How you can make the most of differing leadership styles
And it’s your behaviour that impacts others, either positively or negatively.
Lorraine Sweeney, from Cerese Solutions, supports individuals and teams to help them maximise their team performance.
“When teams reach peak performance, there is less energy spent on debating the politics and intentions of various players and much more on the work at hand,” she said. “But that requires a level of trust that comes from a better understanding of each other’s style and motivation.” Let me start by saying there is no such thing as a right or wrong style. However, in given situations, some styles help to achieve an effective result and others can inhibit it.
For example, let’s say your primary style is to be dominant, decisive and results-focused in every situation. That might be perfect in a crisis but not if you’re trying to coach one of your team.
In summary, there are four main styles, determined on one axis by the extent of your level of assertiveness versus introversion. On the other axis they are determined by your orientation on tasks and results versus people and relationships. The diagram shows just some characteristics to illustrate the extremes of each style. Great leaders create a high performance and motivating culture that brings out TASK/GOAL FOCUS OPEN AND PEOPLE ORIENTED the best in every team member. That’s done with great communications and through understanding relationships. In turn, that generates increased collaboration and teamwork across the organisation. Be aware of your style and the styles of those around you. Engage in a facilitated workshop to help you determine the style of each team member. Flex your own style to work more effectively with diverse styles that are different to yours. When there is potential for conflict or different agendas, seek common ground and mutual interest with those of a different style. Clashes of styles are inevitable. Develop the emotional intelligence of your team so that they become more aware of each other and know when to let go or adapt as needed. Put people in positions not just based on their technical expertise but that play to their strengths. For example, putting a ‘driver’ type salesperson in front of an ‘amiable’ buyer is a recipe for conflict.
If you have no choice in this, then ensure that the salesperson knows how to recognise it and adapt.