Prism Stories: Amiable Amir
As part of an ongoing series, we shall intermittently surface stories through the lens of Prism®:
Amir was known for his warm spirit and laid-back approach to life. Because of his penchant and desire to help others, he chose to pursue a career in therapy. His welcoming nature made it easy for others to be candid and trusting, enhancing his ability to advise them.
As Amir progressed as a therapist, he was often delighted with his proven success in helping people slow down, increase their self-awareness, and grow into overall healthier individuals. He found that he appreciated the predictable cadence of his work—spending every day in one-on-one conversations with different people certainly suited his personality.
While Amir and his clients thrived, he started to run into problems with his energetic and blunt supervisor. He found her manner of direct questioning and straightforward feedback intimidating, causing him to withdraw into himself, often leaving him speechless. This was worsened when Amir took on a role leading a team of therapists at the practice.
He suddenly found himself struggling to address conflict between team members and was too uncomfortable with delegating work or enforcing divisive decisions. He also dreaded the annual review meetings where he had to present his team’s work to the entire organization.
Amir decided to seek the aid of a coach to help him navigate the nuances of leadership. His coach aided him in assessing conflicts that should be addressed and those to let rest. She helped him see that sometimes the best way to show his caring nature was to be more direct and honest with his colleagues, as described by author Kim Scott’s concept of Radical Candor.
Amir’s coach also helped him take ownership of his experiences, allowing for more confident interactions with his supervisor and team. To do so, the two of them practiced having difficult conversations to experiment with a more assertive communication style, as illustrated in this video.
Amir’s challenges are occasionally experienced by others who occupy the Amiable quadrant of the SurePeople Prism. These are people known for their warmth, cooperativeness, and empathy. But, for many of us, healthy progression through our careers and lives requires an assertion of boundaries, addressing difficult conversations, and being forthcoming about our feelings.
Growth in these areas takes time but gets easier with each exchange. Embracing challenging conversations and setting boundaries often strengthens our relationships, whether at home or at work.
“Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is relax.”
– Mark Black
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