Being a More Effective ISTJ

June 9th, 2006

In this ongoing series, we are discussing in-depth personality type strengths and weaknesses and how that type can be more effective in their interactions with others.  This material is largely from the book, “YOU-Being More Effective In Your MBTI Type.”

ISTJ’s like straightforward and direct information and find dealing with change a challenge.  Following are suggestions that can ease this pain: 

1.  Tolerance Of Errors & Mistakes:  Good advice for the ISTJ is when confronted with change, make a series of smaller decisions, get feedback, correct the course, get a little more data, move forward a little more, until the problem is under control.  ISTJ’s push to ”get it right” the first time.  If they would start small with little decisions and take small actions as soon as possible, they can recover more quickly.

2.  Perfectionism:  Try to decrease need for more data and being always right until a more reasonable balance is reached between thinking it through and taking action.  Try making small decisions without any data.  Studies suggest successful general managers are about 65% correct.  You don’t have to be completely accurate all of the time.

3.  Solving Problems:  What are the deep principles of what you’re working on?  Search your business past and the historical past for parallels - not in parallel organizations, but ask a broader question that will aid in the search for solutions, such as “What are the deep principles of what we’re working on?”  When Motorola wanted to find out how to process orders more quickly, they went to Domino’s Pizza and Federal Express, not other electronics firms.

4.  Patterns.  Look at successes and search for the underlying principles the success.  Reduce your insights to principles that may be repeatable, and, then when faced with the next new problem, those general underlying principles will apply.

5.  Completion:  Recognize that many tasks may only ever get 80% done and change your internal process toward feeling good about fixing mistakes and moving things forward incrementally.

Next post, we’ll discuss how ISTJ’s can Show Compassion and Caring.

ISTJ - Introverted Sensing with Extraverted Thinking

June 1st, 2006

(Exercerpted from YOU - Being More Effective In Your MBTI Type.) 

11.6% of Population; 17% of Managers

Typical Strengths:  Orderly, persevering, responsible, task oriented, honest, fair-minded and loyal, business oriented, interested in trends.

ISTJs seek precision and clarity in information - spoken or written and these two qualities promote a thorough and practical concentration on the task at hand.  The Extraverted Thinking portion of their type causes them to appear as focused, orderly, critical and decisive people who trust facts and structure.  Their Extraverted Feeling and Extraverted Intuiting often show in their sense of mission and the intensity they display when tackling problems.  Unfortunately, these qualities are sometimes misinterpreted as demanding, rigid and stubborn.

Typical Communication Patterns

Carefully share tested and verifiable data.

Decisive, predictable and realistic in expression of information.

Logical, mater-of-fact and detailed presentation.

When overplayed, ISTJs may appear to be too mechanical and not take people’s needs into account.

General Learning Strategy

ISTJs usually learn best with clearly stated objectives and procedures; prefer to analyze, examine, and think it through before telling others.

Their preferred learning strategies are likely to be analyzing, identifying the facts first, label, then categorizing information.

Their learning is helped by clear directions, prework with “doing” activities included such as answering questions and engaging in some competitive challenge.

Interpersonal Qualities Related to Motivation

They generally attempt to motivate others with precise, accurate and timely information.

ISTJs are concise and analytical, figuring that logic and order will engage others.

Blind Spots

Others may see their deliberate analytical behavior as manipulating, demanding and impatient.

They can often be seen as pressuring and blunt.

Their commitment to careful precision is interpreted by some as guarded dogmatism.

Stress Related Behavior

As an initial response to stress, ISTJs usually increase their efforts at thorough methodical strategies.  This can look exaggerated, that they insist on control and heavy conformance to expectations.

Under enough stress, their natural attention to precision can lead to anticipation of failure and seeing the incompetence of people and processes around them, for which they may find abundant evidence!

Potential Barriers to Effectiveness

Typical needs for ISTJs are to create a more developmental climate and express more compassion for those who work with them.  Both of these can cause career stumbles.

Having a low tolerance for ambiguity, they may find it difficult to advance in organizations where teamwork orientation and strategic agility are essential.

(Note from Pam:  All of us use the four functions - Intuitiion, Sensing, Thinking, Feeling - even though our type letters represent only two of them.  Depending upon whether or not you’re energy is focused as an extravert or an introvert and whether you take action as judging or perceiving, determines the attitude and order in which we use these functions.)

On our next post we will discuss:  Being a More Effective ISTJ

Understanding Your Type in Depth

May 26th, 2006

Welcome to our first post on The PEOPLE Process Blog.  Our mission is to provide products that assist people to quickly and easily understand their own type, recognize someone else’s psychological type and relate to that person within their “comfort zone.” 

We will take each  of the 16 personality types as created by Dr. Carl Jung and furthered by the Myers Briggs Type Indicator and examine the strengths/weaknesses, and how these areas can be improved.  All of us want to live happier, more productive lives and relate easily and successfully to others.  The information we will address in this Blog will be to that end.

We will begin with a terrific book that was published in 2005 called, YOU-Being More Effective In your MBTI Type. 

Authors:  Roger Pearman, Michael Lombardo, Robet Eichinger, published 2005.

This is a very comprehensive book that contains the 16 personality types measured by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and the 20 facets that underlie these types. 

The reason this book is so unique is that it contains the only research that relates MBTI types to effectiveness data at work.  MBTI types are related to patterns from a variety of data bases, including from the Center for Creative Leadership.  For each type, there are some likely strengths, some ways you may get into trouble, and what you can do about it.

The book is helpful for:

People who want to grow and enhance their skills.

HR professionals who want to be able to relate personal characteristics to skills and effectiveness.

Experienced MBTI users - executive coaches, OD consultants, training and development professionals who want to relate type preference to increasing competence at work.

Within this Blog we’re going to review the book in detail, taking one personality type at a time and discussing the strengths and areas that are potential barriers to effectiveness based on the research within.