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Identifying leadership styles

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Hello

I am planning a team development day for a group of PAs and one of the issues they wanted to look at in relation to the senior managers that they support, is how they can go about identifying their leadership styles and therefore respond appropriately. All without the use of any scientific measurement of course. I have been trying to think of some guidance for them around how through observation and experience they can identify what someone's style is likely to be, and therefore how they can 'flex' their responses appropriately. Any ideas? I hope I've articulated myself properly!

Many thanks.

6 Responses

  1. Prior Work?

    How about gettiing them to do something novel before they turn up? Perhaps have them fill in this web based questionnaire (or similar) as though they were the manager to whom they report. The results might generate some lively discussions driven by their inputs and perceptions:

    http://www.kent.ac.uk/careers/sk/leadership.htm

  2. Team exercise

    I would choose a leadership model (ie Blanchard’s & Hersey’s situational leadership), select around 4 sentences  that typify charcateristics and qualities of each of the four styles and get the PAs to choose 2 or 3 that are most like their manager.  This can be done as a team or pair exercise if they all know each other’s managers.  You can then work with them to identify styles and how best to deal with these styles in different situations.

  3. Leadership

    I would be wary of any device which encourages people to put boxes around behaviour.  Leadership is a continuum which has to take into account the nature of the task[s], the experience[s] of the individual and team and the experience of the leader.  That said, I would go along with the thought of identifying some behaviours as a pre-course task and trying to identify coherent leadership styles, through discussion.

  4. LEADERSHIP STYLES

    I agree with tryanything’s comments.

    I would introduce them to Tannenbaum & Schmidt’s continuum with the aim of identifying where their senior managers tend to operate most of the time.

     

  5. LAB Profile

     Hi, 

    I’m a total advocate of the LAB (language and behaviour) profile – I highly recommend you read Words the Change Minds by Shelle Rose Charvet.  It’s a way of understanding people through the language they use and is pretty easy to pick up the basics quickly…although I recommend going on a course to get the most out of it.  Through asking certain questions that can be placed into conversation informally it’s possible to really understand how that person operates.  For example whether they are comfortable with change, whether they are aspirational and motivated by creating bright new things or are better at figuring out the issues in things.  

    With understanding these basic concepts we are better able to work alongside other effectively by adapting our language to suit the person we are communicating with and appreciating the potential issues that their ‘profile’ raises and as such being aware of support structures that will be of best service.

    All the best,

     

    Colette

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