Analysing your leadership style
The aim is to provide you with an opportunity to explore your own leadership style with some data-driven self-reflection. The assessment task consists of the completion of a series of diagnostic tools that relate to, or bear upon, your current leadership style, including a 360-degree evaluation by others of your leadership style. You are expected to analyse, reflect on and then comment on the results of those diagnostics and relate them to your own experience and understanding of leadership.
1. Complete the self diagnostic instruments that are located in the Study Guide under Topic 2 (pp. 17–32) and related readings. The instruments are:
a. Personal values: Complete Reading 2.1 and then do Activity 2.1 (p. 20).
b. Self-awareness assessment: Complete Reading 2:1 and then do Activity 2.3 (p. 21) which comprises four ‘self-assessment surveys’:
– self-awareness evaluative survey, page 96
– locus of control scale, page 101
– the cognitive style instrument, page 99
– tolerance of ambiguity scale, page 103.
c. Fundamental interpersonal relations orientation – behaviour (FIRO–B). Complete Reading 2.3 and then do Activity 2.4 (p. 22). (Be sure to include a comparison of your scores to the benchmarked scores.)
d. Personal style inventory: Complete Reading 2.4 and then do Activity 2.5 (p. 22).
e. Emotional intelligence: Complete Readings 2.5 & 2.6, and then do Activity 2.6 (p. 23).
f. Behavioural role profile: Complete Reading 2.7 and then do Activity 2.7 (p. 23).
For the remaining instruments, you need to arrange to have others complete the instrument and thereby receive 360 degree feedback. This means that, as well as completing the instruments, you need to have AT LEAST 3 others complete them too. A minimum of three is necessary in order to derive meaningful results. If possible, try and arrange to have someone in a supervisory/senior role to you complete the survey instrument (the person you report to), 1–2 colleagues at the same level, and 3–5 people who report to you. This is not always possible, but at least try and get three people who know you well enough in your work context. If you are not currently working in an organisation or in a leadership role then ask people from a previous organisation, failing that, ask your colleagues and/or close friends to assist in the 360-degree evaluation. A minimum of 3 people is necessary, but remember the more people, the more reliable the average ratings will be and the more valuable the exercise.
While it may not be possible, a 360-degree evaluation is best undertaken in conditions where your 360-degree participants remain anonymous. To achieve this, ask them to complete the diagnostic instruments in such a way that their handwriting could not be identified and then arrange for them to return the instruments to an independent third party (a colleague not involved in the process) as the collection point. Ask the third party to hold the instruments until all have been submitted to them. In addition, use pseudonyms or codes for organisations and for people to protect privacy and confidentiality.
Be sure that you make copies of these instruments before you complete them so that you have clean copies to send to other people.
g. Servant leadership: Complete Reading 2.8 and then do Activity 2.8 (p. 26).
h. Leader behaviour analysis (LBA): Complete Reading 2.9 and then do Activity 2.9 (p. 27).
i. Personality profile: Complete Reading 2.10 and then do Activity 2.10.
Once you have fully completed all the instruments and derived the required scores, enter those scores into the ‘leadership attributes’ proforma found at the end of Topic 2 of the Study Guide.
2. Based on the scores and data recorded you need to reflect on them and consider what they might mean for you and your leadership approach. You need to write a report in the manner suggested below that contains your scores but also your reflections and a consideration of how this all relates to theory and research on leadership. As a guideline you should seek to respond to the following questions (these are a guideline only and you may go beyond them):
a. What do the instruments tell you or suggest about how your various value-positions, attributes and preferences relate to your leadership approach and style?
b. Reflect on the information derived from the instruments and discuss the extent to which they match with your experience, including the feedback you may have received from others.
c. How do you and others characterise your leadership style?
d. What do you regard as your leadership strengths and weaknesses?
e. How does your self-reflection compare with the 360-degree evaluation of others (that is, is there a coherence between how you see yourself and how you are seen by others)? And what does that tell you about your leadership style?
f. How does your leadership style compare with the ones you have studied so far in this unit?
g. Which of the leadership models/theories presented in the unit do you relate most closely to? Why?
h. Identify two or three aspects of your leadership that you would like to develop further.
Remember, it is not just completing the instruments that is important, but reflections on what they mean for your leadership style, how that compares to other leaders, and seeking to relate your discussion to the various research, models and theories.
3. Write up the report. The report should have the following structure:
a. Introduction. This section outlines the task and introduces the rest of the report to the reader. It relates what is being considered and discussed to the notion of leadership, the notion of self-awareness and the relationship between them. It provides some contextual background about you, the focus of the investigation.
b. Methodology. This section briefly describes the methods you used to generate the data that is the basis for your analysis and reflection.
c. Results. This is another brief section that presents the results of the data collection. This includes reproducing the proforma in a properly completed manner (the proforma should contain most of your results), but you should provide more information that just the proforma.
d. Discussion. This section is the heart of the assignment and contains your assessment and discussion of what results show. It consists of your discussion of each of the questions set out in (2) above and more if you wish.
e. Conclusion. This section brings the paper to a conclusion. You should summarise the key messages of the investigation. You should relate the results and discussion to your own context and to theory and research. You should discuss the areas for future development that you have identified (this should feed directly into Assignment 2).
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