Posts Tagged ‘leadership’

What’s It Like To Be A Feeling Man?

Monday, March 25th, 2013

You feel most “different” in times of conflict.
Men got into their roles because of their bodies. In primitive times, if you had superior size and strength and weren’t tending the children, it was natural that you went out and hunted animals for food and fought off the enemy. In other words, you did the fighting and the killing. Today, men are still expected to hunt, although now it’s more for money and power. And they’re still expected to fight and kill, even if it’s just the competition!

The PEOPLE Process  Training Manual & Participant Package

The PEOPLE Process
Training Manual & Participant Package

But when it comes to hurting people or taking money and power from them, F men don’t feel cut out for the job. All of the F men interviewed for this issue said it’s their unwillingness to hurt people that separate them most from other males. They first noticed it when they were boys, when they were called upon to be physically aggressive.

“I found playground fights to be very distasteful” says David, INFJ, “and it was traumatic when I got into a fight.” “I avoided fights,” says David, ESFP, “I just wouldn’t rise to the bait and I’d walk away. It didn’t bother me to be called ‘chicken’.”

Did the Feeling boys try to stop the fights they saw? Not usually. Fs in situations of conflict tend to freeze up. They are often so shocked by what is happening that they can’t react. Also, they don’t want to do anything to get the conflict directed toward them. When F boys were able to stop their friends from hurting people, it was because they were able to give them a good reason not to do so. But Feeling boys do get into fights. Usually it’s because their feelings have been badly hurt, or they’ve seen someone else being hurt. In other words, their fighting is more defensive than offensive.

F boys become F men but they never lose their distaste for conflict. At the same time, they never lose their desire to defend the underdog, so they find themselves in conflict much more than they’d like. It’s their lifelong quest to find ways to successfully ‘fight’ for what they believe in, when they don’t believe in fighting.

You learn to hide your feelings around boys.
F men said they got into trouble for expressing their feelings around boys, and being Fs, they wanted to be accepted, so they chose, at very young ages, to hide those feelings. “In friendships with boys, I often did not express my feelings,” says Dan, ENFP. “I got along because I knew how to get along.”

Acceptance is important to Fs, and sometimes that means doing what others are doing when your heart is not really in it. “I kept it a secret that I was sensitive,” says Christopher, ISFJ.

Although F boys may not be admired by other boys for their Feeling talk, they can be admired by boys for their Feeling ways. “I was a leader among the boys because my F extended to them,” says Roger, ISFJ. “I was accommodating, agreeable, and easy to get along with.”

But you learn you can take your feelings to girls and women.
Feeling boys learn they can’t talk like an F in the company of most other boys, but they also learn that they can open up with most females. It begins with their mothers. “I was always close to my mother. We related well and could talk about things,” says Tom, ENFJ.

F boys soon realize that when they’re in the company of girls or women, the conversation often sounds interesting and pleasant to them. However, being around girls and women is accepted only in small doses when you’re a young boy. “I had no problem with girls, I understood them,” says Bob, ESFJ. “But I knew that boys weren’t supposed to have girls as friends, so I didn’t hang around them too much.”

Later on, in adolescence, Feeling boys become more conscious of their Feeling side, and really want to share it with someone. And once they’re teenagers, it’s OK to be around girls. And, it seems that from adolescence on, Feeling men have more female friends than male friends.

One of the pleasant surprises in life for Feeling men is that, because it’s unusual for a man to care about feelings, to be romantic, tender-hearted and thoughtful, it carries more weight than it does for Feeling women.

Your F can make you a great family man.
Fs derive the bulk of their self-esteem from their relationships, and their most important relationships are usually with their families. So as much as they may love their careers, they’ll still need more time with their families than most Ts do.

“I wouldn?t consider taking a job that didn’t allow me to be with my family,” says Tom, ENFJ. “They need my presence more than wealth.” “My home and my family are central to me, much more than my work,” says David, ESFP. I’m motivated to work only to provide for my family.”

And even when they’re on the job, F men can make their work atmosphere feel like a family. “I lead by getting to know my soldiers inside and out,” says John, ESFJ.

But your F can get in the way of being a good provider.
F men lack the “killer instinct” and they find out that it’s hard to make a lot of money without it. If they work in professions dominated by Fs, they’re usually underpaid because Fs, unless they are well disciplined, are not motivated to put high financial value on their work, to strategize ways to best the competition, to put the needs of the business over the needs of the people, or to make decisions based on objective data, like the bottom line.

“Usually, when people go to negotiate agreements, they think, “What’s the least I can concede?” says Tom, INFP. “I’m thinking, “What’s the most generous I can be?” If they go into a T environment, they may be able to get by, but it’s unlikely they’ll earn high-income positions. Like all Fs, they struggle to find careers that are in line with their values, and that usually means less and less money.

Tom probably speaks for most F men when he sums up his attitude about money and power, and his ability as a provider: “It’s not easy to make money when the kinds of things you want to spend time on are not rewarded financially. I think I’ll always be able to provide the basics for my family. I know what I need to do to be comfortable, but I don’t think I’ll ever be in a position of power because people in power have to make choices which I wouldn’t make.”

So no matter what career you choose, you learn that you need some T skills.
“I work in the federal government - a very T environment,” says Dexter, INFJ, “so I’ve had to build up my T muscle. I’ve learned that Ts take your words more seriously. They analyze what you say, word by word, and dissect it to an accurate state, so I’ve had to be careful about my imprecise and insufficiently analytical speech. I’ve learned that I can’t work on something till it feels right to me, and then take it into my boss. He’s just not interested in what I feel; he can’t even get started on it. I have to have collected the facts to support it. I check around a lot, and call different offices. I analyze things through, ask myself what I’m missing, anticipate other people’s criticisms, and get all the possible objections.”

“I’ve noticed that on matters of judging and disciplining people, which we have to do in the military, the Ts try to make rules where everyone is treated the same,” says John, ESFJ. “The Fs, on the other hand, don’t think that any two cases are exactly alike, and look at all the extenuating circumstances in the person’s life. I’ve learned that you have to find a happy medium between the two. I’ve developed a sixth sense about what decision I can make, and still function in both worlds.”

Besides developing T skills to survive in a T-dominated world, some men are finding that it’s also useful to make Ts aware that Feeling input is essential to successful decision-making.

“I used to go into my managers and explain a solution to a problem and they’d say, “Where are your facts?” says Bill, INFP. “I’d say, “I don’t need facts, trust me, I know I’m right.” Well, they never did, of course. Last year we were all given training in the MBTI and since then they’ve begun coming to me and asking me for advice. I’ve become the link between management and employees. I’ve gone from being a “bad fit” to a real asset to the company.”

The TYPE Reporter, Vol. 4, No. 6 & 7 written by Susan Scanlon
Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a trademark or registered trademark of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Trust in the United States and other countries.

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

The Five Relationship Attributes Necessary For Successful Leadership

Friday, October 12th, 2012

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

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

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

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

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

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

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

Personality Type and Leadership

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

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

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

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

Implications of these studies for Leaders

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

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

Leadership Styles of the 16 Personality Types

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

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

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

The Effect of Personality Type on Team Performance

Friday, September 7th, 2012

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

Team approach to IS development???

The PEOPLE Process Trainer’s Manual & Participant Package

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

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

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

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

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

Critical factors for effective teams

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A model of the effect of personality type on team performance

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

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

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

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

A case example

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

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

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

Personality-type composition and team performance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusion and recommendations

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

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

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

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

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

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a trademark or registered trademark of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Trust in the United States and other countries.

Why I Became Involved in Writing and Teaching About Personality Type

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

It occurred to me recently that I haven?t shared why I became involved in creating products and training about personality type.?

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

In late?1987, I was reintroduced to personality type through a company called True Colors which at that time was located in Laguna Beach, California.? True Colors has a terrific product that teaches about one aspect of personality type ? Temperament Theory ? using four cards with symbols of the four functions, Sensing, Intuition, Thinking and Feeling.? This exposure prompted my husband Roy and I to start studying more about personality type and we decided?to create products that?are based?on type theory created by Dr. Carl Jung and expanded through the?Myers Briggs Type Indicator.?

We chose to concentrate on first understanding yourself, and then quickly move people?towards understanding everyone else because we felt that is where the real power of type lies ? understanding the other guy and relating to him/her based on?that person?s?preferences/comfort zone.? We approached the business of developing these products as a ?mission? and invested a lot of our time, sincere effort and finances in the product line.

And now, 23 years later I can still say that it thrills me to conduct a training because I always receive comments from the people attending about how valuable the information is to them and?that they now understand why the relationships in their lives are the way that they are and what to do to improve those relationships. This is really important to me because my type, INTJ, is driven to make a difference?that assists people in a real-world way.

I get so excited everytime someone orders The PEOPLE Process products from my website. I take the entire business personally. It is a big deal to me. It?s a thrill to know that even companies in Australia, Canada, England and Ireland,?are using my products to work together better on their teams.

Communications and Personality Type - Judging & Perceiving

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

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 tensionwhen they feel ?pushed? into make a decision too quickly.???

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

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

Communications & Personality Type - Thinking & Feeling

Monday, July 9th, 2012

The third behavior dimension?how we make Decisions?Thinking or Feeling can often be a source of conflict in communication. Thinking and Feeling both describe rational decision-making processes. It?s not that Thinkers don?t have feelings or that Feelers are incapable of logic, it?s just that they use very different criteria to make their Decisions.?

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

Thinking types make Decisions in a logical and analytical way. Before they commit to and support a Decision, everything about the subject has to be ?perfectly clear.? They prefer to be objective and are somewhat detached, which tends to earn them the label of being impersonal.

Feeling types are primarily concerned about the impact their Decisions will have on others. They are concerned with the human and interpersonal aspects and want to be sure the feelings and personal values of others are not in jeopardy. They use ?friendly persuasion? as a tool to get their points across and they make concerted efforts to identify with other people.

Thinking types are often impatient with Feeling types? need to validate and support each other. Since Thinkers prefer to focus on tasks, the small talk and sharing of personal information in the work setting seems unnecessary or inappropriate to Thinking types. Feeling types enjoy these connections and are more comfortable working with others when trust has been established. They want to know co-workers on a personal level and are more interested in understanding one another. Feeling types offer supportive feedback that can be seen by the Thinking type as insincere and overdone. Feeling types can interpret the frank feedback given by Thinking types as abrupt and critical. Thinking types want to be acknowledged for their accomplishments and need less feedback while Feeling types want to be appreciated for their efforts and like feedback on a regular basis.

Thinking Types in Communication

Strengths ? ?Does this make sense??

  • Calm, reasonable, under control
  • Provide honest & frank feedback
  • Analyze, evaluate & critique
  • Objective & principled

Communication Approach

  • Use logic & analysis to spot flaws?
  • Want to know ?why??
  • List & consider pros & cons
  • Trust competence & expertise

When Communicating with Thinkers

  • Be calm, objective, & competent
  • Offer honest feedback/positive comments
  • Support opinions with logic/clear thinking
  • Accept critical feedback graciously

Feeling Types in Communication

Strengths ? ?Will this upset anyone??

  • Able to empathize & develop rapport
  • Appreciate others? perspectives
  • Supportive, nurturing of others
  • Connect with & create harmony w/others

Communication Approach

  • Focus on subjective beliefs & values
  • Share personal stories & examples
  • Want to get to know someone personally
  • Like collaboration & want to cooperate

When Communicating with Feelers

  • Listen first before evaluating & critiquing
  • Focus on people & find out what is valued
  • Acknowledge?don?t analyze?others? values
  • Focus on creating win-win situations

Not All Successful CEOs Are Extroverts

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

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.??

?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.

 

Creating a Coaching Culture - By Gregg Thompson

Friday, April 13th, 2012

?an open letter to senior leaders

Creating a coaching culture can be one of the most important contributions you will ever make as a senior leader and will likely be the predominant feature of your personal legacy. It can also be some of the most challenging, yet personally rewarding, work that you ever do. Great leaders always leave their marks deep inside their organizations. What do you want your mark to be?

So what is this thing we call organization culture?? Think about culture as the way an organization is hard-wired.? It’s what makes an organization distinctive.? It’s the organization’s essence, its ethos.? Tomes have been written about the source of an organization’s culture and most researchers agree that it is likely created by the beliefs, values and aspirations that are shared by the most influential people in an organization; the senior leaders.? While it can be difficult to pin down exactly what creates an organization’s culture, it is relatively easy to see the results.? An organization’s culture is manifest in its unique norms and practices.? The best description I have ever heard came from a former professor of mine who said, “It’s the way we do things around here.”

How do your people do things around your organization, and how are these a reflection of your leadership?

Because the causal factors are so deeply imbedded, shaping an organization’s culture is extraordinarily difficult.? Why go to all this work?? Look around you.? When you see an organization that is highly productive, innovative and nimble, it is likely driven by a coaching culture.? People in this high performing organization are bringing their very best talents and energies to their work every day because others are encouraging them, challenging them, seeing the best in time, constructively confronting them…in short, because someone is coaching them.

So how do you know if you have a coaching culture?

Here is a checklist to consider.

Do you lead a team or organization in which:

1.? talent, high performance and career acceleration are greatly valued?

2.? people are excited about their personal and professional growth opportunities?

3.? leaders are seen as trustworthy, selfless and competent?

4.? people feel appreciated for their unique contributions?

5.? well-intentioned feedback flows readily throughout the organization?

6.? promises are readily made and faithfully kept?

7.? difficult conversations are routine?

An organization has a true coaching culture when these are evident.? Fortunately, creating a coaching culture, while perhaps difficult, is quite straightforward.? By taking three bold steps, you can put an indelible mark on your organization and touch the work, careers and lives of every member of your organization in the process.? The tough part?? The first step starts with you.? You need to model great coaching.? This is one thing you cannot delegate to others.? You will likely need some good partners but you cannot turn this work over to others.?

You must be a great coach yourself.? You need to model what you expect of others.? And this does not mean you need to simply have more one-on-ones with your direct reports, give more sage advice or spend more time wandering the hallways.? You actually need to become a great coach.? You need to show up every day doing the things that great coaches do to earn the right to coach others.? You need to be recognized as an authentic, competent leader who is deeply committed to the success of others.? You need to form relationships in which others are inspired, challenged, appreciated and held accountable for their own performance and careers.? You need to courageously dive into difficult, often emotionally-laden conversations that focus on critical topics such as aspirations, disappointments and shifting expectations.

It all starts with you.? If you are not willing to step up and set the standard for others, don’t bother with this initiative.? This will simply be another passing program that will temporarily occupy your HR team, annoy your staff, amuse those already doing good coaching and enrich a few consultants.

The second step is to expect coaching throughout your organization by holding all other organization leaders particularly your direct reports, accountable to coach their team members.? A good way to foster this is to start measuring these leaders not on their own performance but, rather, on the performance of their direct reports.? Strongly encouraging all senior leaders to participate in a high quality coach training program will not only build coaching capability but will also demonstrate your commitment to talent and personal development.? Also, heavily skewing performance management and reward systems toward coaching excellence will ensure that coaching becomes part of your organization’s DNA and not just another managerial competency.

The third and, in many ways, the most exciting step is to expand coaching throughout the organization by encouraging every organization member to invite another to be their coach.? Clear and compelling communication about the value of coaching and that every member of the organization is expected to coach at least one other member will set the stage for a shift towards a coaching culture.? This each-one-coach-one approach will need to be supported by high quality coaching skills training and a long-term commitment from you to stay the course until coaching is simply “the way we do things around here.”

As a senior leader, you make choices every day about where to best invest your talents, time and energy.? If you want your work to mean something special and have a significant, lasting effect on others, consider building a coaching culture.? You are the only one who can make this happen.? Only you can take that first, bold step toward becoming a great coach yourself!

Reprinted with permission from:? Bryn Meredith, Chief Operating Officer, Bluepoint Leadership Development; www.BluepointLeadership.com