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Take a Look at Yourself: The Self in System Sensitizer

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Dimension 6:  Managing Structure

Structuring has to do with the extent to which we maintain control over the framework within which others work.  Do we create clear agendas for meetings and hold to these agendas?  Do we clearly spell out for others what we expect them to do, and do we hold them to these expectations?  Do we set time schedules, and do we hold others to these schedules?  Do we specify the rules and procedures we expect others to work by, and do we hold them to these rules and procedures?

Sometimes we are comfortable in being able both to structure situations for others and to modify or adapt structures we have created. We are able to set agendas, time schedules, expectations, rules and procedures and hold people to these; and we are able to back off from what we have created and modify it, change it, or eliminate it altogether.

Sometimes, however, we get stuck on OVERSTRUCTURING, that is we are reluctant to modify existing structures and once we create new structures, we are reluctant to modify these. And sometimes we get stuck on UNDERSTRUCTURING, that is, we are reluctant to create structures for others and we allow others to change whatever structures we have created.

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When we are STUCK ON UNDERSTRUCTURING, we tend to be reluctant to create structures for others, and we are reluctant to enforce whatever structures we have created. Sometimes we understructure because structuring makes us uncomfortable; we allow situations to be looser than we would like because we don’t feel comfortable in tightening them up—asking others to stick to schedules, to follow agendas, to play by the rules, to follow procedures, and so forth.  And sometimes we understructure because we don’t believe in imposing our will on others, because we believe that people ought to be free to do what they want to do.

On a scale of 1 (not at all) to 7 (very characteristic), to what extent do you feel that UNDERSTRUCTURING characterizes your pattern of organizational behavior?
                                    (Choose and note an appropriate number)                      ____

 

When we are STUCK ON OVERSTRUCTURING, we tend to be reluctant to modify or allow others to modify whatever structures we have created for them.  We create tight structures for others and we resist changes in these structures.  Sometimes we do this because we feel personally uncomfortable with such changes and are uncertain of our ability to manage the resulting ambiguity; and sometimes we do this because we believe it is our responsibility to structure situations for others and that it is their responsibility to operate within these structures.

On the same 7-point scale, to what extent do you feel that OVERSTRUCTURING characterizes your pattern of organizational behavior?
                                    (Choose and note an appropriate number)                      ____

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