By Ross Gill . July 10, 2019

Are you confident that you bring out the best in those around you? From an early age, we’re often taught that we should lead from the front, setting the pace and leading by example. However, this isn’t always practical nor is it a good fit for every manager and their team.

If you’re not quite sure where your personal management style lies, digging into your own personality and interaction preferences can provide some insight. Why not start with some personality analysis?

The Myers Briggs Type Indicator

Myers Briggs type indicator testing is one of the most popular personality tests in the world. Many employers use this testing method to help them understand how individuals may fit into their teams. It is based on Jungian psychology and allows for 16 different personality types. Some personality types – such as ENTP – are widely considered to be more ‘natural’ leaders.

But if you don’t happen to be an ENTP, knowing what your personality type is can help you to understand what shapes your management style. In the workplace, we can often feel compelled to mirror the management style of others. In doing so we can do ourselves a disservice. Why manage in a way that may make you uncomfortable? Wouldn’t you prefer to manage based on your own strengths and weaknesses?

The Merrill-Reid Test

The Merrill-Reid test is based on your social behaviour style. This test is popular with employers and managers who want to identify what motivates their team members. Individuals are divided into analytical blue, driver red, amiable green and expressionist yellow based on assertiveness and responsiveness. By breaking teams down into types, we get a better understanding of both individuals and team dynamics. Being able to flex your communication and management style to the individuals you’re working alongside could help you to get more from your team, but do you know where you fit in?

Goleman’s Leadership Styles

The six leadership styles identified by psychologist Daniel Goleman were outlined in a Harvard Business Review study (published 2000) and you can find a very good outline of the different styles and how they could impact productivity in your team by reading this short guide from the University of Florida. Goleman’s leadership styles recognise that some of us are naturally more inclined to manage based on the bigger picture. As people, we know where the company or team is headed but not nailing down the details on how to get there. There are also leaders who try and get to know their employees and what drives them, managers who focus on team harmony or how to get buy-in from their teams.

And of course, there are those who like to model the type of behaviour and energy they expect from their team. The six leadership styles are; visionary, coaching, affiliative, democratic, pacesetting and commanding. Which one do you most identify with?

As a manager, do you consider your own personality type when it comes to managing your team? Could a little self-evaluation help you to unlock the full potential of those who surround you?

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