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Employees are Like Diamonds

By Daniel Bobinski

If you think about it, your fellow employees are like diamonds. Each has many facets, each one is valuable and the best ones are highly sought after. There’s also something else we should note in our comparison. If we’re smart, we look past their flaws.

Like diamonds, every employee is exceptionally unique. If you want to help build a strong team, one thing you can do is discover each employee’s uniqueness and capitalize on what you find. After all, you can choose to look at what’s valuable or you can look at the flaws. To build a productive, effective, and profitable workplace, it helps to think of everyone as diamonds and focus on what is good.

Ask any jeweler, and they’ll tell you that it’s the cut of a diamond – the facets – that provide its beauty. When I teach emotional intelligence, I often refer to the different aspects of one’s personality as “facets,” and I put the facets in three distinct groups, which I call head, hands and heart. “Head” refers to a person’s cognitive style. “Hands” relates to behavioral preferences, and “heart” has to do with motivation – that which is often associated with attitudes and values.

Understanding the “head” facets allows us to differentiate among cognitive styles. This includes the different ways people perceive information, how they process that information and how they make decisions. The head facets also include the different ways people get mentally re-energized. People have different preferences in these areas, and there are pros and cons to each. However, if we want our team to shine, we need to focus on strengths, not flaws. As a side note, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a cognitive styles assessment that can be used to help understand these facets.

The set of facets for “hands” is about behavioral styles. Again, we should be focusing on strengths, not weaknesses. If you’re familiar with DISC assessments or the Four Temperaments (driver, expressive, amiable and analytic), you already know about these facets. Some people place a high value on getting results whereas others are more interactive and outgoing. Some are loyal and steady, working quietly behind the scenes, and still others strive to be accurate and precise. Everyone has a blend of these tendencies, but almost everyone has a strong preference toward one or two of these styles.

Lastly are the motivators, or “heart” facets. These include attitudes about learning, about money and how people prefer their surroundings to be. Heart facets also include the different ways people help others, their preferences about being in charge (or not), and the systems people use for living their lives. An assessment tool called “Driving Forces” helps identify one’s motivational preferences.

When practicing emotional intelligence, it’s important to see the value in all the different facets, even the ones that are different from ours. The other choice is criticizing the flaws, but that does nothing for building a cohesive team. Bottom line, we help our teams shine when we focus on the strengths of each team member.

Daniel Bobinski, M.Ed. teaches teams and individuals how to use Emotional Intelligence, and his videos and blogs on that topic appear regularly at He’s also a best-selling author and a popular speaker at conferences and retreats. Reach him at or 208-375-7606.



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