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Why Are You ‘Allergic’ to Other People on Your Project?

Sometimes someone just gets under your skin, and you may not be sure why. Daniel Ofman created the “core quadrant model” to help describe why you may have such a strong reaction to a person, or vice versa. It looks at how a person’s own traits can lead to character flaws and how those flaws can be properly addressed. In a post at the PM Perspectives Blog, project leadership coach Susanne Madsen discusses how this behavioral model can apply to success as a project manager and a leader.

Avoiding Allergy Season at Work

Everyone has some basic core qualities about them. Madsen uses “determination” as her example, but this can apply to any number of things. If you need help identifying yours, think about the type of positive feedback people give you most often, such as, “You’re very organized.” However, overuse of these positive qualities can result in a pitfall. The above example of determination, when overused, can easily lead to unrelenting pushiness toward one’s team when stress is high. To keep from letting core qualities become pitfalls, you must include a challenge. This is the inverse of your pitfall and is designed to balance out that behavior. Madsen uses the example of “patience” as a challenge to pushiness. Being patient and understanding with others while still being determined can help round you out as a leader.

But this still doesn’t cover how you might have such a strong negative reaction to people. This is where the fourth aspect, “allergy,” comes into play. Madesn explains it detail below:

What’s really interesting is that too much of your challenge is likely to trigger an allergic reaction in you. Too much patience is “passivity” which represents your allergy. This means that you may lose it when you come across people who are passive. This is because your allergy is the opposite of your core quality. It’s also possible that you shy away from being more patient because you are afraid of becoming too passive. But your challenge (patience) and your allergy (passivity) is not the same thing. As long as you confuse your challenge with your allergy, your challenge will remain unattainable.

You can learn the most from people who you are the most allergic to because they have too much of something you are lacking. I find this really thought-provoking.

In other words, it could be possible that the work behaviors you find bothersome are in some way related to behaviors you would like to be exhibiting yourself!

For more information, you can view the original post here: http://www.esi-intl.co.uk/blogs/pmoperspectives/index.php/why-do-some-people-on-your-project-trigger-an-allergic-reaction-in-you/

About Austin J. Gruver

Profile photo of Austin J. Gruver
Austin is a Staff Writer for AITS. He has a background in professional writing from York College.

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