Do you expect the people you lead to conform to your style or do you learn about them and adapt to their style?
Conform to Your Style
If you expect the people you lead to conform to your style of leadership; use these clarifying questions to refine your approach.
- What are the key characteristics of your style? What should the people on your team know about your style to best meet your needs?
- How do you communicate your style?
- When you bring new people onto your team, how do you identify the people who will flourish under your leadership style?
- When someone does not fit your leadership style how do you identify that this is the circumstance rather than a circumstance of poor attitude or lack of skills? How do you assist people who do not fit your leadership style?
Adapt to Their Style
If you strive to adapt your leadership style to the people you lead here are some questions you can ask the people on your team to assist you in learning the leadership style that works best for them.
- Where do you see yourself in 18 months, 3 years, 5 years, and 10 years?
- What personal and professional goals have you set for yourself?
- How can I help you?
- What is the best way for me to communicate what you are expected to achieve?
- What is the best way for me to motivate you?
- What are a few ways you like to be recognized for an accomplishment?
- How should I redirect you when you are not achieving what is expected?
- What do you think is most important to your success in this role?
- What skills, knowledge and abilities will you rely on?
- What tools and resources will you use?
- What would you like to learn?
- How often would you like to meet to talk about your work and your goals?
For more input to refine communications on your leadership style there are many helpful tools. A quick Google Images search using the term leadership style will turn up many charts and tables that offer a variety of ideas. For more personal insight StandOut by Marcus Buckingham offers a 20 minute inexpensive ($15) assessment to help build awareness of the strengths that define your leadership style. This assessment will also help the people you lead to identify their strengths and communicate how their leader can help them to shine.
Please share your approach - conform or adapt?