Changing Career And Starting Over — 25 Tips To Make A Successful Career Change

Sometimes, we are stuck in a career that we hate or that no longer fulfills us. Other times, the commute is too long, we make long studies to end up in a career that requires too much sacrifice, that doesn’t fit us or that we struggle in.

Uprooting, starting over, reinventing your career and moving forward is difficult. Starting over from scratch feels like a failure, is intimidating, is discouraging, takes time, requires optimism, an ability to learn, an interest in personal growth, a sense of  adventure.

Wondering how to actively change career and find a job that fulfills you?

Successful Career Change

Being in the wrong job or leading the wrong people demands too much sacrifice and can lead to a serious breakdown or various health issues. Our lack of interest spills over at work and most importantly at home, especially if we are leaders. We visibly become careless, inconsistent, we underperform and are emotionally unavailable.

Furthermore, a career change is necessary when your personal needs are not met, when you get feeling of boredom, start burning out, lack of satisfaction, work for a bad boss and with toxic coworkers. Everybody has a breaking point and cannot spend a lifetime adapting to situations that are unnatural to them.

How to avoid making the wrong career choice?

Some people drift through jobs without any idea of what they are doing or without making a decisive career choice. To avoid making a bad career choice:

Actively changing careers

Changing career is daunting yet exciting. It is daunting because we might lose status, leadership position. However, it can be exciting because the future is promising. Starting over means learning from your past mistakes, applying the solutions with an open mind and with a different perspective on life.

Quitting your job and pursuing the career you always wanted is a leap of faith. The future is unknown but promising. To transition smoothly:

  1. Know that what we think we can achieve is unlimited and is not limited. Changing career requires a different mindset. Believe that ever force is on your side and attract the things you want in life. Don’t let fear stop you from moving forward.
  2. List the different careers that you wish you could have.
  3. Some people will tell you that it is a bad decision to change career. Listen carefully to what they say and understand that their opinion is not really about you. Find ways to overcome these boundaries, keep moving forward and don’t look back.
  4. Accept yourself and your character flaws.
  5. Identify your strengths and weaknesses. This will help you tap into your full potential and make your career more sustainable, make work more enjoyable and will have you jumping out of bed to get to work.
  6. Translate your strengths and weaknesses into coherent skills and avoid devaluing what you can do easily.
  7. Identify your core values. Core values are what guide your behavior and character. Make sure that what you are doing aligns with your values.
  8. Identify your skills acquired at work and make sure that they are transferable.
  9. Find out your passions, what you want and what you like to do, even when you are not getting paid.
  10. Build a visionset goals, focus or a purpose. Daily remind yourself of your dreams and goals. Then, determine the needs required for achieving this purpose.
  11. Imagine your ideal life and your ideal position. Write it down and create a vision board to specifically solidify your dreams.
  12. Measure your stage in life, how far are you in life. The consequences of changing career will be different if you are a recent graduate student or a seasoned senior professional.
  13. Meet your personal requirements at home. Your requirements can be money, recognition, trust, autonomy, performance and achievements). Furthermore, understand that your needs are personal and will not be grasped by everyone.
  14. Build strong and healthy relationships. You can do this by starting a small group, by assisting others at work and by bringing solutions to their problems.
  15. Address your past and your present experiences. Then, Estimate what you consider as a failure and as a success.
  16. Be open to learn and ask probing questions.
  17. Brush up on your interview skills, network and learn to sell yourself.
  18. If you are looking for a job at another company, remember to update your resume with accurate experience and qualifications, big or small.
  19. Take classes and trainings that will move you toward your career goal and keep you motivated.
  20. Ask for sit downs to people who are in your career of choice. During that interview, don’t directly ask for a job but avoid making assumptions, ask probing questions and take notes.
  21. Respond to advertised jobs. You can also directly apply to companies without going through ads.
  22. Rearrange your personal life before tending to the professional life. Make peace with yourself and physically declutter your space at home then at work.
  23. Learn to deal with worst case scenarios on your current job before moving on to the next one. Chances are that you will meet the same situation somewhere else and potentially end up in the same mess.
  24. Avoid passive aggressive behavior on your last days at work and develop smart strategies to handle our current job. For example, try to meet your boss requirements before quitting your job. When you meet the boss’s requirements, his trust in you will be renewed and your energy will be boosted.
  25. Start a business that is directly molded on your strengths and weaknesses.Once a leader, always a leader. It is not something you can turn off.

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

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Richard Koch

MEET THE AUTHOR

Richard Koch is a consultant, business man and author of The 80/20 Principle The secret of achieving more with less.

Building And Maintaining Healthy Relationships In The Workplace

Deep long-lasting work relationships in corporate can take your career to the next level.

In a world where technology has taken over, where interactions are made behind our computer, where misunderstandings often foster and loyalty is a luxury, building relationships is challenging but can make the difference.

Wondering how leaders build and maintain long-lasting relationships in the workplace?

relationships workplace

The benefits of healthy relationships in the workplace

Building work relationships is difficult in itself. Mostly, because we don’t have the luxury of choosing who we hang out with.

In addition, highly skilled, smart people easily lose their jobs because of their low social skills, of their poor behavior and their lack of emotional intelligence.

The quality of the work relationships has direct impact on the quality of our lives. Indeed, healthy relationships have a tendency to reduce the effects of stress, to improve job satisfaction, quality of life, to keep us motivated and enthusiastic. They are a great indicator of whether or not we love our job.

Build and maintain deeper relationships

Thinking that work relationships are not worthy is a mistake. Leaders and employees have to make quick decisions while getting along with everyone, in multicultural contexts, with people from various backgrounds.

  1. Be authentic and comfortable with yourself first.
  2. Believe that you are worthy of relationships.
  3. Believe that you are trustworthy, that people are trustworthy even though you are aware of snakes in the grass. You can demonstrate trust by soliciting people’s opinion in one on ones.
  4. Believe that relationships are important to your career and to your self-development.
  5. Be reasonable. Monitor your behavior and what you say to people on a daily basis.
  6. Be patient and wait for an opportunity to present itself. Prepare yourself in the meanwhile by taking training and becoming an expert in your field.
  7. Get to know your audience, the decision makers and the influencers in the workplace. This means that you have t identify and anticipate their triggers, their motivations, their challenges, their needs. For example, ask specific questions to discover what someone cares about. Furthermore, discreetly get their attention and align yourself with them.
  8. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Respect yourself and the people around you even though they don’t reciprocate. Also, respect their time and opinion, accept them for who they are.
  9. Expect the best behavior from people even if you don’t like them and even though their behavior is not the best.
  10. Stay positive and develop your emotional intelligence to understand your emotions, those of others and to sustain your work relationships.
  11. Increase self-awareness. Assess your people skills and seek to develop them.
  12. Be assertive and clearly set boundaries to your relationships.
  13. Stay on top of corporate opinions and make sure you align yourself with them.
  14. Work on being more approachable. For example, if you are serious, smile a little more often. If you are very private, reveal a little bit about yourself to your coworkers.
  15. Identify and adapt the corporate communication style in order to express yourself. For instance, learn how to cordially disagree with your coworkers.
  16. Avoid destructive conflicts and avoid making enemies uselessly.
  17. Keep networking and making your new-found contacts your most valuable allies.
  18. Invest time and energy into your employees. Create a sense of unity and openness and show team spirit. Don’t allow people to feel excluded or disconnected and promote collaboration.
  19. Increase your team’s self-esteem. Make people, mostly your younger workers, feel good about themselves. You can do this by giving out meaningful assignments and validating the contributions of your employees. If your employees are not able to fulfill their duties, coach them or send them to a training instead of taking away their responsibilities.
  20. Help others in their work and help them to succeed.
  21. Share purpose to gather everyone around your vision.
  22. Address important issues in the room during meetings and don’t allow them to grow.
  23. Involve your employees in the decision-making process.
  24. Listen actively to understand your teams deepest needs, to build trust and loyalty before trying to influence and persuade them.
  25. Avoid gossip and spreading negativity. Gossiping will not dissipate misunderstandings but will only exacerbate them.
  26. When a situation turns sour, identify the reasons why. Loo at yourself beforehand, own a piece of a problem, avoid shifting blame and see how you could have positioned yourself differently. Also, to maintain relationships, quietly make amends, repair past damages, be accountable for your actions, without needing to ask for forgiveness or without begging.
  27. At work, we connect differently with our coworkers and sometimes take that connection outside of the workplace. With some coworkers, we are comfortable enough to talk about our private lives, families and are able to take the relationship beyond the workplace. We either think that our coworkers are out friends and families or we either don’t care to be liked by them. It is therefore necessary to learn how to discern personal and professional connections in the workplace.
  28. Show appreciation by publicly and privately congratulating your team for their great work.

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

The Importance Of Effectively Managing Conflicts As A Leader

Conflicts happen in all workplaces, are inevitable, generally dramatic, are stereotypically painful, are often the road to failure if you don’t know how to manage them. However, contrary to common belief, they are most of the times milestones to success.

Wondering how to constructively manage or disengage workplace conflicts and how to remain disciplined and self-aware during conflicts as a leader?

The Importance Of Effectively Managing Conflicts As A Leader.png

Conflicts are incompatibilities and interference between two different parties ideas, desires, goals, interests, values and principles, events and activities.

Conflict management or conflict competence is a learnable skill that should be developed by all leaders throughout their career. Conflicts are consequential, frequent and inevitable but are necessary. They occur whether an employee is expressing a dissenting view, resisting change, or whether the leader is correcting an existing problem, fighting complacency and group-thinking.

Leaders that poorly manage conflict are faced with unfortunate lawsuits, grievances, violence, employee absenteeism, employee defection, poor performance, ineffective decisions, deteriorated working relationships, distrust and other negative behaviors, attacks on reputation and careers, a toxic company culture.

As a result, poorly managed conflicts are costly for organizations that have to sometimes hire new employees, take time to train new members, bring in paid third-party to mediate disagreements.

However, the benefits of appropriate conflict management are endless. In order to approach conflict in a productive manner, it is necessary to understand that:

  • differences in points of views generate innovative solutions and breakthroughs,
  • dissenting thinking allow to make higher quality decisions,
  • creativity is stimulated among the team,
  • social relationships are subsequently  improved,
  • transparency and open communication are promoted,
  • the work environment becomes more collaborative, and the company culture healthier,
  • more opportunities surface,
  • and most importantly, people within the organization might need help or mediation during conflict.

Addressing conflicts effectively

In the workplace, conflicts generally stems from differences of control, power and influence between the leader and his or her employees. Conflicts also come from discrepancies in culture, background, monetary.

There are several steps, that you can take to understand and manage conflicts constructively, you must:

  1. First understand yourself. What are your strengths, weaknesses, blindspots? How do you interact with different people with different backgrounds? How do you cause conflicts?
  2. Identify your conflict style. There are five different conflict styles, explaining the manner in which people attempt to meet their needs while showing interest in meeting other people needs during a conflict:
    • The competitive conflict style is aggressive, seeks to win, gain control, disregards other people needs and generally heightens conflicts.
    • The cooperative conflict style is defined by a need to reach a common goal using and consensus, to collaborate and to offer innovate ideas to resolve an issue. This style is representative of a healthy work culture.
    • The compromising conflict style is defined by a unsatisfying willingness to meet the other party half way.
    • The accommodating conflict style is obliging, facilitating, diplomatic, describes a desire to put others need and interests before a sole individualistic need in other to preserve relationships. This style is the complete opposite of the competitive style.
    • The avoidant conflict style is composed of penned up feelings and of a need to sweep negative interactions and situations under the rug. Therefore, needs go unexpressed and the conflict festers.
  1. Identify your trigger. To appropriately assess your trigger, attend conflict management classes, get a mentor or a coach, take the Myers-Briggs Assessment Test or the Conflict Dynamics Profile.
  2. Develop an emergency plan to cool down and desensitize your triggers. Desensitizing your trigger doesn’t mean that a person’s behavior is right or pleasant, it just means understanding the demonstrated behavior and changing your reaction towards it. For example, take a break before responding or jumping to conclusion.
  3. Learn to control your emotional reaction to conflict. Understand, stay conscious of the strong emotions that come with conflicts then cultivate positive emotions to counteract the negative ones.
  4. Discipline your thoughts, perceptions and assumptions of other people. The interpretation of someone’s attitude does not necessarily match reality.
  5. Observe the time frame, the number of times you have to see someone at the office. The less time you spend with coworkers, the less time you will notice their flaws and the less you will harbor negative emotions.
  6. Learn to discern any conflict driven behavior on the scale of conflict intensity. The intensity level measures the level of discomfort during a dispute:
    • At the first level, there is a difference in opinions but there are no discomfort.
    • At the second level, misunderstandings sprout: what is understood by someone is different from what is really meant.
    • At the third level, disagreements occur: each party understands but disagrees with each other’s opinions, feels discomfort which can lead to damage in the relationship.
    • At the fourth level, discord transpires: each party respond to a difference in opinion and there are continual attacks on the relationship.
    • At the last and fifth level, each party is polarized, suffers from the conflict, resort to sabotage, criticism, manipulation, etc…

Furthermore, detecting a conflict early will allow to resolve them faster.

How to resolve conflict and create positive outcomes

There are generally two known responses to conflict: “fight or flight” and “retaliatory cycle”.

On on hand, the fight or flight response is a natural response to threats where one either flee from danger or fight it. The choice between fight or flight depends on how someone has been conditioned.

On the other hand, the retaliatory cycle leads to escalation, leads to destructive behaviors that fuel and trigger negative behaviors in each party. In the retaliatory cycle, someone is first triggered by a behavior, then generates in that person an emotional response to this behavior. This emotional response is perceived by others as a threat to their ideas, opinions that in return generate an emotional response. And so on and so forth, the retaliatory cycle is created.

Leaders have to acquire a model behavior during conflicts in the workplace. Leaders encourage positive outcomes by:

  1. Facing conflicts head on, standing their ground and assuming that conflicts are inevitable, frequent and are just a passing phase.
  2. Staying calm and composed under pressure.
  3. Avoiding jumping to conclusions, shifting blame or pointing fingers and relying only on facts.
  4. Separating the person from the real issue.
  5. Instilling core values and fair treatment among their followers.
  6. Encouraging open communication and allowing the other party to speak their truth.
  7. Demonstrating that they have understood every side of the issue, being empathetic to the conflict partner.
  8. Suggesting solutions to existing problems thanks to external opinions, historical and innovative ideas.
  9. Sincerely apologizing to the other person and being able to admit when they were wrong.

How to recover from conflict?

Conflict competence requires that the leader:

  • value differences,
  • almost immediately detect a conflict before it arises in a tone or in a facial micro-gesture,
  • identify positive and negative models of leadership within the organization,
  • learn from setbacks and hardships that build character,
  • solve other people conflicts and implement a conflict resolution culture.

Dealing with conflict can leave you feeling like you are in a hostile territory but practice makes perfect, and managing conflicts effectively becomes easy with experience.

Also, create a zen space and learn to leave your conflicts at work.

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

How Full is Your Bucket? by Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton

How Full is Your BucketIn How Full is Your Bucket?, Donald O. Clifton and Tom Rath have partnered up in the hopes of helping people focus on the positive and not the negative. In his previous research and in his life experiences, Donald O. Clifton noticed that every interaction in life made a difference and profoundly shaped his perceptions.

The theory of the dipper and the bucket

To Donald O. Clifton and to Tom Rath, everyone possesses an invisible bucket and an invisible dipper. Filling your bucket would be synonymous to “boosting your well-being” and feeling engaged in your work.

An invisible bucket that can be emptied or filled depending on our interactions with others. When the bucket is full, we feel great, optimistic, energetic, renewed and strong.

An invisible dipper that can empty of fill someone else’s bucket. When the dipper is used to fill someone else’s bucket, we simultaneous fill our own bucket. When we use our dipper to empty someone else’s bucket, we empty our own bucket.

The power of Negativity

The Power of NegativityNegativity has the power to kill an individual. For most of us, negativity is common and harmless, but erodes our well-being and productivity. Negativity is also contagious and pushes us to start dipping in someone else’s bucket in the hopes of fulling ours.

In the workplace, daily multiple micro aggressions or the accumulation of negative interactions can cause people invisible and individual bucket to be emptied. An empty bucket has consequences on your well-being, on the well-being of your friends and family members, on your work performance, on your team’s productivity.

The disengagement and the negativity of employees are conveyed by “glazed looks”, counter productivity, a tendency to “stirring up trouble with whining, complaining, and even paranoia.

Fortunately, positivity is much more impactful than negativity.

As a leader or manager, how to make sure that employees individual bucket is full? How to get them to stay engaged?

Employees often lack recognition for their good work and “praise is rare in most organization”.

It takes a little initiative to create inexpensive and meaningful bucket filling experiences. For example, a short, motivating, positive conversation from leaders to increase employees productivity, alignment and engagement would suffice.

Leaders and managers have to:

  • switch the focus on their employees strengths only,
  • daily and positively interact with their team members.

Where is Negativity Rooted?

Our predisposition for either positivity or negativity is similar to our metabolism and our or disposition for weight gain. No matter how much someone eats, they will always remain thin.

Filling someone bucket should be unique, specific to the individual, appropriate to the work environment. Generic one size fits all approaches often backfire.

The american culture is to blame for the development and inclination toward negativity. In the American culture, we focus on what we do wrong instead of what we do right, on fixing weaknesses and dismissing strengths. “This focus is particularly evident in our school experiences” or at work where our natural talents and our skills don’t fit our roles. Also, we expect our employees to change their personality to fit the role.

According to John Gottman’s research on marriage, there is a magic ratio to respect in order to maintain positivity and to fill your bucket. The magic ratio is 5:1 which means that there must be 5 positive interactions for every 1 negative interaction.

This magic ratio is critical for the workplace. For instance, teams with having more than 3 positive interactions for every negative interaction (3:1 ratio) gain in productivity and engagement. However, teams having more than a 13:1 ratio lose in productivity.

That is why, Rath and Clifton recommend grounding positivity in reality, but also acknowledging negativity and weaknesses and correcting mistakes.

The Benefits of Positivity

Positive or negative encounters are highly memorable and can change your life forever. Positivity creates a mindset that:

  • becomes a buffer against adversity, depression, health issues,
  • enables recovery from traumatic, painful experiences,
  • improves mental physical well-being,
  • stands as a coping and defense mechanisms,
  • transforms and breaks down social barriers,
  • generates optimal functioning in organizations and in individuals,
  • Induced by leader, improves productivity and group performance in the workplace.

How to Increase Positive Emotions?

To increase positive emotions and positive encounters, apply the following five strategies:

  1. Prevent any type of bucking dipping

    • Stop poking fun at someone, focusing in their insecurities, chronically criticizing others.
    • Encourage this change among people around you.
    • Start pressing pause consciously eliminating unwarranted negativity.
    • Keep track of your progress by scoring your interactions.
  1. Focus on what is right instead of what is wrong

To know if your focus us centered around what is right or if you have some impact on your environment, take the Positive Impact Test from Gallup. The Positive Impact Test provides 15 statements to measure your impact and your progress. Don’t hesitate to print them, read them and encourage your friends to take the test.

  1. Develop several good relationships

    • These relationships have to be best friends quality with coworkers in order to increase your job satisfaction and productively and subsequently increase theirs.
    • Actively listen to your coworkers.
    • Acknowledge when someone is doing a great job.
  2. Give unexpectedly

  3. Reverse the Golden Rule

    • The Golden Rule signifies “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. Clifton and Rath introduced the reverted golden rule: “Do unto others as they would have you do unto them”.
    • Personalize your interactions and the way you praise and recognize others.

Review

How Full is Your Bucket? by Donald O. Clifton and Tom Rath is a brief, easy to read, encouraging and compelling book that gives tools to spread positivity in life or at work, to become a better leader, to develop values and character.

Furthermore, I found interesting that both authors share their personal adversities and explain how they have ingrained positivity in their lives and thoughts to overcome their health obstacles.

On a personal level, I wanted to read a positive book, that can stimulate everyone’s mind, inspire leaders to work on themselves and their leadership skills, to provide some tools to dilute the toxicity and the negativity in the workplace, to break the cycle of negativity in your life.

I believe that most of us can handle positive situations and encounters, but not everyone can handle difficult situations, that preparation is key and it is better to be safe then sorry, that it is better to be warned about toxicity than to be blindsided by it, and finally that knowledge is power.

In addition, Donald O. Clifton and Tom Rath are right when they claim that negativity stems from your culture and has become the norm. They are also right when they state that emptying someone else’s bucket will not make you feel better but only make you feel less then. So, you have to wonder: are you a bucket filler or a bucket dipper?

Favorite quote(s)

Most of us want more positive emotions in our lives. We want to feel like Tammy did in her brief meeting with Karen more often – and like she did after her performance review less often. Unfortunately, wanting a more positive environment isn’t enough. Most of us have grown up in a culture in which it’s much easier to tell people what they did wrong instead of praising them when they succeed. Although this negativity-based approach might have evolved unintentionally, it nevertheless permeates our society at all levels.

Recognition is most appreciated and effective when it is individualized, specific, and deserved.

Ratings 3/5

Author

Donald O. Clifton

Tom Rath

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Donald O. Clifton

authorDonald O. Clifton, Ph.D. (1924-2003) was a chairman of Gallup, was named the Father of Strengths-Based Psychology by the American Psychological Association. Donald O. Clifton is also the author of How Full is Your Bucket?.

Which Leadership Styles are You?

Leadership styles

Leadership style refers to the way that the leader interacts with his or her subordinates, influences their behavior, motivates them, makes decisions for them and for the organization. A specific leadership style can deeply influence the quality of work, the commitment, the work satisfaction of both leader and subordinates.

Throughout their career, to be successful, leaders need to continually assess and improve their leadership style, identify its strengths and weaknesses, adapt it to their environment, their organization and to their followers, and even combine them into one suitable and adaptable leadership style.

For leaders to adapt their leadership style to the context, they must get to know themselves and be authentic to their values and beliefs beforehand, get to understand their team members working style and expectations from a leader, get to acknowledge the company culture.

Wondering what leadership styles you have developed across the years or would like to acquire and which one is suitable to your work environment?

In order to determine the best leadership style, the leaders have to contextualize, consider the situations and the people that they face on a daily basis.

bo5urb867fThere are many leadership styles that are common to most workplaces, that most leaders identify with the most, that are more or less efficient depending on their personal background, their employees personalities and background, and on the organization culture. These leadership styles are to possibly be combined into one and modulated to different situations.

Democratic or Participative leadership

Democratic or participative leaders listen to their followers and consider their opinions, are generally high performers and high achievers. Even though they have the final say, they gather information from their employees before making a decision.

Democratic leaders influence their employees by:

  • including them in the decision-making process,
  • informing them about the company’s strategies and decisions,
  • sharing adequate responsibilities with them,
  • instilling trust, cooperation, values, synergy in their employees,
  • allowing them to set their own goals,
  • enabling them to improve their skills and knowledge,
  • promoting, recognizing and encouraging accomplishments.

Appropriate context

The democratic leadership style is appropriate when the leader:

  • is directing a small team,
  • has highly skilled and experienced employees,
  • desires to be transparent, keep employees informed and involved in the decision-making process,
  • wants to build up his or her employees self-worth and job satisfaction,
  • is implementing changes in work processes, job roles and organizational structures,
  • resolves conflicts that necessitate the employees input

The democratic leadership style is ineffective when:

  • gathering employees input requires time that is lacking,
  • gathering employees input is not cost-effective

Visionary or inspirational leadership

Visionary leaders share their dreams and purpose with their employees, possess an ability to inspire people, and develop drive and purpose.

Visionary leaders influence their employees by:

  • stating, defining, creating and sharing a vision of the organization with them,
  • acting on that vision,
  • being decisive,
  • winning them over.

Appropriate context

The visionary leadership style is appropriate in innovative and complex situations.

Coaching leadership

Coaching leaders align their employees’ aspirations with the organization goals and values.

Coaching leaders influence their employees by:

  • delegating challenging assignments,
  • demonstrating faith that demands justification,
  • teaching them how to manage their time and solve problems accurately,
  • giving them some authority and independence over their work,
  • promoting transparency and authenticity,
  • instilling high levels of loyalty.

Appropriate context

The coaching leadership style is appropriate when :

  • employees need to build strong long-term competencies and are willing to learn from their experiences,
  • employees are responsible,
  • employees lack motivation or faith in the project,
  • employees want to improve on their weaknesses and commit to the process,
  • a toxic workplace need a turn around.

The coaching leadership style is inefficient when:

  • employees resist change,
  • the leader lacks expertise in the field,

Affiliative leadership

Affiliative leaders bring themselves and their employees into association and create a sense of belonging. Affiliative leaders help in solving conflicts and in building teams up.

Affiliative leaders influence their employees by:

  • welcoming and valuing them,
  • providing frequent positive feedback,
  • healing rifts between coworkers and curing toxicity,

Appropriate context

The affiliative leadership style is appropriate when:

  • employees need reassurance,
  • the organization is facing stressful and volatile situations,
  • morale and harmony are low,
  • the organization is in reconstruction.

The affiliative leadership style is inefficient when:

  • employees are complacent in their work performance,
  • needing to predict the rise of conflicts and problems.

Pacesetting or Task-Oriented Leadership

Pacesetting leaders are task-oriented and directive, plan and execute assignments, make followers meet deadlines, accomplish challenging projects and reach goals, are concerned with the general effectiveness of their team. They are by the book and enforces the rules and regulations of the company.

Pacesetting leaders influence their team by:

  • defining set outcomes and means to achieve these goals,
  • using conditional reinforcement,
  • providing rewards on performance tasks,
  • differentiating employees in regards to their contributions to the team,
  • showing additional support for employees that achieve set goals
  • relying on deadlines, structured tasks, definite standards for performance and procedures,
  • making sure that their team is effective and productive enforce standardized procedures,
  • researching employee performance and behavior rather than employee satisfaction.

Appropriate context

Pacesetting Leadership style is most appropriate when the leader has to:

  • repetitively perform routine tasks,
  • reinforce procedures and policies,
  • mobilize an already motivated and skilled team,
  • deliver results quickly.

Pacesetting leadership style is ineffective when:

  • employees have ingrained certain work habits and refuse to break them,
  • employees are no longer motivated,
  • employees are burnt out,
  • employees don’t go the extra mile to meet the expectations.

Commanding or Authoritarian leadership

Commanding leaders create a fearful environment to instill respect and get quick results from followers, rely on threats and punishments as incentives, lack trust in their employees and make decisions without employees input and without giving any explanation. Commanding leaders tend to retain power and demand immediate compliance.

Commanding leaders influence their employees by:

  • disallowing any input, power and decision-making responsibilities to their employees,
  • wanting complete and blind obedience from their employees
  • using punishments and rewards as incentives,

Appropriate context

The commanding leadership style is appropriate when:

  • employees are inexperienced or lack training in a field,
  • employees are not receptive to other leadership styles and there is no other way,
  • time is lacking to make a decision,
  • employees challenge their authority,
  • the organization is facing a crisis.

The commanding leadership style is ineffective when:

  • employees do not respond to threats anymore,
  • employees are disengaged, unmotivated, fearful or resentful,
  • the rate of employees quitting is high.

Relationship building or Bridging Leadership

Relationship building leaders are generally supportive and accepting of subordinates, use communication skills to create synergy and motivation among their subordinates, foster a climate of trust, transparency and confidence, promote collaboration and inclusion.

Relationship building leaders influence their team by:

  • using unconditional reinforcements,
  • recognizing the worth of their employees,
  • building the self-esteem of their employees,
  • building quality relationships with their employees,
  • assessing how their decisions will impact their employees,
  • being concerned about the welfare and satisfaction on the job of their employees.

Appropriate context

The relationship building leadership is appropriate when:

  • the leader needs a collective response from their employees,
  • team cohesion has previously been fractured.

Laissez-Faire or Hands-Off Leadership

The laissez-faire or hands-off leader gives his employees as much as freedom, authority and power as possible. Little or no directions is given to their subordinates that are able to determine their goals, plan and execute their tasks unsupervised.

The laissez-faire leader does not manage his or her subordinates nor use his or her influence. The laissez-faire leader interfere the least possible with employees savoir-faire and jobs to increase employees pride and motivation.

Appropriate context

The laissez-faire leadership style is appropriate when the leader has:

  • experts or consultants on his or her team,
  • highly skilled, experienced, educated employees, trustworthy, prideful and driven people in his or her organization,
  • employees are well-educated and experienced, are good decision makers, feel in control,
  • need freedom to thrive on their job and to love their job,
  • plans to expand the business and to delegate leadership responsibilities to other employees,
  • employees who are in remote locations or who don’t require a lot of face to face time.

The laissez-faire leadership style is ineffective when:

  • employees are worried about making mistakes,
  • employees don’t have good communication skills,
  • the leader’s absence, lack of feedback, lack of validation and lack of recognition makes their subordinates feel insecure,
  • the leader doesn’t understand his or her responsibilities and rely on his or her subordinates to pull all the weight.

Charismatic Leadership

Charismatic leaders influence through their personality, share vision, captivate and persuade an audience, are self-confident, eloquent, have high energy and are emotionally intelligent. Charismatic leaders use their charisma to achieve their own goals and ambitions.

Appropriate context

The charismatic leadership style is appropriate when:

  • the leader has to inspire and raise morale,
  • the leader is involved on short-term projects or projects that are lacking energy and motivation.
  • the organization needs to promote its brand and expand in the marketplace.

The charismatic leadership style is inefficient when:

  • the leader believes too deeply in himself or herself and feels invincible,
  • the project is chaotic and needs immediate guidance and direction.

Analytic Leadership

Analytic leaders analyze figures, hard data to solve problems, to make better decisions, to increase in productivity. Analytic leaders are also good at controlling their emotions.

Analytic leaders influence their employees by:

  • requiring hard data from them to closely follow the execution process,
  • valuing accuracy and logic,
  • dismissing feelings and opinions of their employees.

Appropriate context

The analytical leadership style is appropriate when the organization needs facts and data to advance and make a decision.

The analytical leadership style is inefficient when:

  • there is too much emotional distant between the leader and the subordinates,
  • the organization is facing a stressful situations and there is no time for over analysis.

Reflective Leadership

Reflective leaders are introspective and often quiet or reserved, trust their insights and intuition, are emotionally intelligent, are self-aware, promote self-awareness, reflect on the impacts of decisions before taking them, and seek opportunity in failure. Reflective leaders decode observations about their organization and coworkers and excel in analyzing the behavior, body language, tone of voice of themselves and others.

Reflective leaders influence their subordinates by:

  • understanding their observations about their organization and coworkers,
  • understanding the reasons for a flow of events and connecting the dots,
  • understanding their employees, their way of thinking, their preferences, their motivations, capabilities, strengths, weaknesses and blindspots in order to achieve a specific goal,
  • being flexible in their responses, being open and sharing their thoughts and conclusions with your employees,
  • actively listening to their employees and confronting their ideas or assumptions,
  • setting goals, giving feedback, effectively distinguishing obstacles and picking out effective problem-solving approaches.

Appropriate context

The reflective leadership styles is appropriate when:

  • the workplace climate is conflictual and volatile,
  • change is needed in the organization,
  • the leader’s position is unstable.

Corrective Leadership

Corrective leaders identify the past mistakes of the organization, find solutions and apply corrective actions to set it back on an ideal track, facilitate collaboration and synergy with their team.

Corrective leaders influence their subordinates by:

  • setting clear goals and timelines,
  • communicating effectively to identify the root of the problem,
  • focusing their employees attention on the goals to correct the mistakes,
  • monitoring step by step the implementation of the solution,
  • implicating their employees in the planning process,
  • avoiding experimenting with new ideas and untested solutions,
  • keeping reports on the mistakes and the change process.

Appropriate context

The corrective leadership style is appropriate when:

  • the organization is in a state of emergency and is deteriorating,
  • impactful mistakes have been made by employees,
  • organizational procedures have not been followed.

The corrective leadership style is inefficient when:

  • employees are skilled, educated and aware of their strengths and weaknesses,
  • the organization is stable and is increasing.

Change Leadership

Change leaders embrace innovation, system alterations, problem solving. Change leaders are determined, persistent, resistant and eager to make change happen.

Change leaders influence their subordinates by:

  • explaining that change is a necessary good,
  • sharing the visions of the change process results,
  • removing their employees and organization out of the comfort zone,
  • encouraging their employees to implement the change process and to adapt to the new versions and norms of the organization,
  • sustaining the change process and incorporating it in the company’s culture,

Appropriate context

The change leadership style is appropriate to most types of situations and organizations that have plateaued because change is nowadays detrimental to any organization’s success.

Multicultural or Cultural Intelligence Leadership

Multicultural leaders enjoy ambiguous situations and see problems as opportunities, gain energy and motivation through cross-cultural interactions, encourage innovation by taking into account their subordinates multicultural differences, advocate for understanding and mutual respect, render their subordinates effective.

Multicultural leaders influence their subordinates by:

  • understanding, learning and harmonizing with the cultural backgrounds of their employees,
  • adapting to diverse cultures and encouraging their employees to do the same,
  • being open-minded and accepting of different cultures,
  • being accountable for their actions around different cultures.

Appropriate context

The multicultural leadership style is appropriate for multicultural or multinational corporations.

Servant Leadership

Servant leaders lead by example and choose to serve their subordinates highest needs first and lead afterwards.

Servant leaders influence their team by:

  • giving all the credit to their employees,
  • staying out of the spotlight,
  • involving their employees in the decision-making process.

Appropriate context

The servant leadership style is appropriate when:

  • the leader is head of an association or community,
  • employees pull their weight on their own.

The servant leadership styles is uncommon and inefficient in:

  • corporate and organizations where leader has to make quick decisions,
  • in competitive situations.

Transactional Leadership

Transactional leaders gain compliance by offering rewards for good performance and severe punishments for lack of performance or of compliance.

Transactional leaders influence their employees by:

  • working by the book,
  • encouraging the status quo,
  • compensating them for achieving goals and enforcing the company rules,
  • clarifying everyone’s role and responsibility.

Appropriate context

The transactional leadership styles is common in large administrative organizations, in urgent and conflictual situations.

Transformational Leadership

Transformation Leaders share visions and goals with their subordinates, create intense emotions in them, align them with core values, unify them with a purpose and involve them in the decision process, encourage change in others and themselves. Transformational leaders wholeheartedly embrace change, challenge the status quo and invest in the development of their employees.

Transformational leaders influence their employees by:

  • openly communicating a vision with them,
  • not using positional authority to convince,
  • encouraging them to view problems with a different perspective,
  • supporting and stimulating their innovative ideas,
  • challenging the status quo,
  • expecting the best of them and strengthening their optimism and enthusiasm,

Appropriate context

The transformational leadership style is appropriate when:

  • the organization is dormant and require change,
  • employees require optimism and enthusiasm,
  • employees are detail oriented.

In conclusion

There are several leadership styles to choose from or that you have already identified with. No leadership style is the absolute best but is relative to a given situation.

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

Stephen R. Covey

authorStephen M. R. Covey is a cofounder of CoveyLink and the FranklinCovey Global Speed of Trust Practice, and a keynote speaker. Stephen R. Covey is also the Author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

the seven habits of highly effective people - book coverIn The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey distinguishes two major social paradigms that have embodied the search for success and the “fundamental principles of human effectiveness” since 1776: the Character Ethic and the Personality Ethic.

According to Stephen R. Covey, in The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, in the United States, from 1776 to WWI, leadership culture was based around building character. It was said that Character Ethic was the foundation of long-term success: leaders were thought values and habits to develop their basic character.

However, from World War I to Today, leadership and success teachings have been promoting Personality Ethic. Personality Ethic provides quick fixes to help an individual deceive their way to the top, to success and to leadership positions. Personality Ethic teachings work short-term, don’t fix issues but just disguise them.

Moreover, Covey claims that we possess several paradigms or maps of how we see things and a map of how things should be which comes from our values. These maps are the basis of our attitudes and behaviors. Paradigms, which are our frame of reference or assumptions, are affected by our conditioning through life, by the influences of our friends and family, of our institutions, our culture, of our historical backgrounds, systems of beliefs, life experiences.

As a result, our attitudes and behaviours are congruent of our paradigms. So therefore, attempting to change only our attitudes and behaviors, as instilled by the Personality Ethic movement, is completely useless and is short-termed. In order to implement change in our character or a “paradigm shift“, it is then necessary to directly assess our paradigms, to examine them, to test them against reality, to listen to others and to be open to their perception.

The term “paradigm shift” is coined from the Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn. It means breaking with tradition, old beliefs, old assumptions, old paradigms. Paradigms shift can be toward a positive or negative direction, “instantaneous or developmental” and “create a powerful change”.

Throughout The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Covey suggests that we shift our paradigms back to the Character Ethic, that we start shifting our thinking from the inside and introduces seven habits to enhance personal and interpersonal effectiveness.

The Character Ethic is a general and fundamental truth, universally applicable, unchangeable and unarguable laws and “principles that govern human effectiveness”, that are “bigger than people or circumstances”, that innately exist in all human beings, are common to all civilization and that triumph time and time again.

Acquiring Character Ethic is the basis of high level of trust in companies, is a long process that should be natural ad cannot be a shortcut. First step to the process is admitting your ignorance or lack of knowledge.

What is a habit?

Character is the composite of embedded habit, and it is necessary to solve the problems we face from the inside out because private victories exceed public victories.

A habit is the intersection of knowledge, skills and desire and is a natural force like gravity. Breaking a habit can be a painful process, demands effort and technique, should be motivated by a higher purpose, a willingness to sacrifice our current desire for a future and unseen desire.

What are the seven habits?

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People moves us on the maturity continuum. It brings us from a state of dependence where we need others to accomplish something for us, to a state of independence where we are self-reliant, self-motivated, derive our self-worth from within and are freed from external dependence, to a state of interdependence where we are self-reliant and competent in our own right but able to work with others, and believe that together we accomplish more.

In addition, the seven habits are habits of effectiveness, a balance between the production of a desired result and the investment in the ability to produce or in the physical, financial and human, asset that produces. Covey believes that to achieve effectiveness , we must strike the P/PC balance, where P stands for Production and PC for Production Capability.

The 3 following habits are the habits of Private Victory. These habits are used to become more confident, to know yourself deeper and to acknowledge your contribution capacity, to define yourself from within instead of using society’s point of view to define yourself. Stephen R. Covey encourages us to develop the habits of being proactive, keeping our future goals in mind and of creating our vision.

HABIT #1: Be proactive

In management literature, being proactive means taking initiative. Here, it also means being responsible for our lives and our decisions, being able to choose a response when faced with a stimulus.

Proactive people, unlike reactive people:

  • Are unaffected by their physical environment and are value driven. Their performance and attitudes remain constant whether it rains or shines.
  • Are unaffected by their social environment. they don’t build their emotional lives around people weaknesses and don’t allow those weaknesses to control their lives and decisions.  Instead they surrender their emotions to their values and don’t allow reactive language to affect them.
  • Take the initiative. Act before being acted upon, provide solution to a problem and enable growth and opportunity.
  • Look to focus their time and energy on areas that they can control or influence. Indeed, they don’t focus on others weaknesses and problems and uncontrollable events.
  • Constantly work on their habits, change from the inside-out.
  • Take full responsibility for their short-comings.
  • Are free to choose their actions but understand that they cannot control the consequences of these actions.
  • Govern their behaviors with principles, acknowledge their mistakes, learn from them and correct them immediately.
  • Have integrity: they make and keep their commitments and promises.
  • Monitor their language and the language of the people around them.
  • Identify past and potential experiences to which they have behaved reactively and play out scenarios towards a solution.

HABIT #2: Begin with the end in mind

For Stephen R. Covey, beginning with the end in mind means using the “end of your life as your frame of reference or criterion by which everything else is examined”, starting with “a clear understanding of your destination” to “know where you’re going so that you better understand where you are now and so that the steps you take are always in the right destination”. To begin with the end in mind:

  • Use habit #1 to be proactive to change preexisting thought, shift your paradigm, examine your deepest values.
  • Be aware and conscious of your limitless potential, of your uniqueness.
  • Be imaginative enough to visualize the unseen.
  • Be responsible and response-able.
  • Do not violate the criteria that you have set for yourself.
  • Lead yourself daily in order to execute what really matters.
  • Develop a “personal mission statement or philosophy or creed” describing your aspiring character, achievements, contributions, values and principles. The personal mission statement becomes your guide and standard, provides you with a sense of mission, helps define your short-termed and long-termed goals and allows change because your core has now become changeless. Basically, developing a personal mission statement makes you much more effective because your energy, time and strengths are dedicated to areas that matter to you. Personal mission statements are not to be written overnight but might take several weeks because they require deep introspection. Also, they have to be written alone and reviewed many times before producing a final form.

HABIT #3: Put first things first

Stephen R. Covey believes that all things are created twice, by design or by default. The first creation starts in the mind where you envision the future and you plan for a destination. The second creation is physical: you bring what you visualize into reality and you take the best route towards your planned destination.

For Covey, leadership is the first creation and management is the second. Indeed, leadership creates the way, opens the pathway, provides direction and a destination. On the other hand, management clears the pathway by “writing policy and procedure manuals, holding muscle development programs, bringing in improved technologies and setting up working schedules and contributions programs”.

To be able to physically create and implement your vision into reality, you have to:

  • be proactive, understand that you are in control and are able to change your paradigm,
  • envision your potential and your destination and be self-ware,
  • have discipline to effectively carry out your plans, to stick to your values and to manage your time and life,
  • prioritize, schedule, select goals and leave space for unanticipated events,
  • delegate responsibility to skilled and trained individuals to focus their energy on high-leverage activities.

“Private Victory precedes Public Victory. Self-mastery and self-discipline are the foundation of good relationships with others”.

On one hand, Habits #1, #2 and #3 are habits of Private Victory and are about developing your inner self, your character and your core values.

on the other hand, Habits #4, #5, #6 are habits of Public Victory, help in improving your relationship with others and working successfully with others.

Using the Personality Ethic, we might have a superficial and duplicitous relationship with others. Difficulty in relationships translates into tolerable chronic emotional pain  that can turn into psychosomatic diseases. The symptoms of these emotional pains cannot be treated with quick fixes and techniques from the Personality Ethic.

Nevertheless, the Character Ethic provides a foundation for effective interdependence. The interdependence paradigm teaches us to:

  • seek to understand others and stimulate their deep interest or needs,
  • attend to kindness and courtesies,
  • keep commitments and promises to people in order to build trust,
  • clarify expectations from the start to avoid misunderstandings and conflicts,
  • manifest integrity by being honest, loyal to those who are not present, by treating everyone with the same set of principles,
  • help others “feel secure and safe and validated and affirmed in their essential worth, identity and integrity”,
  • handle problems and see them as opportunities.

HABIT #4: Think Win/Win

Stephen R. Covey identifies 6 paradigms of human interaction:

  1. The Win/Win paradigm. People with this paradigm seek mutual benefits in all human interactions, believe that life is a cooperation and not a competition, that a “person’s success is not achieved at the expense or exclusion of the success of others”.
  2. The Win/Lose paradigm. People with this paradigm don’t create synergy or cooperation, use the authoritarian or commanding leadership style and are accustomed to low trust and competitive environments.
  3. The Lose/Win paradigm. People with this paradigm have no standard, no demands, no expectation, no vision, search for popularity and acceptance, are quick to please and appease, repress their emotions and feelings, and are easily intimidated by ego strengths of others.
  4. The Lose/Lose paradigm. People with this paradigm live by the “philosophy of the highly dependent person without inner direction”, who is miserable and thinks everyone else should be too.
  5. The Win paradigm. People with this mentality seek to win not necessarily wanting the other party to lose or win.
  6. The Win/Win or No Deal paradigm. If no synergistic solution is brought to the table that could satisfy both parties, then there is no deal. This paradigm provides emotional freedom.

Stephen R. Covey promotes the Win/Win paradigm and establishes that a Win/Win person possesses specific character traits: they have integrity, they have maturity which means that they are able to express their views with consideration to others, and they have the abundance mentality which means that they believe that there is enough for everyone.

Of course, not all decisions are Win/Win, but to know when to apply the Win/Win paradigm, you must understand the problem from another perspective, identify the other person’s issues and concerns, other acceptable results, and new possible outcomes for the situation.

HABIT #5: Seek first to understand, then to be understood

To be able to influence and to develop effective interpersonal communication skills, it is better to diagnose a situation before prescribing or proving advice.

To understand another person’s emotional and intellectual paradigm, Covey instructs us to listen empathetically, without making assumptions, and warns us to not listen to reply, manipulate, control or sympathize.

Empathic listening takes time initially but saves time afterwards, is risky because you become vulnerable to influence. That is why we must develop a changeless core of principles, erected in Habits #1, #2, #3.

Furthermore, seeking to be understood requires maturity, an ability to present your ideas clearly, specifically, visually and contextually and an ability to consider all the facts and perceptions. To take preventive measures, schedules one-on-one before issues arise.

HABIT #6: Synergize

Synergy means that “the whole is greater than the sums of its parts”, and is used to create cooperation in our social interaction. To create synergy on a daily basis:

  • value and respect social, mental and emotional differences to nurture people self-esteem and self-worth. Effective people acknowledge the limits if their perceptions, appreciate diverse interactions because they had to this person’s knowledge and understanding of reality, increase their awareness,
  • build on strengths and compensate weaknesses,
  • be open to new possibilities, alternatives and options,
  • be open to learning and to other’s influence.

HABIT #7: Sharpen the Saw

Finally, Habit #7 sums up the entire book. Habit #7 is about investing, preserving and enhancing your preexisting assets and means exercising sound motivation and organisation in four different dimensions:

  • The physical dimension is about caring for the health of our body by eating right and exercising.
  • The “spiritual dimension provides leadership in your life”, is your core and your commitment to your value system.
  • The mental dimension come from formal eduction, expansion of the mind.
  • The social/emotional dimension that is centered on developing interpersonal leadership, empathic communication and creative cooperation.

Review

the seven habits of highly effective people - book coverThe Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is a self-development book that has been on my shelf for longest while. It was written in 1989 but is still contemporaneous and can very much serve as guide to life, for personal and professional growth.

I avidly took notes in the perspective of actively applying every single tip and read it twice in order to capture the very essence of the book.

I recommend it to all leaders that are trying to integrate core values and to ingrain “good” habits into their character in order to experience success, to increase their effectiveness at work and to become the best leader that they can be.

I like that each paragraph are interconnected and that the author is personally implicated, is genuine with his approach and his drive to see us succeed and become more effective.

Covey calls out the books since World War I, promoting Personality Ethic, that provide quick fixes and band aids to deep-rooted problems. These books suggest techniques and principles to encourage leaders to put up a front and act like a leader would and not actually be a leader. Covey is also being very transparent about the dysfunction of the society these days, willing to manipulate and deceive their way to the top.

Finally, he reminds us that it is not all that shines that is glitter: the deception does not last very long and the leadership tower crashes because it has no basis and because the leadership house was built on sand.

Favorite Quote(s)

If I try to use human influence strategies and tactics of how to get other people to do what I want, to work better, to be more motivated, to like me and each other — while my character is fundamentally flawed, marked by duplicity and insincerity — then, in the long run, I cannot be successful. My duplicity will breed distrust, and everything I do — even using so-called good human relations techniques — will be perceived as manipulative. It simply makes no difference how good the rhetoric is or even how good the intentions are; if there is little or no trust, there is no foundation for permanent success. Only basic goodness gives life to technique.

You always reap what you sow; there is no shortcut.

Self-mastery and self-discipline are the foundation of good relationships with others.

Ratings 3,75/5

Author

Stephen R. Covey

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Andrew Kakabadse

authorAndrew Kakabadse is professor of governance and strategic leadership at Henley Business School, UK, and emeritus professor at Cranfield School of Management. Andrew Kakabadse is also the Author of The Success Formula: How Smart Leaders Deliver Outstanding Value.