This article was written by attorney Susan Aufiero of the New York office of Buchanan Ingersoll PC.
The New York Chapter of the Women's Business Development Committee held the second of its series of the Executive Women's Forum on April 15, 2004. Phyllis Weiss Haserot of Practice Development counsel led around 50 women in analysis and discussion of personal styles.
Ms. Haserot attended the first event concerning organizational cultures and devised this program to help the attendees' increase organizational effectiveness through one's individual strengths. Representatives from the fields of finance, construction industry and health fields among others joined our BIPC Colleagues.
In addition, we entertained a fresh group growing from the first EWF event as word continues to spread about this innovative program.
Ms. Haserot identified a key to a woman's success as her collegial approach, namely influencing the organization by collaborating with others.
At this time particularly, organizations are ripe for change with the onslaught of mergers, leadership change, and greater desire for authenticity. One should take stock of the ingredients of her personal style, comprised of behavior, values, image and experience and then flex the style to suit the situation.
From an organizational perspective, people with certain styles have been observed to work well together since people with different skills and attributes complement each other when paired together.
Each event attendee enjoyed the opportunity to identify her style through an assessment and then applied that to herself in discussing her organization and day-to-day life. For example, the attendees made some excellent points in distinguishing why someone is an entrepreneur, while someone else may thrive in a corporate setting. Ms. Haserot used our results in identifying a “people-reading guide.”
Once someone is aware of different styles and traits, the person could identify a certain personality traits in another person and what some of his or her other attributes and weaknesses are. For example, an outgoing person could be more directing or more interactive, and from there you can detect how a person may act in another situation.
We found this very useful as a tool for understanding how a person might react in a situation. Upon splitting into four (4) groups pertaining to our style assessments and working with their fellow style mates on hypothetical situations.
As we drew to a conclusion for the formal part of the program, Ms. Haserot urged us to take our style assessments into our respective environments to review, without limitation, the relationships and, ideas and information shared among them. We were encouraged to help design environments in striving for stimulating settings.
We were encouraged to ask ourselves how we can inject personal styles into present environments. Developing an action plan was the key component to address disconnects in the organization and flexing individual style.
Ms. Haserot stressed that each one of us has more personal power than one realizes or uses. Upon breaking for an invigorating cocktail reception, Ms. Haserot left us with the goal of developing a diversity of personality styles that meld together.