Leadership agility has several definitions and models. In modern days, the model of one iconic leader style is fading away and every situation will call for a different type of leader. The agility of the team is growing in importance. Thus, leadership agility is built upon a nimble team that is able to pivot in a new direction as the environment demands.
Nowadays, teams are quickly assembled and then just as quickly dispersed. They have to quickly connect with the project leader, be fully empowered to make decisions, and do the work. Inflexible leaders can slow down progress significantly if agility is not developed. Here are three ways to build nimble teams:
1. Make sure everyone plays nice
Each team member’s level of self-awareness helps understand other personality styles. When disagreements arise, this makes it easier to resolve opposing thoughts before anything escalates. Self-development tools, such as DISC, give team members insight into themselves and how they can be more effective. This makes coaching them easier when needed.
DISC Quick Tips for Leadership Self-Awareness:
- For the “D” Style – As a leader, focus on the coaching role. Give up your need for control and encourage team members to sort out minor issues on their own.
- For the “I” Style – Your interpersonal skills help facilitate discussion, but be careful to avoid paying the most attention to whomever gives you the most approval. Your fairness will come into question if you play favorites.
- For the “S” Style – Develop your ability to speak up for yourself. If there is a conflict, your desire for harmony may prevent you from helping others work through it constructively. Not speaking up may be as bad as being outspoken.
- For the “C” Style – You may ask too many clarification questions, when you really need to be more personally connected to the team. Take action on your worry, and focus on overall goals of the project rather than the details.
2. Empower individuals to become leaders
Giving team members more autonomy requires trust from the leader. Knowing each employee has personal awareness of their strengths and weaknesses gives the leader more comfort in handing off responsibilities. Conversations about individual performance can be rooted in the person’s DISC profile.
DISC Quick Tips for Leadership Empowerment:
- For the “D” Personality – Encourage experimentation and be open to failure sometimes. After all, isn’t that how you learned?
- For the “I” Personality – Make sure you do the necessary work to ensure team members have the resources they need to be successful. Encouragement is appreciated, but it doesn’t do the work. Follow up on your words.
- For the “S” Personality – You may be used to having all decisions go through a team leader. If you’re assigned to lead a team, be aware that “D” style team members will push back on you. Find a way to partner with them to move the team forward.
- For the “C” Personality – If leading this team, your organization skills are useful for setting agendas and documenting process. Put others on the agenda so you limit your natural need for detail.
3. Facilitate a QUICK mindset shift
PeopleKeys’ assessment tools, such as 4D and DISC, provide ways to identify someone’s “mindset.” Knowing your dominant style mindset facilitates a quicker shift to a new mindset that better fits the situation at-hand. Know what your baseline style is and identify strategies to get comfortable temporarily shifting to another one.
DISC Quick Tips for mindset shifting:
- For the “D” – Get curious and ask questions to better understand how or why a result was achieved. You might not have done it the way someone else did, but accept it if you want to develop their abilities.
- For the “I” – Be at ease if your idea isn’t chosen, then get behind the new idea and direction. Your natural enthusiasm will be contagious.
- For the “S” – Say “yes” to sudden change. Express your support for the new direction and ask what you can do to move forward.
- For the “C” – Embrace the chaos and the phrase “good enough.” Use your organizational skills to provide structure to the new direction. Most team members know your strength in details, so wait for them to ask you for information.
In this rapidly moving world, those who adapt to changes in a moment’s notice will have the upper-hand. True leadership agility is created through the interaction of team members addressing change. Any one of them may lead at a certain point even if they aren’t “in charge.” Assessments such as DISC Personality Profile, 4D DISC, TEAMS, Values, and Behavioral Attitudes Report, and the Group Dynamics Report provide insights which will enhance team performance and bring agile leadership into place.