Which comes first for you? Depending upon your own inclination, you may marvel or frown at the opposite choice. But, if you want to “get it” as a manager or as an individual contributor, then think about this: Statistically it’s a 50/50 split. About half the population wants to work toward a specific goal in order to achieve job satisfaction. The other half wants to make sure that the elements of their job offer a “good fit” so they can perform at their optimum level.
I do a lot of individual assessments for organizations and have found that the inclinations are quite inherent. However, each type can learn how to adapt to what is required at the moment.
What can you do?
Increase your awareness. Look at your own preference and then start watching those around you. Who has to work before they can play? Who is making sure that the group is in harmony before moving forward?
What does it take to achieve the goal? If you’re in a crisis situation or up against a deadline, feeling-good-first may put you out of business. You’ve got to get it done! When you are focused on long-term projects which require a lot of cooperation and solid relationships, then take the time to build them. People will need to trust each other a lot in order to get through the inevitable difficulties that will take place. That can’t happen if people are only allowed to pay attention to a checklist.
Both types want some sense of acknowledgment when goals are achieved. I have more than one client who has told me “They get to keep their jobs. What else should I have to do?” Well, human beings look for recognition of some type when they know they’ve done a really good job. It doesn’t cost a thing to acknowledge people by name and what they specifically contributed to a project. And it might just improve performance and satisfaction for everyone involved.