One thing I inherited from my father was the ability to talk to people. He taught me at a fairly young age to ‘know your audience' and this skill alone has helped me succeed time and time again.

I knew how to talk to my friends' parents, how to talk to people in roles of authority, how to talk to my parents to avoid getting in trouble, and how to talk with my peers… and I might have had the same message for all those people, and said it in a different way to each of them.

After all, you'd speak to a group of kindergarteners much differently than you would speak to a group of high school seniors. In fact, it's the first rule of public speaking. My dad was and is a BIG jokester with a big personality and landing a good joke and getting a big laugh is a LOT easier if you know your audience. People have different personality types, communication styles, and personal preferences based off their personal experiences, upbringing, etc. I'm always reminded of this fact when I visit different areas. In the south, if I'm walking down the sidewalk and pass a stranger, odds are they will smile and ask how I'm doing. The same behavior in other parts of the country (or world) would be off-putting. “Why is that person looking at me?”, “Mind your business”. It may even be scary to some.

These individual and cultural differences are important to recognize, and in the same sense, appreciate. The different personality types of BOTH our team members AND our customers, are what allow for constant growth and improvement.

We, at Operations Agency, engage in a team book club and have recently read Michel Falcon's “People First Culture” (If you haven't read it, you should!). In this book Michel discusses three basic personality types, the “Director”, the “Socializer”, and the “Passive”. He states that it is important to acknowledge these differences when creating and managing relationships with both your employees and your customers. He discusses how recognizing and catering to these styles is integral to creating the optimal customer experience. I believe the same truths exist when creating an optimal space for your talent.

The most important aspect of owning and operating a business, is creating a productive and motivational workspace for both you and your employees. This focus, will in turn allow for faster goal achievement. It is imperative to create a culture that not only allows your employees to feel comfortable bringing their creative ideas to the table, but encourages it.

This, is how you will get ahead, and stay ahead.

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