While living the 7 Cs of success will earn the will of your team, a leader must still communicate clearly and wisely. This means establishing clear expectations and creating a workplace culture that encourages candor and collaboration. Creating this culture requires a common vision and management discipline – the focus of the people component of the Performance Culture System that we recommend to our clients at Cornerstone Business Advisors.
In addition to management discipline, there is a softer side to effective communication that involves emotional intelligence. We have all heard of the Golden Rule – treat others the way you want to be treated. While this philosophy does pay dividends, it is not always the best way to approach communication. Instead, adapting your communication style in a way that best resonates with another person will improve your ability to persuade and motivate him or her.
If you have not taken a behavioral communication assessment, I encourage you to do so. The assessment not only helps you understand your preferred communication style, but also helps you understand where you may need to adapt your style. The assessments typically evaluate four dimensions of behavior:
1. Controlling versus collaborative
2. Extrovert versus introvert
3. Tolerance for change
4. Process versus creativity
After conducting hundreds of assessments, we have found entrepreneurs’ behavioral preferences typically include:
• A need for control
• A desire for continuous change
• A strong preference to solve problems creatively versus following a process
We’ve seen similar patterns in our coaching sessions. Most entrepreneurs we work with launched their businesses not for money, but because of their desire for control. We’ve also seen a pattern of behaviors that prefers change and creativity. These behavioral patterns are an asset, but also present challenges when entrepreneurs do not adapt their communication styles. The most successful entrepreneurs have learned to adapt their natural style to:
1. Collaborate in a way that improves decision-making and sense of buy-in.
2. Implement change when needed, but avoid change just for the sake of change.
3. Create systems and processes to support consistency, quality and efficiency. (Magic happens when entrepreneurs develop processes and systems to support their creative ideas.)
The four dimensions of behavior as defined by Target Training International
TTI’s DISC Leadership Behavioral Profile
One of the leadership assessment tools we like to use is the TTI DISC Leadership Behavioral Profile, shown here. I estimate that 85 percent of the entrepreneurs we coach are in the highlighted area, which is about 15 percent of the entire population of people who have completed the TTI behavioral assessment. The best entrepreneurial leaders recognize their behavioral styles and have learned how to adapt their behaviors to motivate team members.
The Leadership Template in my Performance Culture Book provides communication tips for each behavioral profile.
Cornerstone Business Advisors provides access to experts in business strategy, management, process and finance. The Cornerstone team includes former C-Level executives, successful entrepreneurs and advisors who offer unmatched experience in delivering advanced, custom-tailored, results-oriented solutions for business leaders. Cornerstone has worked with hundreds of companies that range from fast-growth start-ups to Fortune 500 corporations. It developed the Performance Culture System™ to help clients implement best practices and drive high performance throughout their organization. For more information, visit www.launchgrowexit.com, call 910-681-1420, or email [email protected].
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