What’s your Leadership Style? Leveraging Leadership in your Store.
Take this leadership-style quiz to better understand how you lead your employees and even relate to customers.
As a retailer you wear many hats—from buyer to merchandiser, accountant to party planner—you’ve got to keep your store going from day-to-day and being a leader is one of your biggest roles. Understanding your leadership style can help you relate better to your employees. This can lead to better employee relationships, greater employee retention and a strong store.
In the graph above decide if you are more expressive or less expressive and visualize a dot on the vertical axis at that spot. Then put a dot where you fall on the horizontal axis for more patient or less patient. Now draw a mental line between the dots. Are you in quadrant 1, 2, 3, or 4? Your quadrant indicates your leadership style. Keep reading to find out what that means and how you can use it to your advantage!
- Quadrant 1 – The Regulator: You like to cross tasks off your to-do list and see efficiency as the key to running a store. You know that confrontation as the means-to-the-end in decision making—you can’t waste time dilly-dallying, you’ve got to meet difficulties head on. Leading your employees: You are an active leader who gets results. Remember that, when communicating with your employees, your go-to attitude can be overwhelming for people who communicate differently. Take time to make sure employees understand your direction before you jump to the next task.
- Quadrant 2 – The Analyzer: You believe most problems have just one right answer and with enough analysis that it can be found. Behind every decision you make, and every action taken in your store, is a well thought out process that keeps things running smoothly. Leading your employees: Your systems put your employees at ease but sometimes your slow decision making means you miss out on opportunities. Team up with an employee who is a Regulator and give them the chance to help you speed up. Sometimes, knowing 80% of the details is just as good as knowing 100%.
- Quadrant 3 – The Moderator: You know that, in retail, relationships are everything. You put people first and often avoid conflict with customers or employees in an effort to grow your relationships. Leading your employees: Your style puts your employees at ease—just be sure they aren’t getting too comfortable! Try giving your employees more direct instructions and if there is an issue, address it immediately with simple, clear language.
- Quadrant 4 – The Exponent: We know you—the life of the party and the creative force behind your store. You’ve got a million-and-one ideas to make things better and if something doesn’t work out as planned, you can always start again. Leading your employees: Just the like moderator you value relationships. However, you sometimes jump from idea to idea so quickly that your staff can’t follow along. Team up with an employee who is an Analyzer and let them put a process in place to execute your ideas. Or work with a Regulator to create a task list to carry out your plans.
By understanding your leadership style you can communicate more effectively with your employees. This may mean standing back and letting them take the lead, teaming up and taking advantage of their assets or simply being more direct. Knowing your strengths, and playing them up, can make you a stronger leader—helping you retain your best employees and in the end creating a better store environment for your customers.