A year ago I created my own definition of leadership. In it, I define a leader as one who is strong in their personal values, one who is aware of the strengths and weaknesses of themselves and others, one who sets direction, builds commitment, and is a constant inspiration for those whom they engage. I see a leader’s job to be a communicator, an advocate, a guide, an inspirer, and a cheerleader. This includes paving the way for one’s followers to succeed as well as giving constant direction so that they don’t wander astray.
Returning back to my definition of leadership this week I was inspired by an article from the blog, “Leading With Trust.” In this article, it discussed how important constant communication between leaders and followers is and six types of conversations that leaders must have with those they lead. These six types of conversations are as stated:
1. Alignment Conversations
2. Directive Conversations
3. Coaching Conversations
4. Supportive Conversations
5. Delegating Conversations
6. One on One Conversations
From their analysis, what intrigued me was that each conversation style was identified based off of types of individuals leaders interact with and the personalities of those individuals. For example, a Coaching Conversation is necessary to give individuals who are unconfident and feel defeated in their progress. On the other hand, a Delegating Conversation is needed when communicating with individuals who are self-motivated and high performing. I found these distinctions to be very interesting and thought-based. The explanations for these six types of conversations made it clear to me that a true understanding and analysis of one’s “followers” is a requirement for any leader. If you don’t know how to successfully communicate with the people you interact with, then there will be no improvement and no significant relationship will be made.
Leading (pun intended!) off of the idea that leaders must have a close understanding to those they are in contact with is the importance of constant (or frequent) communication. I think that this article did a great job highlighting the considerable effect that frequent communication and engagement has on people. From my own experience, having usual feedback and contact with my leader has led me to greater success, greater understanding, and greater enjoyment in the activity I am immersed in. Going off of this, I believe that the One on One Conversation style is the most important one for leaders to implement because it not only works with all personality types but it also creates a bond between leaders and followers. Recurring one-on-one interactions and assessments leads to a higher work performance and synergy.
These six communication styles will be kept in my back pocket wherever I go.
Find the article referred to in this post here: http://leadingwithtrust.com/2013/12/15/6-conversations-every-leader-needs-to-have/