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EFCT

Leadership

E mer gen c y Fiel d C o o r din at io n Tr ain in g

LEADERSHIP STYLE QUESTIONNAIRE


Instructions - Think of a group or organisation in which you are a member. Visualise yourself in
charge of a group discussion. As you lead the group, the following six problems arise. Read
the first problem and possible solutions. Choose the best of the possible solutions and circle
the letter, which matches that solution. Keep in mind that you are in charge of group discussion
for a particular group.
1.

Your group is having trouble getting started. You have tried to make everyone feel comfortable. You have
allowed time to get acquainted. Everyone seems interested and cooperative, but reluctant to speak up.

a.
b.
c.

Wait until they're ready to speak up.


Suggest that the group vote on what to do next.
Make some specific assignments to different people and help them complete their assignments.

2. The group is operating extremely well. Members get along well with each other. Discussion is lively. Everyone is
contributing to the group. You want to insure that this continues.

a.
b.
c.

Reduce your leadership. Let group members lead the group as much as possible.
Be sure agreement is reached on each point before proceeding.
Keep the group firmly under your control or the group will lose its momentum.

3.

The group has been very productive. Two or three members have done most of the talking and all of the work.
Everyone seems happy, but you would like to make some changes so that more members will get involved.

a.
b.
c.

Tell it like it is. Outline the changes and see that they are made.
Propose the changes. Explain why they are needed, then let the group decide what will be done.
Don't do anything that might threaten group productivity.

4.

The group is working well and relations among members are very positive. You feel somewhat unsure about
your lack of direction of the group.

a.
b.
c.

Leave the group alone.


Slowly assert yourself to give the group more direction.
Ask the group if you should provide more direction, then comply with their wishes.

5.

The group was going great, but now it is falling apart. Members are beginning to bicker. It is hard to stay on the
subject. Someone has just suggested that maybe the group should take a recess for two or three months.

a.
b.
c.

Let everyone have their say. Don't get involved.


Take a vote on the suggested recess.
Propose a new course of action for the group. If no one strongly disagrees, make assignments and see that
they are carried out.

6.

Your group has completed an excellent discussion of a topic they chose, but no one wants to take any action
although several activities would be appropriate and each activity has been discussed.

a.
b.
c.

Suggest that the group move on to another topic. If no one disagrees, list possible topics.
Choose an activity for the group and make assignments.
Just keep quiet until the group arrives at a decision.

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Scoring Your Leadership Style Tendencies


Each of the three possible solutions to each problem corresponds to one of the three styles of
leadership:
Problem
1
2
3
4
5
6

Directive
C
C
A
B
C
B

Democratic
B
B
B
C
B
A

Non-Directive/Delegative
A
A
C
A
A
C

Assessing Your Results and Your Leadership Style Tendencies


In problem 1, the group needs direction. Voting would not be useful. A non-directive approach might
work in the long run, but would be frustrating in the short term. (c) is the best solution.
In problem 2, there is no problem. "If it isn't broke, don't fix it!" (a) is the best solution.
In 3, the group is productive, but not everyone is contributing. The group needs help but a
directive approach (a) might cause a rebellion. Non-directive (c) style would not get the quiet
members involved. Go with (b).
Problem 4 is similar to 2. The group is working well. Resist the temptation to take action when
none is needed. Try (a).
In problem 5, the group was all right, but now it is not. Leadership is required. Non-directive
(a) leadership will only worsen the situation. If you vote (b), frustration may get in the way of
reason. Directive leadership (c) is the best bet.
In 6, democratic leadership (a) is called for. A directive (b) approach would oppose the group's
stated position. Since the group is at a stalemate, solution (c), the non-directive style, would
not help.

How to Interpret this Exercise


The answers given above suggest the correct leadership style given the situation portrayed in
each statement. However, if you answered differently, dont worry. You may have interpreted
the problems in a different way than was intended. You may not be wrong at all. But if you
chose mostly "directive" solutions, or mostly democratic , or mostly emergent, take care: you
may need to work harder on developing the other two styles. An effective leader will develop
their skills at each style and learn to use all three styles when necessary. Caution!! The
purposes of this exercise are to point out three leadership styles, to reflect your tendencies in a
specific situation, and to highlight the need for practicing situational leadership. This exercise
is not sophisticated enough to categorise your leadership style. Please don't look at the results
this way.

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LEADERSHIP STYLES
[Background Reading]

Introduction & Definition


Most leaders think very little about their own leadership style. They "do what comes naturally" when
leadership is needed. If they are successful leaders, their instincts usually serve them well. To
develop your leadership ability, however, you need to be more aware of how you lead.
A leader is someone who influences others. We all have an image of a leader. It can be described
by such words as intelligent, courageous, persuasive, skilful, and powerful. You may have heard the
myth that Leaders are Born, Not Made! However, numerous leadership studies and programs
have shown that individuals with a desire to do so, can take steps to learn, practice and improve
their leadership capabilities and develop into leaders.
In this course, our working definition for leadership is the following: Leadership refers to the
initiative or ability of a person (or group) to mobilize &/or influence internal and/or external
stakeholders to achieve desired results.

Teamwork -- A leader cannot achieve success alone.

The old notion that a leader is "the top of the


pyramid" is false. An effective leader is involved and in touch with group members. He/she enables
them to act by providing technical assistance, emotional support and vision. Effective leaders insist
on the support and assistance of those affected by the project. They think in terms of "we" not "I."

Visioning --

A leader also develops a vision of the organization's future. It is important to


communicate this vision to members of the group, allowing them to respond and become part of the
visioning process. You should build a vision with others. Visioning is a collaborative effort! Your
group will grow and prosper by building commitment to a vision or dream that is shared by all.
Telling others outside of the organization about the vision is important to the process of developing
your own commitment to it.

Risk Taking -- A leader is a risk taker and an innovator. New ideas may come from you, from others
in the organization, or from the community. A leader should recognize good ideas, actively support
them, and encourage action. One may call them early adapters of innovation. Just think of the first
time you played baseball. You probably were not perfect at hitting the ball or running the bases.
Leaders are learners and must be able to learn from their mistakes as well as their successes. So
must they encourage their group members and support them through their mistakes. Without
mistakes, there is no learning or growth. All changes and innovations involve risk and challenge.

Recognition & Encouragement --

An effective leader must take the time to recognize and


reward people for what they've done. Individuals may become tired, bored or frustrated with a
particular task or goal. They are often tempted to give up. A leader must provide the encouragement
to motivate members to carry on. Recognition comes in many forms; it may be given to individuals
or to groups. It may be as simple as a word of encouragement: "You did a great job, thanks."
Whatever the method, give credit and praise when and where it is due. And do not forget to reward
yourself. Celebrate once a goal or milestone has been reached. Showing a genuine concern and
respect for your work, your people and your community may be the best strategy in reaching your
goal of outstanding leadership.

Leadership Styles -- Most writing on leadership deals with three styles of leaders.

These three
styles are called by different names; characteristics of each are included below. Each column
represents the different names used.
Directive
Authoritarian
Initiates task
Direct others
Decisive
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Democratic
Democratic
Initiates process or discussion
Involves others
Facilitates consensus building & decision- making
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Delegative/Non-Directive
Emergent waits to see other leaders emerge
Laissez-faire
Defer to others
Refuses to make decision for group
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When a leader is directive, that leader initiates action, structures activities, motivates others,
delegates responsibility, and praises or reprimands subordinates. A democratic leader gets results
by leading discussions, asking questions to involve others, encouraging others to volunteer for
responsibilities, confirming commitments, and asking for a vote to get a consensus decision or a
majority decision. A non-directive leader refuses to make decisions for others, uses silence until
someone in the group speaks out, gives non-verbal support [nods, smiles] to others who show
positive leadership, and gradually fades out of a group when others in the group show an ability and
a willingness to take over.

Different situations require different styles of leadership. Evacuation of a burning building calls
for directive leadership. Deciding among several suggestions for an organisation's social event
calls for democratic leadership. Helping qualified, experienced, enthusiastic committee heads
calls for non-directive leadership.
Leadership will be most effective if a leader can look at a situation, decide what style of leadership
is needed by the group and act accordingly. When a leader is able to use each of the three
leadership styles appropriately, we call that effective facilitator leadership. A facilitator then may
direct, use democratic leadership or intentionally let the group provide its own leadership. The style
used will vary according to the leader's formal role within the group, the size of the group, skills and
experience of group members, motivation and goals of group members. It also depends on group
maturity. An effective facilitator leader will learn to quickly consider all of these factors and choose
the best leadership style for the situation.

Improving Facilitator Leadership Skills


If you would try to improve your facilitator leadership, try the following:

Directive Leadership -- Before you "take command" of a group, think about it. Does the group
need directive leadership? Are you the best person to direct? Who in the group will compete with
you for leadership? How can you win that person's cooperation? Recognise individuals'
contributions. Praise them in front of the group. Keep criticism infrequent, constructive and private.
Don't hog all of the jobs. Don't seek all of the glory. Delegate responsibility, make assignments,
then see that those responsibilities are met. Think before you speak. Speak briefly and to the
point. Get advice before you decide. When a decision is bad, admit it and reorganise.

Democratic Leadership -- Make each group member feel important by asking for opinions,
especially from the quieter members. Use a variety of techniques for decision-making [majority
voting, negative voting, consensus, compromise]. Ask questions to get others involved. Encourage
group decisions; discourage individual decisions. Summarise agreements and commitments.

Delegative/Non-Directive Leadership -- Listen, observe, consider what is happening and


why. When group members say or do something useful, smile, nod in agreement, give a "thumbs
up" signal. When people ask for your opinion, turn the question back to them or to a quieter
member by saying, "I'm not sure. What do you think Jill?" When people ask for you to decide, turn
the decision back to them by saying, "I really don't feel I should decide for the group. What are the
possible decisions? What are the pros and cons of each? Which possibility would you choose?
In summary, a "Facilitator" Leader assesses the situation and chooses an appropriate leadership
style:
Directive

Democratic

Delegative/Non-Directive

Initiates
Structures
Motivates
Delegates
Reprimands

Asks Questions to Involve Others Leads


Discussion
Tests to See if Consensus Exits Encourages
Others to Take Responsibility

Fades out Gradually


Uses Silence
Gives Non-Verbal Support
Refuses to Make Decisions Confirms Commitments

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Leadership Style Survey


This questionnaire contains statements about leadership style beliefs. Next to each statement,
circle the number that represents how strongly you feel about the statement by using the
following scoring system:

Almost Always True 5

Frequently True 4

Occasionally True 3

Seldom True 2

Almost Never True 1

Be honest about your choices as there are no right or wrong answers it is only for your own
self-assessment.

Leadership Style Survey

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1.

I always retain the final decision making authority


within my department or team.

5 4 3 2 1

2.

I always try to include one or more employees in


determining what to do and how to do it. However, I
maintain the final decision making authority.

5 4 3 2 1

3.

I and my employees always vote whenever a major


decision has to be made.

5 4 3 2 1

4.

I do not consider suggestions made by my


employees as I do not have the time for them.

5 4 3 2 1

5.

I ask for employee ideas and input on upcoming


plans and projects.

5 4 3 2 1

6.

For a major decision to pass in my department, it


must have the approval of each individual or the

5 4 3 2 1

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majority.
7.

I tell my employees what has to be done and how to


do it.

5 4 3 2 1

8.

When things go wrong and I need to create a


strategy to keep a project or process running on
schedule, I call a meeting to get my employee's
advice.

5 4 3 2 1

9.

To get information out, I send it by email, memos, or 5 4 3 2 1


voice mail; very rarely is a meeting called. My
employees are then expected to act upon the
information.

10. When someone makes a mistake, I tell them not to


ever do that again and make a note of it.

5 4 3 2 1

11. I want to create an environment where the


employees take ownership of the project. I allow
them to participate in the decision making process.

5 4 3 2 1

12. I allow my employees to determine what needs to be 5 4 3 2 1


done and how to do it.

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13. New hires are not allowed to make any decisions


unless it is approved by me first.

5 4 3 2 1

14. I ask employees for their vision of where they see


their jobs going and then use their vision where
appropriate.

5 4 3 2 1

15. My workers know more about their jobs than me, so


I allow them to carry out the decisions to do their
job.

5 4 3 2 1

16. When something goes wrong, I tell my employees


that a procedure is not working correctly and I
establish a new one.

5 4 3 2 1

17. I allow my employees to set priorities with my

5 4 3 2 1

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guidance.
18. I delegate tasks in order to implement a new
procedure or process.

5 4 3 2 1

19. I closely monitor my employees to ensure they are


performing correctly.

5 4 3 2 1

20. When there are differences in role expectations, I


work with them to resolve the differences.

5 4 3 2 1

21. Each individual is responsible for defining their job.

5 4 3 2 1

22. I like the power that my leadership position holds


over subordinates.

5 4 3 2 1

23. I like to use my leadership power to help


subordinates grow.

5 4 3 2 1

24. I like to share my leadership power with my


subordinates.

5 4 3 2 1

25. Employees must be directed or threatened with


punishment in order to get them to achieve the
organizational objectives.

5 4 3 2 1

26. Employees will exercise self-direction if they are


committed to the objectives.

5 4 3 2 1

27. Employees have the right to determine their own


organizational objectives.

5 4 3 2 1

28. Employees seek mainly security.

5 4 3 2 1

29. Employees know how to use creativity and ingenuity 5 4 3 2 1


to solve organizational problems.
30. My employees can lead themselves just as well as I
can.

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5 4 3 2 1

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In the table below, enter the score of each item on the above questionnaire. For example, if you
scored item one with a 3 (Occasionally), then enter a 3 next to Item One. When you have
entered all the scores for each question, total each of the three columns.
Item

Score

Item

Score

Item

Score

______

______

______

______

______

______

______

______

______

10

______

11

______

12

______

13

______

14

______

15

______

16

______

17

______

18

______

19

______

20

______

21

______

22

______

23

______

24

______

25

______

26

______

27

______

28

______

29

______

30

______

TOT
AL

_______

TOT
AL

_______ TOT
_
AL

______
__

Authorita
rian
Style

Participa
tive
Style

Delega
tive
Style

(autocrati
c)

(democr
atic)

(free
reign)

This questionnaire is to help you assess what leadership style you normally operate out of. The
lowest score possible for any stage is 10 (Almost never) while the highest score possible for any
stage is 50 (Almost always).
The highest of the three scores in the columns above indicate what style of leadership you
normally use Authoritarian, Participative, or Delegative. If your highest score is 40 or more,
it is a strong indicator of your normal style.
The lowest of the three scores is an indicator of the style you least use. If your lowest score is 20
or less, it is a strong indicator that you normally do not operate out of this mode.
If two of the scores are close to the same, you might be going through a transition phase, either
personally or at work, except if you score high in both the participative and the delegative then
you are probably a delegative leader.

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If there is only a small difference between the three scores, then this indicates that you have no
clear perception of the mode you operate out of, or you are a new leader and are trying to feel
out the correct style for yourself.

Final Thoughts
Normally, some of the best leaders operate out of the participative mode and use the other two
modes as needed. An example of an exception would be a leader who has a new crew or
temporary work-force. That leader would probably need to operating out of the authoritarian
mode most of the time. On the other hand, a leader who has a crew of professionals or a crew
that knows more than she or he does, would probably operate out of the delegative mode.
Leaders who want their employees to grow, use a participative style of leadership. As they grow
into their jobs, then they are gradually given more authority (delegative) over their jobs.

Reliability and Validity


Since this survey is a learning tool used in training programs such as leadership development,
rather than a research tool, it has not been formally checked for reliability or validity. However,
since I have received feedback from various sources and has been updated numerous times, I
believe it to be a fairly accurate tool.

Situational Leadership Styles Questionnaire


Directions

Assume you are involved in each of the following twelve situations.


Each situation has four alternative actions you might initiate

Read each item carefully

Think about what you would do in each circumstance

Circle the letter of the alternative action choice you think most closely
describes what behaviour you would use in the situation presented

Circle only one choice

Circle a choice for each of the twelve situations. Dont skip any

Move through the items quickly and stick with the first choice you
make on each item. Your first choice tends to be the most accurate
one

Remember: Circle what you think you would do, not what you think you
should do. The goal is to evaluate what behaviours you actually use not
to get right answers. If there is no alternative action that describes what
you do in the situation, circle the item that most closely resembles what
you would do.
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1. Your staff have not been responding to your friendly conversation and
obvious concern for their welfare. Their performance is declining rapidly.
You would:
a. Emphasise the use of the standard procedures and the necessity for
task accomplishment
b. Make yourself available for discussion but do not push your
involvement
c. Talk to them and then set goal objectives
d. Intentionally do not intervene
2. The observable performance of your team is increasing. You have been
making sure that all members are aware of their responsibilities and the
standards expected. You would:
a. Engage in friendly exchange but continue to make sure that all
members are aware of their responsibilities and standards of
performance
b. Take no definite action
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c. Do what you can to make the team to feel important and involved
d. Emphasise the importance of deadlines and tasks
3. Members of your team are unable to solve a problem themselves. You
have
normally left them alone. Group performance and interpersonal
relationships have been good. You would:
a. Involve the team and together engage in problem solving
b. Let the team work it out
c. Act quickly and firmly to correct and redirect
d. Encourage the group to work on the problem and be supportive
4. You are considering a major change. Your staff have a fine record of
accomplishment. They respect the need for change. You would:
a. Allow team involvement in developing the change but not bee too
directive
b. Announce changes and then implement them with close supervision
c. Allow the team to formulate its own direction
d. Incorporate team recommendations but direct the change yourself

5. The performance of your team has been dropping during the past few
months. Staff have been unconcerned with meeting objectives. They
have continually needed reminding to do their tasks on time. Redefining
roles and responsibilities has helped in the past. You would:
a. Allow the team to formulate its own direction
b. Incorporate team recommendations but see that objectives are met
c. Redefine roles and responsibilities and sure
d. Allow team involvement in determining roles and responsibilities but
not be too directive
6. You have stepped into an efficient run situation. The previous manager
ran a tight ship. You want to maintain a productive situation but would
like to begin humanising the environment. You would:
a. Do what you can to make the team feel important and involved
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b. Emphasise the importance of deadlines and tasks


c. Intentionally not intervene
d. Get them involved in decision making but see that objectives are met
7. You are considering major changes in your organisational structure.
Members of the team have made suggestions about needing change.
The team has been productive and demonstrated flexibility in its day-today operations. You would:
a. Define the change and supervise carefully
b. Participate within the team in developing change but allow members
to organise implementation
c. Be willing to make changes as recommended but maintain control of
implementation
d. Avoid confrontation, leave things alone
8. Team performance and interpersonal relationships are good. You feel
somewhat insecure about the lack of direction of the team. You would:
a. Leave the team alone
b. Discuss the situation with the team and then initiate necessary
changes
c. Take steps to direct your staff towards working in a well defined
manner
d. Be supportive in discussing the situation with the team but not too
directive
9. You have been appointed to head up a task force that is far overdue in
making requested recommendations for change. The group is not clear
about its goals. Attendance at sessions has been poor and the meetings
have turned into social gatherings. Potentially the group has the talent
necessary to help. You would:
a. Let the group work out its problems
b. Incorporate group recommendations but see the objectives are met
c. Redefine goals and supervise carefully
d. Allow group involvement in setting goals but not push your staff
10. Your staff, usually able to take responsibility, are not responding to
your recent redefining of standards. You would:
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a. Allow team involvement in redefining standards but not take control


b. Redefine standards and supervise carefully
c. Avoid confrontation by not applying pressure, leave the situation alone
d. Incorporate team recommendations but see that new standards are
met
11. You have been promoted to a new position. The previous manager
was uninvolved in the affairs of the team and the team has adequately
handled its tasks and direction. Team inter-relationships are good. You
would:
a. Take steps to direct staff towards working in a well defined manner
b. Involve staff in decision making and reinforcing good contributions
c. Discuss past performance with the team and then examine the need
for new practices
d. Continue to leave the team alone
12. Recent information indicates some internal difficulties among staff.
The team have a remarkable record of accomplishment, members have
effectively maintained long range goals and have worked in harmony for
the past year. You are qualified for the task. You would:
a. Try out your solution with them and examine the need for new
practices
b. Allow team members to work it out themselves
c. Act quickly and firmly to correct and redirect
d. Participate in discussion of the problem whilst providing support for
the team members

Directions for Scoring


Circle the letter that you have chosen for each situation on the same line to
the right.
Enter your totals on the bottom line.
ALTERNATIVE ACTIONS
Situations

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10

11

12
Total
number of
circles

Questionnaire
Below is a list of statements about leadership behavior. Read each one carefully, then, using the
following scale, decide the extent to which it actually applies to you. For best results, answer as
truthfully as possible.

never
0

sometimes
2
3

always
5

1. _______ I encourage my team to participate when it comes decision making time and I
try to implement their ideas and suggestions.

2. _______ Nothing is more important than accomplishing a goal or task.

3. _______ I closely monitor the schedule to ensure a task or project will be completed in
time.

4. _______ I enjoy coaching people on new tasks and procedures.

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5. _______ The more challenging a task is, the more I enjoy it.

6. _______ I encourage my employees to be creative about their job.

7. _______ When seeing a complex task through to completion, I ensure that every detail is
accounted for.

8. _______ I find it easy to carry out several complicated tasks at the same time.

9. _______ I enjoy reading articles, books, and journals about training, leadership, and
psychology; and then putting what I have read into action.

10. _______ When correcting mistakes, I do not worry about jeopardizing relationships.

11. _______ I manage my time very efficiently.

12. _______ I enjoy explaining the intricacies and details of a complex task or project to my
employees.

13. _______ Breaking large projects into small manageable tasks is second nature to me.

14. _______ Nothing is more important than building a great team.

15. _______ I enjoy analyzing problems.

16. _______ I honor other people's boundaries.

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17. _______ Counseling my employees to improve their performance or behavior is second


nature to me.

18. _______ I enjoy reading articles, books, and trade journals about my profession; and
then implementing the new procedures I have learned.

Scoring Section
After completing the Questionnaire, transfer your answers to the spaces below:

People

Task

Question

Question

1.______

2.______

4.______

3.______

6.______

5.______

9.______

7.______

10.______

8.______

12.______

11.______

14.______

13.______

16.______

15.______

17.______

18.______

TOTAL ________

TOTAL ________

X 0.2 = ________

X 0.2 ________

(multiple the Total by 0.2 to get


your final score)

(multiple the Total by 0.2 to get


your final score)

Matrix Section
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Plot your final scores on the graph below by drawing a horizontal line from the approximate
people score (vertical axis) to the right of the matrix, and drawing a vertical line from the
approximate task score on the horizontal axis to the top of the matrix. Then, draw two lines from
each dot until they intersect. The area of intersection is the leadership dimension that you
operate out of.

Example

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The above sample shows score of 4 in the people section and a score of 6 in the task section.
The quad where the two lines intersect is the leadership style, in this case -- Authoritarian
section.

The Results
This chart will give you an idea of your leadership style:

Impoverished (1,1 to 4,4): weak on both tasks and people skills

Authoritarian (people - 1 to 4 and task - 5 to 9): strong on tasks, weak on people skills

Socialite (people - 5 to 9 and task 1-4): strong on people skills, weak on tasks

Team Leadership (6,6 to 9,9): strong on both tasks and and people skills

Middle-of-the-Road (5,5): in the middle of the chart, but with more experience and skills
can display good team leadership

However, like any other instrument that attempts to profile a person, you have to take in other
factors, such as, how your manager and employees rate you as a leader, do you get your job
done, do you take care of your employees, are you helping to grow your organization, etc.
November 2005

Participant Handout

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Emergency Field Coordination Training

Leadership

You should review the statements in the survey and reflect on the low scores by asking yourself,
If I scored higher in that area, would I be a more effective leader? And if the answer is
yes, then it should become a personal action item.

November 2005

Participant Handout

Page 19 of 19