It may come as no surprise that all leaders have personalities. Some you like and some, well, you could likely do without, but the truth is leaders have not just one, but multiple, and they need all of them. Why? Because each person you have the privilege of leading is different. Not to worry, nothing here is an attempt to turn you into Cybil or that weird guy on the movie Split. Each of these explanations as to why your multiple personalities are necessary is so that you are better at speaking their language as you work on developing future leaders. You see, development of future leaders on the team you now lead is one of the key actions necessary to become a better leader in 2019. In fact, it is number seven on our list of top ten tips and this month, each Monday Moment will focus on how to do just that. But first a question. Do you have a personality? Got more than one? This video explains even better.
Reason #1: Communication
Leaders need multiple personalities because each person they have the privilege of leading has a different one and each one communicates differently. When you share direction with an action-oriented person, or what we refer to as the Commander in the CORE Snapshot, that direction can be short, sweet, to the point and almost delivered as a dare or challenge. When you provide directions to a more laid back team member who values guidance and reassurance, you want to communicate each step and nuance of how each step is taken to such a degree that he or she is certain if they follow your steps they won’t get in trouble. These are two very different types of communication, but both are needed as is the leader’s knowledge of when and how and with whom to modify delivery, so the message is conveyed accurately and clearly. Your effective development of future leaders relies on how well you modify your communication and how well you shift from the natural tendencies of our own dominant personality to the needs and tendencies of everyone else’s.
Reason #2: Influence
We see it in interviews of new leader candidates. We see it in cliques or favorites, as their called at the office. We even see it in the way our boss addresses us. It’s called influence and leaders need multiple personalities, or at least need to know how to behave in ways relevant to each one, because influence is achieved through people believing you get them. Use the style with which they are most familiar and there will be an immediate increase in understanding and compatibility. In interviews, we call it likability. In the creation of cliques or people who appear to favor certain team members, it tends to happen naturally. We gravitate toward those who are like minded and thus build a relationship. Don’t you have more influence (and are more influenced!) by those with whom you have a relationship? Of course! And the process of purposely shifting your style and developing relationships with each team member you have the privilege of leading is quite simple. Speak their language. This is the focus of the quick video in this post and it is also an important step for leaders developing others. How do they need to hear you to understand what you’re asking or directing? How are they interpreting your actions or your statements? How do they know when you’re pleased with their work, or unhappy? How do they know when you meant to say thanks or great job, but no words were forthcoming? Those we lead are not telepathic, so it is important to understand their personality so that you share guidance and development in a way that they are easily able to take it in and take action.
Reason #3: Action
Developing future leaders is a process comprised of multiple actions on which the person you’re developing should likely practice. You may request him or her to accept a challenging assignment. Perhaps you debrief a situation that went sideways and ask what he or she might do different in the future? Development is about what they’re doing, what they might stop doing, and what they are learning and doing with that new knowledge. Leaders who develop future leaders need multiple personalities because the best way to motivate action or changed behavior is through the application of emotional intelligence, or the personalities of both you and each of the team members you have the privilege of leading.
Personalities go well beyond the names and labels. Personalities go well beyond the tools and quizzes. Personalities are the basis behind what we do and how we are motivated. What motivates you in your leadership role may not in any way motivate the person you are developing to take on your position in the future, but most of us do for others, what we would want someone to do for us. Shift your perspective. Developing future leaders is not about making a mass collection of mini-Me’s. It is about you being the best leader you can be and helping others to see their own potential to be the best leader they can be. Call it silly, but that’s the net of it and frankly to do that and do it well, you need to know how to access all of your personalities tendencies and behaviors so that you can effectively reach each of the people you are developing.
Ready to Take the Become a Better Leader Challenge?
Each Monday Moment shares a Become a Better Leader Challenge relevant to that week’s topic. This week your challenge is to increase your knowledge of your own possible personality. To do that, simply complete the CORE Snapshot™ mentioned in the video. This free online quiz will at least give us a starting point for conversation and may be found at: www.ContagiousCompanies.com/CORESnapshot.
I’m Monica Wofford and that’s your Monday Moment. Have a great week and of course, stay Contagious!
Monica Wofford, CSP develops leaders. CEO of Contagious Companies, her firm designs and delivers leadership training for those managers who’ve been promoted, but not prepared. Author of Contagious Leadership and Make Difficult People Disappear, Monica may be reached at www.ContagiousCompanies.com, www.MonicaWofford.com or by calling 1-866-382-0121.