Leadership orientation

Nowadays, there is a number pf psychological tests, intended to measure leadership-related abilities as well as managerial style and orientation. In the present paper I would like to describe my own results of the following surveys: the Willingness-to-Communicate Scale; the Leadership Style Preferences Inventory; the McGregor Theory X and Y Surveys; the Followership Questionnaire, the Leadership Grid Survey and the Least Preferred Coworker Scale.

The Willingness-to-Communicate Scale

The Willingness-to-Communicate Scale was developed in order to determine the aspects of communication in which the individuals less competent or more suspicious, as in different environments individuals tend to express themselves in dissimilar ways. This survey first appeared to me strange, as it was difficult to recollect how often I wish to establish contact or communicate in certain situations.

The survey suggests that I am willing to interact with others in group discussions and during meetings, interpersonal conversations (the highest score) and when it is necessary to communicate with a friend, whereas I am probably a bit shy or insufficiently self-confident to speak on public, moreover, the results suggest that I almost never wish to converse with strangers. In the context of leadership, this test would probably indicate that it the work in HRM sphere would require of me additional adaptation, as sometimes I do not wish to establish rapport with strangers. On the contrary, I am a team player, who can maintain friendly relations and symmetric communication with trustworthy and reliable colleagues/inferiors.

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The Leadership Style Preferences Inventory

The Leadership Style Preferences Inventory demonstrates that I am bale to maximize human potential and encourage or motivate others, in addition, I often use empowerment and active listening as my tools.

Confidence and ability to innovate are less notable, but also represented in my personality, whereas I am not always capable of inspiring others – this means, I can provide psychological incentive to an individual, but not always invent new ways of inspiring, whereas the survey suggest that I will become a truly resourceful leader if I will view and analyze the related cases (as a component of my current studies) and try to generate alternatives to the decisions, made in the scenarios. My overall ability to lead is higher than medium, so it is natural for everyone to have weak points to reinforce.

The McGregor Theory X and Y Surveys

The McGregor Theory X and Y Surveys are in my opinion quite outdated, as this approach divides managers into merely two categories:  the category X managers are generally less ‘mature’ and ‘wise’ than those belonging to the latter group. As for me, the results suggest that I have more Y-characteristics, comparing to those attributed to X-managers.

This means, I am motivated first and foremost by higher psychological and cognitive needs like self-actualization and am more likely to motivate my inferiors rather than punishing or threatening them. In addition, the test shows that my negotiation strategies are based upon constructive discourse and attention to the opposing party’s interests. In addition, my approach to management if rather ‘futurological’, i.e. I seek to predict the long-term consequences, brought by my decisions and then find alternatives and options, which allow avoiding concrete negative outcomes.

Nevertheless, the test can be widely criticized, as the students, who attend leadership classes are likely to have already learned (cognitively, but not always in behavioral dimension) the patterns of performance, required of a ‘successful manager’ and simply put these patterns as their true leadership style.

The Followership Questionnaire

The Followership Questionnaire is primary aimed at measuring the person’s critical and independent thinking and the ability to engage actively into the superiors’ assignments and team discussions, as the authors believe they are the major prerequisites to effective followership. In my opinion, the ability to follow is to great extent an art, similarly to managerial talents and capacities.

My results suggest that I am an ‘exemplary follower, but due to the fact that I am often ‘consumed’ by my critical thinking, I might occasionally behave  like ‘alienated follower’. Positive followership  is an easy path to effective leadership, as independent followers, who contribute to group dynamics, are likely to ‘grow’ into confident leaders, who will be able to unite their team.

The Leadership Grid Survey

The results describe me as a ‘Middle of Road Manager’, who focuses on balancing between positive relationships and the accomplishment of certain organizational goals. This style often characterize inexperienced leaders, so I believe, after learning new skills, I will be able to avoid the possible ‘side effects’, related to the aforementioned ‘double policy’.

Furthermore, the results probably demonstrate that I am not confident enough, – in fact, the problems lies not in my ‘shyness’, but rather in my poor experience in managing people and controlling their commitment and performance – this means, I still haven’t clearly imagined management and leadership ‘in action’.

Least Preferred Coworker Scale

This survey is the most interesting, as it involves projective techniques. The results suggest that my orientations to relationships and tasks are almost equivalent, but the former aspect demonstrates 3-point higher result.  Thus, as a leader, I tend to take into consideration multiple factors and dimensions (although they are more than 2) of the same issue or problem and reasonably preserve positive relationships with my team, but conform only in those decisions, which seem rational and sound. Nevertheless, as a leader, I accept that humans are irrational creatures, who should be approached with basically positive cognitive constructs about them.

Conclusion

The above presented results characterize me as a flexible leader, who can find balance between tasks and relationships, opposing interests and confronting viewpoints. On the other hand, my flexibility if limited, since I don’t tend lose the ability to think critically and independently. On the other hand, my emotiveness is not enough to inspire my hypothetical team immediately, therefore I need to invent alternative means of empowerment.

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