The Strategist

How to Find Out a Leader in Your Team

08/17/2015 - 15:49

Why employees do not master their leadership skills? How is it possible to identify the hidden leaders? How to develop leadership skills among employees?
Almost every team has employees who have leadership instincts, but for some reason do not show their abilities, or simply are not aware of them. It is crucial to know who is a potential leader. First, if the company has unrealized leaders, they often begin to have a destructive impact on the team. Secondly, employees with leadership would be included in the personnel reserve, be appointed as project leaders, be given some organizational issues or they could use their ability to create a team. However, it is not enough to recognize a hidden leader to get the full benefit of the knowledge. It is necessary to develop the leadership skills of employees.

Why employees do not realize the leadership skills

First, let's define what we mean by hidden leaders. Do not confuse them with informal leaders. The latter are aware of their abilities and show them in the team. They officially do not have a management position, but occupy a special position because of their personal qualities and behavior. It is also necessary to know who the informal leader is, because such an employee can draw his colleagues to a new project, as well as to sabotage the decisions of leadership. Nevertheless, as a rule, to identify these employees just seen them at once in a group. By the way, experts do not recommend to move informal leader to the formal status. It is not always effective. The new role can change a person, and he would lose respect in the team, or colleague will not perceive him as a leader.
Hidden leaders are employees who have leadership potential, but do not know it or do not show it. For example, a man never stands out from the crowd, but once he have something to offer, something to hint on, everyone is already light up with this idea, approve it and support it. Alternatively, an employee in large groups takes the role of a subordinate, but activates in certain situations in which he has advantages over the others. After we determine who the hidden leaders are, let's see, what prevents them from realizing their full potential. As many experts note, first of all, it is the fear of being unconventional, do not fit into the social framework and ideas, take an unusual decision, as well as the fear of taking responsibility. In addition, many people think that, showing leadership qualities, they can cross someone’s way or "get into others business". Most women in the men's team do not show up themselves, leaving the role of the leader to men. Another reason - the presence of a team leader or a strong reluctance not to show their potential in this company.

How is it possible to identify the hidden leaders?

There are several ways to recognize leadership qualities in a person. Special tests. Now a great number of tests to identify leadership skills can be found online or be developed especially for your company.

Role playing. It should reflect the situation where and employee will need to make their own decisions in difficult conditions, to take responsibility, to show organizational skills, the ability to log in, to show the position of another, show empathy, and so on. Note, however, that this method has its drawbacks because a person may differently manifest themselves during the game and the real situation.

Observation. As a rule, pay attention to two characteristics: verbal (semantic and logical components of speech) and non-verbal signals (gestures, posture, facial expressions, unconscious reactions). Leaders leaders are not always sociable, so non-verbal signs reliably detect the degree of domination of a person.

In addition, situational or case interviews using projective questions can be a key to assess leadership potential, the so-called method of "three plus and three minus". Such leadership competences, as willingness to take responsibility, positive attitude to people, learning, ability and willingness to inspire, defend his point of view, make unpopular decisions, are estimated there.
Methods of Leadership Development

All activities on the formation of leadership qualities of employees are intended to eliminate the fear of responsibility and to increase self-confidence, develop the ability to make decisions quickly, to kindle interest in everything new. The basis of the preparation and training of leaders is primarily communication. Also, effective training with a clearly defined goal (increase cohesion, self-fulfillment, the formation and development of leadership skills).

Do not be afraid to include three people with leadership qualities in a team. The more employees in the team, the more effective the work. When the organization of the working process is competent, then the distribution of responsibilities among the leaders of the team gets a strong potential to achieve any goal.