October 21, 2015
The ability to lead others is a trait sought after in all managers– that’s what the role calls for. Companies rely on managers to motivate and direct a team so that goals can be accomplished in successful and productive ways.
Managing Others is a competency that deals with how effectively a leader directs the activities of their team. The best leaders are encouraging, honest, and objective when dealing with their team, working through them to accomplish goals while holding everyone accountable for their tasks.
Our Assess personality survey measures innate characteristics that affect how a manager persists and encourages their team to finish tasks and achieve objectives. Over thirty years of experience and research have shown that there are seven main attributes that play into a person’s ability for Managing Others.
Overseeing a team requires a certain amount of assertiveness. This scale measures the tendency of a person to take initiative and make their presence felt, versus the personal preference to blend and remain in the background of a given situation.When potential managers fall on the low end of Assertiveness, it means they tend to be less outspoken or prefer remaining in the background. These people are seen as great listeners and easy to work with, but they might feel more anxiety when they need to stand their ground and direct others. Low assertiveness in a manager can lead to less effective performance, because these people are naturally less likely to make their voices heard and influence others.
The high end of this scale represents leaders who demonstrate the confidence it takes to direct a team and drive results. People who fall on this end are more comfortable in a position that requires visibility and power, making it naturally easier for them to delegate tasks to a team and uphold a certain amount of dominance needed to take charge of an entire team. Highly assertive managers have a much easier time influencing others and making a strong impression on their team.
- Positive About People
This scale measures how much or little trust and positivity a person has toward other people. Do you notice your managers acting overly-critical with their team? If so, you may be dealing with a leader who sways toward being more negative than what is ideal.People who fall on the low end of this scale are likely to be skeptical and overly cautious in trusting others. Managers on this end may fail to recognize the achievements of their team and are seen as difficult to please, holding a “nothing is ever good enough” type of attitude. They might be a hoverer, micromanaging those on the team because they lack faith in their coworkers.
When a person lands on the higher end of this scale, they’re likely to focus on the positive attributes of people and are generally accepting of others. Managers here are good at developing their team, as they see mistakes as opportunities to learn and grow.
You’ve probably noticed the yellow block at the end of this scale. Leaders who fall on the extreme right of Positive About People might overlook limitations in others and may give too many second chances to team members. Be on the lookout for these traits in managers at your company (they can always be developed and improved!).
- Need to be Liked
The left side of this scale represents people who don’t place being liked by others as a high priority. When a person lands here, it doesn’t mean that they have absolutely no interest in being liked by others. Instead, if this manager is in a competitive situation with their team or other coworkers, they’ll likely focus on the personal gain of winning, even if it may mean that someone else has to lose out.The high end of this scale is also important to note. For this particular competency, a high need to be liked can also have its liabilities. When managers land here, it typically means they are approachable and likable; they show concern for others and are cooperative and accommodating. However, managers here may try too hard to make others like them. You may see traits of being too agreeable or a difficulty saying no. Managers scoring on the high end may also have difficulty providing direct feedback to others or communicating ‘tough’ messages.
The best place for an employee who is in charge of managing others is in the middle of this scale. In this range, a leader isn’t so focused on others liking them to the point to where they wouldn’t stand their ground when their team might disagree with them, but also not so low that they argue and are overly-competitive.
Sociability is an important trait for managers to have. Because they have a team to direct, a manager must be comfortable conversing with coworkers about issues, projects, and plans. Do you notice managers at your company working in silos and failing to communicate expectations to their team?When managers land on the low end of this scale, it means they prefer to work alone or in small teams, and may be uncomfortable working in large groups. People with this trait tend to avoid long amounts of time in social situations. Scoring low for this trait doesn’t mean a person dislikes people, but simply that they’d be more comfortable in smaller groups. These managers are more likely to shy away from networking events or conferences where they would have to speak in front of a group or interact with people with whom they are unfamiliar.
On the high end, managers tend to seek out coworkers and engage in a lot of conversations. These people display great social skills and when they are presenting or leading a meeting, they are in their element. This quality in a leader is important because managing others involves a lot of communication, whether it be one-on-one or in a group setting. They also tend to keep up with what everyone in their group is working on and talk with their team in an easy and comfortable way.
- Work Pace
Managing a team can be overwhelming if a manager isn’t comfortable with a high work pace. This role calls for a person to be on top of what their team is doing, along with their own tasks. This requires a lot of work and a faster-pace schedule is part of the territory.The low side of this scale represents people who work best in an unhurried environment. These leaders are seen as steady-going. When a person has a low work place, they tend to not push others to work at a faster rate. This trait in a leader has the potential to slow down their entire team, possibly missing deadlines and pushing back projects.
On the high end, managers usually prefer a vigorous schedule at work. These people thrive in busy environments and typically have a high energy attitude. When it comes to managing their team, this aspect in a leader is extremely beneficial. They encourage their team to accomplish tasks within the deadline and produce a high level or work output. These people should find it much easier to keep tabs on team projects and push for success.
- Self Reliance
Managing others requires a combination of independent work and collaboration with a team. The ideal place for managers to fall on this scale is usually in the middle range.People fall on the low end of this scale when they rely on others’ opinions and feedback before making work decisions. This is a great style to have, because it ensures that an employee won’t jump the gun on any given decision. However, at the manager level, this could be a bit of a hindrance. Managers here may be unwilling to make their own choices, require extra support from others, and tend to over-delegate tasks.
On the opposite side (high Self-Reliance), managers are more likely to work well without direction and take initiative. . To the extreme, managers here may be hesitant to delegate tasks, and may not seek advice from their team, even if the quality of their decision could be improved by doing so.
The best managers have a nice balance between these two extremes. These managers are more appropriately willing to consult their team when making a decision, for example, when the decision affects the team as a whole. Managers here are likely to make smaller decisions alone, and larger decisions with others. These people are typically more aware of the amount of tasks that should be delegated to the team so that work is evenly distributed in a way that makes the most sense.
If a manager has a negative view toward work or projects, it affects the whole team. This is problematic for the group as a whole and can negatively affect work output, work relationships, and overall attitude.Leaders who fall on the low end of optimism tend to be sensitive to difficult situations, like a team member needing to leave early or someone not completing a task on time. These people often get frustrated with problems beyond their control, and are easily affected by setbacks in plans and projects. Usually seen as over-worrying, managers with a low sense of optimism are prone let events at work impact their state of mind, which can negatively influence their team. Team members may feel uneasy when approaching their manager with a problem, not knowing how their manager will react to bad news.
Looking for the upside of a situation is a common trait among optimistic people. This glass-half-full perspective encourages the team to persist on even if setbacks occur. Modeling this type of attitude provides a team with a consistent and positive view of their manager, which fosters productive conversation, a higher level of teamwork, and overall success in working relationships.
Since these scales give insight into how a person manages others, it’s important to understand what to expect from people when they fall in a certain range within these scales. Managing Others is a competency that reflects a person’s skills at working through a team of people to accomplish project and company goals.
Think about all of the traits represented in this blog, and consider the amount of insight in knowing where a person falls on these scales, and how this affects their work performance. Without using assessments, there’s no clear way of examining whether a person falls short of or excels past the necessary skills for a leadership role. In other words, there’s much less predictive value in your selection or development process without measuring these competencies.
The Competency Spotlight series focuses on the personality traits measured by OutMatch assessments, and how these traits impact performance. No one measure can say with 100% accuracy how an employee will behave, but considering these competencies can help you identify candidates that are ‘prewired’ to be successful in a particular job type.