Our thinking preferences can have an undeniable impact in our interaction with others and specifically in leadership communication styles. We develop a go-to communication method or style. It’s easy for us to get things done when we use our go-to style, and 9 times out of 10 we’re probably pretty successful. But what happens when you must communicate with a person whose thinking preference is vastly different than yours?
In thinking about your team, is there someone with whom you are just never on the same page? Do you have a great team meeting, but wonder if that certain person got the message?
In Emergenetics language, communicating outside of your comfort zone means using your LPA- your least preferred thinking attribute. It is important to recognize that LPA does not mean you can’t function within that attribute, only that the amount of energy required for you to excel is far greater than someone for whom it is a natural preference.
The major challenge with LPA is lack of insight and understanding into what that thinking preference actually needs to hear, wants to know, or what they value.
For example, a conceptual thinker might devote large amounts of energy to producing lists for a meeting with a structural thinker. The lists will be helpful, but if provided without context for the lists or a meeting goal, the ROI on the energy spent to produce them versus the benefit to the structural thinker is negligible.
Thinking and communicating within your LPA can be frustrating and draining of your time and energy that could be better spent in other areas. As a manager, your time should be devoted to value ads- not resource sucking black holes. And yet, sometimes we have no choice but to use our LPA.
Leadership Communication Styles: What steps can a leader take to better communicate more effectively with others, even if it means doing so within their LPA?
1. Leverage the Profile: the key to success in anything is knowing where your strengths lie- and vice versa. By understanding the inherent challenge areas for yourself and those on your team you can develop an action plan to counter any potential negative circumstances. Developing a quick-hit system for knowing different approaches to work based on thinking and behavioral preferences will inform this process.
Application Example: Profile Tip Sheets are great if you need a quick reminder of a certain person’s preferences or as a jumping off point for an intentional relationship building effort. Check out their motivating factors and comfort level with leadership, and with their behavior preferences clarified, you can prepare the best way to approach them.
2. Understand your Most Preferred Attribute: accurate understanding of your MPA (Most Preferred Attribute) can lead into success with your LPA.
Application Example: an analytical thinker who has an LPA in social thinking might keep a spreadsheet of the annual goals for every person on their team (personal and professional), and establish a benchmark by which that person wants to measure success. This spreadsheet might also include previous goals and their success rate, details on how that person likes to be motivated, and potential mentor relationships to be established.
3. Never forget the Power of WE– Whole Emergenetics. WEteams are successful because they contain a facilitator, a person who shares a thinking preference with others in the group and can serve as a communication bridge to clarify points on both sides. If there are two people with opposite thinking preferences, they might be saying the same thing in a different way and because of the thinking preferences they cannot come together in their ideas. WEteams are comprised of complete thinking groups to ensure all types of thought are being heard.
Application Example: An Social/Conceptual thinker and an Structural/Social thinker might ask an Analytical/Social thinker to join their meeting to ensure the whole team is on the same page and all aspects of a situation are fully addressed.
Managers who do not stretch themselves cap their own leadership potential, and risk alienating those who could be valuable contributors to the team. Emergenetics provides clarity around how people interact and how they work. It’s a tool that can be used to develop new leadership communication styles and help businesses operate to their highest potential.
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