As we conclude our series of blogs highlighting Principle #2 of Work That Works, you are beginning to see the value in pursuing activities that make you feel uncomfortable.

Stepping outside of your comfort zone etches new neurological pathways in your brain, invites innovation and can work wonders for your relationships with others.

In my previous blogs on Principle #2, I invited you to identify some activities that make you feel scratchy and then challenge yourself to do one of these things. Today I encourage you to think about scratchiness in communication.

Effective leaders know how to flex outside of their own preferences to effectively communicate with individuals in a way that honors their preferences.

To practice flexing to meet the needs of others, I invite you to consider your colleagues’ Emergenetics® preferences. If this is difficult for you, pose the question to your colleague that speaks to their preferences. Here are some tips for communicating with individuals based on the seven Emergenetics Attributes:

  • Analytical: Focus on solving the problem or ask, “How do you think we can solve the problem?”
  • Structural: Give lots of details or ask, “What details do you need from me?”
  • Social: Focus on the person or ask, “Who should be involved?”
  • Conceptual: Give the big picture or ask, “What is your idea of the big picture?”
  • Expressiveness: Be mindful of the way you use verbal and non-verbal communication, such as dramatic movements versus subtle movements.
  • Assertiveness: Watch the amount of energy you use in stating your opinion, either mildly or vehemently.
  • Flexibility: Be willing to accommodate the thoughts and actions of others or stick to the plan.

Flexing outside of you own preferences will become easier the more you practice. As you experiment, take note of the reaction of your employees.


For more tips on how to apply the principles in Work That Works, purchase a copy of my book here or fill out the form below to purchase the companion card deck, which provides actionable tips to support your leadership journey.

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