Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Relationship Advice for Extraverts & Introverts

Friday, December 14th, 2012

A couple of months ago, I spent eight days with a charming Extravert.  As an Introvert myself having spent the past 23 years researching, teaching, and writing about personality type, I was very surprised at the feelings and reactions that came up for me during these eight days.  It reminded me of how important it is to understand the Energy behavior dimension of personality type. 

The PEOPLE Process
Training Manual & Participant Package

I’m not sure I’ve ever spent this much time with an Extravert - eight days, from 6:30am to 9:00pm each day!  My husband, who is now deceased, was an Introvert and my parents and three siblings were Introverts with one brother being an Extravert.

Don’t get me wrong. I have tremendous respect and admiration for Extraverts.  They have that wonderful ability to be at ease in all situations that involve interaction with other people.  They can walk up to anyone with total ease and introduce themselves and not experience that gut wrenching feeling that perhaps they’re annoying or interrupting someone. Extraverts seem to exhibit a love for all mankind.  We Introverts feel that same love for all mankind, it’s just that we don’t show it.  It’s all inside.

By the end of this eight-day period I was exhausted from being “on” all of the time!  The mistake I made was not taking time out for myself during the day to “recharge” my batteries.  It took me several weeks to recover. Adding to the intensity of the situation was the fact that I was just getting to know this individual which, of course, added to the energy drain.

I’m thankful for this experience, however, because it reminded me of how important it is, in fact vital, to understand the difference between Extraverts and Introverts and give ourselves permission to “take care” of our energy.

Without this understanding you could think something is the matter with each other when, in fact, it is completely because of the differences in how you “gather your energy.”

This knowledge is vital for couples to understand!  Many people marry without ever knowing about one another’s personality type and then are surprised when they have conflicts.  Most of the conflicts can be solved by applying a knowledge and understanding of one another’s type.

How We Get & Direct Our Energy - E/I - Extravert or Introvert

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

E- — ————————-X——————————I

The first dimension of behavior in psychological type theory is how our Energyis gathered.

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

Each behavior is on a continuum with a preference for one or the other, the degree of which falling somewhere along the continuum. A person could be a ?strong? Extravert meaning he?d fall completely to the left of the continuum or a person could be more towards the middle, meaning closer towards the fulcrum on the continuum. We are, however, one or the other not both. Even though we use both preferences throughout our day, we don?t use each preference with equal ease. Our inborn preference is our natural strength.?

Extraverts are energized from the outside world of people, places and things and Introverts are energized by their internal world of ideas, emotions and impressions. Extraverts are energized by being around people and Introverts are drained by being around groups of people too much and need time alone to recharge. Extraverts often feel they are the one to initiate contact while Introverts seem to hold back from initiating contact.

This preference is not gender based ? in other words there is no difference in the percentage of men and women who are Extraverts or Introverts. It is the preference for one or the other that influences behavior, not the gender.

Extraverts often tackle many projects at once and in their work style prefer an ?open door policy? and are seen out walking around the office. Introverts discourage interruptions, prefer to work alone and like to immerse themselves in a project. Extraverts are ?action oriented? taking on many different tasks at a time and Introverts prefer to work at a steadier pace, thinking through how they will do the job before they begin.

Extraverts like to think out loud and really need to talk something through in order to understand it, while Introverts prefer to carefully think things through and even mull them over. This doesn?t mean that Introverts are shy. To the contrary, their process is internal and observational.

All of this information seems very straightforward and helpful and so we may ask ourselves, ?So what?? Why are you spending time talking about this in an article? I?ve observed a lot of friction and stress between people in business and personal relationships that can be easily solved with an understanding and use of psychological type theory.

For instance, regarding a couple I know that is on the verge of divorce (he is an Introvert and she is an Extravert), a lot of their communication problems could be solved by an understanding and application of personality type theory.

The husband (whom I?ll call Art) is an Introvert. Art is in business for himself and works alone out of the home. His business is successful requiring intense concentration and focus as well as accuracy for large amounts of data. Art cares deeply about people and tends to keep these opinions to himself. Art is a very private person.

The wife (Mary) is an Extravert and a ?stay at home? mom who is very active in her children?s life and their religion. Mary tends to take on a lot of projects at once and likes to provide service for lots of people, taking her from the home a lot. When Mary is involved in a project the whole family and house is involved, including the dog. If someone calls that needs assistance, Mary jumps in the car and is off to provide. Mary is happiest surrounded by lots of people and serves as the Activities Director for their Church requiring being a hostess for functions of up to 350+ people at a time.

Art feels unappreciated by Mary and Mary thinks Art is too harsh because he seems to get stressed out and lose his temper easily. How could an understanding of the behavior dimension of how our Energy is gathered assist Mary and Art in having a better relationship and eliminate a lot of the tension in their relationship?

For one thing, just knowing that there is a difference between how each of them gathers their energy and what that means will be amazingly freeing in how they interact. The common way people interact is to project their way of behaving onto others. We look through our lens of behavior and expectation at others and expect and/or judge them if they don?t behave likewise.

If Art was informed about Extraverts and how they are energized outside of themselves, he would know that Mary requires interaction with others in order to relate to the world. He would understand that if Mary spends too much time alone, she can get depressed. And, if Mary was informed about Introverts, she would understand that Art requires time alone to plan his day, work his plan and ?think? about his work. Mary would know that Art finds it tiring and draining to constantly be around and interacting with a group of people. He likes to plan and schedule the time he spends socially. Mary would understand that if Art is pushed into too much Extraverting, he is likely to become stressed-out and lose his patience/temper.

I?m an Introvert and didn?t find this out until I was in my early 40′s. As I learned more about my preference for being energized as an Introvert, I began to manage my activities making sure that I had time alone for reflection and thinking things through. I suffered from tension headaches all of my life that always lasted two to three days at a time ? every week. When I became educated about type, I realized that all of the ?Extraverting? I was doing, because I thought that was what you were supposed to do in life, created physical stress and was the reason I was getting these crippling headaches. In fact, once I planned my interaction with people better, the headaches stopped. I haven?t had such a headache now in over a decade. And, my health is excellent in large part, because of being able to manage my activities through the knowledge of how I gather Energy and making sure that I don?t overextend myself through my interaction with other people.

There are four behavior dimensions in personality type: how our Energy is focused, how we gather Information, how we make Decisions, and how we take Action. Energy is the first dimension and all four are equally important. Having knowledge and understanding of our preferences and the preferences in each of the four dimensions of our loved ones and associates can profoundly affect the quality of our life and relationships.

The percentage of Extraverts is 50% and the percentage of Introverts is 50% in the United States.

Personality Type and Careers

Friday, November 16th, 2012

A thorough understanding of your personality type can be a tremendous?guide that can help you to:???

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

  • Choose a new job or career
  • Change your job or career
  • Increase your satisfaction with your present career??????

Your personality type can assist you in developing your career goals and establishing a??process to reach those goals. When you use Side 1 of The PEOPLE Process Wheel to decide your four-letter type, you can study the Profile Sheet that is within the participant package for your type and gain a thorough understanding of your strengths ? your unique gifts.

The more you understand about yourself, the better your decisions will be and the more effectively you will be able to implement those decisions. Your personality preferences can help you decide what you want to do, how to approach that field and get what you want.

To briefly review, personality type theory was developed by Dr. Carl Jung in the early 1900s. Dr. Jung sought to explain the normal differences between healthy people. Jung espoused that the differences in people?s behavior was a result from people?s inborn tendencies to use their minds in different ways. As people act on these tendencies, they develop patterns of behavior.???

We have different energy levels, notice different aspects of the world around us, make decisions based on different criteria and structure our lives in different ways depending on what makes us most comfortable. These characteristics combine to create the whole personality. Dr. Jung identified four dimensions that make up our personality type ? and these are part of our DNA ? they are inborn traits.

The four dimensions are: Energy, Information, Decision, Action, and are used by us hundreds of times a day. Each dimension consists of two opposite poles. Picture each dimension as a continuum with a mid-point in the center. Each of us has a natural inborn preference (strength) for one side of the continuum or the other in each of the four dimensions.

Turn The PEOPLE Process Wheel to Side 2 and review how someone should treat you in the four windows that match your four letter type. This will give you insight into the types of work and surroundings that will be most fulfilling for you. For instance, if in the Energy behavior dimension you chose Introvert you will see that the way you prefer to be treated is:

  • Relate one-on-one
  • Value their need for privacy
  • Allow them time to change focus
  • Ask questions to draw them out
  • Do not pressure for an instant response

This tells you that you like to work alone and don?t need a lot of supervision. You?re great at putting things together behind the scenes.

However, if you chose Extravert in the Energy behavior dimension, you?ll find that you like to have a lot of interaction with others and you want them to:

  • Listen attentively
  • Be actively responsive
  • Be energetic & enthusiastic
  • Support their need to communicate
  • Recognize their need for social interaction

Extraverts like to be able to bounce ideas off of others and get immediate feedback. They would be very frustrated working all alone in a cubicle on a project by themselves.

In the Information behavior dimension, if you chose Sensing as your preference, you?ll find that you have skills in dealing with facts and details and when receiving information from someone you prefer that they:

  • Be orderly and organized
  • Show facts with evidence
  • Be direct and to the point
  • Draw on your experience
  • Be practical because you are

If you chose Intuition in the Information behavior dimension, you are terrific at coming up with creative solutions, marketing direction and ?out of the box? ideas and when receiving information you prefer they:

  • Give you an overview
  • Have a vision of the future
  • Appeal to your imagination
  • Encourage your need to explore
  • Allow for the expansion of ideas

When it comes to making a Decision, a Thinking person is logical, steps back and objectifies the decision, preferring to be treated this way:

  • Expect questions
  • Use logic
  • Be calm and reasonable
  • Be brief, concise, yet thorough
  • Present information for their analysis

A Feeling person personalizes decisions asking, ?How does this affect me and the people involved?? This person likes you to remember to:

  • Be honest and sincere
  • Be personal and friendly
  • Share with them your feelings
  • Encourage them to share their feelings
  • Allow them time to know and trust you

In the Action behavior dimension, the Judging person likes to control their environment and prefers that you:

  • Don?t disturb their order
  • Be prepared and deliberate
  • Value their time because they do
  • Finalize whenever & wherever possible
  • Take their deadlines seriously

And, the Perceiving person values spontaneity above all and prefers that you:

  • Be open to options & changes
  • Use variety in your approach
  • Let them set their own deadlines
  • Make use of their resourcefulness
  • Encourage possibility-thinking

Does this give you an idea of how to approach finding out your strengths and preferred way of being treated so that you can decide on the career that best suits you? Continue studying Side 2 of the Wheel, determining your strengths and preferred way of being treated by others. Once you have analyzed this information, identify the types of careers that include your preferences and strengths ? the way you like to be treated and are most comfortable.

On the flip side of the Profile Sheet that matches your four-letter type, are a few of the careers that are suited for your strengths. Take a look at these as they will give you a basis of thinking about and identifying other rewarding types of work.

 

How To Measure The Mix - Teambuilding 101

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Excerpts from The TYPE Reporter, Issue No. 4

The TYPE Reporter is a newsletter about your personality type, and how it influences you in all the stages of life.?You can subscribe on the website or by contacting Susan Scanlon, INFJ, Editor, 703-764-5370.)

HOW TO MEASURE THE MIX????????????????????????

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

by Susan Scanlon

I decided to do an issue on ?team building? because I?d heard that term used often among the people who take the MBTI? into the workplace. There?s no doubt about it, teamwork is a popular subject in organization development circles.

But teamwork was not an idea that excited me at first. In my fantasies, the individual does great things, not the group. I used to cheer on the heroes in the novels of Ayn Rand, who triumphed against that symbol of mediocrity ? the committee.

In the few experiences I?ve had working with groups, the argument and discussion went on and on, very little got done, and I was so busy agreeing or disagreeing with others that there was no chance for me to listen to what my own best thoughts were.

I?m an American and an Introvert, so it wasn?t going to be easy to convince me that I could produce a better product if I had ?a wide mix of people? messing around with it first.

But I?ve listened now to many team members and team consultants and I realize that they?re talking about a different kind of team than Ayn Rand?s or the groups I?ve worked with. They?re talking about a team that can enhance the effectiveness of the individual, that really does improve the final product, and is absolutely essential for success in this very complex and competitive world.

They never played down the difficulty of creating a team that is diverse yet able to work together well, but they made teamwork sound just as dramatic as tales of individual heroism, and worth the work.

From dozens of interviews, my team and I selected six team stories. These stories illustrated some of the more common problems a team might have, and how the MBTI? can help. We looked for messages in these stories, and from the messages we came up with six questions you might ask yourself about your own team?

?The Mix??????????????????????????????????????????????????? How To Make It? Work

?1. Does your team have a good mix of types?Fill in a type table with the types of our team members. Are all the eight preferences represented? Do you have at least one member who is an ST, SF, NT and NF?????????????????????2. If your team does not have a good mix of types, who?s missing?Don?t stop at saying you?re missing an ST. Make a list of all the kinds of input an ST might bring to your team. List the ?information? that is not available to the team.3. If your team does not have a good mix of types, what can you do to compensate for it? You can hire people in, you can seek outside opinions, or you can invent a team member and think for him ? ?Would an N be able to see the big picture in all of this?? ?Would an S be able to see a practical use for it?? ?What else would a P want to talk about before we make a decision?? ? 4. Does your team have a positive attitude toward differences?Very often, just the new perspective of the type theory is enough to smooth out a team?s problems considerably.????????5. Does everyone on your team contribute their preferences?Are all the Intuitives really sharing their Intuitive perceptions? Do the S?s feel free to express their doubts that something will work, or are they afraid of being called a ?stick in the mud?? If our team isn?t benefiting from all the viewpoints represented, they need to work on creating an atmosphere of trust and acceptance. Or they can try to deliberately draw out people?s preferences. (?I need to run this by you for your Sensing? says the manager.)6. Is your team leader open to the contribution of all the members? The team leader can have an enormous influence on whose opinion gets heard and whose opinion gets acted on. It?s important that the team have an impartial leader, or even better, one who knows the positive potential of each member and can draw the group?s attention to that.
???????????????????????? THE TYPE REPORTER TEAM DIAGNOSTIC

A TEAM NEEDS A GOOD MIX OF TYPES

Friday, October 26th, 2012

Excerpts from The TYPE Reporter, Issue No. 4
www.typereporter.com

by Tom Carskadon, INFP

Sometimes folk wisdom is right on, but sometimes it?s so contradictory that it?s no help at all. Do ?opposites attract,? or do ?birds of a feather flock together?? This is an important question not just in friendship, love, and marriage, but also in team building.?

The PEOPLE Process Trainer’s Manual & Participant’s Package

A large body of research in psychology suggests that in general, we are most attracted to people who are fairly similar to us. Isabel Myers concluded that we tend to favor people similar in type to ourselves, more often marrying them, for instance; but that when it comes to team building, a well rounded mix of types is the most effective and desirable.

This idea has been part of type lore for decades; but is there actual research evidence to back it up? A few years ago Bruce Blaylock, a professor at Eastern Kentucky University, did a major study in which 17 four-person teams of students competed with each other over a month in a sophisticated and realistic simulated production exercise.

Some of the teams included a wide variety of types; other teams had all members with the same type or very similar types. All were objectively evaluated according to their total effectiveness. The teams composed of a broad range of types clearly and significantly outperformed the teams with little or no variety in types. Writing in Volume 6 of Research in Psychological Type, Dr. Blaylock notes that no particular type preference was predictive of success; instead, teams with a thorough mixture of types outperformed virtually any single-type or similar-type team.

This is one area where type theory and type research mesh very well. In forming teams, it may be tempting to choose people similar to ourselves ? and this could be a special trap for feeling types who value harmony so highly ? but even in tasks that seem ?made? for a particular type, the best results are likely to come from a well rounded mix of types.

(At the time of writing this article, Tom Carskadon,INFP, was a professor of psychology at Mississippi State University and editor of the journal RESEARCH IN PSYCHOLOGICAL TYPE.)

The Five Relationship Attributes Necessary For Successful Leadership

Friday, October 12th, 2012

Leadership is the ability to inspire and motivate others. Each one of us is required to exhibit leadership capabilities every day, in our professional and personal lives?a mother inspiring her children to do their best in school; an HR Manager attempting to lift the morale of the company; a politician asking for our vote; a president of a corporation asking management to increase productivity. It doesn?t matter what the size of the organization is, understanding your personal leadership strengths can assist in accomplishing your goals.?

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

In a study of Leadership, Emotional Intelligence and Personality Type conducted in 2004 by Richmond, Rollin and Brown, the findings were:

  • The five most important leadership attributes were identified as Vision, Strategic Thinking, Relationship Building, Execution and People Development.
  • Emotional Intelligence attributes are essential to successful leadership, especially the ?relationship management? attributes?Vision, Relationship Building and People Development.
  • Of the remaining attributes, all the Emotional Intelligence competencies are more important than all the general leadership attributes, such as External/market Orientation, Financial Acumen, and Planning.

The Center for Creative Leadership in studying why managers derail on their way to becoming executives found four themes that emerged:

  1. Problems with interpersonal relationships
  2. Failure to meet business objectives
  3. Failure to build and lead a team
  4. Inability to change or adapt during a transition

In short, difficulties with ?relationship management? attributes (vision, relationship building and people development) were identified as prime contributors to the failure of otherwise promising executive careers.

Personality Type and Leadership

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator? identifies common differences among normal people. ?The essence of the theory is that much seemingly random variation in behavior is actually quite orderly and consistent? based on differences in the way individuals prefer to perceive information and reach conclusions (Myers, et al, 1998).?

Research shows that personality type explains some of the variation in leadership behavior and perceived effectiveness. A brief summary includes:

  • Leaders come from all 16 personality types, however, nearly every study of leaders by type finds TJs over-represented relative to other types.
  • Research shows that leaders of different types focus on different aspects of their roles and also choose to handle the same activities differently.

Leadership studies usually indicate that most corporate leaders exhibit TJ preferences. For example, 58% of participants in Center for Creative Leadership programs prefer TJ (MBTI Manual, p. 327). TJ leaders ?are considered tough minded, executive, analytical?leaders who communicate their confidence in the?primacy of focusing on logical outcomes. TJs may be seen by others as?too quick to judge and act, and tactless in their style of communication?? (MBTI Manual, pps. 52-53).

Implications of these studies for Leaders

Leaders can use the findings from the above studies to gain the following insights into what their executives, and peers may be expecting from them:

  • Assess and increase your effectiveness in building relationships, developing people, and thinking strategically.
  • To excel at the highly-ranked ?relationship management? attributes, develop your Emotional Intelligence capabilities such as Self-Awareness, Empathy, and Adaptability.
  • Consider your effectiveness in providing vision and inspiration, executing work to plan, taking initiative, and fostering teamwork.
  • When seeking to influence others, be aware of differences in what each of you values in leaders.

Leadership Styles of the 16 Personality Types

Type: Motivates Others By:
ISTJ Providing precise, accurate and timely information
ISFJ Presenting factual information personally to influence people to understand the job that needs to be done
INTJ Describing end result desired, by connecting actions, intentions and desired outcomes
INFJ Building enduring relationships through cooperation and acting on values that promote well-being
ISTP Using tangible goals to get things moving
INTP Talking about theory and discussing outcomes
ISFP Encouraging others to take action in an easy-going manner
INFP Creating alternative solutions
ESTP Quickly acting to solve problems for others
ESFP Relating to people at a personal level to get them involved
ENTP Using their problem-solving skills
ENFP Engaging with others to share ideas, & brainstorming
ESTJ Using specific facts and a systematic method
ENTJ Systematic & logical action; ideas and global issues
ESFJ Practical, hands-on action, moving toward completion of a project
ENFJ Energizing with their ?assertive? and personable nature

Knowing yourself well and understanding how others function is fundamental to building strong relationships and effective leadership. Leadership is about behavior and the psychology of leadership as theorized by psychological type allows individuals to recognize their demonstrated behaviors as expressions of their type and to apply type theory as a way to enhance leader development.

Clearly, based on the stated desired leadership qualities, it?s easy to understand the importance a thorough knowledge of personality type can provide. Type is about ?relationship management? and ?people development.? To understand and apply type theory is to be able to motivate and lead others?including ourselves.

Personality Type & The Coaching Process

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

The application of personality type into the coaching process?both the person being coached and the type of other people in their life?is particularly valuable because you can identify and develop his or her strengths, assist them in recognizing blind spots and how to manage them and strategize a method for personal and career development.?

The PEOPLE Process Type Assessment Wheel

Step 1: Assess the Client?s Type
Guide the person through Side 1 of the The PEOPLE Process Wheel, explaining each of the four dimensions of behavior, the two preferences within each behavior dimension, and have them choose their four letter type.

Step 2: Determine Strengths and Challenges
By yourself, review the person?s type from the standpoint of their strengths as it relates to their personality type. Think through the description of their preferences on side 1 of the Wheel and determine which qualities are assets and which present the greatest challenge. Have the person answer the following questions:

  • As you read through the description of your personality type preferences, which ones seem like assets and which present the greatest challenges?
  • If someone wanted to have a positive relationship with you, what fundamental things about your type would they need to understand?
  • Which aspects of your psychological type are the most difficult for you to accept or change?
  • Which aspects of your type most often cause relationship problems between you and others?
  • How have your personality type preferences influenced your life and career?

Often conflicts between the person being coached and the people in their life comes from differences in preferences. Lead the person through the descriptions of all of the preferences on Side 1 of the Wheel: E-I, S-N, T-F, and J-P. Assist them in choosing the four-letter type of the person with which they are experiencing conflict from Side 1 of the Wheel.

Profile Sheets ? 16 Personality Types

Have the person choose their Profile Sheet and the Profile Sheet of the person with whom they are experiencing conflict from the package. Compare the individual descriptions in each of the categories and answer the following three questions on Side 2 of the Profile Sheet:

In what areas are you similar to this person?
In what areas are you different from this person?
In what areas can you improve your relations with this person?

When going through this exercise, the person is then able to step back and realize that behaviors are most often the result of each other?s inborn, personality type.

Use the following questions to guide discussion around areas they might need to address:

  • What contributions do you bring to the relationship?
  • Which of your habits might be irritating to the other?
  • What do you find valuable about each other?
  • What does the other do that bothers you?
  • What do you hope to achieve in resolving this conflict?

Step 3: Evaluate Individual Needs
Assist the person being coached in evaluating their needs through discussion of a series of questions:

  • What are some of your behaviors that seem to get in the way of having effective relationships with others?
  • What talents do you have that are especially helpful to others?
  • How would your spouse, boss, colleagues, or close friends briefly describe you?
  • What do you care most about in your life? What concerns you most?
  • What do you feel proud of and what concerns you about the way people at work treat one another?
  • What inspires or motivates you?
  • What kind of appreciation/recognition do you prefer? From whom? Under what circumstances?
  • What kind of criticism do you prefer? From whom? Under what circumstances?
  • Which work tasks do you pass on to others, ignore, or never get around to doing?
  • Tell me about a recent change you?ve experienced. How did you react? How did you cope with it?
  • Describe how you handle change.
  • What are your thoughts about conflict? What do you do to resolve it? How effective have your efforts been? Why?
  • Are there any questions I have not asked that we should discuss?

Step 4: Assess Skills and Interests
Lead the person through a discussion of the following four questions:

  • Things I like and do well
  • Things I don?t like but do well
  • Things I like but find difficult to do
  • Things I don?t like and struggle to do

Focus your discussion on things the person likes and does well. Those things the person doesn?t like and struggles with doing, identify as areas for coaching. Assist the person in developing ways to handle those things they don?t like and struggle with.

Step 5: Develop Your Action Plan
The key to successful coaching is identification of objectives, steps that will be taken, timelines and the desired results. To achieve this:

  • Have the person identify someone they trust that can help them practice the coaching suggestions
  • Develop specific action items and timelines. Establish accountability?such as how will the person know when they have reached a goal?
  • Encourage the person being coached to practice the behaviors in coaching sessions and then in ?real time.?
  • Suggest the person keep a journal where they record behaviors practiced and the results?who, what, when, and where. Discuss the results of the experiences practiced in the next coaching session.
  • Share personal insights about your own type and your potential interactions with other types as it relates to strengths and differences. Encourage person being coached to give details about how process is moving forward toward identified goals, needs and wants, and be clear about what is working.

Using Type in Selling - Part 2

Monday, September 24th, 2012

How does type actually work in the selling process?

There are stages in the process of moving a sale forward. Time is spent ?Initiating the rapport.? This consists of greeting the customer and establishing a basis for moving ahead. Next the salesperson ?investigates needs.? This is when listeningis especially important. Next, a ?course of action? may be suggested using the information gathered in the listening stage. And, the final stage is reaching an agreement on the next action, or ?closing? the sale. You can see all aspects of the type preferences coming forth throughout the sales interaction. Specific aspects of type, however, stand out as more important than others at various stages.???

Personality Type Assessment Wheel

Nonverbal behavior cues such as pacing, timing, body position, and movement are associated with the ENERGY-Extraversion-Introversion preference. Customers can use these cues to decide quickly as to whether or not they will be comfortable in dealing with that person. For this reason, the Extraversion-Introversion preference is important during the beginning stage of ?initiating.????????

The INFORMATION gathering phase?Sensing and Intuition?and the DECISION phase?Thinking and Feeling?intersect during the ?investigating needs? stage and ?suggesting a course of action.? A customer that is making a decision to purchase is definitely involved in taking in information and using that information to make a decision. Various types prefer to gather data and make decisions in different and predictable ways. It is not unusual that the functional pairs?ST, SF, NF, NT?have the greatest impact in this part of the sales process.

The ACTION stage?Judging and Perceiving preference, of course, has the greatest effect on closing the sale. This can become more apparent as the selling relationship is focused on obtaining agreement and closing.

The two middle letters?the functional pairs?express how customers function during sales interactions. The following table summarizes the focus of each customer type, what they value, and what to remember when dealing with them.

????????????????????? Customer Type Modes

ST CUSTOMER??

Focuses on:?The specifics/The Logical Implications of these specifics?

Values:? Acting responsibly/working with a sales person who acts responsibly

Remember:? State the FACTS

SF CUSTOMER???

Focuses on:? The specifics/The impact of these specifics on people

Values:? Personal loyalty/Working with a salesperson who personalizes & individualizes service???

Remember:? Give PERSONAL SERVICE???

NF CUSTOMER??

Focuses on:? The general concept or big picture (not specifics)/ How the big picture impacts people or supports their values

Values:? Making a difference (in the community, for the family, in the world)/ Working with a salesperson who helps to make his or her vision become a reality

Remember:? Support the customer?s VISION

NT CUSTOMER???

Focuses on:? The general concept or big picture (not specifics)/ How the big picture possibilities create logical options

Values:? Having options that fit his or her needs now and in the future/ Working with a?salesperson who demonstrates competence

Remember:? Provide and support LOGICAL OPTIONS

Practice presenting your product/service from each of the four basic positions so you can shift when necessary. In an actual sales situation, watch your customer?s nonverbal cues such as:

  • Changing facial expression
  • Movement away from you
  • Appearance of detachment
  • Irritation in her or his voice

These cues signal a need to listen more carefully and possibly choose a different approach. A good rule or standard is that unless the information is coming across to the customer in his or her ?language,? probably the customer will miss at least part of your message and will feel less comfortable about the interaction.

Finally, be aware that using type in selling is a discipline and takes practice. As you begin using the type framework, you will have immediate payoff in terms of more understanding and control in the selling situation. As you continue to work with it, you gain fluidity, ease, and an even greater appreciation of your customers, their needs, and their diversity.

Adapted from FLEX Selling by Susan Brock

Using Type in Selling

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

With the competitive nature of business today, an understanding and use of type theory can be beneficial in the selling process. By just listening for the communication and behavior clues of each of the four dimensions of personality type theory ? Energy, Information, Decision, Action, ? you can adapt your behavior to the ?comfort zone? of your customer. All of us like to purchase from a sales person that we feel comfortable with and understands us. Listen and watch for cues in your customer?s behavior.???

Personality Type Assessment Wheel

All that you have to remember is four dimensions ? Energy, Information, Decision and Action, and two preferences within each dimension. You can pick up someone?s preference for each of the four dimensions while listening to them on the telephone. And, it?s easier in person because you have the benefit of watching body language. A study of Side 1 of The PEOPLE Process Wheel ? the four dimensions of type theory and the two preferences within each dimension and Side 2 ? how to treat each preference within their ?zone of comfort? will enable you to easily remember the type preferences.

Does this customer generally prefer to Talk it Out (Extraversion) or Think It Through (Introversion)?

Does this customer generally prefer to give information and respond to Specifics (Sensing) or the Big Picture (Intuition)?

Does this customer generally base his or her decisions on Logical Implications (Thinking) or the Impact on People (Feeling)?

Does this customer generally have a Joy of Closure (Judging) or a Joy of Processing (Perceiving)?

Customer Preferences

(Adapted from the Four Part Framework, by Susan A. Brock.)

E - Talk it Out —- I - Think it Through

S - Specifics —-? N - The Big Picture

T - Logical Implications —- F - Impact on People

J - Joy of Closure —- P - Joy of Processing

A survey of 200 people, who had previously verified their type preference, was conducted asking them ?How do you prefer to be sold to?? Upon examination of the responses, the individuals described common themes when grouped by the functional (middle two letters) of their four letter type ? ST, SF, NF, and NT.

A common theme for STs is to ?focus on the facts.? During a sales interaction, an ST wants specifics, logically presented, with a focus on meeting practical needs.

NFs, on the other hand, want to know how the product, service, or concept ?makes a difference? or supports their vision of what could be, especially as it relates to people. NFs prefer to hear and use a relational train of thought, where one thing reminds them of another.

SFs want personal and individualized service. They form a bond of loyalty to the person or product that gives them ?personalized service.?

NTs show a theme of wanting ?logical options? with which to fulfill ?unique? needs. They stress that the salesperson must demonstrate competence and should expect to be tested on this competence during the sales interaction.

?Four Basic Sales Approaches

Functional Pair ? Customer Prefers
ST ? The Facts
SF ? Personalized Service
NF ? Their Vision
NT ? Logical Options

(Adapted from FLEX Selling by Susan Brock, 1993.)

The four functional pairs of types use different ways of expressing themselves when they are communicating that reflect their type preference. An ST speaks in brief, logical statements, while an SF shares personal stories. NFs speak of possibilities emphasizing the people-oriented values of the situation. NTs focus on what ?makes sense,? from a long-range perspective.

The personality type framework is a tool that can easily be used to choose and shape how to interact best with your customer. As you listen and watch, you can adjust your behavior to your customer based on a knowledge of sound theory that works. You can also use the type framework to put together letters and marketing materials. The same idea of matching the language of the customer applies to written work as well as to face-to-face interaction.

Practice presenting your product or service from the four basic functional positions so you can shift when necessary. In an actual sales situation, watch your customer?s nonverbal cues such as facial expressions, body language and tone of voice. Be aware that using type in selling requires practice and discipline. As you continue to work with type you gain a greater appreciation of your customers, their needs and their diversity.

Using type in selling is well worth the effort. It really pays off!

The Effect of Personality Type on Team Performance

Friday, September 7th, 2012

Following is a summary of an article in the Journal of Management Development, Vol. 16, No. 5, 1997, pp 337-353, MCB University Press, 0262-1711; by John H. Bradley and Frederic J. Hebert, East Carolina University, Greenville, South Carolina, USA.

Team approach to IS development???

The PEOPLE Process Trainer’s Manual & Participant Package

The purpose of this paper is to highlight the impact of personality type on team productivity and to propose a model that can be used to analyze the personality-type composition of an information system (IS) development team.???

Expected benefits of successful teams include increased motivation, greater task commitment, higher levels of performance, ability to withstand stress, more innovative solutions, and decreased development time.?

Ineffective teams may be the product of inappropriate team composition. Deciding to use a team approach is only the first step. Great care must be exercised in building the team to ensure its ultimate effectiveness. There are a number of pitfalls involving group dynamics that can undermine a team?s effectiveness. Bradley and Hebert propose a model of the impact of the personality-type composition of a team on overall team performance. The model applies personality-type theory to the team building process and then illustrates the importance of this theory by evaluating a case example of two software development teams. One of the teams was considered to be very productive by management, while the other team?s performance was judged to be unsatisfactory.

This case study is valuable because it clearly demonstrates the influences of personality type on two teams that are comparable in age, IQ, problem-solving ability, gender, and task responsibility. The task of IS development is appropriate to the discussion because it is of such relative complexity, especially with the use of multi-functional teams, that its successful accomplishment requires a high level of harmony among the team members.

Within this paper Bradley and Hebert discuss the influence of personality-type composition on team performance. Four critical factors are discussed in the context of successful IS development teams, followed by a discussion of personality types using Jungian psychological-type theory as a framework. A theoretical model of preferences for team composition is derived by applying personality-type theory to the four factors. The influences of personality type on the two software development teams? performance are discussed and conclusions and recommendations are presented concerning team personality-type composition and its influence on team performance.

Critical factors for effective teams

An increasingly popular example of the team approach to IS development is joint application design (JAD). JAD is an example of representative design which involves user representatives in the decisions required to formulate an IS. One of the basic dimensions of team effectiveness involves individual differences. The ideal team should be highly diversified in the talent and knowledge each member contributes, while maintaining open, non-threatening communication.

JAD refers to the inclusion of members of the user departments along with the IS specialists on the development team. From JAD literature, three characteristics of productive teams that are strongly related to individual differences seem to dominate: effective leadership, intra-team communication, and group cohesion. Although all three of these characteristics are partially dependent on the personality types of the individuals involved, personality is rarely directly included in the discussions. The four dominant individual difference characteristics of productive teams ? Leadership, Communication, Cohesion, Heterogeneity ? can be combined, based on the common thread of personality type, to form an evaluative model of the impact of personality type on team performance.

Effective leadership is an especially important factor in the success of an IS development team. A knowledgeable, assertive leader must not only be available and properly trained in group dynamics, but must also be the type of person who can lead people who represent different functional areas and different levels of management. They must control the team meetings, drawing everyone into the discussions until a consensus is reached. The leader must also be able to keep the team on track and quickly resolve conflicts. These qualities suggest a person who is aware of the different personality types and how each type influences overall team performance.

Intra-team communication is another critical factor that influences IS development team success. A problem with intra-team communication may manifest itself in several ways.

Cohesion has also been identified as a crucial ingredient in team effectiveness. A cohesive team will demonstrate a spirit of togetherness and support for one another that helps team members quickly resolve conflicts.

The personality type heterogeneity of team members and its influence on successful group performance concludes that for complex problem solving, teams made up of different types of individuals with a variety of skills, knowledge, abilities and perspectives are more effective than groups that are more homogeneous. A diversity in skills and knowledge combined with a balance of personality types is desirable for effective teams.

Certain personality types are more accepting of others and more willing to consider different perspectives. Certain types are risk-averse while others are stimulated by risk-taking. Certain types are motivated by the challenge of an unsolved problem, while others are easily overwhelmed and slip into inaction. Certain types make natural leaders while others are more comfortable as followers. Certain personality types are natural communicators while others find it very difficult to express themselves. Each personality type, however, has a positive contribution to make to the overall effectiveness of the team therefore a balance of personality types should be sought.

A model of the effect of personality type on team performance

In general, the best leader is an ESTJ or an ENTJ, depending on the task involved. The extroverted leader will readily communicate directions and organizational information.

Intra-team communication will be more natural for the extrovert than the introvert, the sensing than the intuitive, and the thinking than the feeling personality types. Extroverts are natural communicators and too many extroverts can result in confusion as they interrupt each other to express their views. Sensing types perceive the facts and can easily organize their thought for communication to the other team members. Intuitives tend to develop more complex ideas that are more difficult to communicate. Thinking types are prone to making quick judgments and immediately verbalizing their thoughts while feeling types may not express their true thoughts in order to avoid hurting someone?s feelings.

Cohesion is affected most by thinking versus feeling. The thinking team members, in their haste to express their judgments, often offend the more sensitive team members. The feeling member, will be constantly aware of the esprit de corps and do what they can to maintain harmony. Cohesion does not mean the absence of conflict. A cohesive team is able to resolve conflicts in a manner that results in the synergism that makes team work valuable.

Team heterogeneity refers to the number of each personality type on the team. Each type has something positive to contribute. In fact, usually a large degree of psychological homogeneity causes problems. The homogeneous team may reach consensus faster, however, the results will not be as innovative as they will be with a more heterogeneous team. In IS development, each personality type should have roughly equal representation.

A case example

This case example of two IS development teams serves as an excellent illustration of loss of productivity due to a poor combination of personality types.

A medium-sized software development company in the Southeastern USA makes extensive use of teams in the development of IS software. Company management noticed a distinct difference in the productivity of two major teams. The two teams were given assignments of developing information systems of comparable complexity, yet team 1 took almost twice as long as team 2 in the development process and produced an IS of only moderate quality. Team 2 finished their project ahead of schedule and produced a high-quality system. Management noticed that the members of team 1 did not communicate well (misunderstandings as well as failure to communicate) and seemed to have great difficulty getting organized.

The teams were not different in terms of demographics and basic ability levels and were performing comparable tasks. Why was their performance so different? The personality-type composition of the two teams explains the differences in team performance.

Personality-type composition and team performance

In this case example, the two teams were judged to be different in their performance level. Team 2 performed at a higher level than team 1. The MBTI? types of the two groups were analyzed to identify potential differences in personality type. It is important to have diversity and balance in the personality types of various group members. Team 2 (the more successful team) was more well balanced than team 1. Team 1 had 80% introverts and 20% extroverts compared to team 2?s equal percentage of 50% of both types. In team situations, introverts often tend to keep information to themselves and are less communicative in meetings. Team 1?s large percentage of introverts may have inhibited successful intra-team communication.

Team 2 also had a better balance in the type combinations of information intake (S/N) and decision making (T/F). The combinations are particularly important to effective teams because much of a development team?s work relates to receiving and processing information to make decisions about the particular system being developed. The percentages of S versus N were comparable, with team 1 having 60% Ns and 40% Ss, while team 2 had 57% Ns and 42% Ss. Sensing types like to focus on the details and may tend to miss the larger picture. Intuitive types may love the concept of teamwork but may have difficulty putting the concept into action. They are much more comfortable envisioning the larger picture and theorizing about what the system will do than with getting busy on the details of putting the system together.

Team 1 had only had 20% Fs, while team 2 had 42% F types. The difference between thinkers and feelers can cause major problems for effective team building. Thinkers are primarily concerned with accomplishing the task, while feelers are concerned with how well people work together. This basic difference in task versus people orientation suggests that the T/F difference is among the primary influences on a team?s esprit de corps. This suggests that a successful team is one that balances task orientation (the T type) with the feelings of group members who are accomplishing that task (F types).

A major reason for team 1?s lack of success could have been caused by the preponderance of Ts who pushed ahead to complete the task while giving less attention to user needs as well as the needs of other F types on the team. Team 2?s high percentage of F types could have facilitated more attention being given to the needs and the feelings of other team members.

Some team members prefer to approach problem solving in an orderly, systematic manner while others prefer less structured approaches. Team members with opposing preferences will have great difficulty avoiding conflicts in their communications. The T types would be focused on getting the specific jobs done, while the F types would be more concerned with group harmony, which could cause problems in deciding how to proceed on the project. Team 1, which was composed of a large percentage of T types, may have raced ahead to get jobs done without everyone being on board, while team 2?s larger percentage of F types may have helped them focus more attention on group harmony.

Team 1 had a better balance of J and P types (70% J, 30% P) than team 2 (100% J). However, too much diversity may actually inhibit successful team performance. The J/P difference, at least on the surface, is the key to team success or failure. Js have a need for closure, to move on to other important objectives, while Ps have an unceasing need to consider other alternatives and to make seat-of-the-pants assessments. Too many Js could influence the rush to stay on schedule and they might not carefully consider all of the potential alternatives. In contrast, Ps have difficulty staying on schedule because they are taking so much time to consider all the alternatives. In a complex project that has many alternatives to consider that would slow down the decision-making process, as long as team 2 considered all of the alternatives carefully, they would probably be more apt to stay on schedule than team 1.

Leadership is an important component of JAD teams. In the case example, the unsuccessful team?s (team 1) leader was an INFP type, while the successful team?s (team 2) leader was an ESFJ. Team 1?s introvert leader may have withheld information and sought to shorten meetings because being with people drains an introvert?s energy. Team 2?s extrovert leader may have been more effective in stimulating group communication and in involving all group members in the process. Team 1?s intuitive (N) leader may have been in favor of the team concept, but unable to transfer that support into action. In contrast, team 2?s sensing (S) leader may have been more effective in keeping the group on task. Team 1?s feeling (F) type leader may have clashed with the large percentage of group members who were thinkers (Ts). This F leader may have been focusing more attention on group harmony rather than getting the job done, which could have frustrated the T types. In contrast, while team 2?s leader is also an F type, there were a larger percentage of F types on the team who could offer support for the leader in emphasizing group harmony as an important factor. Team 1?s leader was a perceiver (P), a person who has difficulty in obtaining closure on important issues to move on to other important tasks. Team 2?s leader was a judger (J), which was consistent with the other team members.

Team 1?s large percentage of introverts, thinkers and perceivers may have resulted in less-effective group communication, while team 2?s large percentage of extroverts, feeling types and judgers may have facilitated group communication.

Team composition of personality types does appear to be an important explanatory variable for differences in team performance. This case example suggests that in general, diversity and balance in team member personality types is needed to produce successful team performance. Team 2?s greater balance of extroverts and introverts, sensing types and intuitive types, and thinking and feeling types appears to have influenced successful team performance. Team 2?s large percentage of judging types also ensured that the project was completed in a timely manner.

Conclusion and recommendations

The case example of IS development teams presented here suggests that personality types are an important factor in successful team performance. Organizations that desire to develop effective teams need to analyze the personality-type compositions of these groups and help team members understand their own personal attributes as well as appreciate the contribution of the other team members. The model presented in this paper is a valuable tool in accomplishing this analysis.

Consider the following questions in analyzing teams using the MBTI?:

  1. Does the team have the best types of people to get the job done? The type of job being done should have some influence on the types of people who are selected to be on a team. For complex tasks such as product development, a balanced team of opposing personality types is needed. The more complex the task, the more important the balance is.
  2. Are the right jobs within the team being done by the most effective types of people? Is the personality type of each team member compatible with the requirement of the area of responsibility? Are they using their abilities most effectively by being in the place where their contribution will make a difference? In a team situation, the team leader is very important. Personality type should be considered strongly when choosing the team leader. Team leaders should demon strate the personality-type preferences that enable them to involve others in team communication, to be sensitive to the needs of all team members, and to keep the team on schedule to complete the task.
  3. How will the team evaluate progress towards its goal? This question suggests a balanced diversity of all types on the team, particularly judgers, perceivers, feelers, and introverts. Judgers help keep the team on schedule, while perceivers ensure that multiple options are considered before proceeding ahead. Feelers ensure that someone?s idea is not dismissed out of hand and that group harmony is considered in making decisions. Introverts are needed to offer internal reflection of what items are being communicated orally in a meeting. They need time to think through what has been discussed and to give their opinions before decisions are made.
  4. Is there a team type that can effectively determine when the project is completed? When should development stop and implementation begin? Such personality types as extroverts, intuitives and judgers are particularly helpful in answering this question. Extroverts prefer to get issues out in the open so they can be discussed and resolved. Intuitives provide a holistic view of the entire organization and provide their perceptive assessment of whether the system is doing what it was intended to do. Judgers help keep everyone on track and offer their assessment of whether the task has been completed.

This model offers important insights into the influence of personality-type composition on team performance. It is important for the manager to remember that the MBTI? measures preferences. Individuals can adopt other personality types if they are aware of personality-type differences and make a concerted effort to change. However, these individuals will need to be monitored very carefully.

Team performance is at least partially related to the team?s personality-type composition and the previous case example illustrates this relationship and serves as a reminder to managers to consider carefully personality type in determining team composition.

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