these assessments are a great way for team bonding and to learn more about how you manage. But, could it be that your learning style, or how you best absorb new information and new skills, is a bias for how you manage others?

It’s quite possible.

There are some things that are just innate, and some things that have taken years to learn. However, you can still take efforts to make further adjustments based on feedback from your team or your own self-reflection.

It’s a good practice to take a look around every so often and ask yourself how your relationships are with team members, and if you feel there are things you can improve upon.

Don’t get so caught up in the projects and work schedule that you forget to polish off some of your social skills. Maybe you just don’t know what to look for, and that’s okay, too. This article focuses on things to consider to understand if your learning style influences your management skills.

Many companies have quarterly reviews, and those can be great to regularly solicit feedback throughout the year. You know that every three months, there is information coming back in from your team on how they think you’re handling things, including interactions and motivation, as well.

The positive of this is that if you ask regularly instead of one survey once a year, you’re more likely to have a true reflection of the whole year, and not just something that happened recently. You don’t want one bad interaction two weeks ago to sour an annual review. If you aren’t doing more regular reviews, give your team a heads up, and get those going. The sooner you learn, the better.

But what can you do as far as self reflection? Well, the answer to that is, a lot. You must understand that others learn like you, but most will learn differently than you do.

New skills can be picked up in relatively little time for some, but take repeated exposure and practice for others.

If you’re a fast learner but find yourself losing patience with members of your team because they’re just not getting it fast enough, take a step back.

Work with them to figure out how they best learn and adjust your expectations. If you find others losing patience with you because maybe you’re not moving at the rate they had hoped, communicate with them the information they need to have a better understanding of your progress.

Help by setting expectations that you will have a certain part of the project done by “x” date, and carry on at the pace you need.

It’s also important to make sure you provide an environment in which your team members can excel.

If you are someone that gets bored easily, and uses meetings to fire off five different types of projects coming down the pipe, understand you may overwhelm some of your team.

It may be that they need to properly envision the changes you’re asking them to make, and cannot do quick visualisations to fully understand the conversation.

Keep things focused on smaller pieces, but allow each member to move forward at the rate at which they are comfortable. If you have some that would like to see the ”big elephant” in one go, provide documentation that they can use to see it all as they need to. That way, your more careful learners can focus on just getting the pieces that are important for the near-term.

It’s important to have empathy for your team members, as well, especially when it comes to handling conflict and stress. If you find yourself thinking, “they just need to get the job done”, remind yourself that there is a human element to this. Stress and anxiety can cause a mental block for many people.

Learning new things may be exciting and fun for you, but may terrify some of your team members.

When introducing projects that may have a learning curve, include time for ramping up so your team members can feel that you’re helping pave the path to success for them to accomplish their tasks with added time that allows them to adapt.

It may be true that your learning style influences how you manage others, and some parts of that you may not be able to adjust. However, remember to treat your team members with respect and show patience if you feel they’re not learning how you think they should.

Use an assessment to guide you so they can learn about you, as well.

© Human Resources Global


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