The Compassionate Sequential
Can you identify three people who both appreciate and complement your offerings? People who not only get your way of thinking, but see it as an essential element to the outcome process?
If they work for you, did you give them a year end bonus?
If they work with you, have you acknowledged their efforts and support?
If you can’t name one, have you considered hiring one? Collaborating with one?
Yin to our Yang
In the last few posts, I've been looking at how to foster and nurture positive structures, and the importance of examining how you get things done. Finding a complementary "Yin" to our Global Creative "Yang" is an important - but not easy - part of those processes. Very often, the Global Creative needs to find their complement - the detail oriented Yin to our broad-brush-stroked Yang. Much of what that need looks like has to do with perception and how we process incoming information.
It's a Matter of Dual Processors
Our brains have two ways of processing information: sequential - which handles information systematically, and associative - which allows us to process a lot of information very quickly. Of these dual processors, most of us prefer one over the other. So the way we process information affects (and limits) what and how we perceive our world.
Global Creatives are usually associative-dominant in their processing: they process by association and pay attention to experience and relatedness. Meanwhile, 60% of the population is sequential-dominant: they pay attention to rules and to the series of actions necessary to reach a particular end, which are essential for work efficiency. These unique preferences can be a set up for disaster mostly due to misinformation based on cognitive differences. Having the right person who processes sequentially on the Global Creative's team is a smart move - it adds much needed perspective and a set of eyes that can pay attention to the rules and actions. Adding this person is like upgrading to the Apple Retina Display - there is more there there to see. I call this person a Compassionate Sequential.
A Compassionate Sequential is someone who can help the Global Creative see key steps in the process of engagement from how to initiate a project to when to stop (disengage to a completion point). An effective Compassionate Sequential is not heavy handed in their ways and they are not judgmental. They, in turn, are receptive to a Global Creative's inside track on broader themes such as context, story, and vision. Compassionate Sequentials offer just enough structure to ignite the Global Creative’s creative juices and then know enough to get out of the way! Every flag needs a flagpole, every rocket needs a launch pad, every actor needs a stage.
Finding a Compassionate Sequential
Are your detail people not paying attention to the details?
Guess what? You may have just hired another Global Creative!
As humans, we make mistakes in hiring what we think is effective help. Call it the ‘We Want The Guy We Can Have A Beer With As President’ phenomenon. Subconsciously, we hire people we like and who we see in ourselves. This may be a safe approach, but it will also be frustrating for both Global Creatives.
Hiring a sequential does not mean hiring your old 5th grade taskmaster of a teacher. A Compassionate Sequential is confident in understanding their role, is willing to take initiative and run with it. A CS does not wonder what is wrong or is looking for a fix. A Compassionate Sequential will partner effectively.
Recently, two clients have discovered their own Compassionate Sequentials within their organization. In a sense they found their Yin that has been missing. Now they're able to hand things off and delegate with confidence, and they're able to let go of the minutia and detail to focus on bigger more meaningful stuff.
These partnerships are based a few key agreements:
- Both parties bring value to the table.
- The value may not be readily visible at first pass (due to cognitive preferences)
- Both trust that the 'whole is greater than the sum of the parts'
- Both are confident that there is a solution to any perceived challenge
- Both take ownership of the partnership, their individual roles, the work at hand and the greater good that will be achieved.
Effective support comes in many forms. Working with someone who understands your gaps and celebrates your strengths may be the positive structure you are looking for.