Group Leadership and Personality/Leadership Style

Group Leadership and Personality/Leadership Style

Often, one of the first major responsibilities that a member is given is to chair a committee, or even to form one. This creates the necessity of Teaming how to lead a small group. To do this more smoothly, the chair needs to know his or her own personality type and leadership style as well as those of the people he or she is working with. It is true that these will become apparent from practice, but knowing something about them ahead of time may make the inevitable issues that arise in communications less mysterious.

One of the best ways to learn about your personality type and leadership style is to take personality assessment tests. Many people have heard of the Meyers-Briggs personality assessments, but there are others. It is a good idea to take more than one of them, since each test has its own insights and biases. Your results should be interpreted for you by people who have been trained to do so. The insights to be gained from doing these analyses among a board, a committee or a group can help it to understand how every type of person is important to its functioning, how every type has a compatible role. They can help us place people more appropriately in roles and tasks. They help us to predict how someone may act or react in a given situation and help us plan positive strategies for good teamwork that honors diversity and individual uniqueness.

Such analyses and appropriate training about the concepts can also help group members to learn how better to understand and communicate with each other. We must also understand that people are capable of change and that we can act in ways that help their best, their unique potential to emerge. If we can do so in our groups, in our Societies, then we can more nearly live out the principles that we espouse as Ethical Culturists/Humanists.

As new members take on more responsibilities, they may need to negotiate with other people, with or between groups, or to get support from groups with different agendas. By now, they have probably dealt with some differences, either between themselves and members of a group, or as part of one group with a different agenda or purpose than another group. These differences or disagreements, if not dealt with openly and ethically, can grow into conflicts that are much more difficult to manage or resolve and may even escalate to a severe conflict that may be resolvable only with a major disruption of the organization, people quitting or being dismissed.


Personality Type and Religious Leadership by Roy M. Oswald and Otto Kroeger (Alban) No.AL103 $17.95

Please Understand Me: Character & Temperament Types by David Keirsey and Marilyn Bates includes a self-test and analysis of temperament types, how they work in relationships and roles (Del Mar, CA: Prometheus Nemesis Book Co, 1978) Available in many book stores

Alban Institute has consultants who can do such analyses with your Society lay and professional leaders.

There are also many psychologists and others who are trained to administer and analyze the Myers-Briggs inventory: Those available in Ethical Culture are:
Ellen Brasunas, St. Louis
Jone Johnson Lewis