Leading through self-awareness

What you'll learn:

How to use behavioral data to identify your leadership tendencies and tailor your leadership style to better suit your employees.

Leadership types

Great leaders are aware of their capabilities and their blind spots, and they continuously develop themselves to maximize the former and minimize the latter. The first step is to understand how you naturally lead. That insight will allow you to be conscientious about your employees and how to relate to and inspire them individually.

One of the best ways to build self-awareness is with people data. This might look like a 360 assessment, which gathers and collates feedback from supervisors, colleagues, and direct reports. The 360 can help you understand how you’re currently perceived as a leader—but it doesn’t tell you how you’re naturally wired to lead or what your natural leadership strengths are. A workplace behavioral assessment can help you understand what drives and motivates you at work, as well as how that influences how you lead.

You might have noticed that the leaders in the activity above have a dominant leadership style but also have tendencies related to other styles. For example, Rosie may be a cultivating leader, which means she’s naturally driven to mentor her employees. That doesn’t mean she will never take risks or innovate, as defined by exploring leaders. 

Before you can determine your leadership style, you need to understand your natural drives and needs. Let’s consider an example. Janet is a new manager. She takes the PI Behavioral Assessment™, and her results show that she’s cooperative, easy-going, and generally won’t “rock the boat.” Because Janet’s easygoing, her team feels comfortable coming to her with problems they’re facing so they can troubleshoot together. This helps team members feel supported and understood. However, Janet’s tendency to not want to “rock the boat” may limit her ability to push concerns up the chain of command. Janet can mitigate this by putting processes in place that force her to overcome tendencies to shy away from tougher conversations.

Just like Janet, you can use behavioral assessment data to determine your natural leadership style’s strengths and weaknesses.

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