Posts Tagged ‘communication’

What do the best listeners do? What do the worst listeners do?

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

The best listeners give you their time.

The best listeners send the message that you can take as long as you want to get your thoughts out.  They are listening, and will continue to listen until you are finished.    wheel 

“My girlfriend, Paula, an INFP, is the best listener I know,” says Pam, INTJ. “She lets me go through the whole shebang without interrupting.”

“The best listener I know is an INFJ who became my mentor,” says, Dee, ENTP.  “When she listens, she doesn’t intervene a lot while you are telling your story.  She lets you get your narrative well said.”

“My INFP daughter is the best listener I know,” says Catherine, ENTJ. “She waits to hear the whole story, even though it’s often a complicated story with lots of layers.”

“My INFJ mother is one of the best listeners in my life,” says Dan, ESTP. ”She takes the time to actually hear what I’m saying.  I solve problems best by talking about them, and I usually have to talk a lot before I get to a final thought.  It helps me when people take the time to really listen to everything that I have to say.”

“My father was an INFP and he was an excellent listener,” says Anna, ISFP.  ”It’s important that someone give me a chance to speak, and he would sit patiently and let me get through the whole idea.  With some people, when I stop to take a breath, they take off on their own story.”

The worst listeners don’t give you their time.

The worst listeners send the message that if you can’t get your thoughts out quickly, you’re not going to get them out!  They interrupt or cut you off. You can sense their impatience and lack of interest.

“One member of an executive team, an ENTP, is one of the poorest listeners I know,” says Craig, ENFP.  ”He’ll just voice right over you, and doesn’t even wait for you to breathe.  I’m trying to make a point and he’s already not paying any attention to it.”

“The worst listener in my life is my ESTJ friend,” says Chip, ESFP.  ”She wants closure so quickly that she’ll finish my sentence for me.  I’ll go “Wait a minute, that isn’t what I was saying!”

“The worst listener in my life is my ENFJ colleague,” says John, ENTP.  “She gets impatient with how long it takes me to finish my thoughts, and she just cuts me off and takes the conversation over.”

The best listeners give you their attention.

The best listeners send the message that nothing else in the room, or in their life, is as interesting to them as what you are saying!  They look you in the eyes when you’re talking; they appear alert, attentive and focused.

“One of the best listeners in my life is my friend, an ENFJ,” says Carolyn, INFP.  “When she listens, she pays attention to you.  She’s not distracted or marking time.”

“The best listener in my life is my INTJ husband, and he can be remarkably focused,” says Marthanne, ENFJ. “When I’m telling him something that is very important to me, he’s right there; he’s not trying to do something else.”

“A friend of mine growing up was an ISTP,” says Craig, ENFP.  ”He had a laser-like ability to listen.  When I was talking, he was there.  His mind wasn’t anywhere else.  He didn’t say affirming words, but his attention would affirm me.”

Two people who worked with Mary McCaulley, the co-founder of the Center for Applications of Psychological Type, said that she was the best listener they had ever known.  McCaulley, an INFP, passed away in 2003.

“When you talked to her, you felt like you were the only person on earth,” says Jamie, ISTJ.  “She wasn’t thinking about the next thing she had to do; her mind wasn’t elsewhere.?

“No matter who she was listening to, it could be a scientist who studied mangroves in the florida Everglades, she looked like that was the most important topic in the world at the time,” says Anna, ISFP.  “When she listened, she was captivated.  She couldn’t wait to hear the next sentence from you and was truly interested in what you were saying.  With as much wisdom and knowledge as she had, she always looked like she might be learning something from you.”

The worst listeners don’t give you their attention.

While you are talking, the worst listeners send the message that they’re not really interested, and it’s a struggle for them to pay attention. You can hear that they’d much rather talk than listen.

“One of the worst listeners I know is an old girlfriend, an INFJ,” says Paul, ESFJ.  “Whenever I would tell her something about what I was doing, I’d feel like it was really boring to her, and I’d end up not liking what I was talking about.  Once she was really excited about her music, so I said, “Have you heard of this band?” She said, “No,” and went on talking about the music she liked.  I was completely shot down.”

“One of the worst listeners in my life is my friend, Justy, and I think he’s an INTP,” says Dan, ESTP.  “When I get done talking, he doesn’t say anything, or he’ll say,  “Yeah, OK, that’s interesting.”  It’s a flat response as opposed to a two-way conversation.  I get the impression that he would rather talk about something else.”

“Some of the people in our organization seem to have a hard time hearing me in meetings,” says Jamie, ISTJ.  ”Their new ideas are flying so fast that the points I’m trying to make come out sounding irrelevant or they’re just not computed.  I don’t have a lot of grand ideas, but I do have input that might definitely matter if it could be heard.”

“I might tell my friend that I just got back from Las Vegas, and right away, she’ll tell me that when she went, she lost all her money and had a really horrible time,” says Patty, ESTJ.  ”She doesn?t seem interested at all in hearing about my trip.”

“One of the worst listeners in my life is my ENFP friend,” says Janet, INFJ.   ”She just talks non-stop, and then, when she realizes that she’s talked too much, she asks me some questions about myself.  But I can hear that it’s an effort for her, and she’s not really interested in what I say.”

“The worst listener in my life is my Extraverted friend,” says Susan, ISFJ. “She calls up and starts out by asking me how things are going in my life, but she quickly gets diverted to all her issues, and never asks me anything else about me.  She might talk for a half hour, but then, when I start to talk, she’ll suddenly have to get off the phone.”

The Gift of Listening

Friday, April 19th, 2013

Once, I made two lists.  On the first list, I put the names of the people in my life that I had largely positive feelings about.  On the second, I put the names of the people that I had reservations about, the relationships that I might label problematic.  We called each other friends, but after I’d been with them, I didn’t feel enriched.

The PEOPLE Process  Training Manual & Participant Package

The PEOPLE Process
Training Manual & Participant Package

When I looked at the difference between the two lists, one thing stood out.  The people on the first list were good listeners, and the people on the second were not. The people on the first list always made me feel like a connection had been made between us, but the people on the second made me feel like a connection had been faked.  The people on the first list made me feel like I was accompanied on this journey of life, the people on the second made me feel like I was alone.

That’s when I realized how important it is to be a good listener to other people.  It’s not just a nice thing to do, or good manners.  Good listening has an existential importance.  It’s the only thing that helps us relieve the loneliness of the human condition.

For something that is so important, it’s amazing how little it’s talked about. It’s rarely taught in our families, schools, workplaces or churches.  There isn’t even a cultural cliche about good listening, like:   A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

Most people who have become good listeners learned it in some kind of self-help or psychological setting, and they were usually surprised to learn its importance.  It hasn’t spread to the overall culture.

It’s not even a skill of certain personality types.  Some people may appear to be good listeners because their type makes them less talkative or less opinionated or more sensitive to others, but they will admit that if you listen in on their thoughts, they are often not fully tuned into the other person.  To be genuinely paying attention to another person that is a learned skill, and one that takes constant practice.  It’s not something we’re born with.

This is the first in a series.  In the following blog updates, we asked people of all the types,  Who are the best and worst listeners in your life, and why? From that we gleaned some good, practical dos and don’ts on listening.  In the next blog update, we’re going to look at how our type influences our listening.

You’ll probably find a lot of the people you know in these pages, including the person you thought you knew the best yourself. However, if you decide to begin asking yourself the question:  Am I really listening?  you’ll find that you didn’t really know yourself, or anyone else, before that.

(By Susan Scanlon, The TYPE Reporter, Issue Number 97)

What’s It Like To Be A Thinking Woman?

Friday, March 1st, 2013

What’s it like when the world expects you to be one way, and you’re just the opposite? What’s it like to often surprise people, or shock them? What’s it like to be a Thinking woman?

Growing up, you identify with boys and men.
Do you know a little girl who pals around with a gang of boys? She’s probably a T. Many T women said that when they were young, they played with the boys. “I was considered one of the guys,” says Julie, ESTJ. And the guys were the ones I did heavy-duty sharing with, not as feelings, but more as “What do you think about such and such?”    

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

Even if they didn’t play with boys, Thinking girls usually enjoyed imagining themselves in the positions of men. “Even when I played with the girls, I gave myself the role of the father or the doctor,” says Madeline, INTP. And because they identified so strongly with the masculine role, their fathers were especially important figures in their lives. “It was pretty clear that the people who were out there using their T were men,” says Jean, INTP. “I valued my father’s role much more than my mothers.”

You don’t identify with girls and women.
“I never got along with my sister, who was sweet, lovable, and innocent - mama’s pet,” says Julie, ESTJ. “I teased the hell out of her and we fought all the time.”

Thinking girls, like Thinking boys, prefer competitive play and learning about how things work. But Thinking girls, unlike Thinking boys, often find themselves in the company of Feeling girls, where the talk and the play is non-competitive and concerned with how people work. And they don’t like it.

“I didn’t like “girl talk” about movie stars and periods,” says Jan, ISTP. “And even “women’s talk” struck me as strange. I’d listen to my mother and aunts talk about how they dealt with problems with their husbands and families and I’d think, “That’s so dumb, why would you do it that way?”

“I thought the girls were kind of flitty,” says Julie, ESTJ. “When people tell me things, I take it as a truth, but things were always changing with them, and I’d realize that they were talking about one of their feelings rather than a fact.”

You get criticized for being tactless and hard-hearted.
“Thinking is wonderful for work and study, for power and achievement,” says Madeline, INTP. “But for any kind of affiliation, it’s not always helpful. I frequently got into trouble for putting truth over tact.” 

“I gave riding lessons when I was young,” says Jan, ISTP. “Once, one of the girls in my class asked me for help getting her stirrup fixed, and I told her to do it herself because I really wanted her to learn. “Don’t you think you were kind of hard on her?” a friend said to me later. Now my son is taking violin lessons from an ISTP woman. I’m real satisfied with her, but I had to laugh when one of the other mothers said she dropped her because “she was just mean!”

When a boy is tactless, parents can comfort themselves with “Well, what do you expect from a boy?” When a girl is tactless, there is no such comfort. Thinking girls are likely to feel the full brunt of their parents’ embarrassment at their remarks, or their parents’ hurt if the criticism is directed at them. Fortunately, most T girls have pretty strong defenses against people’s opinions of them.

Thinking girls tend to concern themselves about people’s feelings in their adulthood, when they can see a good reason to do so.

You don’t date much in adolescence.
Thinking girls may not be popular with the opposite sex in the early dating years. The boys are unsure of themselves at that time and look for girls who will make them feel manly. Thinking girls, even when they are very good-looking and interested in dating, give boys the impression that they are going to be judged on their abilities and intelligence. Thinking girls usually have to wait until boys have more confidence in themselves to get asked out.

“I tended to intimidate the boys in high school,” says Janice, ESTP. “Some of them told me later that they had been afraid to ask me out because I seemed aloof, like I thought I was too good for them.”

If they wanted to date in high school, Thinking girls usually hid their Thinking side. “I never talked about anything intellectual when I was dating,” says Kim, ENTJ. “I let the boys talk about themselves. I just needed to be loved and I liked the feeling of someone holding me.”

You can feel right at home with a T husband.
Marrying a Thinking man can be very liberating for a Thinking woman. In her own home, at least, she doesn’t have to feel like an oddball. But it can be good for her spouse, as well. Ruth Sherman did a study of 167 couples in 1981 and found that Thinking men living with Thinking women reported fewer problems in their marriages, and Feeling women living with Feeling men reported fewer problems.

“In my senior year, I met someone I really liked and I’ve been with him ever since,” says Julie, ESTJ. “He was an ISTJ, and he allowed me to be me. He liked my thought patterns and I heard him when he talked.”

“There are only certain men that can get along with me,” says Kim, ENTJ. “My husband (also a T) is one of them. He’s never intimidated by me and we have some terrific sparring on an intellectual level. Sometimes the two of us come home and think “Are we the only people in the world who are sane?”

But even with a Thinking man, there is still the possibility that the T woman may become so engaged in a career that her husband feels that he is secondary, and although women are prepared to feel that way in a marriage, men are not.

But you can learn a lot from an F husband.
Thinking women and Feeling men have the same conflicts as Ts and Fs everywhere. “I’m married to an INFJ,” says Karen, ENTP, “and we have problems helping each other when we’re down. When I’m down, he tries to tell me nice things to make me feel better about myself, like “You’re sweet.” I don’t want to hear that. I want him to ask me questions and listen to me until I can figure out how to solve the problem. Then, when he’s down, I try to address his problems when all he really wants is warm assurance that he’s a valuable person.”

Besides the usual problems between Ts and Fs, Thinking women married to Feeling men may have a few more because of the confusion of their roles in the family. No matter how informed we may be about people and their differences, we all still have ideas of what our spouses “should” do for us.

“I get very resentful when he won’t be assertive,” says Karen, ENTP. “There are times when we reverse roles,” says Sue, ISTJ. “For example, when we moved, my husband panicked and wanted to call an electrician in to hang the light fixtures. But I got out the ladder and the tools and put them all on with dimmers. I know our role reversals would bother me more if I didn’t know type.”

There are many times when Thinking women married to Feeling men think they are both better off because of the way they balance each other. “I’m very career oriented,” says Dawn, INTJ, “and I think that if I were married to a T we’d be like two ships passing in the night. But my ESFP husband keeps calling me back to our relationship. For my psychological health, I know I need relatedness, so I welcome his demands.”

You tend to compare yourself to Fs in motherhood.
Thinking women have an edge in motherhood about half the time, because about half the time children need an adult who can detach themselves from the emotions of the moment and look at things objectively.

“I really like the kind of mother I am,” says Jan, ISTP. “I talk to the children in a respectful way. I’m fair, honest, and consistent about enforcing the rules. I can help them analyze their problems and see the consequences of what they do. If I went down a list of what makes a good parent, I could check most of them.”

“Listening has always been my strong point as a mother,” says Lucille, ENTP. “I made a point to drop what I was doing and listen when my children needed to talk. I was good at helping them analyze their problems, and view them in a more positive light. And when they would get angry at me, I wouldn’t get angry back. I could stay calm and give them an opportunity to explain why they were upset.”

Even though Thinking and Feeling women have the same amount of natural talents for motherhood, nowhere is the temptation to compare yourself to Feeling women stronger than in the role of mother. Probably the biggest problem for Thinking mothers who work outside the home is the temptation to give so much to their careers that there isn’t enough left for their personal life. Finding a balance between work and family is especially tricky for them.

You find the greatest satisfaction in the work world.
In her work, the Thinking woman can point to actual products that she has created, to objective evidence of her skills. She can attach a dollar amount to her value. In fact, in an article published in volume 13 of The Journal of Psychological Type, on type and gender, Jean Stokes points out that without such healthy outlets for Thinking, it can become “nagging, nit-picking, critical in extreme.”

“It wasn’t until my children were grown and I entered the business world that I really discovered my strength,” says Lucille, ENTP. “I could finally let go and be analytical and objective and not always have to be thinking “Will this offend someone?”

“There’s no question in my mind that it’s more difficult to be a woman, even a Thinking woman, in the work world,: says Madeline, INTP. “There’s an assumption that a woman is emotional, unreliable, fuzzy-thinking.”

And in maturity, you realize you didn’t get such a bad deal.
In maturity, we hope that people will come to accept themselves for what they are. “I’ve become more comfortable about being a T woman since I’ve been able to put a name on it and recognize that I’m a minority,” says Virginia, INTJ.

In maturity, we hope that people will have increased understanding and tolerance of the people who are different from them. “I’ve come full circle with Feeling women and feel a sisterhood with them now,” says Jan, ISTP. “I can understand and value the way they make decisions when I used to think they were dumb.”

In maturity, we hope that people will begin to develop the sides of their personalities that they didn’t develop in youth. In maturity, we hope that people will pass on what they have learned to the young, and by their example make it easier for the next generation.

In maturity, we hope that people will bring peace to some of the wars within themselves. In the case of Thinking women, that they will be able to see that perhaps they have had richer lives because they were “different.”

How We Make Decisions - Thinking or Feeling

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

                                   T—————X—————F

The third dimension of behavior in psychological type theory is how we prefer to make decisionsThinking or Feeling. 

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

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 Thinker or Feeler, meaning they would fall completely to the far left or right of the continuum. The research says that we are, however, one or the other, not both. Even though we use both preferences throughout our day in the Decision dimension, we dont use each preference with equal ease. Our inborn preference is our natural strength and according to research we are born with a preference for one behavior over the other  part of our DNA.

In the American population, 50% are Thinkers and 50% are Feelers. Of the Thinkers, about 65% are men, and of the Feelers, 65% are women.

Thinking and Feeling describe the two ways people make decisions, or come to conclusions. Thinking and Feeling both describe rational decision-making processes. It’s not that Thinkers have no feelings, or that Feelers are incapable of logic, it’s just that they use very different criteria to make their decisions.    

Thinkers make decisions more objectively, weighing the pros and cons. For Thinkers, logic rules. When making a decision, Thinkers take a step back and analyze the situation, logically and impersonally, asking, “Does this make sense? What are the pros and cons? What are the ramifications of the decision?” Thinkers objectify the decision.

Feelers make decisions based on how they feel about the issue and how others will be affected by it. Feelers inject themselves into the situation asking, “How do I feel about this? How will it affect me and others? Is this the right thing to do? What are my personal values telling me to do?” Feelers personalize the situation.

Personal feelings and values are important to Feeling types and often they will go to great lengths to remain true to their beliefs. Thinkers are logical and analytical while Feelers are sensitive and empathetic.

It’s no surprise that preferences for Thinking or Feeling influence career choices. The helping professions attract large numbers of Feelers because this gives them an opportunity to fulfill one of their greatest needs, helping people. Feelers have a drive to understand others and receive satisfaction from assisting others in whatever way they can. Business and management attracts a lot of Thinkers because when it comes to being able to make a decision that is based on the bottom line and consider what’s best for the overall company, they can more easily make the decision and take action. Thinkers can step back from the decision, analyze it logically and come to conclusion based on what is best for the company.  A Feeler usually steps forward, putting himself in the shoes of the individuals being affected within that company, and are strongly influenced by their own personal beliefs and values in making the decision.

Thinkers are often attracted to careers dealing with manufacturing, research and development. Thinkers are most satisfied with jobs where there is a minimum of employee caretaking and like working with other people that are as competent as they are. Thinkers place more emphasis on being truthful, even when it hurts feelings, than being tactful.

Feelers are naturally more attentive and concerned with other people because they have a strong need to be liked. This can be seen as being helpful and friendly and in practically every organization across the country, you can find the nurturer, the person whom coworkers go for emotional support and comfort. Whether appreciated by the company or not, these people provide a valuable service.

On teams, Thinkers are great at being able to size up a situation and put the necessary steps in place to accomplish the goal but it’s the Feelers that create the connection with others that allows the team members to function together, and get the job done - because of feeling that their contribution to the team matters.

It’s very valuable for Thinkers and Feelers to work together. My preference for making Decisions is Thinking and I am often considered abrupt by others because of my ability to impersonalize an issue and consider the logical and possible consequences. My Feeling abilities are not well developed. I care greatly for people and desire to be of service and assistance to them, but I don’t come across that way. So, I rely on the Feeling people in my life to provide input for me when I’m weighing a decision that affects other people - and practically every decision we make does affect others.

On the other hand, a dear friend of mine has a preference for making Decisions as a Feeler and calls on the phone to discuss situations in her life because of my ability to impersonalize and assist her in thinking of things she hadn’t considered because of her strong desire to connect with people and assist them at a personal level.

Probably one of the greatest contributions of type in my life has been with the friendship of my dear “Sister Paula”. Paula has a preference for Feeling and as I’ve already discussed, my preference in making Decisions is for Thinking. Paula tells me that once I introduced her to personality type and explained my type preferences, she was able to quit projecting her expectations of my behavior based on her own process. This knowledge has done wonders for our relationship.

When you factor in knowledge of personality type into your Decision making, it becomes clear that all of us need each other for the wealth of valuable contributions we offer in our business endeavors, family relationships and friendships. In fact, our differences just make us that much more valuable for the point of view and experience we are able to provide one another.

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. Decision is the third dimension and all four are equally important. Having knowledge and understanding of our preferences in each of the four dimensions of our associates and loved ones can profoundly affect the quality of our life and relationships.

S/N - Sensor or Intuitive - S——-X——-N

Monday, December 24th, 2012

How we take in Information

The second dimension of behavior in psychological type theory is how we prefer to take in Information - as a Sensor or an iNtuitive.  Since the letter I is used for Introvert, the letter N is used to represent iNtuition.

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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” Sensor or Intuitive, meaning they would fall completely to the far left or right of the continuum, or a person could be more towards the middle, closer towards the fulcrum on the continuum. The research says that we are, however, one or the other, not both. Even though we use both preferences throughout our day in the Information dimension, we don’t use each preference with equal ease. Our inborn preference is our natural strength.  Sensors take in information through their five senses - what they see, hear, touch, taste, or smell. Intuitives take in information through a “sixth sense” - not on what is, but what could be. Sensors prefer facts to support their decisions and live in the “here and now.”  Intuitives take in information by seeing the big picture, focusing on the relationships and connections between facts. They are especially attuned to seeing new possibilities. Sensors tend to think in a linear fashion, one thought following the next, and Intuitives frequently engage in leaps of thinking. Sensors are more down-to-earth and Intuitives are imaginative and creative. Sensors often demonstrate their creativity by finding a new application for something that has already been invented. This is because a Sensor tends to rely on his own or someone he trusts experience.

Sensors are terrific at being able to focus on the details. An example would be an airline pilot. There are a myriad of dials and information to keep track of in the cockpit of an Boeing 737, not to mention the actual landing and taking off ability. And, when it comes to an emergency, Sensors respond with the training they have experienced and solve the immediate problem. Sensors, with their natural abilities to focus on facts and the “here and now” make excellent pilots.

Intuitives are terrific at creating marketing direction because of their ability to look at patterns of information and determine a trend. In 1992, a book titled, “The Popcorn Report”, authored by Faith Popcorn predicted the rise of “Cocooning” (the stay-at-home syndrome), and the phenomenon of “Cashing Out,” where men and women leave the corporate rate race. Faith also foresaw the demand for fresh foods, home delivery, and four-wheel drives, among many other predictions. Faith is an example of an Intuitive at work on a grand scale. With her unusual name and outspoken style, Faith Popcorn has become one of America?s most controversial and quoted market researchers. Her BrainReserve company has served a long list of major clients, including IBM, McDonald’s, American Express, Eastman Kodak, Coca-Cola, Chevrolet, Campbell Soup and so forth.

The gathering of Information dimension represents the greatest potential for differences between people, since it applies to our worldview. For instance, I am an Intuitive and a couple of years ago did some marketing for a civil engineering company. Most civil engineers prefer Sensing to take in information and when giving information relate it in terms of specific facts, numerical order and systemization. When the engineers I worked with gave me information for a project, my brain literally froze and I couldn’t think until I translated the information through my Intuitive frame of reference. I needed to know what we were trying to achieve and the purpose of the project. Once that was clear, I was able to understand what to do with the facts and what information the engineers needed from me. And, I’m sure that when I presented Information to the group of engineers I was working with, my tendency to describe the big picture without the facts leading up was just as confusing to them. Sensors see the individual trees and Intuitives see the forest. Sensors spend a lot of time describing detail and Intuitives can become impatient with this detail preferring the ‘bottom line’ approach to giving and receiving Information.

When Sensors and Intuitives recognize what each other needs in the Information cycle, they can be powerful allies. As members of a team, they can work together on projects creating both the long-term plan and handling the details with ease. When we work in a field that allows us to use our ‘natural strengths’ we can be stress-free. Intuitives are the creators of a new approach, and Sensors are the people who make the idea work.

Team composition of personality types is important and in general, diversity and balance in team member personality types is needed to produce successful team performance. A Sensing team leader may be more effective in keeping the team on task. Intra-team communication will be more natural for the Sensor than the Intuitive. Sensing types perceive the facts and can easily organize their thoughts for communication to the other team members. Intuitives are terrific at creating solutions to problems. The Intuitive’s natural ability at coming up with creative possibilities, future planning and marketing direction is a great strength for a team.

Entrepreneurs would benefit from understanding personality type and in particular the Information cycle. Entrepreneurs tend to be Intuitives and it?s very easy for them to see the positive end results of the company they are creating without establishing the necessary steps of getting there successfully. (Where are the sales, orders and the money?)

When you factor in a knowledge of personality type into your thinking and planning, it becomes clear that all of us need each other for the wealth of valuable contributions we offer in our business endeavors, family relationships and friendships. In fact, our differences just make us that much more valuable for the information, point of view, and experience we are able to provide one another.

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. Information is the second dimension and all four are equally important. Having knowledge and understanding of our preferences in each of the four dimensions of our associates and loved ones can profoundly affect the quality of our life and relationships.

Sensors represent approximately 65% and Intuitives about 35% of the American population.

 

 

 

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.

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.)

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!