Take the route of your own style

publication date 27.12.2011

Everyone in their own style

Everybody has their own individual style that reflects his or her thoughts and, therefore, future success in life, too. In life we can make a choice whether we intend to follow the route of our own style or the one of fear and hypocrisy.   Following our own style opens up possibilities of further development.   We are who we are.  It is only that at times we do not know who we are. 

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Own style goes beyond fashion

The very word style evokes more the style of fashion, the way we are dressed, rather than anything else. Yes, that also makes one part of the equation. For everybody will wear what suits them best. They will wear what they feel comfortable in or what they want to wear for some reason or other, while at the same time expressing their attitude to themselves and the surroundings. They communicate to us what they think, how they think, the way they are going to behave and so on. Hardly would you expect someone who has been wearing an old T-shirt and a pair of threadbare jeans to put on a tuxedo and happily go out to converse in the Prague Castle Spanish Hall. Rather than the style of fashion, I am having in mind the style of:

  • communication
  • thinking
  • behaviour
  • influencing others
  • and so on.

In my lifetime, I have met very few people who are fully aware of their own style, being able to give it a name and knowingly use it in life. The rest mostly hold the view that there has not yet been time to pay attention to such things. Issues such as this one do not come up before we face a problem, or others complain about our communication, or we have to resolve more complex problems we cannot cope with through day-to-day operative management, having to engage the other co-workers too. It is mainly at the communication trainings (naturally, the ones that deal with the essence of an individual´s communication) and emergency situations when people come to realize their style, though unnamed, determines the way they: 

  • behave,
  • communicate with the others,
  • what solutions they put forward and so on. 

For the others mostly reflect our style and also give us the first feedback on the effectivity of our style. Everybody is having fun until the moment when the desired effect needs to be reached, the effective solution found, and our own true potential, as well as the ones of the others, tapped. At this point, many might argue, the classical management techniques can be applied to push people, order people, motivate them with money etc. Yet such solutions have lately been failing to deliver results, producing only the so-called "commonplace" , incomplete solutions. Such solutions tend to lack fresh ideas or are void of the company´s unique approach. Putting it plainly, people just do not invest themselves fully into the quest for the solution. They just do what they are told to fulfil their assignment formally, keeping the manager "happy". In this situation, workers do not employ their true potential. 

Our potential rests largely in our own individual style

I am indeed convinced the times require everybody to try and do their best, to live to the full for themselves, their family, friends the company. It is the living/being that does create the feeling of fulfillment, the feeling that we are needed. No pose can make you feel needed or fulfilled. In addition, our closest family are the first to witness our life unfold and they feel, as we do, whether it is the fulfillment or just a pose. From the manager´s or entrepreneur´s point of view, I find it fascinating to have co-workers who live their lives to the full while fulfilling the life of the company, too. Such a situation can help the company make formidable progress. To put it simply, people do not go to work just to be there for 8 hours and make the money. 

Fear or style of their own?

These days people are more preoccupied with fear of the future - whether they are going to make enough money to pay for their mortgages, loans, leases, whether they will keep their jobs - rather than with being themselves, knowing their own individual style that helps them make the best of their abilities. More often than not fear leads to mediocrity, low-profile behaviour and the work-to-rule mentality. It also helps to conceal who I really am and what I really can do. Thus, companies´ managers tend to get timid and mediocre solutions. No wonder. Living in fear of not being able to repay their mortgages, workers are left pondering on the mortgages rather than finding the best way to solve a problem at work. Managers are partly to blame for this too, as they fail to look for what individual style their people have. In doing so, they also give up looking for what work would suit them best. 
Neither people themselves are in search of their own style and - therefore - of the environment where their style is needed. What they are in search of is a company to provide them with the desired sum of money to cover their mortgages and other revelry. If they really were in search of such a company, they could be feeling happier and utilize their strengths. Sadly, fear mostly prevents people from discovering their own individual style. 
And so people say they cannot behave in the same manner both at home and at work. Thus, in fact, they say they behave, live and think one way at home and another way at work. All that, as I have suggested, gets revealed while they communicate, at best in conflicting situations. Such situations serve as real eye-openers: here people mostly fail to conceal their true thinking behind a pose. Our subconsciousness and body give our style away.  These are the moments when the managers do not grasp what has actually happened and why their capable and loyal worker has behaved completely inexplicably.
My question, therefore, is: Why should one doublethink and live a double life while wasting twice the necessary amount of energy on such needless exercise? Why spend one´s precious time and life on posing as somebody else? So much fuss posing instead of finding one´s own self, own individual style and environment where one feels well and their style is convenient to the others. 

Someone out there needs your style

Living in one´s own style equals feeling well. Own style comes natural to us and differs from person to person. If we feel well, however, we might have a positive effect on other people around us. This is one moment when the effect of our conduct and performance is greatly enhanced. You can be sure that somewhere there are people, an environment, a company that need your own individual style rather than anybody else´s. It applies here as well as in the consultancy business. Each customer looks for their own consultant, or, to be more precise, looks for the consultant´s style that suits them fine. What I have in mind is the consultancy where the customer and the consultant work together for months and years on the company´s development. The consultant needs to understand the essence of the company´s business and search for a unique formula to develop that business. I do not mean just a temporary collaboration when the advisor will teach the managers how to use a single method or do a couple of consulting hours. It is exactly the consultant´s style that makes the customer hear and understand everything that the consultant says. If that style disagrees with the customer, he or she then hears only fragments that they analyze in detail - yet do not understand - as they are unable to see the fragments being parts of one complex whole. 

Pursuing your own style is the gateway to your development

In conclusion, I cannot but appeal to companies´ managers and owners: Find your own style. Follow in the direction it points. Live your lives to the fullest, both professionally and privately. (I do not mean overstepping the line of ethics, ignoring the good manners, putting down other people´s personalities and doing nothing. Man was once created for life, and life is creation.) Try and become a role model for your coworkers. Then they will be able to manifest their qualities and ideas more easily and invest their potential into their own or the corporate lives. The potential, here, means everything that defines their own individual style. That is the gateway to development without the fear of being yourselves. The journey of natural creativity, mutual support and respect is opening up. 

Jiří Střelec

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„An honest consultant only charges for the work done.“ more >>

Jiří Střelec Jiří Střelec

A lot of entrepreneurs have experienced cooperation with consultants who start their “stop-watch“ from the moment they  greet them  “Good morning, …“. Their billing includes the small talk about how the business is going or even breaks. An honest consultant charges only for the period in which they were using their expertise for the customer´s  benefit. It means the time when they analyze, seek the solution, lecture, train, etc.