How Types of Leadership Influence the VA Personality You Hire
How Types of Leadership Influence the VA Personality You Hire
Have you ever thought about how types of leadership might influence how you go about hiring team members?
You’ve probably already noticed that some personalities work much better together than others. When it comes to hiring a virtual assistant, it’s important that you hire someone who gels well with your own personality and leadership style.
Why? Well, some people respond well to certain types of leaders, while others who have a different personality type may not respond well at all. Imagine, for example, if your leadership style is very relaxed, but you hire a person who craves strong direction. There’s a good chance you won’t work so well together.
Here’s what to consider about hiring to match your management style:
What are different types of leadership styles?
The thing with defining leadership styles is that most people can’t be neatly put into one box. You will find that you often identify with more than one style, or you’re capable of switching your style around, depending on the situation.
You’ll also find that there are different theories or methodologies used to come up with different leadership styles. For this reason, we’re just looking at a few leadership styles that seem to come up the most often among types presented by researchers.
Leadership style has the impact of attracting or repelling employees, so it’s an important consideration before hiring.
Participative leaders are the sort who like to work for employee buy-in on ideas, and encourage team members to present their own. They like to ensure that employees know that their ideas are considered to be important. This type of leader also tends to be comfortable with delegating authority to other team members.
This type of leadership style works well among established teams where you can trust that people know what you expect and are onboard with your ideas. It may be more difficult to get traction this way when your team is very new.
Directive leaders are all about structure and (of course!) direction. They establish clear performance objectives and are big on ensuring that employees clearly understand their roles. They may have a tendency to micro-manage, or take a “if you want it done well, do it yourself” attitude.
Directive leadership styles can be particularly effective during a crisis or situation that calls for strongly taking charge. However, team members who value being trusted to work independently can find this leadership style stifling. There’s also a danger that this style can drift into being autocratic, which is ineffective for long-term management success.
Achievement-oriented leaders are all about goals. They tend to think of the “stretch” and believe that their team can do better. They like an environment of continuous improvement, and tend to empower their employees, while establishing a hierarchy of goals.
This style of leadership often assumes that employees will do their personal best (which is not a bad thing). However, sometimes a more directive style is necessary.
Action-oriented leaders tend to have a strong sense of immediacy, leading them to focus well on seeing tasks through to fruition. They usually lead by example, and often, team members see their own roles as being more in support of this leader, who is the key achiever.
This style of leadership is great for ensuring projects are seen through to completion in smaller businesses. The leader may have a tendency to try to take too many things onboard themselves though, where perhaps they could delegate more.
Transformational leadership seems to be what a lot of startups aspire to. They see transformational as leading through vision, with a careful eye on the future. This style also involves challenging company norms and looking for a “better” way.
A transformational style is encouraged in companies that want to see strong growth. The danger of this leadership style is that the leader may lose sight of individual learning curves if team members don’t receive the right coaching for new responsibilities.
Supportive leaders tend to be highly approachable and empathetic. They show concern for employees, always treat them with respect, and probably know aspects of their employees’ private lives. Team members tend to feel cared for by this sort of leader.
Supportive leaders tend to have very loyal team members, however, their innate empathy can be interpreted as being “soft” or a target for deception.
The leadership styles identified here include those which researchers have identified as being essential for good leaders. We haven’t included styles such as autocratic or bureaucratic here, as they are rarely effective. (If you do lean toward either of those, you may want to consider working to achieve a more effective style).
Know your own management style
When considering how to hire someone who will be suited to working with you, it helps if you begin by knowing your own management style.
If you can, seek feedback from people who do or have worked closely with you before. We often have an idea of what we think our own leadership style is, only to find that others have a slightly different view.
Asking others can give you some valuable input you won’t get from a “leadership style” quiz or test. You can find out how people see your leadership style, and what types of people respond best to it.
If you currently have team members or have had them in the past, think about the personality types of your top performers. Those are the ones who obviously were a good match for your leadership style.
How do personality types match with leadership styles?
This is another question for which there are no neat boxes for the answers. We can provide a few general ideas based upon experience, but of course, sometimes people will surprise you.
For example, the following types will often clash, or find that they aren’t compatible:
- Leaders and team members who are both directive
- Transformational leaders and team members who require tight direction
- Action-oriented leaders and team members who value the opportunity to achieve themselves
You can see that a team member who likes being given a lot of direction would probably get along with a directive leader, or the goal-setting achievement-oriented leader too. Team members who crave some level of autonomy will quickly feel smothered by a micro-manager. Equally, a manager with a laissez-faire style will probably drive a team member with a more directive personality mad!
Hiring a virtual assistant for your leadership style
Your leadership style and personality traits are definitely something to consider when hiring a virtual assistant, or any other team member. Your first step is to understand what your own leadership style is, and how that works with different personality types.
Next, be clear about your management style during interviews. Let people know who you are and what you expect. People will often self-select out if they don’t feel they’d be a good fit for your style.
The hiring process starts with you. People buy into other people, so understanding your own style and the personality types that respond best to it will go a long way toward a successful hire.
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