Life Styles Inventory

The Life Styles Inventory (LSI) is based around the Human Synergistics Circumplex, describing constructive, passive/defensive and aggressive/defensive behaviours. In the LSI, the feedback is normed against how 9,000 individuals have described themselves (LSI 1) and how 5,000 individuals have been described by 25,000 others (LSI 2).

The LSI provides for self-description (LSI 1) and feedback from others (LSI 2). Participants receive inventories, profile supplements, Self Development Guides and comprehensive resources are available for consultants and trainers through our accreditation process. Administration of inventories can be achieved through either scannable paper questionnaires or internet-based questionnaires.

The LSI 1

Development of the individual is the key to organisational success. Knowing who you are now is the first and most important step in deciding who you will be in the future. Years of research has established that the information needed to allow insight, growth and self-improvement to occur is contained within our thoughts.

Human Synergistics believes that if you are provided with accurate information about the way you think, you can bring about positive change in your behaviour, and increase your overall effectiveness. The more you know about how you think and behave, the better prepared you are to improve your performance. And that’s where Human Synergistics’ Life Styles Inventory 1™ (LSI 1) can help.

Increasing Personal Understanding of Individual Thinking and Behaviour

The LSI 1 is the first in a series of Human Synergistics’ self assessment tools specifically designed to help you answer the important question of “Who am I, and what causes me to act the way I do?”

Based on a combination of respected psychological and measurement theories, the LSI 1 measures the thoughts and attitudes which motivate your behaviour, how you relate to others as well as how you solve problems and make decisions.

The greatest value of LSI 1 lies in the fact that no other self assessment tool actually reveals and measures the thinking and behavioural styles that help or hinder you in fulfilling your potential.You can use what you learn to initiate positive changes in how you think and act – changes that can increase your personal and professional effectiveness. And because inventory results remain confidential – for your eyes only – honesty and accuracy are greatly enhanced.

The Process

Through your responses to 240 inventory items, LSI 1 distinguishes and measures 12 key thinking patterns, or styles, that are either effective or ineffective.These styles represent specific ways in which we choose to think about ourselves and influence our behaviour in all areas of life.

Debriefing the LSI 1 Circumplex

Your LSI 1 results are plotted on a circumplex, or clock, thereby creating a visual profile of your current thinking patterns in each of the 12 styles.

  • constructive styles include achievement, self-actualising, humanistic-encouraging, affiliative (11, 12, 1, 2 o’clock) – these styles represent self-enhancing thinking and behaviour that contribute to one’s level of satisfaction, ability to develop healthy relationships and work effectively with people, and proficiency at accomplishing tasks
  • passive/defensive styles include approval, conventional, dependent, avoidance (3, 4, 5, 6 o’clock) – self-protecting thinking and behaviour that promote the fulfilment of security needs through interaction with people
  • aggressive/defensive styles include oppositional, power, competitive, perfectionistic (7, 8, 9, 10 o’clock) – self promoting thinking and behaviour used to maintain status, position and fulfil security needs through task-related activities.

People shown to be particularly effective in their organisation are high in constructive styles and relatively low in passive/defensive and aggressive/defensive styles.

Completing your LSI 1 is the first vital step in the process of changing your behaviour.The inventory has undergone years of research, and has been established as a valid, reliable way to help you take an objective look at yourself.

Using the information received from the LSI Circumplex, you can create change through:

  • identifying the unique thinking patterns that characterise your current behaviour
  • understanding which of your thinking patterns are effective, which aren’t and why
  • deciding which thinking and behaviour patterns you want to change
  • defining optimal ways of thinking and approaching your work
  • setting targeted improvement goals
  • formulating specific strategies to bring about change

Results

LSI 1 provides you with the opportunity to take a close look at yourself. In a sense, it acts as a mirror, reflecting back the image you have of yourself. Sometimes this image is flattering and reassuring, sometimes surprising, and other times difficult to accept.

Whatever the results, there is no doubt that LSI 1 promotes lasting performance change and improvement by increasing personal understanding of your thinking and behaviour. The beauty of LSI 1 is that, unlike many other self-assessment tools, it provides a quantified measure for looking at strengths as well as self-defeating behaviours, so that you can further improve upon strengths and precisely target the areas in which you need to change.

LSI 1 is part of the Life Styles System which has been successfully used by over 1,000,000 managers and 240,000 organisations in the past 20 years.

Their results have indicated that significant connections exist between individual LSI 1 scores and the development of:

  • leadership effectiveness
  • increased ability to cope with pressure and change
  • achievement of self-set goals
  • flexible and creative thinking
  • improved relationships with others
  • greater motivation to initiate change and make things happen

And the benefits of LSI 1 don’t stop after the initial assessment – re-test packs also enable individuals to measure and monitor change at intervals of 3, 6 and/or 12 months after completion of their first LSI 1. This process also ensures that the organisation is able to measure the effectiveness of LSI development.

The Life Styles System

LSI 1 is the first of three levels in the Life Styles System developed by Human Synergistics to maximise the effectiveness and potential of an organisation’s most valuable asset – its people. After completing LSI 1, participants can proceed to the next level with LSI 2 which incorporates feedback from eight other people, and then on to the third level in the system which is Stylus® , a computer-generated report that allows you to compare your self assessment to how others see you.

The LSI 2

Measuring Personal Effectiveness Through Feedback

Everyone at some point in their professional development wonders how they are doing. Feedback plays an important role in this selfrealisation process. As individuals, we have our own perceptions as to how effective we believe we are in the workplace. But what about the impact your behaviour has on others? Do they see the same qualities in you as you see in yourself?

As we work to become better leaders and managers, one of our most serious difficulties is our lack of feedback. Looking at ourselves through others’ eyes provides information essential to the self-development process. Often what we mean to do is not what others see. Learning the difference can greatly enhance our self-awareness and improvement. And this is what the LSI 2 aims to achieve.

You will have learned something about how you see yourself if you have completed the first of Human Synergistics’ self-assessment tools called the Life Styles Inventory 1™ (LSI 1). With the results of this tool you discovered what thinking styles influenced your behaviour, and how they contributed to your overall effectiveness. No matter how honest you were in completing the LSI 1, your self-perception may be very different from the way others describe your behaviour.

Due to the sometimes negative experiences individuals have had in processes like performance reviews, they often avoid asking for others’ opinions of themselves and their workstyles. Hence, the concept of “feedback” is often confused with “criticism”. LSI 2 takes the fear out of feedback. Used in conjunction with LSI 1, the LSI 2 provides objective feedback on an individual’s behaviour patterns as interpreted by others. You can combine these insights with what you know about yourself to more accurately assess your strengths – as well as areas in which you may want to improve. And the LSI 2 provides a confidential, reliable method of gathering feedback and a nonthreatening way of presenting it.

The Process

Like LSI 1, LSI 2 distinguishes and measures 12 key thinking patterns, or styles, that are either effective or ineffective. These styles represent various ways in which we choose to think about ourselves and influence our behaviour in all areas of life.

The five simple steps in this self-realisation process are:

  • Step 1 You respond to the 240 inventory items in LSI 1.
  • Step 2 Your results are plotted on a circumplex, or “clock”, for easy visualisation of how you think and behave in each of the 12 styles.
  • Step 3 You select eight trusted associates to describe your behaviour by responding to the 240 items in LSI 2.
  • Step 4 The respondents’ descriptions are then combined to form a composite profile, allowing you to see how you are collectively perceived.
  • Step 5 By comparing this composite profile to your LSI 1 profile, you can see the differences between self-perception and the perceptions of others.

Using the information received from the LSI 2 circumplex you can initiate change through:

  • understanding what you are like now, and what causes you to be that way
  • recognising the consequences of your behaviour – how it affects yourself and others
  • pinpointing your own unique strengths, as well as any “stumbling blocks” to your effectiveness
  • identifying more constructive ways of thinking
  • deciding what aspects of your behaviour you want to change
  • developing a specific strategy to help bring those changes about.

LSI 2 provides you with the valuable opportunity to take a close look at yourself through the eyes of eight others who know you well. This gives two balancing perceptions – your self-concept together with an accurate measure of the way your intentions and actions are interpreted by colleagues. A request for feedback opens the lines of communication between you and those with whom you work.

This can result in the following benefits:

  • greater self-understanding
  • improved ability to work as part of a team
  • knowledge of the impact your behaviour has on others
  • increased productivity
  • stronger interpersonal skills
  • fresh perspective on your potential strengths and areas of difficulty

Again, the benefits of LSI 2 don’t stop after the initial assessment – re-test packs enable individuals to measure and monitor change at intervals of 3, 6, and/or 12 months following their initial assessment. This process also ensures that the organisation is able to measure the effectiveness of LSI development.