Profiles in Togetherness – and How to Help!

Feb 17, 2016

I’m almost ten years into this work of writing, training, and coaching on Togetherness. I’ve seen a few patterns emerge.

I’m hoping these somewhat cheeky, but all-too-true, Profiles in Togetherness might help those of you coaching others on this stuff. Or perhaps, just maybe, you might catch a glimpse of yourself? #guilty

Each profile comes with a few concrete coaching tactics to help you address potential problem areas.

I’m A Total Hot Post-It Note Mess. Overwhelmed, scattered and in need of consistency, this person may have attempted some systems in the past, but they struggle to commit and maintain. Their staff often finds them well-intentioned but unreliable.

  • Select a consistent and single tool. Practice recording and sorting To-Do’s – both proactively and reactively.

I’m Super Into Last Minute Adrenaline Rushes. Great. I’m glad YOU like coming in under the wire, but I promise this will eventually start to impact people around you. It will also impact your ability to gather input as well as the overall quality of your work.

  • Gather 360-Feedback from this person’s colleagues as part of their PD. Help them see the impact of last minuteness.
  • Ensure all deadlines are entered into the Comprehensive Calendar.
  • Help them break big jobs into manageable pieces. Work backwards using the calendar.

I’m Totally Together Already. See also: Perfectionist. This is one of the most challenging profiles to coach. This person is frequently is a getting-things-done addict, often praised for hyper-responsiveness and air-tight follow through. But when you dig deep, there’s some avoidance of the harder, messier work.

  • Ask this person what they’d hope to accomplish if they had an extra 1 – 2 hours per day.
  • Have this person track their time to discover pockets for work-smarter tactics.

The Distracted Crisis Manager. This person HAS systems in place, but often gets distracted by mini-crises. They veer sideways to solve any problem. They are frequently highly sociable, good with people, and great managers. But people start to use them as a safety net and the big work doesn’t get done.

  • Use a Time Tracker to identify the emergencies and then analyze them.
  • Determine which emergencies are actually predictable and build in time to work on the ones that align with priorities.

Everything-and-The-Kitchen-Sink-Has-To-Be-Fixed-Right-NOW. See also: Mission Martyr. He or she is often on overdrive, walking the halls and pointing out a laundry list of To-Do’s, leaving people scrambling behind them. This person may get frustrated when things are not better right away, or may feel that if they are not working 24 hours per day, then they are not serving their mission.

  • Select the top 2- 3 areas of focus for the next few months by creating a Priority Plan and Meeting Matrix.
  • Before implementing any solutions, draft out the effort levels it would take to accomplish them.

I’m Too Important To Be Together. This person believes Togetherness is something for someone else. They may have a great assistant or set of administrative supports, so they don’t think they have to bother.

  • Review every single To-Do and calendar item to see what can and cannot be delegated.
  • Shoot for minimal systems here. This person may need some long-term planning help to ensure they stay ahead of their team.

So there you have it. I’m sure there are even more common struggles. What have you seen? How do you identify?