Bringing authenticity to your management style – Part 1

In this 2-part article Melanie Warner, one of our Partners, explains how to bring authenticity to your management style. As a leader and manager, it is your role to ensure the team delivers the results it sets out to and your people are happy.   A happy team is likely to be a more productive one.  So how do you ensure as a manager, you are being your best self and are fulfilled in your role? This article discusses how you can explore your management style so that you maintain authenticity whilst leading others to achieve results.


Be aware of the impact of your role as a leader and manager

  • One of the most cited reasons for individuals leaving their jobs is the culture and work environment.
  • Organisational climate is people’s perception of “what it’s like to work here?”  Where this is perceived to be positive it means individuals are likely to go the extra mile and be your star performers.  Whilst there are various factors that impact climate, leadership style is believed to have the biggest impact (50-70%).  It is critical therefore to be mindful of how your patterns of behaviour impact on the people around you.
  • Adopting and overusing a directive style can have a negative impact on  the organisational climate, leading to demotivation and disengagement of team members.  Using a visionary style, which provides clear direction and enables others to come on that journey has been shown to have a more positive effect.


Identify behaviours of effective leaders and managers

The concept of flexibility in styles is important but you may want to take a moment to consider what good management and leadership looks like. Consider leaders and managers you have worked with previously.  Ask yourself:

  • What qualities did you admire?
  • What was the impact on you and others within the team?
  • What didn’t you like and why?
  • Start identifying key behaviours that you believe contribute to good management, truly exploring how that attribute, behaviour or attitude made a difference to you and others within your team. This will help you to create a clearer picture of success and provide you with an opportunity to explore what is important for you in your role.


Take time to understand yourself

 Leadership starts with a good understanding of you. Self-awareness is key.  To be happy and fulfilled, authenticity is vital. Authentic leaders are true to their values rather than responding to the conditions around them. You need a strong awareness of your values and how these influence your behaviour. This will allow you to evaluate your behaviour and ongoing consider what changes are needed to have a greater impact as a leader. The starting point is to ask yourself a series of questions:

  • What are the core values that drive you and to what extent does your working environment align with them? Are your values aligned with your behaviours – do you do what you say you will do?
  • What happens when you are under pressure? Does your style differ and what is the impact of this?
  • What management styles do you adopt and when? Which do you prefer and why?


Define how you would like to be perceived by others

Being able to articulate what type of leader you want to be and what others would say about you is a fabulous way to bring about any changes you want to make. Create a vision in your own mind of how you would like to be perceived by others. To do this, simply imagine yourself one year from now. It is your annual appraisal.  Your manager will want to discuss key progress areas with you. Take a moment to reflect on this and to picture that journey.

  • What have you achieved this year?
  • What have your colleagues and team said about you?
  • What challenges did you overcome to achieve your goals?
  • In answering these questions, you will have a clear vision of what you are setting out to do and to become the leader you want to be.  These questions will help you formulate an action plan.


Your action plan

Based on your vision of the type of leader you wish to be, build your personal plan using the following questions:

  • What do I want to do to move forward?
  • How will I know if I am successful?
  • What support do I need and from whom?
  • What steps can I take today, next month and later in the year?

When its complete, to maintain momentum and commitment to your goal, share your plan with someone you trust. If you prefer not to tell someone (ask yourself why) but you could write it down and simply set yourself a forward diary invite to check in with yourself to explore progress.

If you want to see the full version of this article then take a look at our book 100+ Top Tips on Managing Your Coaching Needs.