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Today’s tip is again dedicated to a visit from Mohammed Alauddin, a Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication visiting Arizona from Bangladesh.

During his time in Arizona, he visited HMA Public Relations in March to learn about the marketing communication industry in the United States. While here, he taught us a thing or two. Chief among his teaching, the importance of reading one’s team if you expect to effectively lead them.

You see, there are four types of team members:

  • Unable and Unwilling or Insecure
  • Unable but Willing and Confident
  • Able but Unwilling or Insecure
  • Able and Willing and Confident

Each of these team members requires a different leadership style:

  • Unable and Unwilling team member may be new to the job or industry, so the leader will need to do a lot of telling and directing until there is some confidence built.
  • Once there is confidence – but perhaps still uneasiness at working on the task – the leader should start explaining the processes and tactic even more to help him/her build enough confidence to feel able.
  • Once the team member is feeling able, his/her confidence may wane until he/she achieves success. He/she may even encourage the leader to stay involved in all facets of the project. At this point, the leader should participate with the team member, but also help them understand how to trouble-shoot, problem-solve and think outside the box on his/her own
  • Once the team member achieves this, the leader should delegate while still observing and mentoring.

The idea is to move from the more autocratic-style leader to the more democratic-style leader over the course of the business relationship.

Alison Bailin
Alison Bailin
Senior Account Executive Alison has a lot to say…about pretty much everything...all the time. From the current state of public relations to the social media impact on Shark Week to crisis communications in the sports world, Alison’s blogs are focused on “amusing through her PR musings,” and then some. Check out Alison's full bio

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