Managers are reporting positive results of applied leadership techniques when working with their employees to develop the best performance possible. Measuring performance involves understanding the employee's personality style and the degree of willingness and ability that person has for the job.
Behaviors can be classified into four general styles commonly known as D-I-S-C, D for Direct, I for Influential, S for Steady and C for Cautious. Work styles can be described as follows: A "D" person is direct and tends to take charge of situations, is very productive, finding no need to waste time on relationships or talking.
An "I" person accomplishes tasks through influencing others by persuasion and enjoys developing relationships with many people. This person has a difficult time staying focused on tasks for any length of time.
An "S" person is a steady worker, quiet, and unobtrusive.
A "C" person is cautious in his approach to work and has a great need to do things "right." This person works from lists and gathers all the facts before proceeding.
Each person has a different style of communicating.
A "D" person speaks in a forceful voice. S/he tells even when asking a question. This person can be blunt and wants the bottom line.
An "I" person is warm and friendly to everyone. "S/he never met a stranger." Expressions are animated. This person talks about feelings, is bubbly by nature and likes to tell stories.
An "S" person is normally very calm. However when under stress s/he worries about everything. S/he is friendly but only speaks when directly asked. This person has a steady, even voice. An "S" person speaks and thinks very slowly. S/he is a good listener.
A "C" person never discusses feelings. S/he relates well to facts and tends to analyze information. A desire to be understood may cause this person to over-explain.
Once you understand the behavioral style of the person, the next step is to consider willingness and ability. For best results, lead each personality style differently.
It's important to know the ability of your employee to perform, and assess his/her awareness of that ability. It is also your responsibility to make him/her aware of areas in which s/he is lacking, helping him/her move from 1, unconscious inability to 3, conscious ability. See Figure 1
The first step is to recognize the employee's unconscious inability. Since it is unconscious to him/her, this needs to come from you. Once you understand the unconscious inability, consider how you will train this person to help him/her move from 2, conscious inability to 3, conscious ability. It may not be necessary to move to 4, unconscious ability to be productive on the job.
Is your employee trainable and willing to learn? How will you help your employee increase that ability and awareness? Assessment tools and performance appraisals are useful to help you determine training needs and approaches.
about the actual training? Considerable thought must be given to the
mechanics of the training program. Will you delegate it to another
employee, or will training from an outside professional be more effective
to ensure the intended message is understood and well-received?
a "D" person by showing him/her how to be productive in the
fastest, simplest, most practical way. Be firm. Tell him/her in a direct
way how you want the task done. Explain his/her boundaries clearly.
Lead an "I" person by giving him/her as few details as possible, speaking in a descriptive, fast paced manner. Get clear and specific feedback for complete understanding of how s/he will do the task.
Lead an "S" person by walking him/her through the process in a step-by-step procedure. Train one-on-one and submit all instructions in writing. Give feedback in an informal, relaxed manner on a regular, consistent basis.
Lead a "C" person by speaking with precise, factual, formal statements and tell this employee the level of perfection required. Ask for feedback on important information and give him/her time to process and to perfect the information.
willing, and unable
Lead a "D" person by complimenting him/her on his/her results and ability to lead others. Speak briefly and directly. Offer challenges and show how s/he can win and give options for ways to accomplish goals.
Lead an "I" person by helping him/her with details. This employee also thrives on enthusiastic compliments given in front of others. Give him/her opportunities and time for interaction with others. Let him/her talk about feelings and ideas.
Lead an "S" person by asking informally about concerns s/he might have. Notice and give friendly, informal, sincere compliments on strengths such as being a reliable team member, completing the task, being good with co-workers and clients, creating friendly relationships, listening, etc.
Lead a C person by providing opportunities for him/her to use facts, logic and analysis to get quality results. Create opportunities for others to see him/her as an expert in his/her field. Speak to him/her with precise, factual, formal statements complimenting him/her on work well done.
Moderately Willing and Moderately Able
Lead the "D" by helping him/her eliminate problems that are slowing or stopping the desired results. Ask for solutions to problems in a positive way.
Lead the "I" person by showing him/her how s/he will get approval from others by improving their job performance.
Lead the "S" person by creating a step-by-step plan of action for new situations and setting time limits. Coach this employee in areas in which s/he is uncomfortable.
Lead the "C" person by helping him/her work on problem-solving techniques focusing on faster responses.
Willing and Able
Lead the "D" person by allowing him/her to have control over the job as long as you approve of the results. Offer opportunities for him/her to supervise others. Allow him/her to have control over the task as long as the results are approved by you and set clear boundaries of authority but allow freedom within those boundaries.
Lead the "I" person by giving him/her freedom to complete the job after you are sure your expectations are understood, including the deadline date, setting dates to monitor whether or not the task is on schedule and giving him/her opportunities and time to talk to other people.
Lead the "S" person by putting your expected results in writing, informing him/her of available resources, and checking in on a regular basis and ask if s/he has any questions.
Lead the "C" person by creating a clear description of results and quality expected, by explaining the positive impact on the team because s/he is completing his/her task and showing him/her any risks, explaining what responsibilities are and are not his/her responsibilities.
Leadership is an attitude. It requires a determination to understand and direct the employee. An effective leader coaches his/her employee. S/he works with the employee to improve performance and complete the job in the most productive way.
Leadership, Dealing with the Difficult Employee" by Betty Eddy
P.O. Box 590161
Houston, Texas 77259
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