Are You Getting An Accurate Picture of Your Leadership Style?

Businessman On Blurred Office BackgroundUpon learning the concepts of Situational Leadership® II, leaders often are eager to partner with employees to provide whatever it takes—clear goals, direction, support, feedback, and recognition—to develop skills and confidence. To lead effectively, leaders select from two behavioral categories: directive behaviors and supportive behaviors.

This may sound easy, but did you know there are 14 different directive and supportive behaviors? How do leaders know which of these behaviors they use most effectively and which they underutilize? To help with these types of questions, an assessment like Blanchard’s Leader Action Profile II (LAPII) can be invaluable.

The LAPII is a multi-rater assessment that provides clear descriptive feedback on critical leadership behaviors by reporting on:

  • an individual’s use of the 14 directive and supportive behaviors
  • perceptions of leadership style
  • the direct report’s level of satisfaction

An assessment like the LAPII provides a very useful snapshot for leaders. It illustrates their effectiveness in the use of directive and supportive behaviors by comparing results from their self-assessment with those from other raters—usually direct reports. Comparing self-perception against the perceptions of others can be surprising to a leader. After all, leaders know their own intentions—but direct reports can only go by the leader’s observable behaviors.

Reviewing results of an assessment like the LAPII with a Blanchard coach provides leaders the opportunity to design strategies that better align their good intentions with the perceptions of their direct reports. It can make a profound difference when a leader works with a coach to identify one or two behaviors that need work and create an action plan to use those behaviors purposefully.

For example, the LAPII may show a need for the leader to increase the practice of facilitating problem solving—a supportive behavior. The coaching questions could include:

  • How can you facilitate your direct reports’ ideas without imposing your own solutions?
  • How would your role be different if your people always made good decisions?
  • What actions can you take to support your people?

The coach will then encourage the leader to continue practicing the new behavior and to request feedback and support from members of their team.

Wondering if your self-perception as a leader matches up with your people’s perceptions of you? Effective use of an assessment like the LAPII enables leaders to increase self-awareness, make changes if necessary, and move toward improving their leadership in a way that supports and encourages their people.

To learn more, visit the Leader Action Profile page on the Blanchard website.

About the Author

Mary Ellen SailerMary Ellen Sailer, Ed.D., is a Coaching Solutions Partner with The Ken Blanchard Companies’ Coaching Services team. Since 2000, Blanchard’s 130 coaches have worked with over 14,500 individuals in more than 250 companies throughout the world. Learn more at Blanchard Coaching Services. And check out Coaching Tuesday every week at Blanchard LeaderChat for ideas, research, and inspirations from the world of executive coaching.

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