Welcome to this issue of "Dr. T's Timely Tips" by Dr. Tony Alessandra. Please send your feedback to info@alessandra.com!

Use your knowledge of your behavioral strengths and weaknesses to improve your skills as a leader.

Whatever your behavioral style, being adaptable can help you to build bridges to your employees and make them feel valued. Taking advantage of your strengths and addressing your weaknesses will help you be a better boss - approachable, likeable, efficient, and productive. And by learning to best respond to the interests and concerns of your employees, their strengths and weaknesses, you can get the most from your people as well as leave them more satisfied.

Indirect and Open

If you are a Relater... You are probably a well-liked boss. Your goal should be to become a more effective well-liked boss.

Learn to stretch a little, taking on more, or different, duties and trying to accomplish them more quickly. You may want to be more assertive as well as more open about your thoughts and feelings. Experiment with a little risk, a little change.

Being sensitive to your employees' feelings is one of your greatest strengths. However, you must seek a middle ground between that and being knocked off balance by the first negative comment or action that comes your way.
Direct and Open

If you are a Socializer... Your people depend on you not just for ideas, but for coordination, too. So anything you can do to become more organized -- making lists, keeping your calendar current, prioritizing goals -- will pay big dividends for you and them.

Nothing is so dispiriting as to see the boss drop the ball on important matters. So, remember: If you fail to follow-up, procrastinate on tough decisions, or make pledges you do not keep, your employees will lose faith. Even though you do not do those things purposely, they will see you as letting them down. Your charm and warmth cannot fully compensate for unreliability.

Also, come to grips with the fact that conflicts are going to occur. Try to deal with them up front, not sweep them under the rug. In addition, organize your time better and keep your socializing in balance with your tasks.
Indirect and Guarded

If you are a Thinker... Your high standards are a two-edged sword. Your employees are inspired by your quest for excellence, but often they feel frustrated because they can never quite seem to please you.

One of the best things you can do is lessen and soften your criticism, spoken or unspoken. You can seem so stern sometimes! And ease up on your need to control. Walk around and spend more time with the troops, chatting up people at the water cooler or in the lunchroom.

Wake up to the fact that you can have high standards without requiring perfection in each instance. That will take a load off your shoulders--and off your employees, too.
Direct and Guarded

If you are a Director... Ratchet down a notch or two! Keep in mind that others have feelings and that your hard-charging, know-it-all style can make your subordinates feel inadequate and often resentful.

Accept that mistakes will occur, and try to temper justice with mercy. You might even joke about errors you make, rather than trying to always project a super-human image.

You can encourage growth in others in at least two ways. One, by praising them when they do something well. Two, by giving them some authority and then staying out of their way so they can use it. Whatever you lose in control, you are likely to gain in commitment and improved staff competency.

Try not to be quite so bossy! Ask others' opinions and maybe -- though this is radical for a director -- even plan some collaborative actions.

Here's to more personal insight,


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