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The Case For A Blended Leadership Style

(March 20, 2023 Newsletter)

Have I referred you to the article “How to Develop Your Leadership Style” yet?


At this point in time, it stays open on my browser almost permanently because I seem to always be dropping it in a Zoom chat or emailing it after a session.


The article’s TLDR? Everything in moderation. Don’t lean too far to either style extreme - Powerful or Attractive. A blend is best. Read the (Zoom) room.


What I love about this concept is the focus on agency. Having a blended leadership style means developing awareness and skills to choose how to show up instead of relying on a narrow default and calling it “authentic.”


There’s no right or wrong style - the key is to develop versatility and sensitivity to what will work with a given audience.


I spent the last few weeks chewing over this concept with a team I’ve been training. It’s gratifying to see a group of professionals…

  • Cut down their filler words, hedges, and minimizers

  • Discern when to phrase recommendations as questions or statements

  • Be intentional about using “we,” “you,” or “I” (a crucial nuance if you’re trying to clarify roles and responsibilities!)

The key to developing a blended leadership style is experimentation.

  • You can isolate one leadership marker at a time to test each one’s impact and your comfort level with it.

  • You can ensure you’re not wildly swinging from one extreme to the other.

  • It’s just easier to tackle micro-changes one at a time.

Go ahead - pick a leadership marker to test this week. And if you want training for yourself or your team on blending your leadership styles, reach out to discuss.

 

The Coaching Corner


Probing questions


My wonderful mother recently dug out some resources for me and among them was this simple explanation of what makes a question a probing question.

  • Require depth of thought

  • Help get to the heart of their dilemma

  • Don’t place blame on anyone

  • Allow for multiple responses

  • Help create a paradigm shift

Here are some examples:

  1. What did you want the outcome to be?

  2. How did you decide/determine/conclude…?

  3. What would you have to change in order for…?

  4. What’s another way you might…?

  5. How might your assumptions about __ have influenced how you are thinking about __?

(source: National School Reform Faculty, Harmony School Education Center, Bloomington, Indiana, June 2002)


Whether you’re a CEO or a first time manager, chances are that probing questions could help you test your own assumptions and get the heart of the matter faster. Which one are you going to try this week?


Recommendations


Are you familiar with the Working Genius model yet? I started listening to the podcast and, while I take any assessments that aren’t data-driven with a grain of salt, I enjoy listening to the WG team geek out on each aspect of the model.

 

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