Where Did You Get Your Management Style?
The big question has always been “are great managers born that way or is it something they’ve learned?” And there are just about as many opinions on this as there are individuals willing to pose them.
An academic report issued by the University College London in 2013 found that “leadership is partly hereditary.” A study of twins found that if your biological parents held a leadership role, you were 24% more likely to inherit a predisposition to manage.
However, this leaves a large portion of your management skills to be learned through experience and training.
It’s the old “nature or nurture” debate, one that won’t be decided soon though. One thing that does stand out is that management abilities ride a bell curve. For those who are born leaders, they stand out at the top of the bell curve and usually get better with time.
Then there are others at the bottom of the curve who don’t have any innate ability to manage and who, no matter what they do, won’t progress much further.
That leaves the vast majority of managers somewhere in the middle.
You’ve probably learned how to manage others through your experiences in being managed in the past and some from how your parents managed your home life. A good portion of your learning has come from interacting with peers on the playground, at school, and in other social settings.
All of these experiences have shaped your values and beliefs in how people should behave. And that’s what makes up your natural style of management. Your style is created through your personality, values, personal and professional life experiences, mentors, role models, and training.
“The myth of management is that your personal values are irrelevant or inappropriate at work.”
― Stan Slap, New York Times Bestselling Author
So how do you cultivate your personal values to become a great Manager? The following exercises will help you identify what makes up your natural Management style…
1. Become truly self-aware
What this doesn’t mean is becoming self-involved. Realise that it’s not all about you, but how you think and respond to others that motivate and influence them. Learn to identify the emotions behind your actions and what your strengths and weaknesses are. The more you understand what drives you and how you “show up” with others will guide you towards identifying what works and what doesn’t. Ask for feedback from others and really listen. Try to unemotionally determine what might be holding you back from really connecting with others.
2. Learn your personality type
The Myers-Briggs test is a psychological questionnaire that helps you understand your personality type. Your management style is intertwined with your personality, and having a complete understanding of how you best interact with colleagues will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses.
3. Learn from others
When I Googled “the best white chocolate cookie recipe,” I got 8,910,000 results. Like white chocolate chip cookies, there is no “best” leadership style, but there is a best style for you. This doesn’t include emulating others, so don’t try to be something you’re not. If you’re not authentic, you won’t inspire trust and respect. But you can learn by observing others. The best leaders are always learning. They enhance their strengths and shore up their weaknesses by constantly evaluating what works and what doesn’t.
Whatever your leadership style is, it’s uniquely yours, and that’s the best thing you can offer any company.
Own your natural style, have confidence in it, and trust that you don’t need to be anything different.
If you’d like to delve deeper into your own natural style, contact us at Natural Training to discuss how we help you realise your full potential and become the most authentic management superstar possible.
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