How do you eat your Jaffa Cake?

By: Clare Kavanagh, Marketing & Administration Assistant and Jemma Came, Programmes & Marketing Executive 03/22/2018 Categories: Blog

Whilst sat at lunch devouring a family packet of Jaffa cakes (something that the Juniper Birds like to do on a regular basis) we compared the different ways we each eat a Jaffa cake. This then turned in to a full debate over which method was best:

Jemma takes the route of full moon, half moon, total eclipse as per the 90s advert. However, Emily and I go down slightly more creative routes - I like to leave the orange centre for last whereas Emily prefers to eat the orange centre first.

This got us thinking about how each member of our team has a different approach to tackling tasks – be they client projects or something as simple as eating a Jaffa cake.

On many of our learning and development programmes, we explore personality and leadership styles amongst many others. The Harvard Business Review outlines four more general types of people that you may find in your office:

  • Logical, analytical and data orientated
  • Organised, plan-focused and detail orientated
  • Supportive, expressive and emotionally orientated
  • Strategic, integrative and idea-orientated

These four types of people have different strengths which may influence the way in which they communicate, lead others or approach a task.

Jemma is organised, plan-focused and detail oriented. Maybe this is why she eats her Jaffa cake in-line with the advert which played during her childhood? She prefers a short and snappy brief, asking questions about the scope of the project so that she can better understand the potential impact on other projects or how best to approach the task.

Laura is logical, analytical and data orientated - she likes to have all the evidence to review before discussing how to approach a project or making decisions.

When a task is completed by one individual, it limits the value of having diverse perspectives within your team. Once ideas and decisions start cascading in one direction it can be difficult to disrupt momentum and open up the process to alternative ideas. Taking the time to consider your styles, your influences, and how this may impact the way you approach a task can be helpful to collaborate as a team and achieve your goals. Only by being aware of your colleagues’ styles can you assign the right tasks to leverage everyone’s strengths and achieve the best outcome.

Why not grab a box of Jaffa cakes and sit down as a team? See how everyone in your team goes about eating them, then think a bit more about how each individual approaches a task and how you can have a more collaborative approach to team tasks in the future!