Personal thinking styles
My primary thinking style is affiliative (99 percent) while my backup thinking style is dependent. May primary thinking style can be characterized as constructive. The term “constructive” relates to the styles, associated with self-enhancement and the capability of choosing the mode of behavior that can contribute to the improvement of one’s level of satisfaction. Apart from these characteristics, it is worth mentioning an ability to design healthy relationships with people and accomplish tasks in a proficient manner. As opposed to my primary thinking style, my backup style is passive or defending style.
Passive (defensive) styles are concerned with self-promoting thinking and behaviours that are aimed at protecting one’s position and emphasizing security needs.
Affiliative scale is designed in order to measure the extent to which an individual is committed to forming and sustaining healthy and mutually satisfying relationships with people. The ones, whose primary style is affiliative, tend to value relationships above everything all. It is important for these people to build meaningful relationships that are capable of surviving, despite misunderstandings or conflicts. The peculiarity of this style is associated with having developed interpersonal skills (Human Synergetics, 2014).
While affiliative style concentrates on building relationships with other people, dependent style is concerned with fulfilling one’s need for security and self-protection. Dependent people are usually too much concerned with pleasing people, and can be easily influenced by others. They usually lack self-respect and inner force in order to encourage other people to take an independent action (Human Synergetics, 2014.
I only partially agree with the results of the LSI. While I am confident that my primary thinking style is affiliative, I think that a humanistic-encouraging style is more inherent for me than the dependent one. I can substantiate this statement by referring to their numerous manifestations in my professional and personal life. Both at work and in my daily life I emphasize the value of good relationships with people and believe that relationships need to be sustainable and mutually encouraging. Therefore, I am always attentive and well-wishing to my colleagues, family members and friends. Having sustainable relationships with many people helps me get them involved into the implementation of my ideas and projects. At the same time, I often participate in the initiatives and projects, launched by friends (namely, the social ones). Commitment to assisting people with professional and personal growth can be viewed as the inherent trait of my character. At school, I helped many of my classmates with managing their homework; nowadays I continue helping some of my friends with formulating their professional goals. Some time ago I even thought about becoming a personal couch after I reach particular level of success in my profession.
Despite the fact that I consider that humanistic-encouraging style better characterizes the way I think than the dependent style, I cannot help mentioning that my work and daily life events know examples of my inclination towards dependent style. For instance, I am often easily influenced by other people’s opinions and choices, and tend to misinterpret other people’s opinions and tastes for the mine. This peculiarity of my behavior tends to manifest itself during discussions or in situations, when I need to make a choice (e.g., in a shop or a café).
I think that particularly dependent style can be viewed as my limiting style. I consider it capable of exerting limiting influence on my professional effectiveness in an organization due to several reasons. Firstly, it is often hard for me to make my own decisions and not to change them, despite the fact that other people might be not pleased with them. Secondly, as I am easily influenced by people, other people can prevent me from effective leadership. Thirdly, people with dependent style can demonstrate passive attitude.
If I become less easily influenced by other people, my decisions will become more independent. So, I will be able to meet my goals quicker and use my affiliative style of thinking to get others involved.
Impact on management style
Affiliative style can be helpful in planning, because it allows distributing tasks fairly among a well-built team and help people get the tasks they like due to knowing them well. Humanistic-encouraging style can be of use, if somebody lacks confidence in his/her capabilities of coping with particular task. Dependent style is likely to exert negative influence on planning, because effective planning is incompatible with passive attitude, and needs to be based on manager’s personal understanding of the way to act, free of excessive influence of other people.
Organizing can hardly be imagined without sustaining relationships with members of the team and encouraging people to deal with different tasks. Thus, affiliative and humanistic-encouraging styles are vital for effective organization. Dependent style may be associated with difficulties, such as the need to insist on my own vision and decisions, as well as cope with teammates’ influences.
Affiliative and humanistic-encouraging styles can be helpful foe effective leadership with the application of democratic leadership styles. Having sustaining relationships with teammates helps to get to know their strengths and weaknesses and motivate them. Bring influenced by other people or dependent on them exerts highly negative impact on leadership.
Affiliative thinking style is good for controlling, because staff members are not afraid of a manager and do not try to deceive him. Dependent style can prevent on from being resolute, when being suspicious of someone.
Genesis of personal style
I have developed affiliative style of thinking due to the fact that since childhood I have always been surrounded by family and friends, and have felt the great role these people have played in my life. Furthermore, I have taken part in many projects that presumed team work, therefore, I consider sustaining relationships and being capable of motivating and supporting others very important for work, and apply significant efforts to develop these skills. I have also read significant amount of literature, dedicated to interpersonal relationships and communication, so the way I deal with people is substantiated theoretically.
As for dependent style, it seems to me that it stems from the relationships with elder friends I tended to communicate with, when being at school. I respected my friends, and even tried to copy them. Thus, I have become used to being influenced by other people’s opinions. Furthermore, when I was a child, my parents did not use to consult me, when making decisions, concerned with me. While many children choose to resist, I found acceptance to be a more suitable way for me.
Conclusion and reflection
The styles that influence my behavior the most are affiliative and dependent. While affiliative style is constructive and helpful in dealing with managerial tasks, dependent behavior can prevent a manager from coping with his tasks effectively. Therefore, I am aiming at coping with my weaknesses, associated with dependent style. My major goal in terms of the course is becoming less dependent on others’ opinions and decisions.
Human synergetics (2014). Lifestyle inventory & Myers-Briggs type indicator. A comparison of two surveys. Retrieved 15 May 2014 from http://www.humsyn.be/LSI%20-%20MBTI%20Comparison.pdf