Leading Forward: Damaris Hollingsworth on Adaptive Leadership

Leading Forward: Damaris Hollingsworth on Adaptive Leadership

The owner and principal of Design By Melo architecture firm on how to support employees with diverse points of view.

This month, I spoke to architect Damaris Hollingsworth, principal and owner of Design By Melo in St. Louis Park, about what it means to truly support employees.

Q. As a leader, how can you fully support and champion team members, even when their perspectives, ideas, and communication style differ from your own?

Damaris Hollingsworth:  “Leadership must be adaptive. People are different and because of that we need to understand that our natural leadership style will not work with every team member. It will work only with people who have personalities similar to ours.

We first need to learn about our teammates’ personalities–what inspires them, what excites them, and what causes them to shut down. We need to learn their skills and abilities in real life (not simply what is listed on their resume). Once we accept that we are different and may need different approaches to lead for different people, we will no longer see that as a misfit, but as an asset that makes our teams dynamic, interesting, and more reflective of the world that we live in. It is like in any relationship– you need to deliver your message, or your leadership, in a way the receiver understands and is able to act on.”

Read more from the June edition of TCB Forward.  And Sign up for Forward to be among the first to receive the next newsletter.