Leading people is challenging, demanding and potentially stressful work. And while some managers seem to have an inborn knack of leading, most of us have to work at it.
Profiles for People helps to focus on the important behaviours of leaders, and it identifies the needs of followers too. Profiles for People also helps identify people who have latent leadership talent and the potential to develop it.
The important applications in the context of leading are:
- choosing leader styles
- choosing operating styles
- establishing contracts
- activating others
- modelling behaviour
Leading styles: Four factors in the Leading profile create four leading “arenas” – the bargaining, cooperation, policing and coercing arenas – all of them with both positive and negative aspects. These help to identify sources of conflict and compatibility, and selection of appropriate situational styles (See also the section on Organising for Efficiency and Effectiveness).
Positional styles: Positional styles are another important aspect of leading, illustrated by the changed behaviors needed when someone is first promoted to a management position from being an operative or technical worker. The demands of the new position require a change in behavior.
This third style of focal leader (sometimes referred to as charismatic) is related to the emotional pulls and ties that people develop between themselves.
Elements of all these styles are found throughout the profile system.
Operating style: The Action Style profile shows elements of operating styles – what people do to get what they want.
When people work in “constant” conditions, their operating styles are made up of constant factors. Their behavior can therefore be said to be predictable. When they move to new and different conditions, they have to make adjustments – either to make the new conditions suit them, or to make their own behaviors suit the conditions.
For most people, it will be the second option. That is because only a few people have the position and the power to influence their environment to any great extent.
In an opposite situation, where conditions change around people, and they fail or choose not to adjust, they become at odds with their environment. Then they either choose, or are forced, to move on.
Most likely, they will seek out a similar environment to the one they leave – maybe because where they are is changing to their dislike, so they look to re-establish themselves in familiar conditions.
With understanding of people’s preferences and needs, and a model of what will work best for the organisation, you can work to close or eliminate the gaps.