4 Constructive Personal Leadership Styles

Having a feel for your organisational culture, if you’re a CEO or company director, is a great aid in augmenting higher performance outcomes, but these tools also have personal and situational applications too.

Taking the Human Synergistics organisational culture measurement tool, we can customise the twelve styles to make them relevant personally.

There are three core areas: the constructive (blue); the passive/defensive (green); and the aggressive/defensive (red), each of which has four definable characterising features (shown in italics under the three key headings below).


Our learned personal behaviour should be mostly manifested from these styles. We can push for excellence in achievement, yet counter or temper it with the humanistic-encouraging and affiliative styles. This about trying our inclusive bests and taking a team with us, if necessary, in achieving transformational self-actualising goals.


These are the least favoured from an organisational viewpoint, yet from a personal standpoint there are certainly times and places for them. Humility is occasionally shown in approval and being dependent can counteract too much independence toward a sense of interdependence.

Both conventional and avoidant styles, however, are not desirable at all, as personally they add nothing but detract considerably. Consistent avoidant behaviour, for instance, is a sign of rampant denial–a sign of a hopeless life.


Not far behind the passive/defensive styles mentioned above, the aggressive/defensive styles need to be kept in check, as they make a person appear ignorant, arrogant and overpowering. Rather than exhibiting our personal power we should hone our influence.

We should occasionally oppose thoughts and ideas, but doing so constructively, not negatively. The oppositional and competitive person is seen as a road-block who wants to win at all costs. We want also to steer clear of perfectionism in our approach to life, as we quickly dispense with trusting people and get too detail-focused.

The Best Styles: Constructive… “achievement | self-actualising | humanistic-encouraging | affiliative”

The constructive styles are the main area for setting goals around, as we don’t want to be overly characterised by any of the other eight defensive styles, barring possibly an appropriate i.e. situational use of the ‘oppositional,’ ‘competitive,’ ‘approval,’ and ‘dependent’ styles. Hence, the remaining ‘conventional,’ ‘avoidance,’ ‘power,’ and ‘perfectionist’ styles should be shunned.

Being predominantly ‘blue,’ or assertive, in style as opposed to being overly ‘red’ (aggressive) or ‘green’ (submissive) is a good way to live a wise life. We should thus seek to very personally achieve and self-actualise ourselves (our goals), and bring this to bear with people-friendly humanistic-encouraging and affiliative methods with others (our methods in achieving our goals).

Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

Human Synergistics International – Research and Development by Robert A. Cooke Ph.D and J. Clayton Lafferty Ph.D.

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