Perceptual Style, Psychology, and Leadership

Perceptual Style, Psychology, and Leadership

Leadership as a reciprocal relationship in which one person points in a direction and others follow. Below, we have outlined five qualities of effective leaders.

Those qualities are:

  1. Their behaviors build on their natural strengths.
    2. They are aware of their limitations, and seek input from people with perspectives different from their own.
    3. They are aware that any group contains people who see the world differently than they do, and they find ways to communicate effectively to everyone.
    4. They recognize the talents of others, and seek to build teams based on complementary skill sets and perspectives.
    5. They learn how to ‘borrow’ successful leadership techniques from leaders who are different from them–and use those techniques in a way that’s all their own.

Previously, we took a look at the first two qualities in greater detail. In this article we’ll delve into the final three.

  1. They are aware that any group contains people who see the world differently than they do, and they find ways to communicate effectively to everyone.
    People receive information differently depending upon their Perceptual Style, and their style also informs how they best receive communication.
    Those with the Methods style, for example, tend to receive written communication best, while those with the Activities style get the most out of verbal interaction. Effective leaders understand that in order to communicate effectively with everyone, they must vary a number of factors: the size of their audience, the actual words they use, and their method of delivery.
  2. They recognize the talents of others, and seek to build teams based on complementary skill sets and perspectives.
    Effective leaders know how to place the right people in the right roles, and how to bring those people together in complementary teams and groups, allowing the natural talents and skills of members to support and build on each other.
    Differences within groups can be tricky to manage, as the same traits that bring diverse perspectives to the table can also create opportunities for conflict.
    Seasoned leaders are people who have developed an excellent sense for building teams with just the right amount of diversity, so that the differences between members are neither too few nor too great, allowing each person’s talent to contribute to the whole.
  3. They learn how to ‘borrow’ successful leadership techniques from leaders who are different from them–and use those techniques in a way that’s all their own

Each Perceptual Style has a unique set of natural leadership skills unique to that style. Effective leaders know how to capitalize on those skills, but they also study the behavior of other leaders. As a result, they learn how to borrow techniques that may be outside their area of expertise and incorporate them into their own behavior.
By ‘borrow,’ we are not talking about copying the actions of another style exactly (which rarely works), but taking the behavior of another Perceptual Style and putting their own unique stamp on it.
For instance, the Visions style tends to paint an inspiring picture of a desired outcome to move others to action, while those with the Methods style are more system-oriented; therefore, a leader with a Methods style might ‘borrow’ a Visions technique by showing others exactly how a given system will produce a desired result.

By Kevin Jones

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