Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Leadership a-z: U is for what makes you Unique

We each bring our own uniqueness as a leader. Becoming more self-aware of who we are, what be excel in and how we need to adapt to the things we don’t do so well, is an important part of emotional intelligence. As we have seen in other posts, EI is a critical skill set for leaders.

How do we explore what makes us unique?

Some of the things that make us who we are include:
1. Our values - What are the things you hold as important?
What are the things you will go to bat for - integrity, quality, excellence? We sometimes become aware of our values when they are compromised or stepped on.

2. Our strengths - I’ve written past posts on Strengths and working with strengths on your team. You can read them here.

Gallup outlines the business case for working with strengths. As Marcus Buckingham states, “Team members who are encouraged to use their strengths regularly at work are

  • 38% more likely to be highly productive
  • 44% more likely to have high customer satisfaction scores
  • 50% more likely to have high employee retention” (http://www.tmbc.com/offer/strengths)

What would that translate to your organization?

Exploring strengths can be done using a couple of online assessments, including:

1. Via Strengths - Emerging out of the positive psychology movement, the VIA Strengths Profile has been taken by millions around the world. IT will identify some of your top signature strengths. It is a free online assessment

2. StrengthsFinder - I widely encourage leaders to look at StrengthsFinder 2.0 as a great resource to invest in in their team as it provides an important conversation starter at the team and organiatonal level. It is also linked into Strengths Based Leadership Model. You can learn more about the assessment here.

The more aware we are of our own strengths and others the more we can leverage them with the leadership and team context.

3. Explore styles - A third way to open the dialogue about uniqueness for yourself and/or team members is exploring styles. I continue to do a lot of work using the Everything DiSC suite of tools. The 363 for Leaders provides a useful 360 along the leadership vein. The Everything DiSC Work of Leaders also provides valuable feedback on leadership styles when we lead MANY. Contact us for more information.

Select one of the assessments/tools identified in today’s blog post. Complete it. 
What do you recognize about what makes you unique as a leader?
What have you learned from this process?
Consider what adaptations you can make, and want to make, in becoming more effective in your interactions.

Have a great week,

Jennifer Britton, MES, CPT, PCC
Author of Effective Group Coaching and From One to Many: Best Practices of Team and Group Coaching (Jossey-Bass, 2013)
Phone: (416)996-TEAM
Learn more about our retreat and leadership development offerings and support 

Visit our daily tips for teams and team leaders at the Teams 365 blog
As an author Jennifer Britton is known for her thought leadership in the area of group and team coaching. She is also a former leader and team builder who spent the first 13 years of her career working within the United Nations as well as the international aid sector. From Boardroom to jungle, beach and forest to mountains, Jennifer has worked to develop teams and leaders in more than 18 countries, and virtually many more. She founded Potentials Realized in 2004 and focuses on leadership, teamwork and coaching skills training.