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The Champion Forum Podcast

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TCFP218: Leading Alpha Personalities

Thank you for listening to The Champion Forum Podcast with Jeff Hancher! Alpha personalities are confident, assertive, and driven individuals who have a strong desire to succeed. They can be highly effective but also present unique challenges for those who lead them. In this episode, we'll explore some strategies for effectively leading alpha personalities. By understanding their strengths and weaknesses and providing effective leadership, you can help them achieve their full potential and drive success within your organization.

Understanding The Alpha Personality Alpha personalities are often natural leaders who have a strong sense of self-confidence and ambition. They are assertive and are not afraid to take charge and make decisions. They may have a strong need for control and are usually highly competitive. Some may be outgoing and charismatic, while others may be introverted and analytical.

Employees with Alpha personalities often resist feedback and may have difficulty working collaboratively with others. They may also be prone to taking on too much work and may struggle with delegation and teamwork. They tend to dominate conversations and meetings, making it difficult for others to contribute.

Q: Have you ever worked with a person with an alpha personality? What else would you add to this description? How did their personality impact the workplace? Were you comfortable leading/working with them? Why or why not?

How to Help Alpha Personalities Reach Their Full Potential Provide clear expectations and goals As with any employee, your goal should be to help your team members with alpha personalities achieve their full potential. Set clear expectations and goals, and give them opportunities to take on new challenges and responsibilities. Ensure that the goals are reasonable and challenging. Remember, alpha personalities are natural competitors and enjoy a challenge.

Give feedback in a constructive way Alpha personalities may resist feedback, but it's essential to provide it constructively. Focus on specific behaviors and outcomes and offer suggestions for improvement. Many leaders default to providing direct feedback, but this is not the best strategy when dealing with an alpha personality. Instead, ask them questions instead of making statements. Work with them to identify their weaknesses or shortcomings, encourage them, and give them advice and next steps.

Encourage collaboration Alpha personalities tend to work independently, but collaboration can lead to more innovative solutions and better outcomes. Encourage them to work with others and give them opportunities to lead collaborative projects. One way to do this is by asking for their help instead of issuing a directive.

Provide opportunities for growth and development Alpha personalities are often driven to succeed and may be motivated by opportunities for growth and development. Offer them opportunities to learn new skills, take on new responsibilities, and advance within the organization. Understanding their strengths and putting them in situations and environments where they can use them will help them become a more engaged employee.

Q: What does an alpha personality bring to your team? How can you celebrate them as a resource? Which of these areas do you think you need to improve in? Are there any other personalities on your team that would benefit from a similar approach?

Application Activities:

  1. To be an effective leader, you need to understand the different personalities on your team. Many personality tests can help you understand your team. I have recommended the DiSC and Big 5 personality tests in the past, but you can use whatever test you are most comfortable with. When you look at the results, try to understand how each personality might respond to the other and potential sources of conflict. Consider how you can help manage the personalities on your team and help everyone succeed as a team.

  2. Alpha personalities want to succeed and challenge themselves. Make sure that you have a clear understanding of their professional goals so that you can create mentorship and development plans around them. Showing an alpha personality that you are supportive and intentional about their growth will help them be more engaged in the workplace and open to feedback.


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