Paragon Learning Style Inventory A
Window into Learning Style and Cognitive Preference
Paragon Learning Style Inventory
A Window into Learning Style and Cognitive Preference
Paragon Learning Style Inventory
Research and Activities Related to Cognitive Preferences and Leadership
In this packet you are presented with a set of research findings, charts and activities that are intended to help you better recognize the relationship between innate cognitive type, leadership styles, and how to be more effective as a member of a group or as an individual asked to lead a group.
Activity #1: Take the PLSI and determine your cognitive/learning style.
Activity #2: Review the research below by Hummer and Huszcozo. Do any of their finding surprise you? What in your experience confirms or refutes these findings? Share your thoughts with your discussion group.
Leadership and Type Research Part #1
Hummer and Huszczo reported;
Teams with similar styles
· Performed their tasks more quickly
· Experienced less conflict
· Liked each other more
· Listened to one another more
Teams with diverse styles
· Were more effective
· Produced better outcomes
· Took longer to complete their tasks
Activity #3: Survey the Research Below in the Type Comparison Charts. Can you see your own leadership preferences characterized here? Next, bring to mind someone that you have known in a leadership position. Do you recognize their leadership style as it relates to their cognitive preferences?
Four Type Dimension Comparisons
Combinations of Note
Less “good impression”
Relies more on Written communication
More comfortable behind the scenes
High “good impression”
Uses face to face more
Comfortable in Meetings
IT- most self-contained, least expressive
ES- most expressive.
IN- most reflective
IJ-Highest self control
EJ- High, IP low perceived external confidence
Speak in real/practical terms
Quality is defined by efficiency and product quality
Often speak in impressions
Value Soundness of Ideas
Quality is defined by the effectiveness of processes and organizational integrity
SJ- high institution maintaining
ESTJ- high achievement w/in system.
NP- high creativity and innovation
SJ- majority of school administrators
NP- least conventional
IN – Achievement via independence
SF- focus on the practical needs of others
ST- focus on the technical efficiency and working order of the organization
NF- Empathetic and driven by the feelings and relationships of the group
NT- most analytical and critical
Appear self-contained, low need for approval
Rely on logic to judge importance
Appear cool and distant
High Social Responsible, high need for others to feel included
Rely on feelings to judge importance
Appear approachable & accepting
TJ- most leaders and most decisive
FP – most flexible
TJ-scored as most responsible
TJ- rigid thinking potential
ET- most assertive
IF- least assertive
IT- least expressive and readable
EF- most expressive and readable
Can make decisions in a hurry
Desire order and timeliness
Will tend to do things the same way as they always have
Likes to have control and/or veto power over ideas
Flexible and Open minded Leadership
Situational success driven
Can seek out more information and avoid decision making
Desire opportunities to grow and absence of constraints
Is open to new ways of doing things
Look for input prior to decisions
IJ- most self-directed
EP- most attuned to environment
SJ- conservative by nature
NJ- visionary and architect
SP – Action oriented
NP – Adaptive and Innovative
SJ – organized and efficient
IJ – high structure, least flexible
EP – low structure, least leader-directed
John Shindler, February 2007 (adapted in part from research in Manual: A guide
to the development and use of the
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. 1997)
Leadership Styles of 4 learning Style Combinations
Visionary Decision Makers
The NJ combination of Abstraction with Sequential thinking tendencies produces a leader who is comfortable looking at the big picture and confident in their assessment of how it could best be improved. The NJ is at ease designing programs and procedure, and setting out long range goals. They approach their goals with an inner vision and in most cases can present their vision in a compelling way to others. They can be highly determined when their goals are clear. They tend to dislike inconsistency and incongruity.
· Integration of big picture with daily practices
· Analytical and Insightful
Areas of Improvement
· Can be over confidence of ideas
· Can put too much trust in long-term strategies
· Can appear disrespectful of status quo
· Can miss opportunities waiting for the perfect solution
Realistic Decision Makers
· Streamlining processes and operations
· Team oriented
· Institutional Respect
Areas of Improvement
· Can put too much faith in policy
· Can be uneasy about changing status quo
· Can rely too heavily on common sense
· Can be perceived as controlling or inflexible
The combination of Abstraction and Random thinking tendencies produces a leader who is motivated to explore new possibilities and challenges. The NP tends to be a less conventional type of leader who is uncomfortable being confined by existing structures or expectations. The NP will typically value innovation over maintenance and the status quo.
· Change oriented
· Connections and Ideas
· Spontaneous action
· Depth of analysis
Areas of Improvement
· Follow through and completion
· Unrealistic goals
· Comfort with Spontaneity and change in direction can appear capricious to others.
· Can be seen as being too independent and not enough team-oriented
The combination of Practical and Random thinking tendencies produces a leader who is the most adaptable, in the moment, and hands on. The SP values data, information and experiences and makes decisions based on things that they have found to work for them. They tend to trust theoretical or less tangible solutions to problem less than other types.
· Practical solutions and common sense
· Trouble shooting
· Grounded in reality
· Flexible and Spontaneous
Areas of Improvement
· Can Lack global vision
· Actions can appear disintegrated
· Can miss deeper patterns
· Can be slow in making larger decisions
Activity #4: Making Sense of Leadership and Effectiveness. Reflect on your experiences in schools and other organizations. What does it take to make change effective? What makes an organization work efficiently? What makes a leader effective? What needs to be present to produce efficacy?
Leadership Effectiveness and Cognitive Style
Understanding your cognitive style can be very useful in developing your leadership style. It may be helpful to use the conceptual framework illustrated in the diagram below to assist you in exploring effective leadership behavior within the demensions of cognitive preference.
This diagram depicts the 3 critical and interrelated dimensions of effective leadership. First, a good leader needs to be able to develop and communicate a collective vision for the group as it moves toward its goals. Next, a leader needs to be able to make decisions based on good information and the will of the group. Finally, an effective leader is one who understands that no outcome will last unless it is grounded in shared values and has high levels of group ownership. It may be helpful to breakdown each of these areas of leadership within the cognitive dimensions that most define them. For example, the way one conceives a vision seems to be most dependent on a combination of the first two dimensions (E/I and S/N), shared values would be the middle two (S/N and T/F), and decisions would be the last two (T/F and J/P).
The following activities may helpful in the development of your leadership abilities. First, consider how the other type combinations are most comfortable operating, in each of the 3 areas, and then use the set of guiding questions to help you develop a more well-rounded approach to leading.
ES – shared action and experience
IS – tasks and accomplishments
EN – shared principles and action
IN – an internal interpretation of the big picture
Activity #5: If I were to have any of the other styles, what would be my approach to developing and communicating a vision for the group? What can I learn from the other approaches? What would be the various needs of the other members of my group when it came to feeling as though group action was a reflection of a collective emergent vision?
SF – people’s feelings and getting practical needs met
ST – consistency and practical realities
NF – meaningful outcomes and emotional harmony
NT – logical consistency and relevancy
Activity #6: If I were to have any of the other styles, what would be the values I would use to assess if the group was functioning well? If I ignored these other ways of thinking, what important values might I be neglecting? Given the other types, what needs must I address to make the group members comfortable in the process?
FP - flexible given the needs of people
FJ – principle-driven based on how things affect people
TP – logical but open to change
TJ – decisive and objective
Activity #7: If I were to have any of the other styles, what would I need to feel comfortable with any decision? If I am a very decisive “judger,” what can I learn from the more measured and/or open-minded group members? If I have a strong “perceiving” preference, what could be accomplished by occasionally making decisions without complete assurance? As a feeler, am I willing to accept the need for logical outcomes? As a “thinker,” am I willing to give in to the human needs even if they feel less objective?
Activity #8 Part 1: Consider the following situation. Teacher A (an ENFP) has been put in the role of a teacher leader. Their assignment is to mentor 2 other teachers in their school – both SJ’s. What issues related to values do you see as potential areas of concern? What other issues do you see as potential areas to be attentive to?
Part 2: The administrator working with Teacher A is an ESTJ. What issues do you see related to either vision or decision making style that might pose a problem for them?
Activity #9: Examine the following Chart. Do you concur with the placement of your type on each of the 3 continuum?
Handbook of Leadership (Bass, 1990: 445),