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Reflecting on the Results of Life Style Inventory

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Reflecting on the Results of Life Style Inventory

Leadership and Organizational Behavior

Part I: Personal Thinking Styles

After completing the LSI, the scores revealed that my primary thinking style, with a percent style of 90 percent, was Affiliative 2 o'clock position. The LSI describes Affiliative individuals as thriving and feeling comfort when in a group setting, valuing relationships in both a personal and business level, genuinely caring for others and motivating others to thrive. This style also lies under the Constructive style in the circumplex. The Constructive style, which lies above the 11, 12, 1, and 2 o'clock positions, describes how people are good at forming relationships with people and building trust so that as a group they can successfully complete tasks. Motivation comes within to achieve satisfaction. This style best describes who I am as person in a professional setting as well as when I am with family and friends. Shortly after being hired as a Rep, in an effort to get to know and develop relationships with my other team members, I had an urge to join the Recognition team. As a team, our task was to organize events through out the year to show appreciation for our customer service department. I enjoyed being in the company of my teammates. I listened to their opinions and motivated them when needed. I developed trust with my team by always offering help, like when we had to decorate the office area on a Sunday afternoon, knowing it was done on personal time. As a result each event was organized and was a success. I agree with the LSI result describing my primary style as being Affiliative. My urge of wanting to be in the company of people, feeling needed and helping others makes me feel satisfied and accomplished. In fact I feel most happy when I'm in the company of my friends and family versus being alone.

My backup thinking style, with also a 90 percent, was Dependent 5 o'clock position. I choose to pick this style versus a lesser percent style because I was most surprised by this result. LSI describes the Dependent style as people's needs to please others, feel a sense of helplessness, easily influenced by others, having a lack of self respect which results in difficulty to accomplish goals and tasks. Dependent people tend to follow and often feel that their efforts do not make a difference. This style lies under the Passive/Defensive style in the circumplex, which lies above the 3, 4, 5, and 6 positions. The Passive/Defensive styles describe behavior that fulfils personal security needs when interacting with others (LSI). Initially, after viewing the results and seeing that I also scored high under Dependent style, I disagreed with the results. I view myself as an independent person, a leader, a person most people depend on, very social, and self motivated to accomplish goals. However, after some thought I do have to agree that I attribute some dependent behaviors. For example, as a newly hire Customer Service Rep I felt very dependent on others for help when performing transactions in our system. I didn't feel comfortable processing orders and asked for help often. This resulted in my feeling helpless and unaccomplished. Another example of my being dependent is, when asked about suggestions to better our team in Quarterly meetings, I often stay quiet and listen to other's suggestions because I feel that my ideas are not good enough or won't be addressed. Another behavior that is dependent that I often struggle with is my inability to say "no" to people. I want people to accept me, so to please them, I agree to many things. When asked to translate for other departments, even though I am not obligated to, I accept, even if I am to stay over to complete my daily tasks. No is not a word I often use. I volunteered to be a children's Bible school teacher at my church because I didn't want to disappoint my mother and the sister who asked me. They influenced me tremendously and got me to accept. I was not aware of these dependent behaviors until now. Therefore, the Dependent style is one that is limiting me to succeed in my professional growth. My goal, after receiving my MBA with a concentration of Human Resource, is to manage an HR department. As a leader, one can't have such dependent behaviors. As a leader must be able to lead and not rely on others for direction or have others easily influence you. The dependent behavior, that I have recently realized I have and would like to change, is self doubting. I often doubt my own decisions for feel of failure. I feel safer following status quo than coming up with new ideas that might lead to failure and humiliation. For example, if I never address my self doubting behavior and I become a manager of a customer service department, when asked to come up with a strategy to minimize the manual order process, my idea of the customers systematically entering their own orders would never be delivered. I would question the likely hood all customer would like to enter orders themselves. I would also question what program would we use to electronically enter the orders. I would feel insecure with details and dismiss this idea even though it would help my team tremendously in their high volume of order entry. As a manager, I have to believe in my ability and make decisions independently. Realizing my self worth would help lessen, if not, diminish my self doubt.

PartII : Impact on Management Style

One of the benefits of the LSI is that professional individuals can asses their styles and identify their areas of strengths and weaknesses in relations to their management skills. As a manager of a customer service department, with my primary style being Affiliative and back up style being Dependent, I struggle with being more people oriented and less task oriented. As a manger, planning is a function that one must do first in order to complete goals or tasks. By setting clear tasks for my team and providing them with the necessary tools in order to achieve those tasks is something I often do. For example, to better keep track of backorders and communicating those backorders and probable stock dates, I planned for my team to run a backorder report once a week in order for the customer to know what they have pending and when it is expected to ship. My Self-Actualization style is evident because I want my team to better serve the customer by providing them with crucial information on about their orders. When a customer is satisfied, when provided up to date information, my team develops a sense of contribution and self actualization that motivates them to perform better. Organizing is a function that is very important in my role. As a dependent, I struggle

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