Understand personality traits to be a better leader
Each of us has a unique set of personality traits. These traits influence – for better or worse – how you respond to certain situations. Understanding yours, as well as your teammates', is important in leading effectively.
Last year, everyone at my organization participated in a Myers-Briggs training where we took personality tests and had a certified coach help us understand the results. It was fascinating to see how many different personalities we have in the office, and how we can take our understanding of these traits to work more effectively together.
This blog from leadership expert Wally Bock on whether introverts or extroverts make better leaders caught my eye recently. As he deftly notes, it doesn't matter. And he offers ways to help both types be better in their role:
- Build strengths and make weaknesses irrelevant. This is a no brainer. We all have our own comparative advantages. Yours might be big-picture planning, or adapting to change. As a leader, it's important to be self-aware of the areas you might not be as strong in – such as emotional intelligence – and proactively work on strengthening them.
- Know what gives you energy. The difference between introverts and extroverts is how we feel when we're around people. Introverts put a lot of effort into interactions and might feel drained afterward. Extroverts, on the other hand, feel energized. If you're an introverted leader, it's important to step out of your comfort zone but give yourself time to recoup. Extroverted leaders should take time to slow down and reflect.
Sure, there are characteristics many leaders share – from charisma to managing time effectively to maintaining a clear vision. But these are all things that can be worked toward if they're not your strong suit.
Leadership is about understanding yourself and giving your best to those you manage.
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