Let’s ponder Your Personality and Your Leadership Style.
Managing people can be tricky. No, it is tricky. There are hurdles, challenges and a multitude of tests. If you ever Google terms like “being a good manager” or “tips for managers”, hundreds of results surface. Some are good. Others are worthy of an instant click on the noble “back” arrow. I hope you don’t do that here. 🙂 But, “Your Personality and Your Leadership Style” seemed a perfect title for this blog post.
The theories on management are as numerous as sand on the sea. Some tips are generic, while others are more specific. But, I think the best perspectives consider temperament research.
Your temperament has lots of implications pertaining to your management style. Steven Stosny, Ph.D. asserts one’s temperament has many “dimensions that greatly influence tastes, preferences, choices, and decision-making”. That’s a big chunk of who you are!
Clearly, you can see why it also greatly affects how you manage(or interact) with people and, likewise, how they relate to you. It has an impact on your preferences, the ways you process information and even, to some degree, how you define peak performance.
I have an example.
Imagine you’re an Orange Manager, who enjoys the excitement of frequent change, activity and risks.
On your team is a rather reserved Gold staff person. You are a little put off by her need for routine and so much structure. If you didn’t know better, you could easily label her as rigid, un-creative or uptight. Likewise, she could view you as a impulsive “flake” blessed with a corner office. It’s all about perceptions. These perceptions are interconnected [to some degree] with your temperaments or color.
If you’ve ever experienced one of my True Colors workshops in Kansas City, you know my mantra: “Not right, not wrong…just different”. Neither the Orange manager nor the Gold staffer in my example are necessarily wrong, they each have different ways to viewing productivity and ways of work.
If we understand this fact, we can figure out ways to work together harmoniously and respectfully.
Recently, I conducted my “True Leadership” training for a group of managers at a mid-size bank. Some of the discussions were so rich and so interesting; they inspired me to write this blog post [and a few others] on management by temperament.
Again, temperament plays a massive role in how we define just about everything – especially success. So, in the coming months, I’m going to spotlight each temperament and it’s implications to management.
Let’s begin with the Blue Manager. Remember, the Blue temperament is among the most relational of temperaments. It views the world through a lens of harmony and authenticity.
Does it sound like you are a Blue manager? Maybe you report to a Blue Manager? If so, let me know what you think about the following ideas.
One of your chief strengths…
As a member of the “Blue” temperament, you are a champ at interacting! Building connections with others comes super easily to you. In fact, as I say in my trainings, Blues can make friends with a tree.
Possible Weakness: Being overly sensitive. Fact it. Some people will just be mean, rude and just plain jerky. Don’t immediately take it personally. Assess the situation completely before you internalize someone else’s issue.
A Few Warnings…
Be careful your staff doesn’t misunderstand your patience and generous spirit for weakness.
Another consideration is friendship. Be careful to establish clear boundaries so your staff doesn’t mistake your free-flowing management style as friendship or your flexibility as indecision. You probably like most everyone on your team, but that does not make you friends. It simply makes you friendly.
There is a difference.
Remember, friendship and management don’t mix in most settings and can lead to all kinds of jealousy, disharmony and even legal action. Keep it professional – boundaries in tact.
With that being clear, don’t be afraid to make those tough decisions that may hurt feelings. As a leader, you’re going to say “no” sometimes. That’s part of the responsibility you carry as a manager. No matter how much you wish it to be so, everyone cannot win all of the time. Don’t take it personally.
Blue Values: You’re a master communicator. It comes naturally to you. You’re the real deal. That’s why authenticity is so important to you. You don’t like a phony and you can spot one in record time.
Also, you’re always trying to improve as a professional and as a human being. This is why you’re the consummate coach. You want your team – and each member – to be the best they can be. That is why self-improvement is one of your primary values.
What causes you stress: tension, office “politics” and unfairness drive you absolutely crazy. Again, you’re an empathetic person. You thrive in harmony and have little to do with faking relationships just to get ahead. You really hate when others do it too.
I’ll end with a few things Blues may enjoy about their work (regardless of the field): helping others, expressing creativity and being part of a functional and respectful team.
I’m so glad the world is full of Blue people. They make life’s yuckiness more manageable.
What do you think?
“Temperament Clashes in Relationships”
Why can’t you be more like me?
Posted Nov 05, 2010