Monica Wofford, CSP writes about leadership skills and issues and is the author of Contagious Leadership

What does your title say about how you communicate?

When you’re involved in more than one activity, be it civic, volunteer or work related, you may have occasion to get confused. Such was the case the other day when as head of a volunteer committee and a magazine, I got my role confused in a conversation with a writer for the next issue. My comment was “well, wait a minute, at least that’s my title on this call.” Oh, the things that will come out of my mouth. Have you ever felt that way though? It’s a “who am I today” kind of feeling.

When you are a manager, you usually have a title. When you are a leader, you may or may not, but the title you ARE using in that role, whatever it may be, might change how you communicate. If your title is Mom, you’re going to say and think things differently perhaps than if your title is Director of Operations or even, Grandma. The key is your style and your message may change with your title or at a minimum with your role.

What doesn’t change are your core values, your working style, and your personality preference. We tend to take those with us wherever we go and they impact our communication each and every time we open our mouths. But, if that’s the case, why do so many say “well, that’s how I am at work?”

Take a look this week at your values. What is important to you when leading others. For example, helping Susie get her homework done is a task. Making sure Susie still feels smart after you’ve helped her is a value and will show up in how you lead her…doesn’t that also show up at work? It will if you’re watching.

Take a look at your work style and your personality preference. Technically those don’t change either just because you have pulled into the driveway. If you are naturally more analytical and process oriented, you’re going to think through all the facts and data when your significant other says “honey, let’s look at buying a boat” just like you are looking at a capital expenditure at the office. The challenge is we fake it in one place or another far too often. Your style doesn’t depend on where you are, it depends on who comfortable you are in letting others see it.

You can have your title and stick to it, but it’s much easier to have one title – YOU. And when that is your title, you will find it easier to just be you and to do what is most natural to you and have more energy doing it. There’s not another you and I assure you, you’ll be better at being you than someone else would. And, just in case you were curious, your authenticity is contagious, too!

Need help on the personality preference piece? Take a look at the CORE®Profile found HERE. For a nominal fee, we’ll be happy to facilitate your results and dramatically raise your awareness of what you do and why, as well as help you stop taking the behavior of others so personally.

Your leadership style and strengths change how you lead and are perceived by others. Find out how you lead with this quick online assessment.

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