Investigating Leadership Styles, Personality Preferences, and Effective Teacher Consultation

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  • This article was downloaded by: [The University of Manchester Library]On: 01 November 2014, At: 17:51Publisher: RoutledgeInforma Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954Registered office: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T3JH, UK

    Journal of Educational andPsychological ConsultationPublication details, including instructions forauthors and subscription information:http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/hepc20

    Investigating LeadershipStyles, PersonalityPreferences, and EffectiveTeacher ConsultationMary Savelsbergh & Bonnie StaeblerPublished online: 08 Jun 2010.

    To cite this article: Mary Savelsbergh & Bonnie Staebler (1995) InvestigatingLeadership Styles, Personality Preferences, and Effective Teacher Consultation,Journal of Educational and Psychological Consultation, 6:3, 277-286, DOI: 10.1207/s1532768xjepc0603_7

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  • JOURNAL OF EDUCATIONAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL CONSULTATION, 6(3), 277-286 Copyright o 1995, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.

    Investigating Leadership Styles, Personality Preferences, and Effective

    Teacher Consultation

    Mary Savelsbergh Department of Professional Studies in Education

    California State University, Chico

    Bonnie Staebler Division of Special Education Western Oregon State College

    We examined the relations among leadership styles (telling, selling, participating, and delegating), personality preferences (extravert- introvert, sensing-intuitive, feeling-thinking, and judging-perceiving), and effectiveness as a consultant teacher. The sample consisted of 31 consultant teachers. Three instruments were administered: The LEAD-Self (Hersey & Blanchard, 1973), the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (Briggs Myers, 1976), and the Survey of Effectiveness of Collaborative Consultants (West & Cannon, 1987). The raw scores indicated that selling and participating were the two leadership styles most often used by the consultant teachers. No significant relations were found between the consultant teachers' effectiveness scores and any of the leadership styles. The significant relation found was between personality index preference and effectiveness in consulting. Sensing was a significant variable when effectiveness was considered. Together, the extravert and the sensing scores were good predictors of effectiveness.

    Over the past 10 years, use of the consultant model as a service delivery option for students with mild disabilities has increased (Conoley & Conoley, 1982; Ysseldyke et al., 1984). This emphasis is based on the belief that consultation is beneficial to students with mild disabilities and

    Requests for reprints should be sent to Mary Savelsbergh, Department of Professional Studies in Education, California State University, Chico, Chico, CA 95929-0465.

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  • 278 SAVELSBERGH AND STAEBLER

    to their teachers. Indeed, several studies have shown that students benefit academically when their teachers share ideas and collaborate on activities (Little, 1982; Tye & Tye, 1984). Other studies have shown that underachieving students benefit most when lessons are closely coordi- nated by remedial and regular educators (Allington & Johnston, 1984; Johnston, Allington, & Afflerbach, 1985; Leinhardt & Pallay, 1982). More than a dozen models of consultation between special and regular educators have been discussed (West & Idol, 1987).

    The increased use of consultants evokes many questions about the efficacy of individuals performing the role. Friend and Cook (1992) suggested the need for research that examines the efficiency and effectiveness of training practices for special education teacher consult- ants. West and Idol (1987) pointed out that investigations to determine the knowledge, skills, attitude, and personality characteristics of suc- cessful versus unsuccessful educational consultants were needed. A Delphi panel of acknowledged experts in consultation added knowledge of leadership style to the list of necessary competencies for consultants (West & Cannon, 1987). Yet, very little research has been focused on the personalities or leadership styles of effective consultants. To address these issues, we examined the relations between (a) style of leadership and consultant effectiveness and (b) personality mode and consultant effectiveness.

    Specifically, we examined the relations among consultant teacher effectiveness, leadership styles (telling, selling, participating, and dele- gating), and personality preferences (extravert-introvert, sensing- intuitive, feeling-thinking, and judging-perceiving). The questions posed were: Is there a relation between leadership style and effective consultation, and is there a relation between personality preference and effective consultation?

    METHOD

    Subjects

    The sample consisted of 31 school personnel who worked as teacher consultants. Each consulted as part of his or her job or worked as a full-time educational consultant. Three had a regular classroom teaching background, 6 had a counseling background, 17 had both regular education and special education backgrounds, 20 worked in a large metropolitan school district, 5 worked in a suburban school district, and 6 worked at a county education service district. They were chosen by their building administrators prior to receiving training as consultants.

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  • EFFECTIVE CONSULTANTS 279

    The consultants averaged 9 years of teaching experience and 2 years of consulting experience. Five were men, and 26 were women. All pro- vided consultation for students with mild disabilities. District adminis- trators selected them to receive training in collaborative consultation in a series of six full-day workshops.

    Instruments

    Three instruments were used to measure relations among leadership styles, personality types, and effective consultation. The instruments were (a) the LEAD-Self Leadership Inventory (LEAD-Self; Hersey & Blanchard, 1973), (b) the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI; Briggs Myers, 1976), and (c) a survey of effectiveness of collaborative consult- ants (SECC) adapted from the Essential Collaborative Consultation Competence for Regular and Special Educators (West & Cannon, 1987).

    The LEAD-Self measures behaviors expected of consultants. It as- rsesses how often a consultant selects telling, selling, participating, or (delegating behaviors when these options are provided. The role of the consultant demands the ability to tell people information, sell ideas to others, participate in teams, and delegate authority.

    The LEAD-Self is a self-perception questionnaire that presents 12 'leadership situations and describes a leader's style in terms of telling, selling, participating, or delegating. Respondents answer multiple- (choice questions that describe actions that they would take in particular situations. The LEAD-Self has been judged to be an empirically sound instrument (Greene, 1980). Reliability and validity were reported to be moderately strong.

    The MBTI is widely accepted in education and has a strong empirical base. It measures personality types according to Jung's theory of types (Myers & Myers, 1983). Jung's theory is concerned with perception (information gathering) and judgment (decision making) behavior. The four personality index preferences, referred to as modes, are extravert-introvert (EI), sensing-intuition (SN), thinking-feeling (TF), and judging-perceiving (JP). The modes represent opposite ends of personality co

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