Former US political advisor George Stephanopoulos said in his book "All Too Human" that he didn't like talking to Bill Clinton, because before long he would begin to agree with the man.That is the sheer power of charisma and strong leadership, which are personality traits you can leverage while hosting an important conference call or web conference.
Here, we look at how you can distinguish the differences between leadership styles as well as apply certain skills to make your conferences more cost-efficient, more productive and, ultimately, easier for all involved.
The difference between leadership styles
While there is a superfluity of approaches to leadership style, most theories draw similar conclusions as to an effective leader's attributes.
Paul Findlay, managing director of PD Training - a company that helps assess your own style - gave an interview with Business Insider on what he determines to be the four primary personality types in the realm of leadership. Following his insight, an individual is either a counsellor, coach, advisor or driver.
- The counsellor: identifies with a strong people-focus and is thinking-oriented. This individual typically accommodates for people's interests in conflict situations, is relatively flexible with planning and learns by reflecting carefully. A warm communication style is most commonly used.
- The coach: is seen as people-focused and action-oriented. Delegation is done persuasively, planning is interactive and learning happens through holistic thinking. The main communication style focuses on dynamic charisma.
- The advisor: is recognised as task-focused and thinking-oriented. This leader compromises during conflict, prepares everything carefully and learns through analytical reflection. Communication is often reserved and formal in style.
- The driver: is particularly task-focused and action-oriented. Conflict is approached face-on, planning is done adaptively and learning flows from big-picture thinking. Intensity is most commonly associated with this communicator.
Bringing leadership to the conference table
When people cannot see the personal gain from a situation or solution, they tend to underperform - dooming the best intentions of productive conference calls from the get-go. This observation, made by Dr. Kate Isaacs in an exclusive interview with Forbes, puts Findlay's categorisation of leadership types into context.
Her statement suggests that, as a leader, giving your team members something they can identify individual benefits from can add effectiveness to web conference settings. Right Track Associates, which specialises in IT strategy and projects, builds on this idea and points towards tools you can use to make meetings more effective and productive.
The company advises that by preparing and setting an explicit agenda for all web calls, the allocation of sufficient time and materials is made inherently easier for all those involved. When taking on a leadership role during a conference call, creating and stating ground rules gives the meeting additional structure and can further aid overall productivity levels.
Additionally, active listening and creating a personable bond with each team member are helpful tools for keeping on top of the meeting. In an article in Forbes, Glenn Llopis, a former corporate executive, explains that relationship-building within teams is crucial for sustained motivation to perform well. Knowing what drives each link can allow for more efficient use of strengths and avoid problems down the line.
Dr. Kate Isaacs, an experienced researcher at MIT Center for Biomedical Innovation and The Center for Higher Ambition Leadership, highlights the impact that increasing connectivity and transparency has on the working environment. She suggests leaders follow the below steps to engage team members in a conference and raise productivity.
- Think big-picture: by approaching an issue or topic from a holistic standpoint, you will be able to lead the team towards a solution with as much valuable input being brought forward as possible.
- Build trust: a good leader maintains the trust of all participants by being transparent and showing integrity.
- Make short-term successes a collaborative win: when working through a complicated topic, keeping an open dialogue and celebrating small milestones collectively can ensure all team members stay productive for the entire process.
- Ensure constant learning: through integration of deliberate inquiry as to the knowledge being shared, you can adapt to any arising issues and learn from them in a forward-moving manner.
- Share your power: an effective leader will vary the amount of power exercised throughout the conference according to the situation.
- Manage all your relationships: it might seem banal, but ensuring your connections at home are intact will allow you to be more productive and successful as a leader.
What type of leader am I?
In their book on leadership, Gerald R. Ledlow and M. Nicholas Coppola introduce different self-assessments to understand your personality type, most of which are available online.
Emotional Intelligence (EI) focuses on relationship management of people and consists of four parts: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and social skills.
Hemisphere Dominance, on the other hand, indicates whether you are generally more creative (using the right side of your brain) or methodological (using the left side of your brain) in your approaches.
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicators (MBTI), one of the Jungian Assessments, focuses on a person's preference of extroversion or introversion, sensing or intuition, thinking or feeling, and judging or perceiving.
There is no one way to be an effective leader according to Findlay, yet by leveraging the insight gained from these tests, you can understand how to be personally productive as well as motivate your team.
If you want to learn more about how web and audio conferencing can help you host great conferences, take a look at our services at Eureka Conferencing.