Life Style Inventory Survey measures what motivates a person behavior, their thoughts and self-concept. The inventory is for self-discovery; it enables a person to take a revealing look at them and what makes them unique. The LSI enabled me to examine my own unique way of thinking and how it influenced my behaviors. Once I created a profile, I was able to determine what styles were working to my advantage and which ones where undermining my effectiveness. The LSI forced me to initiate positive changes in how I think and act; changes that can increase my personal and professional effectiveness.
Life Styles Inventory Results
The LSI heightened my self-awareness, and helped me to determine where I needed to direct my self-improvement efforts. The process of self-improvement involves certain steps. These steps include; knowing ones strengths and weaknesses, accepting yourself as you are now, understanding how ones thinking and behavior affect oneself and others, deciding to improve oneself, and committing to a plan of action to change ones behavior.
When I took the LSI I was it recognized two strong personal thinking styles. My primary (highest percentile score) and back-up (second highest percentile score) personal thinking styles are oppositional and dependent. The oppositional scale measures ones tendency to use the defensive and aggressive strategy of disagreeing with others, and to seek attention by being critical and cynical. Oppositional people typically love to argue and have a fear of getting close to people.
In general, this style is characterized by: the ability to ask tough, probing questions, a tendency to make others feel uncomfortable, a tendency to seem aloof and detached from people, and a need to look for flaws in everything. The dependent scale measures the degree to which one feels he/she efforts do not count. Dependent behaviors originate in a need for security and self-protection and often feel he/she has very little control over their lives. This type of behavior can be long-standing, or due to temporary life changes such as a new job, promotion, an illness, or the break-up of a close relationship. In general, this style is characterized by: a passive attitude, feelings of helplessness, difficulty making decision, the presence of rapid change or traumatic set-backs in one’s life and an over-concern with pleasing people. When I first read the results and definitions of each personal thinking style I was initially shocked.
I said to myself, “Is this really who I am?” But I had to take a step back from the situation and allowed myself to really learn how to improve myself. By accepting who I am now; will allow me to change and improve my way of thinking and ultimately my way of life for the future. Recently I have moved away from family and friends and started a new job. It is very stressful and I am constantly critiqued and question about the process or procedures I do. I believe this is where that dependent style plays its part in my life. As for the oppositional style, I have had to fight and claw my way in everything I do. Some life changing personal events and poor relationships make me to question future relationships, both personal and work related, but I never saw myself as cynical or sarcastic.
Oppositional reminded me of that negative person no one wants to be around and I was a little off put because that is not how I thought of myself. I have always thought of myself as a positive person, always encouraging others, a hard-worker who just wants to be a good example. However, deep down inside I question myself and others abilities. I seldom say what I really think and can be stubborn and slow to forgive. I believe the results of the Life Style Inventory survey opened my eyes and proved that I need to change my way of thinking. By changing my thought process I will be a better employee and leader, as well as a better sister, auntie, an all-around better person.
Personal Thinking Styles
The first step in self-improvement is understanding your strengths and weaknesses. This is one question that is typical in a job interview and also qualities people look at when developing relationships. Once you have truly examined your areas of weakness and strength you can then develop a plan to improve and enhance them. One style that I believe that isworking against me and reducing my overall effectiveness is my oppositional way of thinking. Oppositional scores in the high range like mine, indicates that I am skeptical towards others, extremely critical, and keep others away. I believe this style limiting my professional effectiveness because I am unable to effectively communicate with my co-workers or superiors.
I am skeptical of others intentions which make me more detached and distant at first. I also have tendency to hold back and not say what I am thinking. Working within an organization you have to be able to effectively communicate and if you are deliberately withholding your thoughts then you cannot be effective and an employee or a leader. A great example of this is recently during an observation by my supervisor, I was being critiqued on how I communicate with potential students. She stated that, “Nina, you seem unable to relate to certain demographics of students, those being middle age white women.”
She asked me why and what she could do to help me overcome this obstacle. Right there was a perfect time to give her a little background about myself but because I am skeptical of her intentions, I resisted and gave a half-hearted answer. I say on a daily basis that I have to improve on my communication skills. In order to do so I have to place more trust with the individual that will receive my conversation. A big part of being oppositional is lack of personal relationship and stubbornness that pushes people away. I want to be a leader one day in the community and within an organization. I understand that in order to do so, I must develop my communication skills and improve my mental attitude.
The Impact on Management Style
When it comes to the planning and organizing aspects of management I am confident in this area. I am somewhat of a perfectionist, so making sure everything is in order and everyone is doing their job is important. My personal styles play apart because my lack of trust will prevent me from trusting my coworkers to complete their tasks. This means I sometimes feel obligated to double work. However when it comes to leading and controlling this is where my personal thinking styles play a huge role. Oppositional managers are viewed more as a “watch dog” rather than a leader. Well I am not that extreme, I do watch over my employees making sure they are doing things correctly instead of trusting that my training has given them the skills needed to do the job accurately. I tend to be well-liked by co-workers and my subordinates. I demonstrate concern for staff members and their needs and emphasize teamwork.
Genesis of Personal Style
The LSI survey forced me to reflect on my past relationships, my culture, my family, and my life events that shaped me into these personal styles. It amazed me how the journey of my life shaped me into this person, some qualities I was aware of and others that I was in denial of. My parents have always placed a lot of pressure on me to be successful. I was the first in my family to graduate and my driving force was to be better than my parents. I played basketball in college and lost my scholarship after two years. It was during this time that all my trust for human beings was lost. I have always been a hard worker, never questioned myself or my abilities, but when that event to place it started a spiral effect of events in my life.
I bounced back from that incident and graduated school but kept quiet in class and never developed relationships. Before that incident I knew exactly what I wanted to be and after I have been lost. I know I want to start my own non-profit organization but lack the confidence to do so. I felt I was critiqued on things I had no control over and that could explain why I am so critical of people, because I believe people are critical of me. But it also taught me to be grateful. I never want anyone to feel the frustrations and confusion I did, so I can be very compassionate and understanding at times.
Conclusion and Reflection
I am thankful for this assignment, it taught me about who I am and not in a judgmental or offensive way. It made me aware of problems and behaviors that I need to correct and develop so I can be that woman that I have envisioned in my head. That strong positive leader, who everyone appreciates her critiques because they know it will make them better, that woman that despite life’s hiccups she bounced back, stronger, braver, and more successful than one could imagine. As I continue on this journey in MGMT 591, I pray that I continue this transition into this woman I dreamed of and become a better person, a better employee and a better leader. I believe this class will allow me that freedom to do so and give me the knowledge and skills I need to communicate effectively.