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Rachel MK Headley, PhD, will helps us develop a Growth Mindset as we launch the new year and prepare for the move to the HCMD. Dr. Headley walks us through different personality styles and approaches to change and gives us tangible tools on how to lead each personality type through transition.
Dr. Headley is the co-author of iX Leadership: Create High-Five Cultures and Guide Transformation and serves as CEO of Rose Group International, a project management, change management, and leadership consulting firm dedicated to helping leaders and businesses solve problems around teamwork, productivity, time management, and retention, so leaders can more effectively achieve aspirational goals. Dr. Headley is a Forbes coach, TedX Speaker, and former NASA scientist who resides in Spearfish, South Dakota. She has over two decades of experience leading complex and groundbreaking achievements, managing big projects, uniting diverse international stakeholders, and guiding teams through change. You can rest assured that she has actually led teams and knows what works.
-Dr. Headley kicked off the roundtable with some of the most common impacts of change: 1) we spend more time dealing with people problems, 2) teams can suffer from poor performance and lack of accountability, 3) costs, errors, and turnovers can increase, 4) leaders can become stressed, and 5) patients can look elsewhere for care. All of which can be reversed if we intentionally train our leaders in adapting to change.
Four mistakes organizations make:
1) Not building leaders for the future
2) Not training leaders how to lead through change
3) Not training leaders to create adaptable teams
4) Making decisions without data
Six steps we can take to bring our teams through change:
1) Keep our eye on the prize and the final finish line
2) Plan ahead for people to be overwhelmed
3) Notice those who have differing challenges
4) Understand how your personality type can cause frustration for others
5) “Break bread” together and commit to intentionally building relationships with your team
6) Do the heavy lifting on communication before problems arise
Some personalities heavily crave order. These individuals excel at:
-Organizing the details
-Thinking step-by-step about how to get processes in place
-Thinking of the right questions to ask
-Explaining what’s happening step-by-step to someone inside your organization once they’re well informed
**We can leverage their gifts to help communicate well during times of transition, but need to be sure we give them the information they need to create structures and systems around what needs to be done.
Some personalities thrive in chaos. These individuals excel at:
-Working within a flexible, unstructured environment
-Diving into a problem and deciding what needs to be done
-Owning projects and innovating creative solutions
-Focusing on how to contribute to the greater good and lead the team to success
**We can leverage their tolerance for chaos and let them go first on the path to the summit, but we need to be sure we help them create a roadmap their order-craving colleagues can use to follow them to the peak.
If we adopt a growth mindset and commit to learning and growing through the process, we can maximize each employee’s gifts and thrive through any challenge that comes our way.
Focusing on progress, providing clear and consistent communication, committing to being great teachers, and encouraging our teams to ask for help when needed will help us avoid the mistakes and challenges often presented by change.
-Some employees are more team-driven while others are more self-driven.
-Across those two spectrums, we find four personality types:
1) Stabilizers: LOW tolerance for change; HIGH team orientation: Stabilizers are the foundation of an organization, not only because they are the majority, but because they act as an anchor. Stabilizers are solid—unwavering, steady, reliable. If put in the right position, they will show up every single day, on time, and do an incredible job within their realm of expertise. Stabilizers both seek and create security and certainty.
2) Organizers: LOW tolerance for change; HIGHLY self driven: Organizers hold logic and reason above all else. It is their weapon against a chaotic world. They use data, trends, graphs, figures, and numbers to create meaning. Organizers want to understand the role or significance of each component in a system. How does it function? How does it relate to the whole? What are the mechanics behind it? As self vs. team driven employees, they do not mind operating outside of a social structure to some degree.
3) Fixers: HIGH tolerance for change; HIGH team orientation: Fixers are de facto problem solvers. They interpret roadblocks and curveballs as opportunities to brainstorm a solution. Fixers innately and automatically begin solving issues before they even arise. They are masters of “what-ifs” and contingency plans. Fixers are interested in people—who they are, what their story is, and how they are impacted by change. Fixers are aware of how their actions and the actions of others impact each other and the work. Often, but not always, this awareness manifests in a desire to focus on a common good, to help others, and to offer support. Fixers are generally quick to lend a helping hand—they hate to be seen as lazy or ineffectual. A Fixer rarely stands on the sideline.
4) Independents: HIGH tolerance for change; HIGHLY self driven: From the view of the low chaos-tolerant types, Independents are always going against the grain, causing problems, and undermining authority. They can appear unreliable and irresponsible. Actually, Independents just like to ask questions that challenge ideas, systems, and people. Independents live for disruption. They make upending tradition and routine a hobby. If they appear fickle, it’s because they struggle in what they might describe as the confines of rigid (what order-tolerant Types might call traditional) structures.
Put It Into Action!
-Read through the four types. Which type do you think you are? Which types do you see on your team?
-How do you think these types would work together well and where do you think different types will experience tension?
-As we embark on a major season of change, how can you adapt your leadership to help support each type? How can you support Stabilizers and Organizers (types with a low chaos tolerance) by creating systems, providing clear communication, and implementing more structure?
-And, how can you empower Fixers and Independents, who thrive in chaos and change, to take more ownership in this transition process? What can you let them run with and accomplish during this fast-changing season?
Take the test to discover your type and take advantage of these insights to maximize your team’s capabilities over the next 90 days! Stretch yourself as a leader and let your team step up into the roles and responsibilities they handle best.
Background Info on Speaker Rachel MK Headley, PhD
About Leadership Roundtables
Leadership Roundtables are monthly insights from leading industry experts on subjects that help enhance our Leadership Quest. These 1 hour “lunch-and-learn” style virtual trainings are streamed live in the Skyline Room with an opportunity to engage with the leaders and ask questions about applying their lessons to your own leadership.