BRS does a lot of leadership and executive coaching with our clients. There is an increasing focus on educating leaders around not just their style as leaders but what ripple or impact are they having in their organisation, with their people, peers and other key stakeholders? This is important for self-awareness as well ensuring they understand the link between their impact on others and how this translates in to leadership effectiveness.
The progression of leadership development can be broken down to three stages:
- Understanding Self: Seeking to understand our way of thinking and the impact this has on the way we see and experience the world.
- Perception of Others: Understanding how others perceive our behaviours and actions which is a key consideration for leaders looking to get the best out of their people.
- Impact: Understanding the impact from leaders on the thinking, behaviour, and performance of those around them. This is a significant step as it it is one thing to see how others perceive your behaviours and actions and it is another to understand how these behaviours impact others.
To gain clear and measurable in information related to understanding self and the perception of others, the Human Synergistics Life Styles Inventory (LSI) is a tool we use widely as a foundation for leadership development. The LSI is often used to form the basis of ongoing leadership development coaching. The value of the LSI 1 profile, which provides clear and measurable information for participants on their styles of thinking cannot be undervalued. This is a point in time representation reflecting the perception we have of ourselves; how we value ourselves.
An important concept to understand to get full value from the LSI is:
The space between the stimulus and response is the opportunity to consciously think about how we perceive what has occurred, and respond, as opposed to react. The LSI 1 allows the participant to make decisions around how the impact their thinking is having internally. Thinking influences our well-being, feelings of stress, intrinsic satisfaction and life balance which are all impacted by the dominant styles of thinking we apply.
The LSI 2 then provides feedback on how our behaviours and decision making is perceived by others. The perception of others is directly influenced by our way of thinking (LSI 1), particularly under times of pressure as often faced by managers and leaders during challenging times.
Collectively, the LSI 1 and LSI 2 enables participants to make informed decisions around positive change they may like to make in their personal and professional lives that lead to increased satisfaction and effectiveness.
The Human Synergistic Leadership Impact (LI) tool is an equally powerful tool, for use specifically with senior leaders in organisations. The LI provides incredibly rich feedback to leaders on the impact they are having on those they work with closely and their organisation.
The information the LI report provides centres on the following model:
Leadership Strategies are measured as Prescriptive or Restrictive strategies. Essentially, Prescriptive leadership strategies have a Constructive Impact as they set the blueprint for people to be effective and optimise their satisfaction in doing so. Restrictive leadership strategies have a Defensive Impact by focusing on what not to do, with negative feedback to discourage undesired behaviours. The ten leadership strategies measured in the Leadership Impact tool fit in one of three categories:
A critical consideration for the leader is that Prescriptive strategies need to be applied three times as much as Restrictive strategies to have a Constructive Impact. The LI measures and displays the impact the leader behaviour has on others using the same Circumplex used across the Human Synergistics tools.
The balance of Constructive and Defensive colour on the Circumplex shows how others (Higher Level Managers, Colleagues, Direct Reports) see the impact of the leader. That is, do the strategies employed by the leader have a Constructive, Passive Defensive, or Aggressive Defensive impact on the thinking, behaviour, and performance of those around them.
The Impact then directly informs how effective the leaders is which is represented in three categories:
- Organisational Effectiveness
- Personal Effectiveness
The rich data provided by the LI is outstanding for the leader and the organisation. Senior leaders at the strategic level generally want to grow and be their most effective and the LI is perfect for enabling this. Leaders at this strategic level also have a responsibility to the organisation, and the LI tool provides specific, performance related data that links the leader behaviours to the impact on key relationships and ultimately the performance of the organisation.
The LI provides participants with specific steps to improve personal and organisational effectiveness and insights around how their leadership can be used to develop the constructive culture of their teams and organisations.
The comprehensive data provided in the LI report provides the platform for participants to identify what specific leadership strategies they can develop to ensure they are having a Constructive Impact on those around them. The ripple we have as leaders needs to be positive and constructive. Without this feedback, we often don’t appreciate whether our ripple is making the boat more effective or whether we are an anchor to our people and organisations.