4 Domains of Leadership – Part 2

strengths leadership domains needs strategic thinking influencing relationship building executingA team may have a good mix of talent, shared values and a high degree of trust. However there is one aspect we often overlook which may be holding your team back?

Previously we discussed in Part 1 the 4 Leadership Domains and their special contributions. We also looked at how the Domains interact and the importance of creating a balanced team.

A team with great potential and an awareness of strengths can still struggle if their fundamental needs are missing. Accommodating the preferences across the team can make vast difference to the level of contribution from individuals. Each of the 34 StrengthsFinder® themes have their own specific needs, here we look more at the needs of the 4 Domains. What do they need in order to thrive?

Strategic Thinking Domain

Themes: Analytical®, Context®, Futuristic®, Ideation®, Input®, Intellection®, Learner® and Strategic®.

The Strategic Thinking Domain sets the direction and the best way forward. They provide the ‘What’ of what we need to do.

Give them a challenge or a problem to solve and they will take the commitment seriously. They need the facts, the raw data and lots of it. They want to gather in all the information to make the right decisions so need answers to their searching questions. Often they need time to think, sometimes alone, to deeply concentrate on getting to the heart of the matter.

When they arrive at what to do and the reasons why, they want to be taken seriously. All the effort in coming up with the plan needs appreciation and action. The best people to broadcast the message and get things moving are the Influencers.

Influencing Domain

Themes: Activator®, Command®, Communication®, Competition®, Maximizer®, Self-Assurance®, Significance® and Woo®.

Described as the powerhouse of motivation the Influencing Domain needs two distinct things. A solid message to convey and an audience to energise.

Taking the ‘what’ and the reasons ‘why’ from the Strategic Thinkers, the Influencers deliver the compelling message. They want to bring everyone on board and get things moving. Without a clear vision or pathway, their message may sound hollow or they could set out in the wrong direction.

With such a powerful message they want to be heard and understood so they can engage their audience and share the way forward. They cannot operate in a vacuum, give them the space to get excited, the freedom to move, opportunities to expand their network and let them know that they are creating an impact.

Relationship Building Domain

Themes: Adaptability®, Connectedness®, Developer®, Empathy®, Harmony®, Includer®, Individualization®, Positivity® and Relator®.

Those in the Relationship Building Domain put people first. They value the people perspective and want to understand each person for who they are, then help them find their role in the team. They need time for social interactions and opportunities to help people grow. Emotions are important to them and they need the space for expression. They value each other and seek to do the right thing.

Give them the overall perspective so they can see how their work fits into the big picture. They want to involve the right people for the right roles and have the flexibility to customise a solution. They want to fully understand each person so they can smooth out the areas of friction and create a cohesive team.

Executing Domain

Themes: Achiever®, Arranger®, Belief®, Consistency®, Deliberative®, Discipline®, Focus®, Responsibility® and Restorative®.

The Executing Domain delivers the goods, they are the workhorse in getting things done, and they do it well.

They need a goal, a target or a clear set of objectives. Understanding the expectations of the task is essential to knowing when their work is complete so they can celebrate and move on. They work tirelessly and need to keep busy with time and opportunities to plan ahead. They don’t need detailed instructions as they can work out the best way to do the job. However, they do need the flexibility to provide structure and create an efficient process. Give them the autonomy to make decisions and get on with the task. Trust them to deliver on time without close monitoring and they will see the task through to completion.

Synergy Between Domains

There is a close correlation between the Strategic Thinking and the Influencing Domains where they need each other. One sets out the direction and the other provides the inertia to get moving. These are ‘Point and Go’ Domains.

The Relationship Building and the Executing Domains determine who is the best person for the job and how to do it. Working closely together they provide the engine room of the team. However if they ignore those in the Strategic Thinking and the Influencing Domains, they may function well and do things efficiently, but are they doing the right things?

Many people have dominant themes in more than one Domain so they can adapt according to the requirement. Be aware that their needs may fluctuate in line with the themes they are choosing to use most intently.

To boost the effectiveness of a Domain which may be lacking, focus on providing the specific needs for that Domain. This encourages the best contributions for that part of the team.

Recognising the specific needs for each Domain is an essential part of drawing out the best of the team. In Gallup’s Q12 Index the second question is “Do you have the tools and equipment to do your work right?” This is equally true for the Domains, let them know what is expected (Question 1) and provide the right environment and resources for them to thrive.