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Typology of styles

The problem of the style of professional activity involves the study of a person as an active subject in the space of many different in nature determinants of his development, activity and behavior. To begin, consider the different manifestations of the phenomenon of "style".

To date, various types of styles have been studied and described in psychology (cognitive, emotional, activities, leadership, communication, behavior, life, perceptual, reactive, and many others). Cognition of the problem of style is associated with a wide range of studies of individuality, personality and its life path, the development of concepts of the subject of activity, communication, joint activity.

Among the diverse approaches that emerged in the 40s – 50s of the last century, several methodologically and methodically the most consistent ones can be distinguished, in the “asset” of which there are numerous publications.

Chronologically, the first direction can be considered "life styles" (behavior, activity, self-regulation). The concept of style was introduced into psychology at the beginning of the 20th century. A. Adler to explain the evolving individual traits, behavioral patterns, dynamics of a person’s life goals, which contribute to masking and compensating for his individual defects (physical, psychological, social) and overcoming the inferiority complex. This style is formed spontaneously as a result of the interaction of a person’s individuality and his living conditions. The concepts of life style, character, personality Adler identified.

The understanding of style as personal dispositions is refined and differentiated over time. G. Olport singles out in the style individual differences in expression, in an expressive manner of behavior, reflecting the attitude of a person to objects and subjects, and “instrumental” personality traits that are operational in nature (ways and means of behavior), with which a person realizes his motives and goals. Later, R. Stagner more clearly and consistently distinguishes between "perceptual styles" - schemes of perceptual acts, and "reactive styles" - types of somatic expressions of a person’s emotional experiences.

The obvious spontaneity of the formation of some stylistic manifestations indicates their probable genetic determinism and brings them closer to modern concepts of temperament, which can be considered as a behavioral style that is formed taking into account the influence of the environment and determines relatively stable strategies of behavior in certain classes of situations. For example, V.M. Rusalov in temperament distinguishes between structural (formal-dynamic) and functional (formal-programmatic) aspects, considering the individual biological characteristics of a person as the basis of some innate behavioral programs *.

* See the review in the book: Tolochek V.A. Styles of professional activity.



Life style as a global psychological phenomenon, of course, could not but be discussed in philosophical, sociological, socio-psychological literature. The concept of a person’s life path has been developed since the 1930s. S. Buhler, M. Weber, T. Verdun, P. Janet, W. Warner, S.L. Rubinstein and others. Researchers associated people's lifestyles with their belonging to one class or another, the social layer, with involvement in one or another labor activity, which led to the formation of a certain way for people to dress, communicate, ways of spending leisure time, etc.

In Russian psychology, three different approaches to this problem can be distinguished: 1) conceptual - the study of style on the basis of more general philosophical, sociological and psychological categories; 2) integral, in which the concept of a lifestyle (and phenomena similar to it in content - behavior, activity, relationships, self-regulation) are determined on the basis of a synthesis of more elementary and sufficiently studied components, integrating the latter into a new quality education; 3) empirical - research and description of different models, options, behavioral strategies, relationships, which can be assessed as more particular manifestations of a person’s life style in any particular field, for example, in communication. In general, life styles are defined as “psychological mechanisms of social activity”; as "the combination of individuality with living conditions", the uniqueness of the way of life, its organization *; communicative styles - as "individually stable, distinctive techniques and methods for transmitting and receiving information in the process of communication."

* Abulkhanova-Slavskaya K.A. Life strategy.



The second major direction can be considered “leadership / leadership styles,” a consistent study of which is opened by the work of K. Levin and his colleagues in 1939, who distinguished authoritarian, democratic and liberal styles, distinguishing between two of them: the content of the solutions proposed by the leader to the group and the technique (methods , tricks) the implementation of these decisions. Two krpiteriya assessments of style: orientation to production tasks for human relations, in the continuum of which eight styles potentially differ, - F. Fidler emphasized.

In numerous subsequent studies of leadership style and leadership, such “factors” were considered as complexity of production tasks, interest and maturity of the team, formal and informal organization, institutional characteristics, etc., however, the question of the relationship of the above “variables” remains debatable *. Leadership styles are understood as “stably repeating features”, “individually-typical features of a holistic, relatively stable system of methods, methods, techniques of the manager’s impact on the team”. In the framework of this direction, four main approaches can be distinguished: 1) personal (reflecting the allocation of the individuality of the leader as the main determinant of his style); 2) behavioral (connecting styles with behavior, personality traits, relationships, motives of subordinates); 3) complex (reflecting the desire to summarize the most studied determinants of style); 4) structural and functional (characterized by posing the question of the internal organization of style).

* See: Tolochek V.A. Styles of professional activity



The third direction, “cognitive styles” (cognitive controls), was born in the “New Look” approach in the early 1950s, when it was the individual differences in the course of perceptual and cognitive processes that became the object of research by psychologists. Representatives of the cognitive trend of neo-Freudianism studied the structural formations of the human psyche, mediating internal (motivational) and external influences. In the works of the Minenger group, cognitive styles (smoothing / emphasizing differences, range of equivalence, rigidity / flexibility of cognitive control, narrowness / breadth of scanning, tolerance for unrealistic experience, impulsiveness / reflexivity) are understood as individual forms of cognitive processes that ensure their adequacy and focus on matching needs individual and environment. Another important basis for cognitive-style research is the work of G. Whitkin, who enriched Gestalt ideas about the field and field behavior by studying its individual differences (field dependence / field independence). Cognitive styles, reflecting the connections in various psychological manifestations (perception, memory, thinking, behavior, activity, communication), are defined as “persistent and permanent individual differences in the cognitive organization”, “the preferred method of cognitive analysis and structuring of one’s environment,” “mental profile abilities "," a system of contra-mechanisms that mediate the intentions of the individual and the requirements of the objective situation "," the mediating link or the projection of the personality on the cognitive sphere "*.

* See review in book. Tolochek V.A. Styles of professional activity



"Individual styles of activity" - the fourth area developed by domestic psychologists E.A. Klimov. V.S. Merlin, E.P. Ilyin and others. This direction differs from foreign ones in an "active", rather than a "personal" approach to the determination of style. His initial theoretical principles were the ideas of L.S. Vygotsky, A.N. Leontyev, P.Ya. Halperina, S.L. Rubinstein, B.M. Teplova, V.S. Merlin on the social conditioning of the development of the psyche, the social equivalence of different biological inclinations, the operational structure of abilities and the possibility of their mutual compensation.

The peculiarity of our understanding of the phenomenon of “style” (the style of professional activity of civil servants, the style of leadership) is that “leader styles,” for example, are considered primarily as psychological systems of an individual subject (his cognitive, emotional, behavioral, individual style of activity), included in the joint professional activities of many entities. One of the specific environmental factors that determine the uniqueness of the manifestation of the subject's style is the managerial structure.

But if the leader is not considered as a separate entity - the carrier of a certain individual style of activity, as defined by E.A.
Klimov, - "a stable system of methods (activities)" or - in the broad sense of the word - as "an individual-unique system of psychological means that a person consciously or spontaneously resorts to in order to best balance his ... individuality with objective, external conditions of activity" * but as an active participant in more general socio-psychological "units", for example, the "triad" (superior leader - leader - subordinate, lower leader), many of the previous ideas about his cardin style no change.

* Klimov E.A. Individual style of activity depending on the properties of the nervous system. Kazan, 1969.S. 49.



Joint activity has a common operational structure for its subjects (which is given by definition and the essence of joint activity) and a common motivational-semantic structure. At the same time, the general fund of semantic formations formed in joint activities acts as its regulator and can be considered as a criterion for its compatibility. The third most important characteristic of joint activity is the commonality of the interpersonal space of its interacting entities. Interpersonal space (socio-psychological space of activity) means the actual socio-psychological aspect of its organization: the distribution of its functions, the roles of the subjects, the representation of one subject in another, their mutual influences and “value contributions”, their cooperation-competition relations, their working subjective positions ("psychological niches"), etc.

So, in a broad sense, style as a “human style” is a constant, fairly stable, universal, “cross-cutting”, holistic psychic formation, including conscious and unconscious mechanisms of a person’s passive and active (transforming) adaptation to the environment. The style is peculiarly manifested depending on the organization of the internal ("integral individuality") and the external environment (organization of the components of the activity and interactions of the subjects), allows for the development of individual styles and their mutual transitions. Style provides the integration of the human mental sphere, its interactions with the external environment (acting as a "mediating" link and one of its behavioral mechanisms). The subject's style is both the cause and effect of his mental development. Highlighting such human activity as activity, and such environmental features as the requirements of the profession, we can talk about styles of professional activity - integral hierarchical bipolar dynamic systems of psychological means of carrying out activities, determined not only by the individuality of the subjects, but, above all, by the organization of the environment (components activities and the interpersonal space of interacting entities) that "removes" some determinations of individual characteristics of the subject who in.

The analysis of the style problem as a whole allows us to single out its general hierarchical structural and functional organization: subjectively convenient conditions of activity - structure - type of organization of activity. Adaptation of the subject to the activity begins with its non-specific factors (operating modes, preferred partners, etc.) and already at the second stage is the mastery of its objective, "technical" actions (structure), and the most delicate and complete balancing, coordination of individuality and external requirements occurs on the third step. However, only the characteristics of one of the three hierarchical levels (for example, “decision-making style”, “communication style”, etc.) usually become the subject of individual studies of the subject’s style, which determines the limited explanation of this phenomenon.

An analysis of the style problem in psychology in general and various stylistic approaches provides sufficient grounds for their initial classification to use similar "coordinates": a) "structured environment" and b) "subject-object" / "subject-subject" relationships, or "activities / interactions "*. With this approach, the whole variety of styles can be distributed in a system of two above-mentioned coordinates.

* Tolochek V.A. Styles of professional activity



Typically, style integrated circuits are built hierarchically. Less attention is paid to the internal organizing conditions of a style of style. The study of three important determinants of style - "individual psychological", "socio-psychological" and "vocational-technological" - allows us to highlight the probable commonality of the structural and functional organization of different styles (cognitive, emotional, leadership, behavior, individual life styles) as combining them base. Thus, in the initial variety, four main groups of styles can be distinguished:

"Adaptation" (organization of mental activity in a certain area of ​​its manifestation - cognitive, emotional, motor, etc.) - local systems of matching individuality with specific external conditions. These include cognitive styles, emotional styles, action styles (motor skills). This group of styles reflects the characteristics of a person’s adaptation to the environment, manifestations of his personality, organization of his motor, emotional and cognitive spheres);

"activities" (are built taking into account the objective structure of the environment) - a system for combining individuality with labor, professional, technological systems. These include the traditionally studied "individual activity styles." This group of styles characterizes how a person is included in professional labor and technological systems;

"interactions" - the system of interfacing the individuality of the subject with social structures, processes, and other subjects. These styles characterize the features of complicity, human interaction with others in social and socio-technical systems (leadership styles, pedagogical activities, etc.);

"relations" - a system of pairing an individual with society, a set of living conditions (life styles, behavior are implied). They reflect the characteristics of a person’s perception of the world, the use of its products, personal meanings, values, etc.

The problem of the subject's style can and should be considered in unity with other stylistic manifestations - cognitive, emotional and psychomotor style, individual style of activity, behavior, lifestyle in general, i.e., as a single style cycle. With this approach, both the factors of the specific determination of the style and its specific manifestations in individual and joint activities become more obvious, which greatly facilitates the task of correcting the styles of subjects and coordinating their identities in organizational structures.

In general, an individual style can be considered as a psychological system that ensures a person’s meeting with himself (as an individual, subject, personality, individuality), as an optimal coordination of a person’s individuality with the conditions (requirements of educational or professional activity, individuality of partners and many others), as psychological system of active individual adaptation of a person to the environment in a number of different style manifestations.

We draw attention to the qualitative feature of the phenomenon of "style" that distinguishes it from other psychological entities. Style is not a "trait", not a "type", not a "characteristic". Style is a dynamic psychological system of the subject's active adaptation to environmental conditions. The external conditions may include the characteristics of the subject’s professional activities, the corporate culture of the organization, the requirements of senior management, interpersonal relationships in the team, as well as training or training methods implemented by this teacher, and much more. In a word, everything that can be objectively or subjectively significant factors for the life of a given person. Probably, different styles are the result of integrating more private styles according to the principle of nested systems.

Summary

Индивидуальность в системе качеств человека занимает одно из центральных мест, выступая как интегральный феномен, своеобразно проявляющийся на разных ступенях личностной зрелости человека.

Продвижение человека к вершинам его личностного и профессионального развития сопряжено с постоянными процессами интеграции, с одной стороны, индивидуально-психологических особенностей человека – с другой, интеграции его индивидуальности с совокупностью условий среды, профессиональной деятельности в частности, и формирования его индивидуального стиля (деятельности, жизнедеятельности и др.). "Деятельностная" и "поведенческая" линии развития человека взаимосвязаны; "внешние" условия проявляются через "внутренние" (С.Л. Рубинштейн). Интегрируясь и синтезируясь в "стиль", психические качества субъекта сами выступают как его новые "внутренние" условия, как новая причина дальнейшего развития личности и субъекта деятельности.
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