E.J.P. Van Loon
ADC, Velp, The Netherlands

E-mail:rens.vanloon@adc.nl

 

LEADERSHIP AND THE DIALOGICAL SELF:
EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP AS FLEXIBLE MOVING BETWEEN I-POSITIONS

 

In this paper the concept of the dialogical self is applied in the context of leadership development. In line with the theory of the dialogical self (Hermans, Kempen & Van Loon, 1992; Hermans, 1996) the audience will be introduced to the use of this concept in leadership training. Within these training programs effective leadership is clarified in terms of different I-positions: the entrepreneur, the manager and the coach. In the training we put together the organizational phase of development and the required profile of the leader. With the principles of the Self-Confrontation Method (SCM) the different I-positions of the leader are explored. Effective leadership is considered as a flexible movement between these I-positions of the entrepreneur, the manager and the coach. By means of the SCM each of them gets a meaningful affective profile. By exploring and discussing these different I-positions during the process of self-reflection and by relating them to leadership behavior in the feedback and training sessions, the leader will be enabled to improve his leadership style. In the paper we put forward the results of a case study in which nine leaders went through a training program.