Leaders Must Adjust Communication Styles to Teams’ Needs

July 25, 2013  |  Posted by in Leadership Development
 

As much as leadership development training is about empowering leaders with new skills, greater confidence and more, it's also about employees. Without the proper guidance, it's possible that staff members won't be able to reach their full potential. By continuing their education through training, leaders can unlock the true power of their teams.

Prevention-focused vs. promotion-focused
Motivating workers is a complicated task at times, and managers must be knowledgeable about their teams' dynamics in order to do it correctly. In a video for the Harvard Business Review, Heidi Grant Halvorson, associate director at Columbia Business School's Motivation Science Center, explained that some people are generally prevention-focused while others are promotion-focused. These factors play a significant role in how leaders should approach influencing their employees to perform at high levels.

Halvorson said that prevention-focused individuals tend to want security and work hard to avoid mistakes. Their desire to complete tasks carefully and deliberately can be a strength. However, deadlines and errors often make them anxious. Meanwhile, promotion-focused people are faster workers and more willing to take risks, which can be very positive. But at the same time, they may plan exclusively for best-case scenarios and need frequent positive feedback to stay motivated.

Because these personalities are so different, Halvorson noted that it's important for leaders to assess the predominant focus of their staff. Once they know if staff members are more prevention-focused or promotion-focused, managers can develop strategies for influencing team members to do their best work. For example, prevention-focused people may perform at higher levels when told what mistakes they must avoid, while promotion-focused groups will respond better to being given a goal for what to accomplish.

Gaining this kind of understanding of one's employees requires tuning into their needs, and Forbes pointed out that communicating more openly is one of the most important ways leaders can fuel success. The source stated that "intelligent listening" is part of what makes a truly great manager, so allowing workers to be open about their frustrations, aspirations and other issues can be productive. These supervisors are the ones who are most trusted, and workers will want to please them.

Communication has a profound effect on the success of an organization. When leaders get to know their teams, they give themselves the ability to effectively determine the best motivational strategies, as they will be more connected to their employees and more knowledgeable about what influences their behavior. With the right leadership development training, any manager can learn more impactful strategies for keeping their companies operating at a high caliber.

 
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