Complementary Strengths: The Art of a Great Leader

Complementary Strengths: The Art of a Great Leader

Everyone is different, that’s what makes the world go round, and it also makes businesses thrive. However, we all know that certain personality traits clash. A good leader should always want to get the best out of his people. By recognising that certain attributes of theirs and the team’s personality will clash they understand that they may be inadvertently doing the opposite. This can have a negative impact on some individuals mental and physical wellbeing. A great leader will know that to get the best out of their team they don’t need to change who they are as a leader but simply add some complementary strengths for balance.

Peter Bregman introduces the analogy: “Imagine you make a soup and it tastes too bitter. The soup is made; you can’t remove the bitter taste. But you can add some sugar to it that balances out the bitterness and makes the soup far more palatable. In other words, sometimes it’s not about changing or taking out an ingredient; it’s about adding one that’s missing.”

Let’s look at a few examples.

A leader may have a legitimate line of questioning, but this could be perceived as aggressive by some individuals. The leader should increase his warmth in delivery, perhaps acknowledging the person’s insights before proceeding with his queries. Expressing his vulnerability by thanking that person for drawing his attention to something he was unaware of will make him more endearing. Giving context to his questioning will help the team to understand the leader a little better. Or quite simply a smile would add warmth to his delivery.

Conversely, if a leader is too caring and doesn’t push the team, they shouldn’t lose their warmth but instead try to challenge themselves to ask a hard question.

Recognising that your actions can have both a positive and negative impact on your team’s mental and physical wellbeing is the first step to becoming a great leader. As Peter Bregman says, “It is not about diluting greatness, it is about building a container for it.”

If you would benefit from tailored, cost effective leadership and engagement training on how your actions impact the physical and mental wellbeing of your teams, then get in touch on 01924 666 295.