Avionics News October 2016 - 46

BUSINESS BASICS

Continued from page 45

leader is confident in the results the group
provides.
6. Charismatic. This selectively used
style inspires followers to accomplish
more by force of personality and relationships, and it works best when the
group's motivation is low because of
frustration, tight deadlines or other challenges - when they need a "win one for
the Gipper" moment.

Leadership toolbox
With a range of leadership styles, you
should be capable of switching gears as
employees, situations and tasks change.
You can start by recognizing your default
style and understanding its limitations
so you can work to expand your comfort
zone; conversely, you might choose to

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2016

work closely with another manager who
excels at those styles that challenge you.
In each case, you choose an appropriate
style that considers the risks, skills and
emotional state of your employees so
you can manage them most effectively.
A situation where business or safety
risks are great and employees' experience level is low requires authority and
direct guidance; think a new employee
tackling his first difficult installation or
complex marketing plan. Conversely, in
lower-stress situations - or even higherstress ones where employees' skills are
sufficient - that hands-on, "do as I say,
now" approach can come across as bossy
and heavy-handed. Instead, a consulting
style might work more effectively.
The secret is to recognize the amount
of direction your people need, the
amount of emotional support or encouragement they want, and the task matu-

rity they exhibit - the ability to set and
accomplish specific goals (such as to
create a project plan that meets a deadline), the willingness to take responsibility for themselves (to perform essential
tasks without prompting) and the level
of training and experience they possess.
As any of this changes, your style will
adapt, too, and not always in a linear
manner. For example, an employee may
display the task maturity to install a transponder, but he may need more direct
supervision the first time he does a complete panel retrofit. Likewise, you might
need to guide an employee the first time
she uses new software, but delegate to
her as she pulls a regular report.
Beyond risks and tasks, you may also
need to tailor the style to corral individual
employees; experienced team members
might have valuable opinions and experiences to share that warrants consulting or
delegating. Confident newcomers ahead
of the learning curve might favor selling.
And uncomfortable, unmotivated or difficult employees may require telling.
Ultimately, though, the process of
leadership and learning should expand
employees' levels of task maturity.
Intentionally apply incrementally less
authority on each task so that person
has to take on more responsibility; if the
employee handles one task well, offer
encouragement, and expand their authority. Eventually, they will require less of
both kinds of input.
Conversely, sometimes - such as
when staffers are stressed, overwhelmed
or frustrated - they may regress. Even
though they know what to do, their
motivation declines. Here you'll likely
need to become more charismatic, both
to lift their moods and to prepare them
for their next task.
This, after all, is why they follow you:
you're their guide to successfully performing their duties. And whether you're
rousting your team to work or letting
them do what they do best unhindered,
the style of leadership you use shapes
the results you get. q


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Avionics News October 2016

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Avionics News October 2016 - Cover2
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