Leadership and Organizational Behavior
Keller Graduate School of Management
May 19, 2010
Timothy S. Mowbray, DM
My Life Styles Inventory
In my Leadership and Organizational Behavior class, I had the task of completing a Life Styles Inventory Survey to come up with a self-description of my thinking styles. The goal of this exercise is to find out how thinking styles may influence my behavior as a manager and to help me to determine how to use the results for self-improvement. After taking this inventory, my circumplex shows that my primary thinking style is affiliative (2 o’clock position) and my back up thinking style is conventional (4 o’clock position). I can identify with the affiliative style of thinking; however, I do not believe the conventional thinking style is a true depiction of the way I think. Part I: “Primary” and “Backup” Thinking Styles
According to the LSI results, the customized interpretation of the affiliative scale measures a degree of commitment to forming and sustaining satisfying relationships (http://www.humansynergistics.com/system/affiliative.aspx). This is an accurate description of how I think about relationships in my life. In grade school, classmates would constantly try to pick fights with me and I always had to defend myself. I often questioned who my friends were because the people who I thought were my friends would turn on me in an instant. From that point, I have had the need to build strong, meaningful relationships with people and I have a strong desire to be well-liked by others. I value relationships above everything else, and will go out of my way to help people. I am, considerably, more comfortable with people who I have strong, emotional, and social ties to. I have tried to develop strong relationships with coworkers, customers, and new acquaintances when the opportunity arises. I am committed to developing lasting, amicable working relationships with coworkers and clients or others such as neighbors, the parents of my son’s friends, or teachers at my son’s school. The affiliative thinking style is apparent with my strong, finely tuned, interpersonal skills, my tendency to value relationships and to motivate others by using praise, open/honest communication, and compassion towards people. My “Backup” thinking style as shown on the circumplex is conventional. I don’t identify with this style because this style is characterized by a preoccupation in holding fast to rules and customary procedures, blending in or remaining inconspicuous so that a person can keep themselves from being noticed (http://www.humansynergistics.com/system/conventional.aspx). I would describe myself as unique and not afraid to venture out and try new things. When I was in my early twenties, I pursued a modeling career. I was fortunate enough to move to Phoenix, AZ and attend a modeling school, which got me ready to compete in a national modeling convention in New York, NY. If I were conventional in my thinking, I would have never attempted to travel across the globe to pursue a profession as competitive as modeling. I lived in New York and Germany where I modeled in runway shows in front of many people. Although I only scored in the 57th percentile in achievement thinking style, on this survey, I feel that I can identify more with the constructive style and not at all with the conventional, (passive/defensive) style. I set goals and consistently accomplish tasks, which are both achievement-oriented strengths. I consider myself to be ambitious, realistic, enjoy challenges, and have a high level of aspiration and good analytical skills to name a few, which are also traits of the achievement thinking style. “Limiting” Style
I have chosen the dependent thinking style as one that might be working against me to reduce my professional effectiveness as a manager. I say this because, I can be overcautious at times, I have an...