Morgan Browning

Morgan Browning- President | Emergenetics International

With Emergenetics, one will often hear us tout the benefits of authentic leadership. Be true to who you are and lead through your strengths. Emergenetics also encourages the tailoring of your own actions to better suit the preferences of others- what’s known as adaptive leadership.

The two can work in support of each other, both go back to the root principles of Emergenetics, and can enhance your overall effectiveness as a leader. Based on what I understand about my own Profile and those profiles of the individuals around me, through adaptive leadership I can leverage the appropriate language that corresponds to how the other person will best receive my message.  And while I am accepting of other people’s Profiles, I also ask my colleagues to accept mine. It’s a two way street.

I am a 3/3 Assertive. Sometimes I can come across as overbearing and this can distract others’ attention. With this awareness, I invite the members of the team to inform me when my style is too much, and, in turn, I’ll do my best to tone it down. In this scenario, trust and respect fosters an open dialogue about what they need to be successful in a given situation. When we honor each other’s preferences, we both win.

This was illustrated during a recent conversation I had with a leader in our organization who has a blue/green/red thinking preference with behaviors in the first third. I approached the manager in a panic, seeking an answer as to why a particular task was not completed. My style, while well intentioned, came off as brusque, pushy, and ultimately unhelpful for the situation.  Immediately the manager responded, “You’ve told me to tell you when I need you to calm down. This is one of those times.” So, I did exactly that.  I took a minute to enter a productive, calmer space where we could speak. He informed me that the task was actually a top priority for the team and a full action plan was in place to address the issue.

These subtle adaptations make significant differences in my relationships with my colleagues.  Because I honored his preferences, he in turn honored mine by voicing his needs, and ultimately we were able to have a productive conversation. It comes back to respect and trust. With Emergenetics, we see this as part of the “adult contract.” In other words, acting and treating others like professionals and adults who are working towards the common good. The adult contract says that we focus on solutions and collective good rather than blame and personal advancement. I know that people on my team will do things differently based on their Profile. And I embrace this fact. My job as the leader is to set the expectations from the beginning, and help the team craft a vision to achieve the overall objectives.

And then I get out of the way and allow people to work in their own preferred manner. I am available if they need me, and my goal is to create accountability without being a micromanager. With the adult contract in place and a culture that honors individual strengths, the team can push themselves and thrive in their own preferred way- and still achieve the end goal that I had in mind.

It seems simple, but it’s easier said than done.

It centers on a culture of trust, respect, and open communication. Adaptive leadership is a catalyst for empowering your team to work in the way that is best for them. By honoring the strengths of others, leaders can convey a higher level of appreciation and confidence than one who simply approaches the situation from their own perspective. By embracing this style, an adaptive approach can ultimately bolster your authentic leadership.