Critical leadership skills every business owner requires

14 July 2020

Rebecca White, Director of Financial Education |

The secret to great leadership isn’t hiding in the latest book or blog from your favourite business mentor. The single most important quality in a great leader is their level of emotional intelligence. Research shows the best performing leaders have 85 per cent emotional intelligence and 15 per cent technical skills.

Emotional intelligence and adapting communication styles are important factors for successful business leaders, influencing productivity, efficiency and team collaboration. Understanding your natural leadership style can help you communicate, influence and lead your staff more effectively.

The art of leadership is getting others to do their work well. This can only be done well through communication, persuading, listening, dialoguing, inspiring and motivating. And all of those are emotional intelligence skills.

Our Business Growth Program uses Extended DISC to show business leaders how to use their emotional intelligence to enhance communication and productivity in your staff.

What is Extended DISC?

Extended DISC is a simple work-based profiling tool measuring natural communication and behaviour styles. It can tell you a great deal about your communication and leadership style and how other people perceive you. 

The Extended DISC model divides people into four main behavioural styles: people-oriented, task-oriented, reserved or active. The resulting behavioural styles are called: D-style (Dominance), I-style (Influence), S-style (Steadiness) and C-style (Compliance).

What your DISC leadership style says about you

An Extended DISC assessment is a short questionnaire identifying your communication style and leadership strengths. It provides insight around how you communicate, how you make decisions and what motivates you. It also suggests what areas you could work on to be a better leader.

  • Active and task-orientated D-style leaders are decisive and in charge. You thrive in challenging situations and prefer quick, decisive action.
  • Social I-style leaders are also active but prefer to lead by involving and encouraging your team. Personal relationships are your forte, and you invite competitiveness through inspiration, not pressure.
  • More reserved and people-oriented S-style leaders are supportive and lead by example, which encourages loyalty. You like to plan and focus on agreed long-term goals.
  • Reserved and task-oriented C-style leaders emphasise quality, structure and compliance. You like to keep your distance, focusing on measurable and qualifiable tasks and goals.

How to use Extended DISC with your staff

Extended DISC is a valuable communication and leadership assessment tool, but it really comes into its own when applying the principles to understanding your staff’s communication styles.

  • How similar or different are your employees?
  • What changes could be made to improve staff communication and productivity in your team?
  • What areas have the greatest influence on performance?
  • If you were able to improve on these areas, what impact could that have on the business?
  • Is everybody in the right roles to make the most of their strengths?

Ready to learn more?

Our 12-month Business Growth Program includes a detailed module on Building a Great Team and leadership skills. The Program Facilitators are accredited in Extended DISC. They will show you how Extended DISC can get the right people into the right role and enhance staff communication and productivity in your team.

To find out more about the program, download our 12-month Business Growth Program curriculum.