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Case Study - Leadership Development Using Personality Assessments

This case study shows coaching can create dramatic shifts in behavior through increasing the subject's self-awareness and designing behavior and attitude changes that work with their personality and preferences. The Problem The coaching client, June was experiencing frustration in leading her team of 6 subordinates. She saw that they were not taking initiative. She felt all the responsibility for the quality of their work fell to her. Consequently she was taking on more organizational duties than she desired and she did not have time to focus on the bigger picture issues that her leadership role demanded. June knew that she had to let her subordinates take initiative for the tasks within their roles, but she was not able to effectively make this change. Every time she let go of her usual responsibility, the subordinates still did not step forward and the team's results suffered. The Root Cause One of the causes of June's frustration was that she was trying to stop doing something rather than doing something. When she stopped herself from solving her subordinate's problems, she had nothing else do to and felt she was merely holding back and not contributing. With her experience, she could see many problems arising and found it very difficult to hold back and leave it to the team. The solution was to find some way to be active but without taking responsibility for other's roles. The Insight June's coach suggested a new strategy of focusing her attention on positive actions that would contribute to the solution without taking responsibility away from the subordinates. It takes a leader or business owner that is at the point of realizing that greatness is about bringing out the best in people and helping them fully understand and use their qualities to the benefit of all. June realized that she could use her strengths in 'enlisting cooperation' and 'forthright diplomacy' to move the team forward without taking over their roles.

The Solution With this insight, June experienced an immediate shift in her attitude towards the team and her leadership role. Since the actions she chose to focus on were her preferred traits, the change was easy for her and enjoyable. Her team responded immediately to her requests for cooperation and her clear communication about their behaviors and results. By continuing to focus on her strengths, June was confident she could move her team to learn how to do their jobs, while still retaining control of the results. Conclusions

It is more effective to focus on taking positive actions, rather than on stopping behaviors. People can more easily begin actions that rely on their preferred traits. Different preferred traits can be used in different situations to get the desired results. Therefore it is possible to customize behavioral solutions for different personalities