Leadership Styles: Measuring and Refining Your Skills


Why do some leaders flourish while others fail? Effective leaders positively influence the behavior of their followers, getting them to work toward shared goals. But leaders have different ways in which they characteristically influence others. One leader may typically appeal to team members’ competitive drive. Another leader may rally the troops around a cause. Yet another leader may bolster their self-confidence. Still another leader may guide team members according to carefully laid plans. Whose way of leading is best? It all depends.

Current research shows that the most effective leaders know that their knee-jerk reactions to situations may not always prove effective. They know they must make deliberate choices about their way of leading. Effective leaders first evaluate a situation. Then, depending on the specific requirements of the situation, they may deliberately choose to follow their natural inclinations, leading others in their characteristic way. Or they may choose to modify their leadership styles to suit the situation.

This webinar is for trainers and managers who do training, and is based upon the HRDQ product What’s My Leadership Style?, a training program that gives both newly emerging and experienced leaders and managers the tools and techniques for developing and refining their skills. This learning resource will help your organization retain employees and clients, make better decisions, and improve performance. Learn more about What’s My Leadership Style? at HRDQ.

Participants Will Learn:

  • Identify personal leadership style
  • Learn how to capitalize on style strengths
  • Discover how to minimize style trouble spots
  • Learn how to “flex” personal style to interact most effectively with others

Who Should Attend:

  • Training and HR professionals
  • Independent consultants
  • Managers delivering training


Sarah: Hi everyone, and welcome to today’s webinar, Leadership Styles, Measuring
and Refining Your Skills. Hosted by HRDQ-U, and presented by Peggy
Greenberg. My name is Sarah and I will moderate today’s webinar. The webinar
will last about one hour. If you do have any questions, go ahead and type them
into the chat area on your GoToWebinar control panel, and we’ll either answer
them as we can, as they come in, or after the session by email. Today’s webinar
content is from our assessment and workshop titled, What’s My Leadership
Style? If you’re interested in delivering this training within your organization,
please contact HRD-Q. Please give a warm welcome to our presenter today,
Peggy: Thank you Sarah, and again, I’d like to also extend a warm welcome to all of you
from wherever you are calling in from. I’m delighted to be here this afternoon or
this morning where you are to talk about leadership styles and how do you
measure and refine your skills? So, I want to start off by first looking at what our
roadmap for today is. We’re gonna do a number of things in this short hour that
we have together, and we’re gonna start off by defining leadership and talking a
little bit about what leadership is. And that’s an important consideration,
obviously, to talk about what leadership is.
Peggy: We’re gonna talk about theories of leadership and leadership style. What’s your
leadership style? I wonder how many of you have thought about that and how
many of you actually know the answer to that question. I’ll give you some
additional information here this afternoon that will help you to identify your
leadership style. We’re also gonna talk about some of the trouble spots that can
occur when we exercise our leadership style. What are some of the things that
when we have our blinders on, and we’re not really thinking about, who is it that
I’m trying to lead? What’s the situation?
Peggy: And then, how do we flex our style? Because we, all of us, have to communicate
with, and we have to lead people who are different than we are. So, we’ve got
to learn how to flex our style to the situation and to the people that we’re trying
to lead. And as Sarah said, hopefully, we’ll have some time for questions and
answers either at the end, or you can chat those in, and we’ll get back to you
with some answers.
Peggy: I’d like to start off with telling you a little bit about who I am because I think it’s
important for you to know why am I talking to you about leadership. First of all, I
have been the Director of Training in a number of different healthcare
organizations, both large and small. Most recently, I was the Director of The
Office of Education and Training for the United States Senate, a very interesting
job. I went on then to become an executive coach and consultant. I also am a
trainer and a moderator for a number of leadership development programs and
products. I’m not sure why my slides are jumping all around here.
Peggy: I do want you to know that the important thing I think to know about me is that
I have keen appreciation for the importance of recognizing leadership style. And
I know from many years of personal experience in both formal and informal
leadership roles that it’s imperative to, not only know your leadership style, but
it’s also important to know when you have to flex your style to the situation or
to the people that you’re trying to lead. I’ve also had a great deal of experience
with the HRD-Q style series, and specifically the, what’s my leadership style
instrument, and I have found it to be very, very effective in use with groups of
many different sizes and for many different backgrounds, so that’s what we’re
gonna be talking about here this afternoon.
Peggy: So, my first question to you is, and we’re gonna put this into chat is, what is
leadership? What do you think? What is leadership? Go ahead and chat that in
for us. What is leadership? What do you think? When you think of that,
hopefully you signed up for this webinar today because you were thinking about
leadership, so go ahead and chat in of us. What is leadership? What do you
Sarah: Do you see those Peggy or you want me to shout some out?
Peggy: I do not see any.
Sarah: Okay, that’s okay. So, we have a lot that say leading by example. One who
manages or directs. The art and science of influencing and directing people to
accomplish a mission. [inaudible 00:05:14] really quick. Oh, so many are coming
in. Coaching, mentoring, is coming up as a lot. Giving guidance, influence I can
see here is being said quite frequently.
Peggy: All right. Okay. Anything else? Anything else pop out as being a little bit of a
different answer, Sarah, that you see?
Sarah: Yeah, here’s two. A person who can help others become great.
Peggy: Oh wow, okay.
Sarah: And the ability to unleash the talents and skills of others to achieve peak
Peggy: All right.
Sarah: They’re good.
Peggy: Yeah. Good answers. And all of you are certainly right on track about this
question of, what is leadership? And quite simply, leadership is the process of
influencing others to work towards common goals or to work toward goals. So,
being a leader has nothing to do with position in an organization. In fact, the
more contemporary view in organizations now is that we need leaders at all
levels in the organization. Clearly, people who hold management positions need
to be good leaders first and foremost, but you also need leaders at all levels in
the organization.
Peggy: People who are leading project teams, people who are just leaders within their
own work groups, so it’s such an important skill. So, it’s the process of
influencing others to work toward goals, and as you can see, that definition
really lends itself to the fact that we need leaders at all levels in the
organization. Let’s talk about what some of the theories of leadership are.
Theories of leadership have been around for as long as we’ve had leaders. We
know that all leaders have to do a certain number of things. First of all … oh, I’m
sorry. My slides are really jumping around here. Let’s see. Sarah, help me. I can’t
figure out why these are jumping.
Peggy: All right. We know that all leaders have to establish a trusting relationships with
the people they want to lead, and again, it doesn’t matter if you’re leading a
project team, or you’re the CEO, and you’re leading the entire organization. If
you’re gonna be led by someone, you have to trust, and so leaders have to
establish those trusting relationships. Leaders also have to create a common
understanding of the vision, or the work to be done, and specifically, how are
we gonna implement the roles and the tasks and the deliverables that we have
before us? Leaders have got to make sure that everybody’s included, so they’ve
got to support everybody’s efforts and that is from the person who’s the most
skilled to the person who’s the least skilled, or the least experienced.
Peggy: And clearly, leaders have to know how to communicate. They’ve got to know,
how can I keep everybody informed? How can I keep everybody working
towards that common goals that was established? And again, this is leaders,
whether you’re leading an entire organization, or you’re leading a project team
or a group of your coworkers within your organization. So, theories of
leadership have been around in fact for a very, very long time, and probably
since the beginning of time, in fact. And the theories of leadership, the first
theory of leadership that we know of was the trade era. The trade era really
took place around the turn of the 20th century until about the mid 1940’s.
Peggy: The concept was that leaders are born and that heredity justified the status quo.
The reigning belief during this time was that the men, and it was predominately
men who held leadership positions during this time, that they were born with
the personality traits of leaders. There was just something within their genetic
makeup, or their heredity that made them natural born leaders. But by about
the middle of the 20th century, it was recognized that this wasn’t necessarily
true. And researchers had conducted a lot of studies where they could … and
they were trying to identify exactly what were those traits that people were
born with. What they found was that their findings were very weak or
inconsistent and that there must be something else that was contributing to
good leaders being available.
Peggy: So, what came next then was the behavioral era, which many of you might … I’m
sorry. My slides are just jumping around for some reason. The behavioral era,
which took place from about the late 1930s until the ’50s, this is when people
began to expand the question and people started to ask, “But what do leaders
do?” We were moving away form this concept of that it’s something that you’re
born with and instead trying to identify the personality traits that were
associated with effective leadership. So, researchers sort to actually identify
specific behaviors. And instead of asking questions like, what are leaders like?
They started to ask the question, what do leaders do?
Peggy: In Ohio state, there were some studies that were specifically designed to
establish the tasks and relationship based behaviors that were key to effective
leadership. And so, behavioral research led to the actual identification of
leadership behaviors. The behavioral era was a very important one, but it still
just didn’t provide the full picture of leadership. Then we got to the situational
era, which is really the era that we’re in now. It started emerging in the early
1960s. Again, to the present day, as I’m sure many of you have heard about
situational leadership. Maybe you teach situational leadership, or you’ve
attended programs on it.
Peggy: And Fiedler demonstrated that to be most effective, leaders need to adapt their
characteristic behaviors to different situations. So, it wasn’t a one size fits all
situations, but it was, in order to really be the most effective, you had to know
who you were leading and what the situation was. And so, effectiveness
depends on context and so it’s less about what you’re born with, it’s less about a
set of specific behaviors that apply in all situations and to all people, but rather
it really depends on the context.
Peggy: So, now that we have some definitions of leadership and some background on
the importance of leadership, the next question then is well, what is … if that’s
what leadership is, what is style? What we know about the definition of style is
that style is the way a person usually behaves. It’s fairly predictable, and as a
matter of fact, all the way back to the time of Aristotle, he said, “We are what
we repeatedly do.” That’s how we know about style, is that we are what we
repeatedly do. I wanna test this out with a little poll just to help you get a sense
of the fact that that’s true, that we are what we repeatedly do.
Peggy: I want you to think for a minute for me about a coworker. Somebody that you
know fairly well, you’ve worked with for a while. And I want you to assume that
that coworker has been given a project to do. I want you to predict how they
would behave if they were put in charge of a project. So, would your coworker,
A, would they leap into action and just tell other people how the project was
gonna be done? Or would they carefully outline a procedure for others to follow
on the project and make sure they analyze the relevant data about what needed
to be done? Or would they gather everybody’s ideas on how the project would
be done? Or would they get everybody excited about the project? So, go ahead
and take a minute and select your answer A, B, C, or D.
Sarah: Peggy, while we wait for the answers to come in, two things, when you’re
moving your slides, try your mouse over to the right hand side. I wonder if
you’re double clicking and that might jump it two ahead.
Peggy: I don’t think so, but I’ll try it.
Sarah: And two, someone offered another suggestion, E, ignore until someone else
task care of it. I thought that was appropriate.
Peggy: All right. Okay. Oh, on the poll, you mean?
Sarah: On the poll.
Peggy: Okay. All right. So are we-?
Sarah: Yeah. It looks like we’ve got good responses here. I’m gonna go ahead and share
the results.
Peggy: Okay. All right. Okay, so it looks like the majority of you say that your coworker
would gather everyone’s ideas on how the project should proceed. Okay, so that
is a particular leadership style. And then, the rest of you, sort of the next highest
level there, is that your coworker would just tell everybody how the project
would be done. Your predictions are likely very, very accurate, because you’ve
become familiar with certain patterns, and you’ve become familiar with that
person’s behavior and certain patterns in that person’s behavior. In other words,
you’ve learned about their style.
Peggy: Okay. Sarah, can I get my slides back? All right. Our leadership style, it isn’t a
secret. Our leadership style is how we behave in such a way that it’s consistent
enough that it’s predictable. That’s what our leadership style is. And it’s how we
act when we can do things in our own way, the way that’s most natural to us.
It’s so consistent, in fact, as I mentioned, that other people can actually predict
how we’re gonna act. It’s a typical part of our personality, or it’s something that
other people can expect most of the time. So, leadership style is a person’s
unique way of influencing others to work towards a common goal. So, it’s our
unique way of getting others to work toward a common goal.
Peggy: So, what are the benefits of understanding our leadership style? I think this is
really the short list of the benefits of understanding this. But first of all, it
improves our interaction with other people. When we know what our leadership
style is, and we know what the situation is, and we know who the people that
we’re trying to lead are, it really can help us when we know our style because
sometimes we know that maybe our preferred style isn’t the right style for the
situation or for the people that we’re trying to lead. It helps other people to
interpret your behavior so that other people can predict what you might do and
maybe can help you flex your style if your natural approach isn’t something
that’s going to be particularly helpful or isn’t gonna get the job done.
Peggy: And I think it really does influence your success because it helps you to adapt to
different situations and different people. And again, we know that the most
successful leaders are those that are able to adapt to different situations and to
different people depending on what the leadership opportunity is. So, I’m
wondering if you know the answer to the question, what’s your leadership
style? And we all have some dimensions of our style. And those two dimensions
are expressiveness and assertiveness. This is pat of the HRD-Q style model. So, I
want to define these because again, these really sort of lay out the four different
potential leadership styles.
Peggy: Assertiveness is the effort that a person makes to either influence or control the
thoughts or actions of other people. Assertiveness is not a bad thing. I think it
sometimes gets a bad rap for whatever reason, but assertiveness is not a bad
thing. People who are assertive tell others how things should be, and they tend
to be very task oriented and very active and very confident, so it’s not a bad
thing. But it’s also not a bad thing to be less assertive. People who are less
assertive ask other people how things should be, and they tend to be more
processed oriented, and a little bit more deliberate.
Peggy: Expressiveness, the other dimension of our style, is the effort that we market co
control our emotions when we’re relating to other people. So, people who are
expressive display their emotions, and they tend to be very sociable, very
demonstrative, very versatile in many ways. And people who are less expressive
tend to control their emotions, and they tend to be very focused and very
Independent, and to other people, they might … people who are less expressive
might, in fact, seem like they’re a little bit private and maybe not as willing to
Peggy: So, what we see now is the … oh dear. Okay, let me go back here. All right.
Sarah, I’m not really not sure what’s going on here. Why this …
Sarah: Let me get them back for you. Let’s see.
Peggy: Yeah. Maybe I’ll just ask you to advance them for me.
Sarah: Yeah, that’s totally fine. Let me get us back to where we were.
Peggy: It should be …
Sarah: Here we go.
Peggy: Okay.
Sarah: And yep, I’ll move those for you.
Peggy: Okay. Thank you.
Sarah: You’re welcome.
Peggy: All right. So, what we see here is the HRD style model, and if you look around
the edges, you’re gonna see two measures that I just talked about,
expressiveness and assertiveness. The two styles on the left hand side of the
diagram, direct and systematic, are lower in expressiveness, and the two styles
on the right hand side of the diagram are higher in expressiveness. And then the
lower half of this diagram represents the two styles, systematic and considerate
that ae lower in assertiveness and then the top half of the diagram represents
the two styles that are higher in assertiveness, which is direct and spirited. So,
let’s look at the strengths of these four styles. Sarah, can you advance for me?
Peggy: So, there are strengths of all four styles of leaders, and in fact, we need all the
different leadership styles in order to be in order to be most effective. So, our
direct leaders, people who have a direct leadership style are folks that really like
to take charge. Direct leaders, they get down to business, they produce quick
results, they focus on deadlines, and tend to be very energetic and just get
things moving by telling people what to do, and by telling people what needs to
be attended to, what’s most important. So, the direct leader is the person who is
very interested in getting the job done now. And that’s a real strength, and
those are the strengths of a direct leader.
Peggy: And then we move over, and we have our spirited leaders. Our spirited leaders
are the kind of big picture, vision oriented, thinkers who are extremely good at
exciting other people and getting other people enthusiastic about the work to
be done. Very often, spirited leaders are the ones who can motivate other
people to think about a new approach to something that maybe we’ve been
doing for a long time. So, spirited leaders help other people to imagine
possibilities. They tend to be very spontaneous, and they’re able to rally the
support of many, many people. They really are, the folks again, that I think for
many people, are able to create the vision and get other people organized
behind a vision.
Peggy: And then we have systematic leaders. Systematic leaders are the individuals that
are very good at providing structure for activities. They’re very helpful and very
strong in their ability to make sure that the details aren’t overlooked. Very
analytical people, very data driven people, and make their decisions and
encourage other people to make decisions based on facts as opposed to
anything else. So, systematic leaders are planners, and the people again, that
utilize a lot of logic, a lot of structure in order to get things done. And the result
from having a systematic leadership style is the standards are very high, there’s
a lot of objectivity and there’s a lot of accuracy, typically in the decisions that a
systematic leader is able to make.
Peggy: And then, finally, we have our considerate leaders. Our considerate leaders are
those that provide others with a sense of reassurance in difficult or challenging
times. They tend to create a very comfortable environment. They establish an
easy work pace for other people. They ask people for their input. Instead of just
making decisions, they asks other people. Considerate leaders tend to build a
very loyal following by demonstrating their support for other people. They
recognize the importance of taking other’s views and feelings into account. And
so, the result of having a considerate leader is that typically, the group really
does stick together because the commitment to the considerate leader is
typically quite strong. So, direct, spirited, systematic, and considerate.
Peggy: Next slide please, Sarah. So, my question is what do you think your predominant
style is? I know that was a quick overview of those four styles, but think about it
for a minute. What do you think your predominant style is? It’s time to reveal.
All right, looking at these coming in. And remember we need all four styles.
Okay. So, it looks like the majority of you are the considerate style of leader, so
the ones who create the comfortable environment and follow the procedures
and establish that easy work pace. Followed by systematic. A group of you, 25%
of you reporting systematic. The planners and the folks that are able to analyze
data and really make decisions based on a lot of information, and a lot of clear
information in order to make decisions.
Peggy: Least represented, but only by 1%, are the direct leaders. Again, the ones who
take charge, get things done. And the spirited leaders, the ones who create a lot
of enthusiasm and ability to help other people visualize what the big picture is.
What I want you to take from this is that, in this group, we’ve got a fairly equal,
this is fairly equal with a little bit of a high concentration of considerate leaders.
But, we’ve got a fairly even split. And that’s good because we need, in our
organizations, we need different leadership styles. In fact, we need all the
leadership styles to be represented. So, no one leadership style is better or
worse, right or wrong. Your style is what you are.
Peggy: But what you need to think about is, what’s the situation? Who are the people
that I’m trying to lead? And how can I flex my style if I happen to be considerate,
if I happen to be that person that creates the comfortable environment, but
what I really need to do is I need to get it done because that’s what the situation
is calling for right now. So, how can I flex my considerate leadership style to be
more direct? And we can all do that. We’re all capable of doing that.
Peggy: Next slide, Sarah. Thanks. So, a couple of things. We know what our style is, or
you’ve self-identified anyway what your style is, and each style has its flip side of
those strengths that I was just talking to you about. Go ahead Sarah, you can do
all of these on here. Okay. These are our blind spots, and there are the things
that happen when we carry our strengths to the extreme. I’ll talk a little bit
about what these might look like. It’s good to be aware of your trouble spots
because when we’re aware of them, we can balance it with our strengths. We
can know that, okay, I could take that to the next level, but that’s not gonna
really help the situation and that’s not gonna really get us what we need. So, I
wanna talk through the trouble spots, and I want you to think about your style.
And think about, specifically, what can you do to limit the behaviors that are
potential trouble spots.
Peggy: So, for example, if you’re a direct leader, again, you have the sense of urgency,
and you need to get things done. And sometimes our direct leadership style or a
direct leadership style might cross the line from taking charge to being
overbearing. Okay? And other people will notice that and might not respond
positively to that direct leadership style. Also, a trouble spot for direct leaders is
that direct leaders tend to be very competitive. I mean that they’re competing
very often against themselves. They’re trying to be a little bit better today than
they were yesterday, which can be a very positive attribute to have, but they’re
competitive spirit might intimidate other people and demotivate other people.
Peggy: Direct leaders work hard, but when they expect that same kind of high octane
performance from everybody else that they lead, direct leaders can often cause
other people to burn out. And that’s very often, something that we hear about
folks with a direct leadership style and an inability to flex, is that other people
burnout under their leadership. The spirited leader, the trouble spots.
Remember this is the person who is always thinking of new ways and have
always a generating enthusiasm. Some trouble spots for the spirited leader
might be that they’re persuasive because spirited leaders are very persuasive
people and sometimes their persuasion crosses the line.
Peggy: Their persuasive abilities might feel manipulative to other people. Their
eagerness, their incredible energy might sometimes cause them to not really a
look at all the facts as closely or as well as they should. And too much focus on
idea generation can lead to indecisiveness, and of course in many situations we
need to be decisive. At some point, we’ve gathered the data and now we’ve got
to make a decision. And spirited leaders’ trouble spot is that they’re wanting to
always be open and sort of like 7/11, open all the time. It leads them to not get
to the point of being able to make a decision, so they can often lose sight of
what are the longterm goals.
Peggy: Our systematic leaders have the potential to make other people feel overly
criticized and bogged down because again, of their attention to wanting the
facts and to wanting to gather the facts. They very often again, will … other
people will feel like, oh my gosh, I just can’t produce one more data point or one
more report. So, that can be something that causes a great deal of stress for the
people that systematic leaders are trying to lead. When urgent situations call for
quick action, systematic leaders, their desire for a comprehensiveness and
thoroughness might actually be counterproductive when what we need is quick
action or we need … this is an urgent situation.
Peggy: The systematic leader who’s unable to situationally lead, might miss the boat
and simply not be able to produce a decision in a quick enough period of time.
The systematics leaders’ preference for being objective and accurate above all
else might be viewed by other people as being kind of impersonal and not very
caring bout other people. So, you identified what your leadership style is, and I
hope you were, depending on what style you identified, I hope you were
listening to those trouble spots because what we all have to do is recognize the
fact that when we take our style to the extreme, sometimes it’s not appropriate.
Peggy: So, we really, really need to be aware of, what are the trouble spots of my style?
What’s the situation? And what style do I need to execute in order to be most
effective in this situation? So, what about the leadership style of other people in
your office? The reality is that your boss and the people you work with will often
have a leadership style that’s different from your own. Most likely, when I was
asking you to self identify what your style was, my guess is that at least some
sizeable percentage of you might’ve been thinking about other people that are
in your world and thinking about, I wonder how I would identify them.
Peggy: The next question is then, how do we work with people who have different
styles? Because we have to work with people who have different styles, and
they might be people who are very important to us, like the person that we
report to, for example, or maybe a close colleague that we have to work with on
many, many occasions. When we talk about … next slide please, Sarah.
Peggy: When we talk about working with someone who is potentially different than we
are, the strongest differences in style will be, if you have a style that’s
diametrically opposed to either your boss or your colleague, whoever you were
thinking about when I just asked you that question. For example, there’s nothing
that will drive a direct leader, a direct style leader, more crazy than a
considerate style leader who wants to talk to everybody about this and who
wants to get everybody’s ideas and opinions or who wants some time to kind of
process their feelings before they give an opinion. So, direct to considerate is a
diametrically opposed style. And those two styles will have the most difficulty
when they try to work together. Next slide.
Peggy: Likewise, spirited and systematic are diametrically opposed. So, when you think
about it, if you’re a systematic leader, and you live by making sure that you’re
totally accurate and that you have all of your facts and that you’ve really
carefully surveyed something to make sure that you’re making the right decision
and that you can justify that, or you could quantify that. And the spirited a
leader is the person who wants to brainstorm some more. Maybe brainstorm
some vague ideas or some generalities, but can’t seem to come down to, what
are the specific? What are the details? Or what are the data? Or what are the
Peggy: Conversely, a spirited leader might feel very constricted by the systematic
person who consistently wants to tie down or limit creative ideas and wants
to … no, have until … we have to come up with this by this time, and we have to
cut off all the ideas at this time. That will definitely make the spirited leader also
very frustrated. Next slide. I want you to think about, again, your leader,
whoever that might be. I want you to answer the question on this poll. What is
your leader’s style? Is it the same as yours? Is it different, but next to yours?
Meaning, it’s right next to yours. Or is it diametrically opposite? Like I just talked
about over the past few moments? So, is it the same, different, but adjacent, or
diametrically opposite? Let’s see what we come up with here.
Peggy: All right. Okay, all right. It looks like over half of you have a leader with a
different style, but it’s right next to yours. Those of you who have a leaders’ style
that’s the same as yours are sort of the lucky ones because there’s no … you can
very easily walk along the same path. Thirty one percent of you have
diametrically … you’re reporting diametrically styles that are diametrically
opposite. And you really have your work cut out for you when that’s the case.
There are certainly ways to do that. There are certainly ways of recognizing that
we approached this in a different way, and we have to learn to appreciate the
fact that we approach things in a different way. And we have to acknowledge
the fact that we have different leadership styles.
Peggy: We’ll get to the same point, but we have different ways to approaching it. Can I
have the next slide, Sarah? One of the ways that is a good way to think about
this and something that was taught to me many, many years ago was to use this
little analogy or this little story, if you will, about how do the four styles get to
be. I want everybody to just take a moment, and I want you to imagine that you
were standing in a room. It’s a fairly large sized room and you’re at one end of
the room, and we’re going to call that “A.” And you need to get to the other side
of the room and we’re going to call that “B.” So, how do the four styles get to B?
Well, if you’re a direct leader and you need to get to B, okay? B is across the
room. You just go there. You just go because that’s what you need to do.
Peggy: B is very clear. You know where you’re going, and you just move it. You just go.
If you’re a spirited leader, and you’re at A, and you need to get to B, what you’re
going to do is you’re gonna make a lot of noise about it. You’re gonna talk about
it a lot. You’re gonna get maybe other people excited about going to B with you.
You’re gonna make sure that other people are inspired perhaps, to get with you
to B. If you’re a systematic leader, and you’re at A, and you need to get to B,
you’re probably going to plan it out really, really carefully. You’re gonna figure
out, how far is it from A to B? What data do I have that tells me how many feet I
have to traverse in order to get to the other side of the room?
Peggy: It’s likely that maybe you’ll get a little bit of the way on your way to B, and you
might go back and check your numbers again and make sure that you actually
know where you’re going if you’re a systematic leader. And if you’re a
considerate leader, you’re gonna check in with some other people, and you’re
gonna say, “How did you get to B? What do you think about going to B? Or
would you like to come to B with me?” And if you’re a considerate leader, you’re
gonna engage the thoughts and the concepts and all of that of other people.
And the moral of the story here is that, all of the styles, the four styles, they all
get to B, okay?
Peggy: We go about it in slightly different ways, but we all get to B. So, it’s about, again,
learning how to A, appreciate the styles of other people. And it’s also about
learning how to flex our style according to what the situation is and who the
people are that I’m trying to lead. Next slide please, Sarah. So, that’s leadership
style flexing. Okay? It helps to know how to adapt or flex our style. When we
know how to do that, we can take the best parts of the four styles that I’ve been
talking about and figure out, what do I need to do right now? What’s the best
style to implement right now?
Peggy: Just like gradually thinking about your trouble spots and making sure that you’re
attending to those and that you’re not letting them derail you from what you
need to do. It takes effort to flex your style. You have to step outside your
comfort zone. But all of us are capable of doing it. And the payoff is that you
really can make a difference. It really does make a difference between a
successful interaction or a productive interaction or a less successful or
unproductive one. So, the payoff is pretty dramatic. And it’s something I think
that most of us try to do when we’re leading and practice makes perfect. When
we practice style flexing, we just get better at it, and we get better at it over
Peggy: There certainly are times and situations where some styles are effective and
there are times when they are least effective. I wanna share some ideas for you
about the four styles and when they might be most effective and when they
might be least effective. A direct style … go back one please, Sarah. A direct style
is most effective in a crisis situation or in some situation where bold decisions
are really required. And direct is least effective in situations where you need to
do a lot of careful planning and where you need to be very attentive to what are
other people’s feelings about this?
Peggy: So, the direct style is least effective in those kinds of situations. Spirited style is
most effective where we need to motivate other people, we need to get other
people excited, we need to get some innovative ideas out and really encourage
people to be innovative. And it’s least effective in urgent situations, where there
are some deadlines that have to be met, or we’re gonna lose an opportunity or
something very negative might potentially happen. Systematic leadership is
most effective when we have a situation where we really need to have longterm
planning, accuracy, objective analysis. That’s when we need our systematic
leadership style.
Peggy: It’s least effective when the situation requires quick decision making or when
the situation requires a lot of flexibility. We can’t absolutely say that it’s gonna
be 10. It might only be nine. When there has to be some flexibility, that’s when a
systematic style will be least effective. A considerate style is most effective
when there’s a lot of sensitivity and situations that require a lot of tact, a lot of
diplomacy, a lot of patience with other people. That’s when we really need to
considerate style of leadership. And it’s least effective when we have to … in
situations that require quick turnaround or quick adjustments because of
unforeseen changes in situations, and maybe somebody else might have to take
charge of a situation, so that’s least effective use of the considerate leadership
Peggy: So, we’ve got to know to flex so that we can be most effective. If our natural
style is not the right one for the situation, then we have to do a quick
assessment of what is needed and be able to flex into that style. Again, it’s not
our natural style, it’s not a preferred style, but it’s something that all of us can
do. So, how do you recognize other people’s dominant styles? Because we need
to be able to do that so that we can, in fact, be most effective. Next slide please,
Peggy: There are a couple of things that we can look at if we want to know … if we’re
working with someone or maybe we’ve just come in contact with someone, and
we want to know, “I wonder what their style is.” And we need that information
or we want that information so that we can work effectively with them or
communicate effectively with them or negotiate effectively with them. There
are some things we can look for. A direct person, their communication is gonna
be very candid. They’re gonna ask some tough questions. They’re gonna
probably share their opinions quite readily with maybe without even being
asked for it. That would be the communication style of a direct person that you
could quickly pick up on. And their work style is that they’re gonna … again, is
somebody that’s moving very quickly from one task to the next, you might
notice some impatience.
Peggy: You might note that they’re someone who very comfortably sets objectives.
That would indicate to you that that person’s natural style is direct. A spirited
leader, their communication is gonna be very, again, very excited, very
animated. Someone who likes to tell stories, who’s very persuasive. Their work
style might be some … they’re someone who really does come across very
positively when it comes to anything creative and coming up with new ideas,
multitasking, are spirited leaders. Or somebody who consistently misses
deadlines might be an indication of a spirited leader. Considerate leaders, the
communication that you’re looking for, obviously is somebody who’s, who’s very
actively listening, able to build trust, seems to have a lot of cohesiveness with
everybody in their environment. Has a lot of warm personal relationships with
other people.
Peggy: And their work style is very collaborative, very willing to take on maybe the
tasks that aren’t as top of the top of the line. They’re not the ones that
everybody else is gonna notice. Their work style might also be that they’re are
someone who’s resistant to change. And then, our systematic, if you’re trying to
assess, quickly gauge a systematic style, these are the folks who are very
analytical, very calm, very rational, talk more about facts than they do about
feelings, and their work style is they’re the person who they meet deadlines,
and they’re able to focus on one thing at a time. Tend to be people also that are
very, very organized.
Peggy: I often say, you can walk into the workspace of people, and you can very often
get, unless they’re having a day that’s just so unlike their normal self, you can
usually look at the workspace of someone, and you can get some sort of an idea
of what their style is. And certainly, for the systematic person, it’s the person
who will never leave their workspace even to just go get a cup of coffee or
whatever without making sure that every pencil is exactly where it’s supposed
to be or every piece of paper is wind up precisely. That might indicate … very
often, would indicate to you that, that might be someone with a systematic
Peggy: So, you can quickly gauge other people’s styles. Not like you have to know them
for a long period of time. You wanna gauge other people’s styles so that you
then know how to work with them, and you know how to communicate with
them. Not to pigeon hole them and not to put them in a box and never let them
out, but just to get a general sense of what’s gonna be the most effective
approach for me to work with this individual. Next slide, Sarah. So, a couple of
reminders. First of all, your dominant style is the one that feels the most natural
to you. And all of us have a dominant style. There’s one of these neighborhoods
that we live in most comfortably. Again, it doesn’t mean that we can’t go to
another neighborhood, but there is one that’s most natural to you.
Peggy: There’s no right style. Okay? If you were trying to teach someone how to be the
greatest leader, you wouldn’t say, “If you’re direct you are gonna succeed 100%
of the time.” Because that’s simply wouldn’t be true. Direct, as I just showed
you, there are times when direct is effective and then there’s times when it’s
least effective. So, there is no right style at all. We need all the styles. And it
really does help a great deal if we know our trouble spots, and we know that,
okay, that’s where I reside most comfortably and most naturally. But I have to
remember if I’m direct that I can’t override other people and that sometimes I
have to let the conversation go for a little bit longer and let more people put
their ideas out there instead of thinking that we can just sort of move ahead.
Peggy: So, know your trouble spots and practice improving upon them and that,
invariably, will improve someone’s leadership skill. You can flex to accommodate
other people’s styles in order to have more successful interchanges. It is
absolutely possible for every single one of us to accommodate the styles of
other people so that we can more successfully work together, again, negotiate
together, do business together, live together. We can flex our style in order to
accommodate other people’s styles. Again, that doesn’t mean we’re giving in, or
we’re giving up who we are. It just means, in my way of thinking, that we’re
really smart, and we recognize that if we flex that we’re going to have a better
outcome in the end.
Peggy: Another reminder is that we all get to B. We go about it in slightly different
ways, but we all get to B. So, again, it’s an appreciation for the different styles of
leadership, and the fact that we all get to B. Lastly, and the next slide is,
effective leaders, the most effective leaders, the people in our lifetime that
we’ve ever known or recognized as being the most effective leaders create a
match between their style and the situation, okay? So, effective leaders have a
clear sense of their own style preference is because they’ve thought about it,
they’ve worked on it, they’ve heard about it, they’ve read about it, they’ve
studied it, whatever, but then they create a match between that style and the
situation. And that’s what effective leadership is all about.
Peggy: It’s about creating that match between your style, and the situation that you
find yourself in. I am going to now turn this over to Sarah for some additional
comments, and we may have time for a few questions. Sarah.
Sarah: Thank you so much, Peggy. And thank you everyone. I’m not sure why we had
some challenges with the slides, but I appreciate everybody’s patience on that.
We do have a couple minutes here for questions. One thing I think that sort of
happened early on is we missed going over the trouble spots for the considerate
style. So, I was wondering if you could start there. I’ve got a couple of people
who have asked that question, so if you could just share your insights for the
trouble spots for the considerate style.
Peggy: I certainly will. my apologies. I don’t know how I missed talking about troubled
spots for considerate style, but the trouble spots for a considerate style is I think
that considerate leaders want to … they have this strong orientation to
harmony. So, some trouble spots for them could be that they’re not willing or
able sometimes to recognize conflict, and they’re often not willing to deal with
conflict. And of course, we all know that anytime you have people being
together, certainly people working together, the potential for conflict is great.
So, a trouble spot for considerate leader is that their desire for harmony may
override their willingness to deal with conflict.
Peggy: Also, second, and a very important trouble spot for considerate leaders is that
their desire, again, to keep things comfortable might make them resistant to
change. They might not be able to embrace change and move with changing
situations, internal and external, as easily as other styles might be able to do. So,
I’m sorry considerate folks. I did not mean to miss your trouble spots.
Sarah: No. Good. Thank you so much. I received a couple of comments from people
that said, “Oh, that is my style. And that’s accurate.” Good. We’ve got time here
for just one more question and I’m just also gonna make a comment because I
can see I have a lot of people asking on the line, how this model is similar to
things like DISC and colors and Wilson [Moulton 00:58:00]. There’s a lot of four
quadrant style models out there. This model is based on Marston theory. He
designed that four quadrant with the expressiveness and the assertiveness. So,
that’s where you see that that similarity in those models if you happen to be
familiar with those models.
Peggy: I would just add to that that there’s a lot of similarity between these models.
The models are all very similar because they’re all sort of built on sort of the
same psychological premises in the four quadrants. So, you’re gonna see a lot of
similarities if people have done DISC or they’d done MBTI or whatever. They will
definitely see a correlation between this and those models. My experience has
been is that, I’ve done the style series with folks, and I’ve also done those other
instruments with folks and it’s not repetitive for people. It’s more information.
It’s something else to think about in terms of how do I use my style, and in this
case, how do I use my style as a leader? So, there’s no repetition. I think if
you’ve done other assessments to then do style assessments would people.
Sarah: Great. Good point. Thank you. Definitely, thank you. Speaking about MyersBriggs, we did have some people who are asking about introverted, extroverted,
the thinking, feeling those young theory terminology. Anything you could just
comment around this style model and maybe where you see some of those
things in play?
Peggy: Well, I think, and again, I’m not sure, I’m basing this totally on science
necessarily, but I do know a lot about styles, and I do know a lot about
personality. My guess would be just doing sort of the introversion, extroversion
piece that, typically speaking, people who have a style, a leadership style of
direct or spirited would tend to be … most often are more likely to be extroverts
and people who are systematic and considerate or more likely to be introverts.
Again, that’s not 100%, but if I think about the thousands of people I’ve done
this assessment and others with, I would say that my own very unofficial
research would tell me that. Again, that’s just on the introversion extroversion
dimension. And really, there are some other dimensions as well.
Sarah: Yes. Good. Well, thank you so much, Peggy. That was a great session. If you have
additional questions that we haven’t gotten to answer, go ahead and type those
in, but we are out of time today. I do wanna let you know that HRD-Q publishes
research based experiential learning product that you can deliver in your
organization. So, you can check us out. We’ve got the online and print
assessments, like the, what’s my leadership style. That was the foundation of
today’s Webinar. We have up-out-of-your-seat games that also are part of the
style series. And then, we have reproducible workshops that you can customize
as well.
Sarah: So, check out our website or call our customer service tea, and if you do need
help, either learning a training program, or you want one of our experts like
Peggy to come onsite at your organization or even virtually and deliver the
training for you, HRD-Q also provides those services. Thank you so much. We
hope you got something out of today’s Webinar and we look forward to seeing
you on the next one.
Peggy: Thanks everybody.


blankPeggy Greenberg

Peggy Greenberg is President of Peggy Greenberg Training and Consulting. Peggy has over 30 years of experience in staff and organization development. Prior to starting her own business, Peggy was the Director of the Office of Education and Training for the United States Senate. Her office was responsible for the training and development of Senate staff in Washington DC and throughout the country. She has also held Director level positions in large health care systems in Washington, DC and Boston. Since starting her own training and consulting firm, Peggy’s clients have included the Department of Justice, US Senate, Glenridge Healthcare Solutions, CAQH, K12, and the City Of Alexandria to name a few.

Peggy is passionate about the importance of lifelong learning and the value of developing employees to their full potential. Her clients know her as someone that is very skilled at competently assessing needs and designing learning that is both engaging and relevant. Peggy’s passion for continuous development drives her to always seek new ideas, concepts and methods to enhance her professional skills.

In addition to her undergraduate degree in Nursing Peggy also holds a graduate degree in Adult and Continuing Education From Boston University.

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