Staffing and Personality Type
Suggestions for Brad
Brad will achieve much more by engaging Raquel on her terms. As chief development officer, he has more of a responsibility for engagement than Raquel, as a volunteer leader, has to accommodate him.
Brad will advance his ideas further if he considers the following:
- Slow down sharing his ideas. As an INTJ, Brad is very comfortable talking in big, future-oriented concepts, but he’s likely to leave a lot of people behind in his excitement for the big picture. A good way to slow down will be for Brad to provide details of how an idea might be applied, or share an example of how it has worked elsewhere.
- He can also slow down by learning who the leaders have been over the years. Becoming better acquainted with the gala’s history will enable him to connect his big ideas with how things have been done in the past. He can also ask past leaders to talk about how the gala has evolved over the years, to show him how past changes have improved the gala. This will help lower the feelings of risk among auxiliary members who are less comfortable with change—especially changing an event to which they have a strong emotional attachment.
- Brad has to recognize the intrinsic social aspect of the gala. Working together during the year is at least as important to auxiliary members as the money raised. Many members learned to know each other through their work for the gala. Brad has to honor this history, and pursue change through evolution rather than revolution. He will benefit enormously by having auxiliary members recognize him as a go-getter who also involves them, because they will have a lot to say about how the entire community views him and his work.
Suggestions for Raquel
Raquel enjoys how easily auxiliary members cooperate with each other. She will enhance her leadership—and provide new oomph to the gala—by paying attention to some tasks that lie outside her comfort zone.
Here are some suggestions she might consider:
- Take the initiative by contacting Brad to “continue our conversation,” inviting a couple of other auxiliary members whom she trusts to join them. Tell Brad they will be there “so he can share his ideas with them, too.” Initiating contact with someone with whom she is not comfortable will require a lot of energy from Raquel. The other auxiliary members will support Raquel in her leadership role, reinforcing to Brad the collegial way in which the auxiliary works.
- Prepare and practice a short feedback statement to open the next conversation with Brad. Her language needs to be in first-person: “I appreciate your interest in helping us make the 20th anniversary gala a success. We want to do all we can to make it special. I felt a bit overwhelmed with all that you talked about before. So I asked Marci and Alyce to help me listen to your ideas. Then we can explore together how your suggestions might become part of the event.”
- If some of Brad’s ideas are useful, Raquel needs to lead the gala committees to incorporate the new ideas. She will have to take a more “let’s look at this possibility” attitude than she usually does and practice how to talk about such suggestions. She will have to move beyond her preferred one-on-one conversational style that focuses on the other person’s wants, and articulate persuasively a more big-picture view of the event itself.