Sometimes detailed oriented team members are often the last to know about upcoming projects. The reason? Most team members see them as potential roadblocks to an exciting, new idea instead of the means to make it a reality. They are the ones who tend to get into the weeds of a project and while there, see the obstacles to success. For leaders and visionaries, this puts a damper on the “great idea they had in the shower” or the “latest innovation that came to them in a dream” after eating left over pizza the night before. However, the truth of the matter is detail-oriented team members are needed to get the job done.
For universities, colleges, and schools, these detail-oriented people are necessary. Since education is accountable to various state and federal regulations, students, and the public, new and innovative is quickly followed by hesitation, push-back, and skepticism. This is when leaders look to their detail-oriented team members to ensure all checks and balances are in place. Institutions can greatly benefit from detail-oriented team members. They are able to ask the hard questions to address challenges without wasting time and money.
The following are 5 reasons why institutions should embrace detail-oriented team members.
- She’s wearing what? Detail-oriented people notice everything down to what people are wearing. As a result of this awareness, most tend to be sensitive to the moods of others. They use this skill to connect with team members and adjust to their environment. It is also an important skill leaders and visionaries should take advantage of during meetings. In order to get total buy-in and forward movement, it’s important to start by explaining the overall vision so everyone, especially your detail-oriented employees can help make it a success. By achieving buy-in from the detail-oriented team members, project managers have an easier time overseeing and assigning tasks.
- Grammar Police: Sir, you’ve misused a comma. Yes, it can be annoying when you have a large report to submit or data that’s due to an accrediting organization and every draft comes back marked up, but it pays off to have a detailed-oriented team member review the institution’s documents. They ensure minor spelling and grammar errors are corrected which prevents the institution from presenting themselves as not caring. Ultimately, they help the institution avoid embarrassment.
- Practices, and Patterns, and Trends, Oh My! Detail-oriented team members have an uncanny ability to see the various details once a big picture has been presented. Generally, they do not develop the initial idea and may not be able to fully understand the end result, but they are able to develop the roadmap needed to make it a success. They can see the idiosyncrasies within the procedures and processes which could affect the overall project’s outcome. Their passion is to work together to make the project a success the first time and focus to proactively correct the areas that could cause problems later on.
- Who Moved My Coffee Cup? You probably thought you put the stapler back exactly as you found it, but little did you know that you were wrong. Detail-oriented team members pay attention to the details. I bet you weren’t expecting that, but it’s true. They work to understand the big picture idea and drill down into the weeds to see the “what ifs”. This is an invaluable skill to any institution. The ability to address the “what ifs” saves institutions time, resources, and funding especially when there are so many departments and stakeholders who are affected.
- Project Countdown. Detail-oriented team members need forward movement to feel successful. If they feel progress is not being made, boredom and complacency sets in. Detail-oriented people need to know that there is an end to the project and specific benchmarks established along the way. They also motivate other team members using the project plan and their knack for breaking down a seemingly insurmountable project into manageable parts.
Detail-oriented people are not always the easiest individuals to get along with, especially in the middle of a project. It’s important that leaders can identify these individuals and provide them with the tools and freedom to drive a project to completion. Maybe in reading this you realized that you’re more of a detail-oriented person than you first thought. Embrace it. The big picture thinkers would not be where they are today without the detail-oriented team members who make their vision a reality. The visionary tends to get all the glory, but the detail-oriented people pour their guts into making it happen.
Steve Jobs was a visionary and a leader who cared about the “weeds.” Even he needed detailed-oriented people to help bring his visions to life and make Apple the sought-after brand it is today. However, this blog post is not about the visionary. It is about the employees in the trenches who get dirty to get the job done. Every institution needs a leader, someone who comes up with and passes along the great ideas or big picture, but equally important are the detailed-oriented team members who make sure the little things are getting done right.
What project was your institution able to accomplish because of detail-oriented team members?