GUEST BLOG: What type of leader are you: a ‘diminisher’ or a ‘multiplier’?

Featured Guest Blog: Rebekka Squire, Client Services Manager GENOS International

GENOS International are a global developer and supplier of emotional intelligence and engagement tools and consulting experts in leadership, emotional intelligence and driving engagement. As Client Services Manager Rebekka works closely with OPRA, and the GENOS network of distributors, to provide expert advice around leadership and emotional intelligence development.

In OPRA’s first guest blog, Rebekka draws on her experience working with leaders to enhance their ability to “multiply”, or enhance, their teams.

A recent article in the HBR described diminishers as leaders who “underutilize people, and leave creativity and talent on the table.” Multipliers on the other hand, “as capable as they are, care less about their own IQ’s and agenda, and more about fostering a culture of intelligence in their organsiations.”

The reality is that all leaders will exhibit elements of both styles, so the question is not so much which style you use, but whether the choices we are making are diminishing or multiplying others. A second question worth considering is how do we best manage ourselves in response to a diminisher or multiplier style?

EI is an obvious mindset and tool to employ to achieve a ‘multiplying’ effect with people. It is also a key skill in managing ourselves when faced with the ‘diminisher’ style. What we know about positive and negative emotional response may help us to get underneath how best to manage ourselves in these situations. Barbara Frederickson’s broaden and build theory has educated us on the effect of the thought-action repertoire.

Managing ourselves: Have you ever been asked a question, to which you know the answer but your head is empty, and you loose your train of thought, and feel a bit silly? Often, this response is a result of nervousness, anxiety, or pressure – all negative emotions. Yet, you leave the meeting and all the things come flooding back, and you want to kick yourself? Well that’s our thought-action repertoire coming into play!

How do we manage ourselves in these situations? Having awareness that you may experience a limited thought process is a great start – and knowing this ok, it’s just your brain serving to protect you (fight or flight)! However, in that crucial meeting it might just be parking the item and coming back to it. Just breathing as you think. Diverting the question back to the person asking it, or even stepping out to go to the bathroom while you re-compose.

Managing Others: Positive emotion broadens our thought process, and allows space for creativity, intellect, idea generation and expansive thinking. Negative emotion, (often experienced in the ‘diminisher’ situation) actually limits our thought action repertoire, or simply put our thinking capability. Influencing the moods and emotions of others and expressing your feelings effectively could also be key in these situations. Have a conversation with that colleague about your feelings, to create some awareness for the individual about how they are ‘being’ and how that is impacting you. Managed well the two of you can think about how you could work better together.

What are your thoughts on effective management strategies?

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