Should I change my style to fit in with my workplace culture?
That’s a tricky and complicated question… “should I change my style?” In this week’s #askingforafriend on the road, I come to you from Montreux, Switzerland, and the famous Freddie Mercury statue.
Clearly, Freddie Mercury had a unique style of his own. He was not afraid to be who he was in a way that was unlike no one else. And the real magic happened when he worked WITH his band (team) in deep collaboration. He stood out and fit in at the same time.
So here’s the question.
“I take my leadership very seriously. I take my career very seriously. And, I have worked to hone my style to something that feels really good to me. And recently, I got some feedback from someone who matters who told me I need to make adjustments to my style to better fit in with our culture. What should I do?”
Over the years, I’ve been SO GRATEFUL for truly helpful feedback that has influenced my leadership and helped me hone my influence and impact. There is no question that I’m a better leader and I’m better at growing leaders because of all the wonderful people who’ve invested in me with vital feedback and helped me change my style. I’ve worked hard to hone my style to be authentic and effective.
And, in my corporate executive role, I received SOME advice about my style that I COMPLETELY IGNORED that did not prompt me to change my style.
- Nope, I won’t smile less.
- No, my team isn’t having too much fun. (Have you SEEN our amazing results?)
- And no way am I taking your advice to invest $3000 dollars in shoes.
How to fit in while standing out
When you find yourself asking “Do I need to change my style? Do I need to fit in?” Try this…
- Connect with your personal and professional values, style, and strengths. Identify what makes you a unique leader.
- Connect with your peers – explore how your leadership style impacts people positively and where you’re not having the impact and influence that you would like.
- Understand what matters most in your culture, and what it will take for you to be effective.
When you’ve taken all of those opportunities to connect and really understand them, now you have some choices to make. You can choose when and how to adapt for greater influence and impact, and which elements of your style and your superpower that you don’t want to lose– even if some others think you should change.
What would you add? I’m curious. How would you answer this complicated question, “should I change my style?”
See these related articles:
How do I Change My Reputation as a Leader?
How to Improve Your Executive Presence to Have More Influence and Impact