Blog – I’ve done the LSI… Now What?

During the 2012/2013 year, 16,024 Australian leaders and managers completed the Life Styles Inventory™ (LSI), with a view to gaining awareness of their current effectiveness and insight into their potential to be more effective in their role.

In most cases, these leaders and managers were part of a development program positioned to improve the performance of the individual, team or organisation. Many were invited to participate in further coaching or skill development workshops to increase their use of the Constructive (Blue) styles and to reduce the negative impact Defensive (Green or Red) styles have on their ability to be effective.

Leaders and managers value the exercise as a great ‘sense check’, having the opportunity to reflect on their current level of effectiveness through the feedback from the diagnostic. The process gives them insight into how others are experiencing their behaviour, and what their own intention was – an interesting comparison. So that’s LSI done, now what?

And herein lies the challenge.

The LSI is the diagnostic that informs the leader or manager of their potential to be more effective in their role. A development program begins with a ‘diagnosis’ of the specific opportunities for improvement, providing greater awareness of those behaviours that promote or hinder their effectiveness. Much like a visit to the GP, we become aware of the things that are limiting our potential to be highly effective and gain advice (a prescription) for how to achieve in a healthy and sustainable way. We don’t however recover from the ailment without filling the prescription and taking the medicine. Similarly, the LSI diagnosis provides insight which directs action planning. Conscious changes then need to be made to see an improvement in effectiveness.

Unfortunately, many leaders and managers fail to ask for updated feedback on how their new efforts are making a difference. In the 2013/2014 year, only 8%of leaders and managers took a re-measure using the LSI. Unlike simply feeling better after having taken the prescribed course of medicine, leaders and managers are left wondering about the effect of the changes they’ve made to their thinking and behaviour. The LSI is designed to be applied in a dynamic context as part of a Test-Action-Retest model.

Perhaps the question should be phrased as an outcome “I’ve completed a leadership/management development program… and this how I’ve become a more effective leader/manager.”


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