As individuals we tend to lean one of two ways in how we relate to others.
Some of us lean towards high connection, and are very good at developing and focusing on our relationships with others. People at the extreme end of this personality type may lose their identities in making sure that others are feeling okay and getting their needs met at all times.
Leaning the other way, some individuals are very good at taking a position, and have no trouble sharing their own thoughts and ideas. The extreme version of this personality is someone who is completely attached to their own thoughts and beliefs, leaving no room for others to share and form a real relationship.
People who are more relational tend to ask more questions and show up connected with others, and people who are more positional tend to tell more and can show up more rigid or attached to their own opinions.
Do you know which way you tend to lean?
Great leadership requires both abilities: the ability to stay engaged with and connected to others while at the same time being able to clearly state opinions, beliefs and values.
The happy news about these styles is that they can be worked on and polished in order to develop a style where we take a stand while also staying connected.
If you lean towards high connection to the point that sometimes it feels like your identity gets lost, you can strengthen your leadership by spending some time paying attention to your inner compass, and getting to know (and honor) what you really think, feel and want.
If you tend to take an unwavering position on everything, and do more telling than asking, it is probably a good time to evaluate how you make space for others’ thoughts and ideas, learning to develop the relationships that are a requirement for successfully leading others.
For more reading on the benefits of a “blended” style of leadership, take a look at this article from the Harvard Business Review.
And for more from me on this subject, take a look at the stories, strategies and guidance on this and other leadership topics in my book How Do You Want To Show Up and my How Do You Want To Show Up Workbook. Both books are available on Amazon.
Praise for How Do You Want To Show Up: “This must-read book teaches critical leadership skills through people stories that keep the pages turning. Readers can use this book to strengthen their self-knowledge and improve communication at work and in the rest of life.” -Marshall Goldsmith, international bestselling author of What Got You Here Won’t Get You There and Triggers