Posts Tagged ‘leadership training’

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

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

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.?

The PEOPLE Process Type 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.?

“Give me the facts, maam…just the facts.”

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

When describing the decor of my home to a Sensor, I said things such as, ?the furniture is traditional with oriental accent pieces mixed in, the front yard has blue pots and a blue wrought iron fence.??

?From the front door entryway, what do you see,? asked the Sensor.? ?How wide is the front door?, and ?how deep is the entry??? ?Once inside the house, where is the living room??? ?How many steps until you reach the kitchen??? ?How many windows in the kitchen???

As an Intuitive, my description of the house was an overview of the general plan and scheme of the decor with such words as, ?contemporary mixed with Oriental theme?, ?rooms opening up into each other to give a feeling of freedom.? ?white carpet with bold accent colors.?

As an author of personalty-type training products and conductor of trainings, it is amazing to me when I have an experience such as this because it brings home to me how important it is to understand each other?s preference for giving and receiving Information ? as a Sensor or as an Intuitive.

I can honestly tell you that the Intuitive becomes impatient with the lengthy, factual and detailed descriptions.? And, I?m sure the Sensor becomes frustrated with the Intuitive?s broad stroke, overview and generalized description.?

During this conversation, I had to keep reminding myself, ?this is a Sensor and he cannot see the picture unless you give the facts and details.?

Thank goodness I understand this.? As I think back over my life prior to becoming involved so deeply in personality type theory, I am amazed that I was able to communicate with people at all and get my point across.? No wonder I had so many ?dead end? conversations with people.

Do yourself a favor ? learn everything you can about type theory and use it!? Your communications with your family, friends and co-workers will improve tremendously!

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

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

??????????E- — ——————————-X————————————I

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

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.?

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

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.

Communications and Personality Type - Judging & Perceiving

Friday, April 29th, 2011

The fourth behavior dimension?how we take Action?Judging or Perceiving is vital to understand about one another because it is related to how we like to organize our world. Judging types prefer to decide and Perceiving types prefer to explore options. Judging types feel tension until they make a decision and Perceiving types feel tension when they feel ?pushed? into make a decision too quickly.???

Communication difficulties are created between Judging and Perceiving types around the time frame for completing a project. Perceiving types often start tasks at the last minute because they are intent on gathering as much data as possible that may impact their decision and Judging types are likely to complete tasks ahead of time. Because the Judging types are focused on the deadline, they find it difficult to trust that the Perceiving types will meet the deadline.

Judging types like to plan and organize their work in a systematic manner. They rely on this structure to be able to have a feeling of accomplishment and moving forward. Perceiving types approach a project by starting at one point and making decisions along the way as they find out information and move forward. Stress can be created when Judging and Perceiving types work together unless they understand each other?s preferred style. A knowledge of the strengths of Judging types and Perceiving types can eliminate a lot of miscommunication.

Judging Types in communication

Strengths ? ?Just do it!?

  • Are decisive
  • Share info and move forward
  • Well organized & efficient communicators
  • Provide timelines

Communication Approach:

  • Quickly make decisions, provide closure
  • Punctual & expect others to be on time
  • Like structure and schedule
  • Like to have control

When Communicating with Judgers:

  • Decide as quickly as possible
  • Focus on what is most important
  • Narrow & focus your options before sharing
  • Create & share timelines

Perceiving Types in communication

Strengths ? ?Have we researched this enough??

  • Flexible & adaptable
  • Open to new information
  • Create & consider lots of options
  • Easygoing approach to change

Communication Approach:

  • Include lots of data in decision-making
  • Spontaneous communication style
  • Can postpone decisions
  • See opportunity in interruptions

When Communicating with Perceivers:

  • Allow discussion time & plan for changes
  • Establish mutual deadlines
  • Seek more information before deciding
  • Be open to communication opportunities

Not all successful CEOs are extroverts

Monday, March 28th, 2011

(This article is taken from USA Today, June 7, 2006, Del Jones.)

The following is a great article depicting Extroverts and Introverts and I think you will enjoy reading it. My Southwest pilot friend, Cathy, ISTJ, brought it to me and when I read it I called and thanked her profusely because the article gives a great illustration of the strengths and talents of Introverts. Introverts have gotten a ?bad rap? over the years because they are viewed as being shy and that is not necessarily so. The information below clears this misconception up.

Chris Scherpenseel, president of Microsoft?s 140-employee FRx Software subsidiary, is an amateur astronomer. ?I hate to call astronomers lonely, but most people don?t want to be up at 1 a.m. when it?s cold outside,? he says.?

The PEOPLE Process Wheel

Alone is the way Scherpenseel likes it. So does his boss, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates. But rather than being the exception, they have plenty of company among corporate brass in their preference for solitude.

It seems counter-intuitive, but introverts and closet introverts populate the highest corporate offices, so much so that four in 10 top executives test out to be introverts, a proportion only a little lower than the 50-50 split among the overall population age 40 and older.

There are many ingredients to success, and one of the most obvious has always been an outgoing, gregarious personality that lets fast risers stand out in a crowd of talent. But successful introverts seem to have mastered the ability to act like extroverts. Some liken it to an out-of-body experience that lets them watch themselves be temporarily unreserved. They remain introverts to the core, and if they don?t get down time alone or with family, they feel their energy being sapped.

The list of well-known corporate CEO introverts reads like a Who?s Who, starting with Gates, who has long been described as shy and unsocial, and who often goes off by himself to reflect. Others widely presumed to be introverts include Warren Buffett, Charles Schwab, movie magnate Steven Spielberg and Sara Lee CEO Brenda Barnes.

?I?ve always been shy,? Barnes told USA TODAY in an interview early this year at her Chicago office. She turns down most speeches and nearly all interview requests. ?People wouldn?t call me that, but I am.?

Former Sun Microsystems executive Jim Green, now CEO of Composite Software, has jogged the streets solo from London to New Zealand to recharge. SkyeTec CEO Chris Uhland was at a wedding recently where he snuck off by himself to watch golf on TV. His wife was not happy. Patricia Copeland, wife of former Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu CEO James Copeland, understands. She told USA TODAY three years ago that even at family get-togethers in Georgia, her husband will soon be found taking refuge in a book.

Copeland sent an e-mail of clarification last month from a ConocoPhillips board meeting in Houston. He says he is insecure in social settings, but enjoys other people when there?s a problem to be solved.

?I tried to deal with my weakness? by being active in such endeavors as the United Way, he wrote. That seemed to work, but throw Copeland into a cocktail party and watch him squirm. ?In purely social events, I just toughed it out and did the best I could.?

Many CEOs rise from marketing and other arenas of extroversion. But they?re just as likely to come from the finance or information technology disciplines. The software industry might have the highest proportion of CEO introverts, starting with Gates, says astronomer hobbyist Scherpenseel, who began as a certified public accountant.

Introverts say they succeed because they have inner strength and think before they act. When faced with difficult decisions, introverts worry little about what other people will think of them, Uhland says.

Although reclusive by nature, shy CEOs seem to have been making more than their share of news lately. When USA TODAY ordered up handwriting analyses two years ago of CEOs facing criminal charges, three different experts called former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling an introvert and inhibited loner. The other former Enron CEO on trial, Ken Lay, was often seen making small talk with strangers in the courthouse hallways. But Skilling typically restricted himself to speaking to his wife or his lawyer, Dan Petrocelli, who in his closing argument last month called Skilling anti-social. A jury convicted Skilling and Lay of hiding Enron?s true financial condition from investors.

Another CEO to make headlines, William Swanson, says he was ?extremely shy? when he first joined Raytheon as a young engineer. He rarely spoke at meetings, but rather scribbled notes of observations that he said led to his publishing decades later of Swanson?s Unwritten Rules of Management, a booklet recently discovered to be so plagiarized that the Raytheon board of directors denied him a pay raise.

Sensing Listening Strengths

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

?I remember all the facts and details.?

If the gift of Intuitive listeners is that they can put wings on what you say, the gift of Sensing listeners is that they can put arms and legs on what you say.? I can?t tell you how many times my conversations with my Sensing friends have resulted in my suddenly being able to move on a problem that had me stuck in place.? After I talk to them, I know the product to buy, the service to call, the information to download, or the location to drive to.

The PEOPLE Process Assessment Wheel

Another gift of Sensing types is that they can often remember the facts and details that people tell them.? It means a lot to see a person six months after you?ve talked, and hear them ask, ?How did that problem with your daughter come out??

?My strengths are that I?m good at keeping track of people and what they?re doing.? It makes them feel special,? says Dan, ESTP.? ?For example, my friend told me a few months ago that he?s interested in a graduate program, and I asked him about that recently, and I think he liked that.?

?My strength as a listener is that I remember all the facts and details,? says Patty, ESTJ.? ?A client might call me back after five years and say, ?Hi, I?m sure you don?t remember me, but you tested my daughter.?? I say, ?Of course I remember you.? Your daughter wore a purple sweater that day and her birthday is April 11.?? I don?t do it on purpose.? It?s just that all that stuff goes in there and gets filed.?

Sensing types are also often alert to the sensory information about the speaker, so if their words don?t match their body language, Ss will probably pick up on it.

?My strength as a listener is that I notice all the sensory stuff besides their listening:? their tone of voice, the look on their face, the agitation in their bodies,? says Sharon, ISTP.? ?I may not even hear the words.? sometimes I?ll say to a person, ?You said this, but everything about you says something else.?? I might find out later that I was right that they were stressed out, even if it was about something other than what they were talking about.? That?s why I don?t like e-mails, because you can?t see or hear all the other stuff in an email.?

Another strength of some Sensing listeners, and one that is worth imitating, is their ability to ?see? in their minds what the person is describing.

?When people are talking to me, it?s like I?m running a movie in my mind?s eye,? says Patty, ESTJ.? ?I?m visualizing it, and that makes it more fun to listen, and helps me really be with the person.?

Resource:? The TYPE Reporter, No. 98, The gift of Listening, Part 2

Intuitive Listening Strengths

Friday, January 28th, 2011

I’m able to synthesize or articulate the thoughts of others.”

Intuitive listeners are often good at taking the stories they hear and connecting them with a theory or an idea.? For example, after the Virginia Tech shootings, an acquaintance said that she was dismayed that there was no Christian prayer said at the university?s memorial service.? That bothered me, because I was thinking of all the non-Christian students that would have felt excluded during a prayer, at a time when they needed to join together in their common grief.? I repeated her comment to an ENFP friend, and his reply was:? ?Our founding fathers understood the tyranny of the majority over the minority, but people today forget that.?? You can?t get better validation than to be told that you think like our founding fathers, and I?m usually grateful when Intuitive listeners take my specific experience and connect it to the general experience.?

Another strength of Intuitive listeners is that they?re able to sort through a great deal of information and find the essential idea.

?My strengths as a listener are being able to synthesize or articulate the thoughts of others, particularly in group discussions, when discussion is going all over the place,? says Carolyn, INFP.? ?I can pull together what I have heard.?

?If a client is really upset, I?ll say, ?Start anyplace, and we?ll track it together,?? says Catherine, ENTJ.? ?After they get all the pieces out, no matter how chaotic their story, I can feel myself consulting my Intuition, asking myself if I have the full picture.?

Intuitive listeners are also good at listening for possibilities, when something the speaker said might mean more than they are giving it credit for.?

?My strengths are that I?ll hear something in passing, an extraneous comment, a little nugget that has been thrown out,? says Dee, ENTP, ?and I?ll ask them to say some more about it.? I?ll help them return to that comment and unpack it.?

The best thing about Intuitive listeners, however, is that they can sometimes listen for possibilities in the speaker, and be able to tel them that they are worth more than they give themselves credit for.

?Beyond just the data gathering, I try to help people identify their strengths, to reframe things when they?re feeling very negative about themselves,? says Craig, ENFP.? ?I remember when I was a kid, walking home from lunch with this girl in my class.? She was burdened because the other kids were making fun of her.? I said something about her talents, and after that, the poison was gone for her.? When I?m working with clients as well, I try to help people see themselves so that they like what they see.?

The Gift of Listening - How Does Type Influence Our Listening?

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

In the last blog update, 16 people were asked the question, ?Who is the best listener in your life??? and 14 of them mentioned an Introvert.? Do Introverts really have a natural advantage over Extraverts when it comes to listening?

According to the type theory, Introverts have two good reasons to listen more than talk.? First of all, they have a lower need to talk because they process their thoughts internally.? They may want to share their completed thoughts with others, but that usually requires less time than thinking through something out loud.?

Second, when Introverts talk, they?re using their Auxiliary function, which is not what they?re best at, so they don?t get the positive response that Extraverts do.? After awhile, they become less confident and more critical of themselves when they speak.? The role of listener becomes a better way for them to garner self-esteem.

Extraverts, on the other hand, have two good reasons to talk more than listen.? First, they need to process their thoughts out loud.? They often do their best thinking when they are talking, so they need to have several good listeners in their lives to allow them to reach clarity and understanding.

Second, Extraverts derive greater self-esteem from talking than Introverts.? Because they are Extraverts, they are showing their dominant function to the world, which is what they?re best at, whether it?s practical knowledge, possibilities, logic or caring.? When they finish speaking, they usually get a better response from others, and more of a sense of accomplishment in their speech.? It?s hard to give that up and switch over into listening.

However, just because Introverts tend to do more listening, they don?t necessarily listen well.? Although they may be silent when someone else is speaking, they may actually have a strong internal dialogue going, and may be listening more to themselves than the speaker.

Let?s face it.? It?s an effort for all of us to be good listeners.? Extraverts have to manage their external voice, and Introverts have to manage their internal voice.

In trying to become a good human being though, nothing makes a bigger difference than developing the ability to listen well.? No matter what else we do for other people, if we listen attentively and sypathetically to what they are saying, and let them know that they have been heard and understood, that will mean the most to them.

What do the Best Listeners do? What do the Worst Listeners do?

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

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.

?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.?

Why Personality Type in Relationships?

Monday, November 8th, 2010

The greatest overall benefit of knowing about psychological-type theory, is to be able to stand back and realize people do what they do because of their natural process. By knowing this, we can begin to eliminate our expectations on another person?s behavior. This alone, solves a myriad of interaction problems.?

Once you understand your type and your partner?s type, it?s time to see how you and your partner mesh. The first step toward creating a satisfying relationship is to understand ourselves. The next is to be more aware of the ways we naturally and automatically, interact with our partners. Then, we can learn how to make some minor adjustments in our styles to be more accommodating and appreciative of each other.

DO OPPOSITES REALLY ATTRACT?

Many couples ? about 35% have only two type preferences in common. About 25% have one preference in common, 20 % have three and only 10% are either different on all four or alike on all four dimensions. Just because you and your partner may be very different doesn?t mean you can?t have a satisfying relationship. You may simply have to work harder to achieve understanding and satisfaction.

The greatest opportunities for personal growth come from loving someone who is quite different. On some level, we?re drawn to our partners precisely because of those differences. We see things in them we don?t have in ourselves. We are stimulated to try things we might not ordinarily try, encouraged to open up and share on a deeper level than before, or slow down and have more fun than we normally allow ourselves.

As Carl Jung wrote, ?The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances; if there is any reaction, both are transformed.? Indeed, Mr. Jung believed that through the marital and family unit, we could transform ourselves to a greater spiritual level.

Bear in mind that no one combination is either perfect or automatically doomed to failure. There are strengths within each type combination. While every couple faces challenges based in a great part on their type preferences, every relationship also is as unique as the two people in it.

AN ESTJ & ENFP PARENTING CHALLENGE

The three type dimensions that are most often the source of parenting disagreements are:

GATHERING INFORMATION ? Sensing or Intuition

MAKING DECISIONS ? Thinking or Feeling

TAKING ACTION ? Judging or Perceiving

Jake is an ESTJ and Maureen is an ENFP. As such they have different temperaments and values. Jake takes his job as father very seriously. He believes it?s his duty to raise responsible, polite, independent children. He?s the disciplinarian, establishing and enforcing the rules of the house with calm consistency. Jake?s kids will tell you that he?s strict and demanding but that he shows his devotion to his kids by being an enthusiastic coach and never misses a swim meet, dance recital, or school play. Maureen is more concerned about her children?s emotional well-being and self-esteem. She wants them to develop as unique individuals and strive to find personal meaning in their lives. She?s clearly the fun parent, the nurturer, who is less worried about bedtimes and rules and more concerned about helping the children articulate their feelings and grow into compassionate and tolerant adults. For the most part, Jake and Maureen complement each other well, but they also have their share of disagreements about everything from how hard to push the kids academically to whether to pay them for doing chores. This hurdle is not insurmountable, but it is a strain on their relationship; it gives them one more thing to disagree and argue about. Fortunately, knowing about their types ? and their children?s types ? has helped them figure out strategies to be more cohesive as a team and more sensitive and effective with their children.