Life styles inventory ™ (LSI) style descriptions (sample items in Italics)
The Humanistic-Encouraging style reflects an interest in the growth and development of people, a high positive regard for them, and sensitivity to their needs. People with this style devote energy to counseling and coaching others, interact with others in a thoughtful and considerate way, and provide them with support and encouragement. (encourages others, willing to take time with people).
The Affiliative style reflects an interest in developing and sustaining pleasant relationships with others. People with this style share their thoughts and feelings with others, are friendly and cooperative, and make others feel like they are part of the team. (cooperative, likes to include others in activities).
The Achievement style is based on the need to attain high quality results on challenging projects, the belief that outcomes are linked to one’s effort rather than chance, and the tendency to personally set challenging yet realistic goals. People exhibiting this style think ahead and plan, explore alternatives before acting, and learn from their mistakes. (enjoys a challenge, sets own goals).
The Self-Actualizing style is based on needs for personal growth, self-fulfillment, and the realization of one’s potential. People exhibiting this style demonstrate a strong desire to learn and experience things, creative yet realistic thinking, and a balanced concern for people and tasks. (optimistic & realistic, high personal integrity).
The Approval style reflects a need to be accepted and a tendency to tie one’s self-worth to being liked by others. People with this style try very hard to please others, make a good impression, and be agreeable or obedient. (generous to a fault, agrees with everyone).
The Conventional style reflects a preoccupation with conforming and “blending in” with the environment to avoid calling attention to oneself. People with this style tend to rely on established routines and procedures, prefer to maintain the status quo, and desire a secure and predictable work environment. (thinks rules more important than ideas, conforming).
The Dependent style reflects a need for self-protection coupled with the belief that one has little direct or personal control over important events. People who exhibit this style (possibly as a result of recent changes in their personal or work lives) allow others to make decisions for them, depend on others for help, and willingly obey orders. (obeys too willingly, very respectful to superiors).
The Avoidance style reflects apprehension, a strong need for self-protection, and a propensity to withdraw from threatening situations. People with this style “play it safe” and minimize risks, shy away from group activities and conversations, and react to situations in an indecisive or non-committal way. (evasive, leaves decisions to others).
The Oppositional style reflects a need for security that manifests itself in a questioning, critical and even cynical manner. Though people exhibiting this style ask tough questions that can lead to better ideas, they might also emphasize even minor flaws, use criticism to gain attention, and blame others for their own mistakes. (slow to forgive a wrong, opposes new ideas).
The Power style reflects needs for prestige and influence and the tendency to equate self-worth with controlling others. People with strong tendencies along this style dictate (rather than guide) the actions of others, try to run everything themselves, and treat others in aggressive and forceful ways—which, ironically, limits their true influence. (runs things by self, abrupt).
The Competitive style is based on a need to protect one’s status by comparing oneself to others, outperforming them, and never appearing to lose. People with this style seek recognition and praise from others, view even non-competitive situations as a contest or challenge to “prove” themselves, and try to maintain a sense of superiority. (overestimates ability, gets upset over losing).
The Perfectionistic style is based on the need to attain flawless results and avoid failure, and involves the tendency to equate self-worth with the attainment of unreasonably high standards. People who exhibit this style are preoccupied with details, place excessive demands on themselves and others, and tend to show impatience, frustration, and indifference to the needs of others. (de-emphasizes feelings, impatient with own errors).
Research and Development by: Robert A. Cooke, Ph.D. and J. Clayton Lafferty, Ph.D. Style names, descriptions and items are copyrighted © and used by permission. From J. C. Lafferty (1986), Life Styles Inventory Self-Development Guide, Plymouth MI USA: Human Synergistics. All Rights Reserved.