Self-Reflection of Leadership Styles
Life Styles Inventory (LSI) is a survey that “measures 12 specific styles of patterns of thinking that can either help or hinder a person from reaching his or her potential” (Human Synergistics). Human behavior is a perplex issue and is most often influenced by culture, religion, education, value systems, ethnic and other factors. Individuals often know what drives there particular styles but unless studied they may not know what their strengths and weaknesses actually are. The LSI survey identifies three specific styles of behavior; constructive, passive/defensive and aggressive/defensive styles. I completed the survey and it identified my highest percentile score and personal thinking style according to my circumplex is both Humanistic-Encouraging and Affiliative. I received identical scores for my primary thinking style – 38% Raw Score and 93% Percentile Score. The raw score is a range from 0 to 40 and the percentile score represents my results compared to 9,207 individuals who previously the LSI survey (Human Synergistics). My back-up and second highest score was identified as Achievement with a Raw score of 39% and a percentile score of 95%. Lastly, my limiting style and lowest score is Avoidance, with a raw score of 5% and a percentile score of 50%.
Humanistic-Encouraging, Affiliative, and Achievement styles are all constructive styles, while avoidance is a passive-defensive thinking style. After completing the survey and reviewing the results I do think that the survey is very accurate in assessing my thinking styles. According to the LSI the constructive styles “reflect self-enhancing thinking and behavior that contribute to ones level of satisfaction, ability to develop healthy relationships and work effectively with people, and proficiency at accomplishing tasks (Human Synergistics). I think it’s accurate that the survey identified constructive thinking style as my primary and back-up style of thinking. To be “constructive” is to be helpful to people and things, and to promote improvement or development (Merriam-Webster’s, n.d.). I am a very helpful individual in my personal and professional life. I am results driven and I closely relate to humanistic-encouraging, affiliative and achievement styles. Humanistic–Encouraging style “represents the most effective use of such human relations skills as listening and demonstrating genuine concern for others, your score indicates that you tend to use these skills regularly and proficiently” (Human Synergistics). The article goes on the say that “your ability to combine an acceptance of others as they are with the inspiration and encouragement they need to become even better is what makes you a valuable mentor, manager, co-worker worker, and friend” (Human Synergistics). It is extremely important for me to help others and to be understanding of others situations. In my family I have a sister with 3 children; I call the kids weekly to see if they need anything that their mother can’t get for them. I am very understanding of my sister’s situation and of the kids situation,
I believe that if I can help in any way to make someone’s life easier then I should. At work, I have receptionist under me and I am constantly asking if they need any help from me, I try to guide them and their work. I try to make them understand the importance of their work and how beneficial it is to the company and me. I would agree with having a high quality of human relation skills. Affiliative Style “You tend to be most effective and comfortable in the company of others. You will generally strive to improve and maintain those relationships that are important to you. You value teamwork, cooperation and mutually rewarding relationships. You express your liking for a people, and because you are tactful and considerate of others’ feelings, they tend to like you in return” (Human Synergistics).
I definitely value my relationships with other people, often time I go above and beyond to improve and maintain relationships, and to ultimately cultivate win-win relationships personally and professionally. My professional relationships are all positive relationships, when disagreements arise, my style really helps because I am all about “teamwork” and my tactfulness creates a positive atmosphere no matter the situation. My back-up style is Achievement and the site describes that I “derive satisfaction from setting and being guided by your own goals, and may have a tendency to impose these goals on others, unthinkingly and without malice. To encourage achievement-oriented thinking, it is more effective to help others discover for themselves, as you have, the power of personal goal setting” (Human Synergistics). I am driven by results and goal-orientated, I believe that I should always strive for better, this is the exact reason that I am currently pursuing my Master’s Degree. I also encourage others around me not to be complacent in life and to always strive for better in life. My limiting style of thinking was identified as Avoidance and I scored in the low range, the site states that “You probably prefer to confront things rather than avoid them.
You may have many effective qualities, including a healthy sense of self-worth. You seldom experience significant doubt over your ability to deal with problems, and are usually not afraid to take occasional risks” (Human Synergistics). The above statement relates to me in how they are explaining the term avoidance, however, when I first saw the term avoidance I did not think that it applied to me. After reading more about the term it states that you may have difficulty making decisions, pre-occupied with my own concerns, and recently experienced something traumatic or disappointing. I identify with each of these points, and this is why I rated a low level of avoidance. When making group decisions, I focus more on what the group wants and what other would prefer instead of what I want. I know what decision I would make for myself, but I will not state it because I don’t want to impose my ideas on other people, as I feel I sometimes can do. Also, I am going through a traumatic event, as my mother passed away one year ago and I am sure this has affected my leadership style. So after researching avoidance and understanding that it is the lowest scored event in the survey I would have to agree with it and I do think that I can learn from this event the most. I do think that I will be a better leader once I am no longer preoccupied with my own concerns, make clear decisions and once I deal with my personal experiences. I can see how my personal style impacts my management style in a positive way. Professionally, I am not a manager; however, I manage receptionists’. My personal styles listed above effect my management style in planning, organizing, leading and controlling.
Planning involves scheduling and forecasting for future events. My Humanistic-Encouragement style helps in leadership and planning because I am able to encourage employees to strive for excellence and I am able to inspire them to do a good job. In planning, it is important to see your goal as a perfect outcome and to begin your goal with a vision. My personal affililative style helps in planning because it involves me be tactful and considerate. I think that being considerate is important in making plans, you can have a goal, but if it interferes with a coworker’s work or other events then your goal will not be met. It is important to be tactful and also make sure that your goal will be met, in a timely manner. It is important to teach as a leader, not only to plan effectively, but to efficiently know how to plan. I always make sure that my employees know what the vision of any project is and what role there role plays in that vision. Organizing is the second step in management and it is very helpful to have both an affiliative and achievement style of thinking. Being affiliative helps me to inspire teamwork and cooperation in employees. When organizing information, you sometimes have to work with many people, this involves patience and cooperation. I have a receptionist who is assisting the Training department enter data into a new training system; she can’t do her work until she gets it from other departments. Because of my affiliative style of leadership she understands that she has to be a team player and work well with others to effectively do her job. She tactfully communicates with others to get the information that she needs and she always completes her tasks on time.
The third style is Leading and I think that the Achievement style is the most helpful thinking style in leading. I am guided by results and I train my employees not to be side tracked by missteps, because missteps will always happen, but when you focus on the goal at hand you can never fail. And finally controlling is the last function of management and the Achievement style of thinking helps to effectively identify deviations from your goal and to meet the goal at hand. As I stated in the Leading stage of management it is important that you are guided by results and that you also review your results and make changes when necessary. My personal thinking style is very interesting to me, I think that I have a great set of styles to be a great leader. Think survey allowed me to take an introspective look on my strengths and limitations. I see how I use these styles in my daily life and I also see how my limitation places limits in my leadership. It is important to build on my weakness, Avoidance, and create it into a strength. This survey has helped me to become a better leader.
When taking an introspective look on the survey I noticed that I received all three constructive styles, Humanistic–Encouraging, Affiliative and Achievement style from my mother. My mother was a Finance Manager, that I work for approximately 3 years and Im not surprised that I received her style of leadership. I studied her style in management, and while I didn’t agree with everything, I find myself doing some of the same things. My mother had an employee who was constantly late to work, 15-20 min, 2-3 times per week. My mother never said much about the employees attendance. I didn’t like that she was always late and wondered why my mother allowed it, my mother told me that she had 5 children and was one of the best employees she had. I was faced with an employee with other issues, but she is the best that I have seen, it think it is important to try and teach, and always condemn your employees. You have to also value and stand for your employees. I would add that school has also affected my leadership style, by learning what the most effective ways to lead are. I have been president and secretary of organizations and these were my first introductions to leadership, so it definitely helped mold me. In Leadership and Organization Behavior I am glad that I have identified my strengths and weaknesses and I hope to build on my strengths and to learn how to effectively manage my weaknesses. I have learned a great deal with the LSI survey and think that it is beneficial to any leader to understand there style.
Human Synergistics. (n.d.). Retrieved from
http://www.survey-server2.com/lsiuniversity-sso/part_menu.asp Constructive. (n.d.). Merriam-Webster.com. Retrieved January 19, 2014, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/constructive