Working Styles are a great tool to develop brilliant leadership – they provide a simple framework for creating synergy in your working environment.

The Working Styles model has two dimensions:

  • Respect for self
  • Respect for others

NOTE: Working styles are heavily situation and relationship-based.  They change with the context and the working environment. By changing the environment, the dynamic can be changed to leverage a high-performance, win/win situation.)

The 4 quadrants these dimensions create are:

  1. Lose/Lose: Manipulative-aggressive styles have low self respect AND low respect for others. The personification here is essentially as a “suicide bomber” – they’re not interested in negotiating. Eliminate this behaviour and it’s supporting situation from your team
  2. Win/Lose: Hostile-aggressive styles have high self respect AND low respect to others. The personification is “school yard bully” –this attitude says “I know I’m right and no one else knows anything”. This behaviour is quick to blame and also quick to make themselves look good, “my way or the highway” and “I’m surrounded by idiots”. Control is by instruction.
  3. Lose/Win: Passive styles have low self respect AND high respect for others. The personifies is as doormat, willing to sacrifice themselves to allow others to win. Sounds graciouse, but valuable opinions may be lost because they’re not prepared to express them . Often tend to work for hostile-aggressive, just showing up to do what they’re told, creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. No synergy develops in this environment.
  4. Win/Win: Assertive styles have high self respect AND high respect for others. (NOTE: assertive is different from aggressive as it allows others to benefit too). This creates a healthy working environment and generates synergies through healthy debate and discussion about what needs to be done in the workplace.

Brilliant leadership is about creating a working environment that fosters win/win behaviour. Doing this starts from becoming assertive in your own leadership style:

  • Give people an opportunity to speak without criticising.
  • Allowing them to understand it’s a safe environment.
  • Allowing the re-solution of the problem through constructive discussion.