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What is Your Work Style? Developing Your Own Personal Style

BY: Joanne Trina Moreno • Nov 22, 2019

Individual difference far exceeds any diversity.

This is the cardinal rule to bear in mind when thinking of one’s own personal style in the workplace. It is but essential to look at this premise when cultivating one’s own “signature” in terms of doing things. It is by recognizing AND respecting that each and every one of us is different, will we be able to successfully establish ourselves at the workplace.

Knowing our personal style is helpful. First, it allows you to design your schedule and routine that fits within your capabilities. It also allows more opportunities for understanding others, as each and every one is aware of what one’s preference is, in terms of working style. Finally, it serves as a “social barometer” since style is overt in nature. Thus, it allows colleagues to work around such preferences, as shown through one’s style.

Meanwhile, there are a number of things that we need to look into, when we intend to develop our own personal styles. It is best that we take note of these following fundamentals as we begin and continue to ascertain our own personal style:

Awareness is key

It is important that you are aware of what you want, what you can do and the things that you need help with. Awareness of these things about the self is essential in recognizing one’s individuality. This manifests through the choices that you make in terms of the words you use in communicating with others, the clothes you wear, and the way you organize your desk. Knowledge about the self includes both one’s strength, areas still in the process of improving on, and weaknesses. Such knowledge will enable you to identify the particular activities that you involve yourself in, as well as those that which you need to continually work on. For example, you know that you work well while listening to music. This awareness may allow you to work on your tasks, while listening to one. This way, you are optimizing your potentials, since you are maximizing your awareness about your style. Knowing oneself then, is key so that you are able to leverage on your strengths and turn your weaknesses to opportunities.

Be confident

This immediately follows when you have a hand of who you are. You are able to carry yourself with “style” with the knowledge that you have about yourself. This confidence would exude out, without having to deliberately tell the people who you are. It will naturally come out through how you consistently carry yourself. It will naturally become your personal “brand.” Branding is most important nowadays, as it may even be attached to one’s identity. However, you must be fully aware to take much responsibility to the brand that you wish to present. It does not necessarily mean that what you have decided to brand yourself with, will be amenable to the people you work with. For example, you have always valued a neat and organized workplace. You need to assert to those who work around you that you intend to keep your place that way. Start with modelling it. Walk your talk. Should others question you, let them. So long as you are doing this within the bounds of the organization’s policy, you can keep it that way. This way, you can get the message across, without having to force everyone to be like you.

Feel free to explore

There are no hard and fast rules in making your own “creation.” If there is one thing that I have learned from my profession as psychologist, there are a number of ways that a person may interpret “creativity.” One way of starting this, is to slowly let our “guards” down. This would mean, taking up the courage to try out new ways. This can come in consulting others, doing research on what trends are working, or simply looking back at how you really see yourself. There may be styles that you were doing before, but somehow, you find yourself not doing anymore. You may want to craft your own routine in inserting physical activities into your day. If you are a morning person, for example, make sure to have your exercise in the morning, so that you will be able to maximize your “energy level” well. Designate tasks that would require highly cognitive skills during this time as well. Reserve the less “thinking” tasks at your low energy levels. These would be checking on social media notifications, drafting your next activity with your family, partner or friends.

Respect Other’s Personal Style

It is through the recognition of the cardinal rule of “individual difference” that will be the basic foundation of respecting others. It is but futile to insist our style on others. Knowing individual difference is not enough, though. Understanding and showing reverence to such differences is another story. It is but challenging and almost always, a work in progress. It is therefore important to be “sensitive’ to how others express their personal styles. So long as it does not impede the objectives of what are expected of us at work, let others “be,” so you may also be allowed to “be.”

All these are basic knowledge about the self, and are not really new concepts. They have been repeatedly discussed and emphasized in different discussions. But having mentioned them to be able to cultivate one’s personal style is reason enough to say, that they are, and still are worth emphasizing on, when you want to “make your own mark.”

Finally, it is important to recognize that style is something that is dynamic. The recognition of this involves the continued responsibility to be flexible in terms of allowing “growth to happen. To quote: Hara Estroff Marano (https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200808/the-style-imperative)

“Style is, for starters, one part identity: self-awareness and self-knowledge. You can’t have style until you have articulated a self. And style requires security—feeling at home in one’s body, physically and mentally. Of course, like all knowledge, self-knowledge must be updated as you grow and evolve; style takes ongoing self-assessment.”

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