“Everyone has peak performance potential—you just need to know where they are coming from and meet them there.”
Just like no two snowflakes are alike, every one of your employees is different. But they all have something in common: the potential to perform at their peak with the right guidance.
An essential part of team dynamics is learning how to be a adapt your leadership styles to that of your team. As a manager, you’re likely be leading a team of individuals with vastly different personalities, abilities, and motivations, and one size does NOT fit all.
And just as your team members are different, no two leadership styles are the same.
When evaluating your team members, one of the most important questions you need to answer is, what is the communication style of each member of my team? By knowing the answer to this question you can then tailor your leadership styles to fit the needs of your members, so that you can help encourage them to perform at their best.
A critical point to notice here is the phrase leadership STYLES plural, not leadership style singular. This is not a typo, but a very clear distinction between a successful leader and a struggling leader. Every successful leader must be well versed in multiple communication and leadership styles, and be able to tailor their communication style to effectively engage with the current audience.
True leadership is more than telling people what they need to do; true leadership is helping and encouraging them to do their best. You can’t expect everyone to adapt to your style, the easiest and most efficient way to demonstrate leadership is to adapt to your people! With the proper leadership training and continuing exercises, you can learn how and when to be a director, a coach, a supporter, or a delegator.
This is for team members who possess enough commitment and enthusiasm, but they don’t have the necessary skills and abilities. You have to direct them and supervise them so that they know what to do. You don’t have to motivate them at all, they’re motivated already, they just lack the necessary direction. Don’t fire without aiming first.
Some of your team members already know what to do, and they know the proper way of doing things. It’s just that they may not be motivated enough or they may not possess the confidence they need in order to perform at their full potential. As their leader, it is your responsibility to offer the support they need to help them perform at their peak. You have to boost their confidence and motivate them to succeed. There’s no need to remind them of how to perform tasks as they’re already well versed in their field, you just need to remind them that they can do it, why it is important, and how their contribution matters to the success of the entire team. Here we have good aim and a good eye, just reluctance to pull the trigger.
In many cases, a team often has a member who is short on skillset and who is also lacking the proper motivation. This is one of the most challenging situations for a leader, and for these cases you have to put on your baseball cap and get to coaching. You have to tell them the proper way to do things, and you may need to provide constant supervision. You also need to support and praise them when they do things right in order to bolster their confidence. You may even choose to include their input in your decision-making process, as acknowledgement of their increased involvement will increase their motivation and confidence tremendously. As you watch this team member grow and succeed, this will most likely be one of the most satisfying aspects of your work. This is most often a junior member who feels overwhelmed by the experience of the others around them, and wonders how they can ever match up. They need instruction on how to hold the gun, direction on where the target is, guidance to pull the trigger, and accolades if they get anywhere close to the target.
This is for the team members who already possess the qualities you need: competence, confidence, and motivation. For the most part, you can build a more efficient team by delegating some of your own workload on those who are capable of getting the job done. These team members have the best potential to be team leaders themselves, and you can help them by delegating some of your responsibilities. Every leader wishes that they had a team completely comprised of these individuals! These are the sharpshooters that everyone else in the organization knows is a crack shot, and someone from this group will be the one taking your spot as you move up the ladder with your demonstrated abilities to lead and develop a team successfully.
Understanding how leadership styles can affect effective communication and team dynamics is critical for today’s dynamic leader.
For more information around how leadership styles affect how you effectively communicate with your team, check out the Campfire Leadership workshop series and take your team development to the next level.
Rob has compiled a list of his favorite leadership quotes like the one at the top of this article, you can find the list HERE.