A leader must be everything to everyone.
Nearly two thousand years ago, the apostle Paul wrote:
For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more. To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some.
1 Corinthians 9:19-20,22 [emphasis added]
Few would dispute that Paul was a leader. And he became everything to everyone to accomplish his purpose.
To get the best performance out of each individual, a leader must be everything to everyone. (Click to Tweet)
A leader today must do the same thing, with a few exceptions.
To the energetic, you must show energy.
To the nerds, you must talk like a nerd.
To the lighthearted, you must use humor. You must learn to be funny.
To a high D (on the DISC profile), you must communicate like a high D.
So that by all means you may get the best performance out of each individual.
Here’s how to do this:
- Learn their communication style. Use DISC and box them in a little bit. This is the starting point.
- Observe them. Do they joke? Do they use tech-speak? Do they bounce off the walls when they speak?
- Ask them.
- Ask others. Interview co-workers, spouses, and others to learn the best way to communicate with each person.
- Practice. Odds are that about 75% of people will require a communication style outside of your comfort zone. You better put in some effort.
Dos and Don’ts
- Do: Realize there aren’t many exceptions. Get used to the idea that most people aren’t like you and that you must learn to communicate with them.
- Do: Hire to your strengths. If you truly have a hard time communicating with jokers, don’t hire them. You will have a limited talent pool, but it’s better than being unable to communicate with someone you are paying.
- Do: Ask for help. Don’t be afraid to enlist others. Points 1-4 above all require the assistance of others. Tell them the purpose of the DISC profile and interviews.
- Don’t: Compromise. Being everything to everyone is not an invitation to sacrifice morals, vision, or what is best for the majority of the team.
- Don’t: Try too hard. It will come across as fake. You still have to be yourself.
- Don’t: Try too little. Being a leader is hard work. You either put in the effort to learn to communicate better or suffer the consequences.
How do you learn the best way to communicate with others?
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