Saturday, October 30, 2004

Cadre X: What is Your Myers-Briggs Leadershp Style?

Cadre X,
Time to dust off your Myers-Briggs results completed for Dr. Caesar's class this past summer.
Please respond to the following questions:

1. What are some of your leadership strengths based on your Myers-Briggs (MBTI) type?

2. Where are the areas that could use improvement?

3. What are some of the things you could do to improve your leadership skills?

*Answer by clicking on comments; be sure to include your name at the end of your post.

For descriptions of leadership styles for each individual type (i.e. ENFP)---
go to Cadre X's yahoo groups,
under files click on folder entitled "Psychodynm Group"

Click here to go there now...

Overview of the Psychodynamic Approach

  • Psychodynamic Approach to Leadership

    “...leaders can be more effective if they have insight into their own psychological make-up” (Northouse, 2004, p. 235 ).

    As the Psychodynamic Approach to Leadership title implies, this approach to leadership is evaluative to ones own psychological make-up and what motivates your (and the people around you) reactions to situations and your emotional responses. The intent of this approach is to improve the situation with you and your team members. By becoming more aware of their personality characteristics, they can then understand how they respond to the leader and to each other. Thus, an important function of the leader is to facilitate the process of having people gain insight and identify their own needs and patterns of emotional reaction to other people. Important concepts in the psychodynamic approach to leadership include the family origin (relating the persons family to their behavior), maturation of individuation (how the individual relates to authority and how they deal with intimacy and openness), dependence or independence (as implied but also looks at rebelliousness and rejecting directive behaviors), repression (placing those thoughts, ideas, and behaviors deep into the mind that are deemed socially unacceptable), the shadow self (the Carl Jung approach that identifies a persons “shadow self” or personality which they consciously consider unacceptable and therefore its existence is denied), and archetypes (also derived from Carl Jung, which are “templates” or strong patterns of human behavior).

    “...[Leaders] gain an understanding of needs, predispositions, and emotional responses” (Northouse, 2004, p. 235).

    The emergence of the psychodynamic approach to leadership has its roots in the work of Sigmund Freud, Abraham Zaleznik, and Carl Jung to name a few. These pioneers established psychological concepts as applied in the relations of people at work – in leadership roles and in subordinate positions. Eric Berne created a popular psychodynamic model called “transitional analysis” which illustrates leader and subordinate relationships. The goal of transitional analysis is to allow those in a relationship to talk about what has happened, why it happened and how to improve the matters in the future.

    How does the Psychodynamic Approach Work?

    “…the psychodynamic theory and method were intended to produce change in the client” (Northouse,2004, p. 246).

    You know all those personal self-help books on the shelves at Borders? They all owe their beginnings to the Psychodynamic Approach. In the 1960s, the human potential movement began when methods were developed, based on this approach, that reached the general population.

    Northouse states that the basic assumption underlying the Psychodynanic Approach is this: “…insight into the psychological past of the individual will result in changes in feelings, attitudes, and behaviors” (p. 247).

    But how does one begin to understand his/her psychological past? Therapists and clinicians believe it’s a lifelong process. However, certain tools have been developed to give more immediate insight.

    Many of the tests and evaluations of leadership styles can help lead to more self awareness (i.e. the Meyers-Briggs test). But then you must go one step further and look into the psychological precursors that led to that leadership style.

    Strengths of this approach:
    focus on both leader AND follower and their relationship
    universality of this approach—this is seen through the search for a universal truth in myths
    emphasis on the need for a leader to have insight
    discourages manipulative techniques in leadership

    Criticisms of this approach:
    early work was based on treatment of seriously mentally ill patients
    subjective nature of findings
    cultural biases were evident in the early clinicians—large part of the information based on the work of Freud’s work with white, middle class adults from Judeo-Christian backgrounds.
    based on traditional two-parent families of origin
    its primary focus is on the leader and her/his psyche, not on the organization itself
    this approach does not lend itself to training, but instead a lengthy analysis process

    Though there are some serious criticisms of this approach, there are still many adherents who believe change is only possible after one closely examines and understands his/her past. As Northouse states, “First comes insight, then awareness, and finally change” (p. 251).

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Visit our Psychodynamic Approach Page to read a summary of Meyers-Briggs personality types and how they can be applied to styles of leadership.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Case Study: Not the Type Who Sees the "Big Picture"

Jenny Folsom is the manager of a group of marketing specialists. She has good relationships with most of her team except for Connie Perez. Jenny is on the verge of letting Connie go. Connie just cannot seem to work up to the expectations that Jenny has. Over the past year, Jenny had four quarterly review sessions with Connie. In each one, Jenny pointed out her expectations and where Connie was falling short. Connie continued to act in much the same way even though she felt she was trying to improve.

Before going to the drastic and final step of dismissing an employee, Jenny has gone to the Personnel Department and specifically to the Training and Development Group. She has presented her problem to two training and development specialists. This is what she said: “Connie seems to get bogged down in details. I give her a project to work on and a set of overall objectives. Then, when I talk to her, I find that she is buried in some minor issue, getting all the information she can, talking to other people about that issue. It drives me crazy. I need to get the project completed and have her move on to something else. I want her to see the big picture. We have a lot to do, a whole strategy to implement. I can’t afford to have someone getting hung up on minor details.”

The training and development specialists sense that there is a big difference in personal styles between Jenny and Connie. They invite Jenny to come back the next day, at which time she is given a briefing on personal styles. It quickly becomes evident that Jenny is an NT (the code is explained later in this chapter) temperament, an “intuitive thinking,” in the Jungian personality types. She is good at conceptualizing and systematic planning. She can see the underlying principles of organizations and systems.

With each accomplishment of her group, Jenny can see three or four new big challenges. When the training and development specialists talked this way to Jenny, she agreed readily with their description of her.

Connie, on the other hand, seems to be an SF (sensor-feeler) temperament based on Jenny’s description. Connie is very practical and down to earth. She actually is quite good at problem solving in an immediate way. And she is highly resourceful, able to find information and answers. Unfortunately, she simply is not the type to see the “big picture.”

Jenny’s question to the training and development specialists is, So what do I do?

1. Should Jenny have a session with Connie on her own?
2. Should she have the session wiht the training and development specialists?
3. Should Connie be given the analysis results for herself and Jenny?
4. What kinds of issues should the two women discuss?
5. What kinds of tasks should Jenny assign to Connie in the future?

websites to review

Leadership and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (use with virtual teams)

Why Can't We Do Things My Way? What leaders need to know about personality differences

Personality Type in Leaders, What Works

Type Around the World

Keirsey Temperaments