Everything to Everyone

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.

A Leader Must be Everything to Everyone

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.

How to communicate with everyone

1. Learn their communication style.

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Use DISC and box them in a little bit. This is the starting point.

2. Observe them.

Do they joke? Do they use tech-speak? Do they bounce off the walls when they speak?

3. Ask them. Yes, it can be that simple.

4. Ask others. Interview co-workers, spouses, and others to learn the best way to communicate with each person.

5. 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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