Introduction to Life Styles Inventory

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Personal Thinking Styles

The Life Styles Inventory (LSI) was designed to help assess effectiveness in relationships on the job and support the development of interpersonal skills. This “road map” to self development was the brainchild of Dr.Clayton Lafferty. This survey of questions measures 12 key thinking styles, that are regarded to promote performance change and improve personal understanding of how our thinking affects our behavior. The 12 styles are categorized into three general clusters: Constructive, which includes Achievement, Self-Actualizing, Humanistic-Encouraging, and Affinitive thinking styles, Passive/Defensive, which includes Approval, Conventional, Dependent, and Avoidance thinking styles; Aggressive/Defensive, which includes Oppositional, Power, Competitive, and Perfectionist thinking styles. I must admit, I was quite hesitant about doing another self evaluation as they sometimes do not accurately reflect who you know yourself to be. After all, who knows you better than you do? Nevertheless, the purpose of this exercise was to help me discover how my thinking styles may or may not directly influence my behavior as a manager and could be a great asset in my endeavors for advancement. Primary and Backup Thinking Styles

After taking this self assessment, my circumplex shows the two styles with the greatest influences falls under the Constructive style and Passive/Defensive Patterns as displayed in Figure 1. It focuses in on my primary thinking style is Humanistic-Encouraging (1 o’clock position) and my back up thinking style is being Dependent (5 o’clock position).

Humanistic-Encouraging Style
I can identify with the Humanistic-Encouraging style because it does describe who I am in both my professional and personal life. This style measures our interest in people, our tendency to care about others, and our ability to accept without others without criticism. It is optimistic about what people can achieve and has the ability to inspire and motivate people around them. I have always been genuinely concerned about people in my life and I always want to focus on how I can help them grow and develop their skills. I see potential where other managers do not see and support aspirations that no one else thinks exist in people. I can’t help but nurture others. It is simply who I am.

Dependent Style
I somewhat disagree with the backup being Dependant as I do not believe this style of thinking is a true depiction of the way I think or see myself as a whole. This style measures the degree to which we feel our efforts do not count. This type of behavior derives from a need for security and self protection. People who fall under this style typically feel helpless with very little control over their lives. They lack self respect and always want to please others. This part could not be further from the truth about who I am. However, it does mention that dependent style people are passive which I am, and sometimes have a difficulty making hard decisions. A lot of this has to do with sudden changes or set back in our life. The latter can be found more in relation to my person life and not so much professional.

Limiting Style
It was hard to determine which style is limiting my effectiveness from looking at the chart. The obvious would be to select Oppositional; however, says that I an aggressive and like to argue would contradict me “Dependent quality of passiveness. I decided to go with is Conventional Style. This style I feel is most limiting in that being passive, causes me to want to simply blend in and conform even though my heart says I was made to stand out. The measure that best describes me is “the preoccupation of appearing normal and unquestioned obedience”. ( This style is most difficult for me because it is not who I am personally, but professionally it speaks truth. Coming from a managerial position to that of a subordate role at...
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