Leadership can be a very challenging task. One way that it is challenging is that as leaders we don’t always get to choose who is on our team. In fact very often a leader inherits a team, of which most of the members have been there far longer than the leader and may even know more about the work than the leader does.
Whatever the situation, one of the responsibilities of a leader is to motivate his or her team to all work together towards the common goals that the team has been brought together to achieve. Of course can be a daunting challenge, even for the most competent leader. So often a team is comprised of very diverse members, each with their own strengths, weaknesses, and working styles. . I’ve also discovered that team dynamics can be complicated by internal disagreements and personal conflicts. The leader, not only has work with this group of people, but also needs to achieve the results expected by their superiors. This is something that we focus on across the two days of our flagship management training program – The Seven Pillars of Management. The past 10 years, this program has been at the forefront of helping Australia and organisations develop the skills, talents and work smarts of their people. It is only two days duration, but covers off seven of the most important aspects of being an effective manager and leader in you strain workplace.
In Pillar number four we help managers attending this Management development, training program (which we conduct in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and across Australia) to understand more about emotional intelligence. Part of emotional intelligence is understanding yourself as well as those in your team. If you are ever going to get the best out of your people, then you need to understand them. In my opinion, anyone in a leadership role can greatly benefit by being able to identify the types of personality characteristics of each of your individual team members. By understanding their basic personality types,you can use the individual strengths of members for the good of the team, as well as assign tasks that individual team member’s naturally excel in. You can also learn to communicate in a way that is motivating to each individual member of your team, by taking into account his or her needs, values and working preferences compared to the other team members.
Many emotionally unintelligent managers make the fatal mistake of thinking that everyone thinks the same way as everyone else. Even worse, is the emotionally unintelligent manager who expects everyone to behave the way he or she does. For example, a manager who is very direct and task oriented may have an unrealistic expectation that everyone in his team must behave the same way. This of course is very unlikely, simply because we are all so different. A manager is setting himself up to fail if he is going to expect everyone to behave and act the way he does.
In my opinion, a good leader will see the greatest results by working and utilising the strengths and working styles of each of the people in his or her team. By correctly positioning each individual member’s strengths and compensating for weaknesses, and emotionally intelligent manager can bring the team into a productive balance and perfectharmony.
A brief overview of the different values and working styles of the four main personality types demonstrates the importance of this knowledge being part of the successful leadership toolbox. During the seven pillars of management, we look at personality styles. The four types of personality will be described using the descriptions of the Commander, the Expressive, the Analyst and the Relator
The strong Commander employee takes work and responsibility very seriously. Commander personalities want to contribute, be part of the team, and to be successful and productive. They respond well to recognition, rewards and incentives. However Commander team members need well defined responsibilities and structure, firm expectations and timelines as well as being reassured from authority that they are on the right track.
The strong Relator personality needs an open, social atmosphere to be able work well. Relationships are very important for them, and they need the freedom to be able to nurture relationships with coworkers, customers and employers. conflict and intense competition are painful for a strong Blue, but they will thrive in a positive, creative, service orientated atmosphere.
A strong Analyst personality is more noted for expertise rather than people skills. They are excellent working with facts, data, research and analytical projects.
Analysts shine in their ability for designing, understanding complex systems and strategy. Facts are of utmost importance for the Analyst, but they have a weakness for routine follow through and are somewhat insensitive in social interactions.
Expressive team members are noticeable by their energy, skill and creativity. A key factor for an Expressive is the freedom to be able to use their skills and abilities. If there is too much structure, or their boss is very authoritarian, the Expressive personality feels blocked and does not function well. Expressive personalities like people and work well in a spirit of teamwork, competition and camaraderie. They are action orientated, though and become impatient with prolonged talking and detailed administrative tasks.
By knowing the individual personality styles of each of his or her team members, a manager can use this knowledge to blend the team members into a unified, well coordinated picture poised for success. We take a significant matter of time in the seven pillars of management training program to help the participants understand both their own behavioural style as well is that of others in their team and their organisation. Time or space to is not permit me to write more here, suffice to say that by facilitating each team member to function in their areas of natural strength and motivating them by communicating in a way that inspires harmony and team work, the emotional intelligent manager s well on the way to achieving extraordinary results.