If not, you’d better start imitating the beady-eyed chameleon. In today’s high-speed business world, a leader is expected to confidently direct countless people. The manager is often required to hop from engaging an unhappy client, to correcting an under-performing employee, to presenting in front of an expectant board of Directors. Each interaction demands a very different approach.
Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis, and Annie McKee identified six emotional leadership styles in their book, ‘Primal Leadership’. These styles evoke various sentiments and in different situations will have their own strengths and weaknesses.
Identifying the triggers that guide our choice of style is critical to becoming a perceptive and insightful leader. Herewith the six ‘different mentors’ and a very brief overview of their approach.
When the team is green and in need of direction it is time to calm the waters. The visionary provides the solace of saying, “Come with me, I will lead you through the storm. I will show you the way and be there to help you when you stumble”.
When players are not living up to their potential, the coach says “Try this and I am sure you will ace it”. They instil self -worth and confidence by believing in their people and prodding them to make use of their natural talents.
During times when conflict is rife and trust is being eroded, it is time to suit up as the affiliate. These guys are people-centric and focus on the emotions within the team. Affiliates say “Come, let us talk through this. Forget the business for a while and let’s mend our family”.
During times when people are working in silos, the democratic leader steps up to the plate. They stop the chaos and find ways to get the team to collaborate. The democrat asks “What do you think – how are we going to use each other’s talents?”
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When people are underperforming, it is the time for the pacesetting to focus on accomplishment and demanding higher standards. They declare, “You do it this way!”
If the team is faced with a crisis, this style will jolt people into action. The Commander issues a direct order, “Do what I tell you, and now!”
Clearly, different conditions or groups require separate styles of leadership and leaders adjust their style according to the ability of each entity to perform in line with the prevailing circumstances. Analyse and ask yourself the question, “What is my natural style? And am I able to shift my style according to the situation and maximise the results?”
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