How flexible is your leadership?

Friday, January 15, 2016 - 14:13

Guest post by Alison Vidotto

There are many different styles of leadership we can adopt when it comes to dealing with various situations and challenges. According to situational leadership models a strong leader will choose the most appropriate for the situation at hand. This idea is based on the premise that situational leadership gives a leader the insight needed to adapt their behaviour to best deal with the situation they are facing.

Behaviour and responses can be impacted by a number of factors; culture, people, resources and objectives. It is with consideration of the above that the leader selects the most appropriate manner in which to lead. It is not one particular style of leadership, but the ability to use various styles as appropriate.

We hear a great deal about the different styles of leadership; authoritative, democratic, Laissez-faire, Transactional, to name but a few. No one style is more effective than another if it not producing the desired results. The goal is to match the style of leadership to the people and situation being addressed.

There is no one size fits all when it comes to leadership. People are real, they are individual and they respond in different ways. It’s a personal experience.

So how does a leader select the most effective method? By assessing the situation and knowing the people you are dealing with. The goal is to match your approach to the circumstances. To be able to do this we need to have an awareness both of ourselves and those we are dealing with. A high level of Emotional Intelligence is vital in achieving these insights.

Emotional Intelligence (EI) is something that we can develop and increase. EI is not a personality trait (like introvert/extrovert) it is a behaviour that we can learn.

The components of EI include the following three skills:

  1. Emotional Awareness which gives you the ability to identify your own emotions and the emotions of others. 
  2. The ability to harness emotions and apply them to tasks like thinking and problems solving; and
  3. The ability to manage emotions, including the ability to regulate your own emotions, and the ability to cheer up or calm down another person.

With an increased level of emotional intelligence it is much easier to assess the situation and adapt your leadership style to suit. You have an understanding of where others are coming from and can behave accordingly.

I would highly recommend Emotional Intelligence training to any current or potential leader.

Continuous improvement is an important tool in any leader’s portfolio, you should always be learning and training. Consistency in effective communication and results is the key rather than consistency in your approach.

Do you provide ongoing education for yourself and your followers?

Alison Vidotto is an award winning author, professional speaker, CEO of Vidotto Group, leadership trainer and Founder and Managing Director of the Australian Charity for the Children of Vietnam.