What is a Personal Style Survey? How does it work?

The standardised Personal Style Survey used by Lifo® trainers is a quick, straightforward way of finding out each person's preferred way of doing things. It is a survey, not a test - so there are no ‘right' or ‘wrong' answers. The feedback after you complete the Survey is completely non-judgmental. It simply highlights how each individual behaves, both in normal circumstances and when under stress.

The feedback that you receive will classify your behaviour as falling mainly into one or two of four basic orientations or styles.

How do I know that the results of my Lifo® Personal Style Survey are accurate?

You will recognise your behaviour very strongly in the feedback!

The Personal Style Survey is constructed as a “forced choice ranking” of four different endings to each statement. The process of forcing the person completing the survey to choose between 4 behaviours quickly is designed to access the individual's sub-conscious self-understanding and to bring it into conscious understanding through feedback and discussion of the survey results.

Because the process is non-threatening it is possible to openly discuss and confirm the survey findings with the client - “Does this feel or sound accurate to them?” The licensee can encourage them to discuss and validate the findings with friends and colleagues. It is important to ensure that they choose someone who they trust to know them and to have a constructive opinion to offer. If necessary, they should be allowed to modify the findings to create a “best fit” profile of their behaviour.

However, some aspects of traditional reliability and validity measures are helpful.

How can the results of a Personal Style Survey lead me to improve my teamworking, management skills and so on?

The feedback will give you unique insights into how you behave under different circumstances. Guided by a Lifo® trainer, you can explore how to make more of your strengths, recognise what prevents you from achieving more highly and minimise ineffective behaviour. The feedback also points you towards ways of getting on better with other people; and how to make the most of their strengths.

You will find that the feedback can have a powerful effect on you. Imagine how it could work if your entire team completed the survey. Because the feedback is completely objective, people feel comfortable discussing the survey findings and their implications and developing positive ways to respond to each others' strengths, supported at every step by Lifo® consultants.

Is the Personal Style Survey hokum? Are Lifo® trainers charlatans?

The Lifo® Personal Style Surveys have been used all over the world since 1968. From small beginnings in a university department, over 40 years Lifo® has been used by more than 8 million people in 20,000 organisations of all sizes, in 28 countries and is available in more than 13 languages.

The Lifo® survey is a powerful tool. It can work in the short-term, as a bit of thought-provoking fun - or it can have long-term impact as the basis of an in-depth training and development programme. For details of how organisations of all sizes have used the Lifo® method to make the most of their resources, see our detailed case studies and list of organisations we have worked with

Lifo® has a number of specific, practical applications that must be formally taught. Those who wish to incorporate the Lifo® method into their own coaching, training or development undertake the training and accreditation programme offered by Life Orientations® Ltd. There is a world-wide network of licensees

It sounds as if the Lifo® method could work well with Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP).

Lifo® can be integrated with many different approaches. It integrates particularly well with those that concentrate on unleashing potential and growth. There is some correlation between Lifo® and meta programmes

Some Lifo® practitioners use NLP interventions to help to clear barriers to change that have been identified through the Lifo® survey.

The Lifo® method does seem very like the Myers-Briggs type indicator (MBTI). Do they work together?

The Lifo® method and MBTI measure different aspects of human functioning. They can be used for similar purposes, but the outcomes will be different.

Both instruments can be used to create self-awareness. Both can be used to create the ‘Aha!' moment, when a person suddenly realises how they fit into the world. Thereafter, Lifo® seems to provide more opportunities for individuals to take steps to make personal changes. MBTI continues to explain differences in a way that is meaningful for the individual.

A great design is to use MBTI for team-level descriptions; and Lifo® for individual development.

An alternative path would be to use a mainstream personality instrument such as the Revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO PI-R) or the 16pf of‘Who you are' and combine with Lifo® How you do who you are?

Would there be any point in using Lifo® with our organisation's competency framework? We don't want our employees to be modelled to within an inch of their lives!

Overlaying a person's Lifo® profile over your competency framework will be a really useful starting-point for that individual to celebrate their strengths. They will also be able to ask themselves: ‘Given my strengths, which competencies will I achieve naturally? Which will I find difficult? And which will be completely unnatural activities for me?' Overlaying Lifo® profiles over the competency framework will enable you to analyse the way your people operate in the workplace - starting from looking at their strengths.

Is Lifo® applicable to everyday life, outside work?

Most definitely! Lifo® has lots of ideas for using the method to make daily life smoother by communicating better. It can also help you to deal with stress. Life Orientations® also runs courses on Lifo® and parenting. Just contact us for details.

I still have a lot of questions about Lifo®. How can I find out more?

Please look through this website for more in-depth information about Lifo® and how it can help you and your organisation. If you still need answers, do please contact us.

t: +44 (0)1628 633101 | e: action@lifeorientations.com