Leveraging Your Personality for Enhanced Business Leadership

Leveraging Your Personality for Enhanced Business Leadership

November 24, 2020 0

Personality influences leadership and leadership revolves around people. Top leadership experts and coaches believe that everything about leadership is considered from the perspective of the people. How well do you relate with people? How efficiently do you communicate? Are you a team player or do you favour lone ranging? How do your values, principles, and actions influence the people around you?

Every leader – and every human – is a creature of personality. You are not an isolated specimen. Your behaviours, your preferences, your tendencies towards certain societal matters, your interests, your likes and dislikes, are all influenced by your personality type.

Leveraging Your Personality for Enhanced Business Leadership
Your personality influences your style of business leadership

In recent decades, psychologists and psychoanalysts have devoted immense research into understanding different human personalities. Several acclaimed, well-received and proven tests resulting from these investments are now accepted for discovering personality type.

16personalities.com, a personality profiling platform, believes an individual is one of sixteen different specific personalities and belongs to one of four main categories. They also opine that you have either an assertive trait or a turbulent one.

Assertive individuals – and leaders – “do not push themselves too hard when it comes to achieving goals.” The turbulent type, on the other hand, tends “to be success-driven, perfectionistic, and eager to improve.” A second, widely-accepted personality profiler is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assessment, which also believes there are sixteen personality types.

Why personality type?

Your primary duty as a leader requires a deep understanding of the people within your network. As the CEO of a start-up, chances are you do not have all the skills to manage every facet of the business. You may know how to build websites from scratch or how to negotiate from a position of profit during business transactions. Though you don’t know how to gather investments from funders, you would likely not know how to engage people on Twitter. Suppose you knew that, you might not be skilled with logistics – running the background details that keep the business buoyant.

One of your biggest assets as the leader is your personality. How does this work? Do you invite every worker at your organisation into an office where you quiz them on their personalities or subject them to assessments? Quite not. What you must do, instead, is to understand who you are. The heart of leadership is in becoming a better person, and by so doing influencing others to become better versions of themselves.

Let’s break this down. Your personality drives your habits. As an extroverted CEO, you would prefer hosting a Christmas party – with every employee bringing their families for meet-and-greets and dining – to closing work a week early and giving your employees an early December salary. That simple act of favouring one choice over the other can make your mar your experience as a leader.

Below, I highlight five principal leadership segments that your personality directs, and how you can leverage your personality for enhanced performances:

1.      Decision Making:

Understanding your type affects how you make decisions. Business decisions involve a heavy dose of risk, of claiming responsibilities for fallouts. Are you one to stay in the background, provide necessary data, and allow others to call the shots? This may mean that you gather sufficient facts and information before making your decision.

Sometimes, your personality would help you ignore voiced concerns over a decision. A choleric leader, for instance, would be hesitant about hiring staff if there’s no obvious performance gap yet. You would learn to mitigate conflicts at work, rather than arouse them when you understand what your personality says about your risk-taking tendencies.

2.      Communication:

A sanguine leader is the life of the meeting. A phlegmatic CEO would sit in his chair, his hands folded across his chest or on the table, while everyone takes turns to share their burdens. If you observe that you miss out on unfinished words and covert expressions, then you may need to give more attention to words, to phrases, to phrasing.

Your personality would help you understand how empathetic you are, and what you can do to improve. You would learn how to deal with the dread of conversations (because you fancy execution over conversation) and confrontations (because you often explode in tense situations). This helps to create a healthier workplace environment.

3.      Teamwork / Team Building:

Teamwork can be greatly improved with personality profiling. You can accept the different personalities of the individuals working with you, know those who thrive with idea-generation and innovation, and those who are big on execution. Are you a one-man army who struggles to excel when group projects are involved? You can relieve yourself of the panic by directing your personality towards creating cohesion between your colleagues.

4.      Innovation:

Similar to teamwork, different individuals, fall within different innovation markers. Some individuals relish thinking outside the box. Some are efficient with generating ideas – that leave people wowed – from scratch. Yet others believe “thinking outside the box” is itself limiting as it imposes the boundaries of a box, and so would rather step across paradigms and norms.

Which of these are you? Are you a radical leader opining that there are new ways to get things done, or are you convenient with adopting the tradition? Understand how you can synchronize the different expressions of your employees, and see your results improve.

Leveraging Your Personality for Enhanced Business Leadership
What kind of leader are you?

5.      Stress Management:

Your reaction to stress doesn’t exist outside the scope of your personality. Personality type makes stress reactions predictable. A melancholic leader would fume and whine when stressed. You can study the negative tendencies your personality offers, and prepare to neutralize these effects during stressful situations. Rather than accept that “you are made that way,” you can make efforts towards understanding yourself and learning coping mechanisms that suit your personality.

Returning to the extrovertish CEO, knowing your tendencies to favour a gathering would mean taking into account the opinions of employees before calling a decision (decision-making). It would mean learning to be patient with those who disagree with your decision (stress management).

It would mean understanding that your exuberance, outgoing nature may not be efficient in planning the party, thus trusting someone in your team to handle the project (team building). This also means making the party about your employees, and not a function to satisfy your longings (communication).

You can certainly leverage your personality to perform better. Know it. Know what it needs. Know how it works. Achieve more in leadership through personality leveraging.

Kemi Ogunkoya
Kemi Ogunkoya
Kemi Ogunkoya
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