Everyone has a leadership voice. It is the way you communicate and respond when you are thriving, struggling, or just interacting with your coworkers at work or socially. It doesn’t just affect your work relationships but your voice is what you bring home to your family and friends. Knowing your voice helps you identify the strengths and weaknesses in your daily communication.
At LVL-Up Strategies, we invest in professional development using the GiANT Worldwide “Five Voices” method. It is a personality system meant to help you understand how to work with others. GiANT Worldwide essentially took the complicated Myers-Briggs personality test and condensed the personality types into 5 basic leadership voices. This training is vital to the success of our company as an entirely remote company because we place a lot of emphasis on how we work together as a team spread out across the globe. Most of us have only met each other virtually, but we all know our own “voice” and the “voice” of each team member.
GiANT lists the voices in this order as they go from “quietest” to “loudest.” Most people speak all five, but one is our main voice. Here’s a short summary:
The Five Voices
Nurturer: 43% of the population. Nurtures generally do not like conflict. They are intuitive and are usually the people on the team that enjoy celebrating the achievements of others. They are natural team players and will push for the well-being of others before profit. They ‘get’ people.
Creative: 9% of the population. The creatives on a team often go unheard because they struggle to communicate their ideas. But when given a chance, creatives can lead the discussion to new uncharted areas. They think outside the box, and there is no stopping their imagination of what could be. Their drive and push for ideas to always be better is a quality that allows teams to dream big. There are no boundaries to what they think is possible.
Guardian: 30% of the population. Guardians love pros and cons lists, and they want lots of concrete information before they make a decision. They are the checks and balances people. They are dedicated to asking the tough questions in a meeting and will not shy away from getting answers. You can always count on a guardian to deliver a project on time and on budget. They love value, order, and systems.
Connector: 11% of the population. The connectors are the social network people. They love to make connections, are usually charismatic, and thrive on communicating and sharing their vision with everyone they meet. They are resourceful and can maintain a large number of relationships.
Pioneer: 7% of the population. The pioneers are natural leaders who are the most assertive on the team. They enjoy making tough decisions and naturally assume command. They love to win and hate giving up. They are powerful communicators who use their strategic thinking to align people, systems, and resources.
So, how is this important? How can a small business or entrepreneur benefit from knowing their voice and the voice of their colleagues? Understanding your voice can provide valuable information about how you work best with others and what you need from others to be successful and vice versa. It’s like getting a map key for navigating relationships and communication styles. A team can utilize the 5 Voices assessment to find the strengths of all their team players because each voice is important and brings something unique to the operation. Best of all, knowing and using this information can make your team run like a well-oiled machine.
How can you use this information?
Once you know who is on your team, you can try these rules of engagement so that everyone can be heard and leveraged the best. In a group discussion, make sure:
Nurturers go 1st
Because they don’t like to disagree with what’s already been said.
But they represent 43% of the people in the organization.
Don’t critique them right away.
Creators go 2nd
Let them think outside the box and take risks.
Don’t judge them right off.
Ask them clarifying questions.
Guardians go 3rd
Encourage them to ask difficult questions and show the team where mistakes are made.
Let them examine and review.
Connectors go 4th
Let them use their skills and sell their ideas.
Connectors, when you are challenged, don’t take it personally.
Pioneers go last
Listen first while everyone else talks, even though that’s probably very hard for you.
Be careful with your critique so that it’s not too sharp.
As more companies begin to work remotely, assessments like GiANT’s will become more and more vital to the health of a team. GiANT has created a digestible personality test, and they offer ways to utilize and understand the assessment results. Any team can benefit from learning about each other and how to communicate most productively.