Congruence of a political leader: problemization in a person-centered approach
Abstract. The article aims to problematize the congruence of a political leader to build trusting relationships with followers and form more realistic approaches to solving urgent tasks on the national and global agenda.
Approach. In the person-centered approach, congruence appears when an individuals internal and external experiences and symbolizations are one. In modern leadership theories, congruence is one of the three basic traits of a "good leader". It means the ability to establish deep, meaningful relationships with followers based on the closeness of lifestyle. Finally, in political science, congruence is understood as the conformity of the leader's position to the followers' attitudes, expectations, and actions. Of particular importance is the conformity of the patterns of power-subordinate relations. The requirement of congruence, which is relevant for a political leader at the intra- and inter-subject levels, creates a conflict of congruence.
Results. The author describes two basic types of conflict resolution by a political leader that can lead to destructive consequences for political stability and public trust: incongruence of expression and experience. The author outlines the principles and conditions for a more constructive resolution of the conflict of congruences.
Conclusions and prospects for further research. Despite some limitations in applying congruence to political leadership, the human-centered approach opens up some perspectives in resolving dilemmas between private and public imperatives, which now remain a source of political conflict with systemic negative consequences for the stability and effectiveness of political systems. The urgent task of modern politics is to abandon rigid, rigid, destructive ways of resolving the conflict of congruences in favor of more flexible, conscious, and responsible approaches.