Posts Tagged ‘management training’

How Do You Take Action? - Judging or Perceiving?

Friday, April 5th, 2013

The fourth and final dimension of behavior in psychological type theory is how we prefer to take action. Judging types represent approximately 60% and Perceiving types about 40% of the U.S. population.

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

Judging and Perceiving represent the two very different ways that people like to organize their world and live their lives. In this context, the term Judging does not mean a person that is judgmental and the term Perceiving does not mean that a person is perceptive. These are the terms assigned to this dimension of behavior. Perceiving refers to one’s innate drive to keep things open, to keep gathering information and Judging refers to a desire to come to conclusion and make a decision. People with a Judging preference feel tension until an issue is decided and people with a Perceiving preference feel tension if pushed to make a decision too quickly. The more important the decision is, the stronger the need to resolve the issue quickly for a person with Judging preference.

Judging and Perceiving have a lot to do with the way we like to run our everyday lives and the greatest potential for conflict exists between couples with this dimension. This is the only dimension that is different between me and my husband. Roy, INTP, and I, INTJ, experienced a lot of confusion, tension and conflict around this fourth dimension of taking action. We had been married just a few years when we were introduced to psychological type and were immediately riveted by the explanation in type theory of why we were experiencing this tension. We could be discussing something and I’d head for the phone to take action. This completely unnerved him because of his need to investigate further, look for more information and check things out.

Another part of the differences in this dimension is Judging people want their living area organized and feel distracted living amid clutter, while Perceiving people tend to have a more casual attitude and often leave projects unfinished. My INTP partner liked to file papers in stacks on the office floor and I preferred to file paperwork feeling everything should be put in its place. Once we found out about our preference for Judging and Perceiving in this Action dimension, we understood what was causing the tension and were able to “stretch ourselves” so that we could include each other’s “comfort zone” in our expectations.

Judgers are planners and like to be prepared. They expect a set plan to be followed and often have difficulty shifting gears when the plan unexpectedly changes. By contrast, Perceivers are hesitant to commit themselves for fear that if they do, they may miss some great opportunity that will come along later. Perceivers act spontaneously and are flexible in adjusting to changes.

In the area of handling responsibilities, Judging people like to complete projects ahead of a deadline and it’s very hard for Judgers to relax and enjoy themselves when they haven?t finished something. Perceivers are just the opposite, preferring to relax and take advantage of some unexpected opportunity because there’s always more time.

Because Judgers have such a need for closure, they tend to make a lot of declarative statements and state their strong opinions freely. Perceivers ask a lot of questions and are more inquisitive. This can be a source of irritation between couples and business associates. Perceivers often feel that Judgers shut down discussions too quickly, and oversimplify. Judgers sometimes find the endless questions from Perceivers to be redundant and annoying.

Judgers are more comfortable with the notion of rules and place high importance on following them, while Perceivers view rules as unwanted restrictions on their freedom and their ability to be spontaneous. Judgers are more comfortable with authority while Perceivers are more naturally inclined to rebel against or question authority.

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

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

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.

What’s It Like To Be A Thinking Woman?

Friday, March 1st, 2013

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

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

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Personality Type and Careers

Friday, November 16th, 2012

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

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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.

Explore the Benefits of Humility in Business

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

Leadership humility is rare and doesn?t necessarily enjoy the recognition it serves, says Wikus van Vuuren, a director at GIMT. ?Humility is unfortunately often perceived as a weakness in business when, in fact, it can be a tremendous asset.????

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

Humble leaders who openly understand and develop their weaknesses and capitalize on their strengths often create environments that encourage people to grow, which in turn grows the organization, he says.

?Some of the most successful organizations worldwide have leaders who inconspicuously ?stand out? due to their humble nature, rather than their arrogance and flamboyance,? Van Vuuren says.

Indeed, the leader who is humble never allows the power of his position to cloud his judgment. He respects the unique contribution individuals have to make, and does not get stuck on their perceived weaknesses, he adds.

?One of the greatest strengths of humble leaders is that they never assume they know all the answers and allow people to explain things to them. They look for the opportunity to learn and use every opportunity to make others feel valued.?

Apart from personal issues, there is no real harm in letting people know what you view as your strengths and weaknesses. ?A good step would be to implement a system where you can get direct feedback from your executive team, your clients, your staff and even people in your personal circle. While this system will create an open and honest company culture, it will also contribute significantly to your own personal growth.?

Van Vuuren says you should connect with your manager, peers and those that report to you. ?You will make them feel more comfortable about exploring their own opportunities for development.?

Honest leaders are also good listeners, he says. ?Do you have a tendency, when someone starts explaining something, to interrupt them to make sure they know that you already know what they are talking about? The next time this happens, try something new. Listen. Let them finish their explanation.

?Ask lots of questions, validate them, then add your comments.?

In the act of being humble, you make others feel important and valued, Van Vuuren said.

?That is the gift of the humble leader. Besides, it is more refreshing and empowering being around humble people than inflated egos.?

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

Communications and Personality Type — Extravert & Introvert

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

Communication is central to our life?we communicate with others every day, throughout the day. Understanding, appreciating, and accommodating personality differences in communication style can bring major success to our effectiveness as a friend, spouse, employee, supervisor, trainer, leader, and team member. People have different preferences in the way they take in and evaluate information and their orientation to the world around them. As we develop our awareness, understanding, and appreciation of communication differences, we will reap the benefit in our relationship with others.?

Extraverts are energized by lively and enthusiastic discussions, with rapid-paced conversation, and often interrupt as they elaborate on and process thoughts. Introverts are energized by quiet conversations with space for reflection and conversation pace is slower, taking time as they build thoughts and ideas internally. Extraverts? communication approach doesn?t allow time for Introverts to reflect and then give their opinions. Extraverts like to ?think out loud? and don?t realize that Introverts feel unable to respond quickly in a conversation, preferring to internalize the information first. Thus, the Extraverts? reaction sometimes is that the Introvert is not providing input that energizes the Extravert.

When Introverts share information, it has been carefully thought through and evaluated. When an Extravert is in the ?thinking out loud? mode they may not give the input the full evaluation it merits. Similarly, Introverts may put too much emphasis on what is said by Extraverts, not realizing they are ?hearing themselves think? and need to process information this way. This can cause difficulties for both preferences as Extraverts may miss valuable contributions by Introverts, and Introverts may take what Extraverts say too seriously and make decisions based on the input.

These communication differences can be especially dangerous in conflict situations, as Extraverts want to handle a situation immediately and Introverts require time to think things through before giving their ideas on possible solutions. Because each preference is requiring something the other type does not prefer, tension can increase. Extraverts can become impatient, wanting to move forward and make a decision not giving time to the Introverts? need to process the information internally and, then, make a decision.

EXTRAVERTS? in communication

Strengths

  • Energetic & enthusiastic
  • Think out loud
  • Give a lot of information
  • Network well

Communication Approach:

  • Speak out freely in groups
  • Think out loud
  • Like to discuss lots of topics
  • Interrupt often during discussion

When Communicating with Extraverts:

  • Listen attentively
  • Be actively responsive
  • Be energetic & enthusiastic
  • Support their need to communicate

INTROVERTS ?in communication

Strengths:

  • Quiet, reflective presence
  • Respond carefully and thoughtfully
  • Know a few people well
  • Listen without interrupting

Communication Approach:

  • Listen more than talk
  • Talk one on one
  • Need time to reflect before responding
  • Process information internally

When Communicating with Introverts:

  • Value their need for privacy
  • Allow them time to change focus
  • Ask questions to draw them out
  • Don?t pressure for an instant response

Perceiving Listening Strengths

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

?I really want to know more about what people have to say.?

The attitudes we?re looking for in a listener:? open-mindedness, curiosity and tolerance, seem to come easily to many Ps.? You can see it in their faces.? They have that ?I?m interested? look in their eyes, and it?s fun to talk to someone who looks like that.?

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

I can think of many times where I?ve watched people just open up to a P, and suddenly start talking happily about their interests.

?I like to listen because I?m collecting data,? says John, ENTP.? ?Once, a friend told me a long story, and after he finished I said:? ?That?s interesting.?? He said:? ?When most people say that, it?s dismissive, but when you say it, you?re actually finding it interesting.???

?I like to listen because I?m collecting data,? says John, ENTP.? ?Once, a friend told me a long story, and after he finished I said:? ?That?s interesting.?? He said:? ?When most people say that, it?s dismissive, but when you say it, you?re actually finding it interesting.?

?My strength as a listener is that I really want to know more about what people have to say,? says Anna, ISFP.? ?I know?it?s important to them, but I also like to learn from other people.? When I was young, it was a good way for me to be, because I had to go to parties with a whole bunch of my husband?s business associates, who would all be talking about science.? The easiest way for me to mingle would be to ask questions.? I realized that wow, this is exciting.? I could talk to people that I didn?t know, and there were all these other topics in the world that I didn?t really know about.? Also, when I took the time to listen to other people, I got a lot of information that I could really use in my life.?

Because Ps?are so good at data collection, they can gently push the speakers to consider new and sometimes surprising information.

?I can pick out what was not said, what was underrepresented,? says Caroline, INFP.? ?That?s not easy to do, because a lot of time in discussions, everyone starts following along with evidence in one direction and they totally miss that there might be an entirely different viewpoint.?

Instead of opinions or advice, which send the message that the listener was really listening to themselves, most Ps tend to naturally respond with questions, which sends the message that they are really listening and trying to understand.? Another way of sending the message that we?re listening is to repeat back what the speaker said, in our own words, to make sure we are interpreting it correctly.? One P even told us that this practice of ?active listening,? came naturally to him, and was his habit before he had ever heard it described.

?When I first heard about active listening, I thought, ?So that?s what you call it,?? says Jerry, INTP.? ?I did that naturally.? People always seem to find it easy to talk to me, because I put what they said into my own words.? For example, my wife works in a very stressful job as a nurse in an infant intensive care unit.? If I ask her how her day was, and she says, ?It was awful,? I don?t just grunt.? I really do try to understand as she describes the problems she had with a parent today.? When she?s finished, I might say, ?I know it frustrates you when you try to tell a parent that what they want isn?t good for their baby.?? It turns out not?to be a very long conversation, because when people feel understood, the need to tell their story over and over is not so great.

?I worked as a marriage counselor,? he continues,? and some part of every couple?s problem was the failure to communicate.? I taught them to put into their own words what they thought the other was saying.? I told them not to just parrot their words, or you?ll get a response like, ?Don?t do that listening stuff on me.? But if it?s in your own words, it sounds natural, and they?ll be able to tell you if you?re right or wrong.?

Thinking Listening Strengths

Friday, April 6th, 2012

?I can look at it clearly, without emotion.?

What I like about talking to Thinking types is that I know they can listen to me describe a painful occurrence without feeling the pain themselves.? I don?t want to cause other people pain, and sometimes, when I?m confiding to the Fs who are close to me, I realize it?s affecting them, and I end up trying to comfort them and telling them it?s not so bad.? With a T, I know I can describe exactly how bad I feel, because they won?t necessarily feel it with me.

?I don?t have empathy; I can?t feel what they?re feeling, but I can step back a bit and hear the logic of what they?re trying to get across,? says John, ENTP,? ?I can understand their argument.????????

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

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Also, when emotions are strong, Ts can remain untouched by them and continue thinking clearly.? I wish I had a Ts ability not to feel the pain or confusion of others, especially when it?s someone close to me, because then I wouldn?t be so anxious to make it go away.

?My husband, an INTJ, is able to remain calm when I?m upset, which is not my usual experience,? says Marthanne, ENFJ.? ?Usually, when I get upset, everyone around me gets twice as upset, which is quite annoying.? I remember the first Thanksgiving we spent together when we were dating.? I was cooking the turkey, and I had not allowed the right amount of time and I was supposed to take it from my house to his house.? I was all upset, but he didn?t get upset, or show impatience or condemnation for my being upset.? He just listened through the feeling somehow to what the problem and the solution were.?

?I can look at it clearly, without emotion,? says Pam, INTJ.? ?If you?re looking for someone to help you solve a problem, I?m a good one to talk to.?

Also, Ts are more able to keep in mind that even though someone is making a very good case that they have been wronged, there is probably another side to the story.

?I don?t let emotions get in the way and I try to stay fair,? says Jamie, ISTJ.? ?I?ve learned the hard way that there are two sides to everything, so even though their emotions are legitimate, I should not take sides based on hearing one person?s side of it.? I can listen and commiserate and say, ?Wow, that?s really rough on you,? instead of ?That?s totally unfair!??

Fs might try to be good listeners simply because people like good listeners.? But Ts usually need a different rationale.? They may decide to become good listeners because it makes them more effective in their work.? Good listening, for example, is important in the work of parenting.

?When I was raising children, I realized how important it was to be a good listener,? says Dee, ENTP.? ?I raised a 6-year old and 12-year-old from my husband?s first marriage, and the first year we lived together, I was amazed at how much they demanded my attention.? They really needed to talk, especially because their mom had been dying for years.? Kids have a way of focusing your attention.? They?ll tell you, ?Mom, you?re not listening,??

Good listening is also important in the workplace, and Ts often get their initial insights about the importance of listening from workplace training or experience.

?I worked on a project with two other people where we had to interview managers,? says John, ENTP.? ?We would get together after we?d interviewed a manager to discuss what we?d heard, but we?d spend the whole time arguing about what they had really said.? Finally, I started to take notes and write them up afterwards.? We were shocked to see that we do a lot of interpreting and extrapolating.? For example, a guy would say, ?We manage on performance,? and we thought he must mean he?s measuring the outcome of the training programs.? Then we?d find out he wasn?t measuring the outcomes.? ?Didn?t he say that??? someone would ask, but when we consulted the notes, we realized that he never said he was measuring performance.? After that insight, we became much more effective interviewers.? We could ask great follow-up questions because now we were listening to what people actually said.?

?Once we had a series of staff training on listening,? says Jamie, ISTJ.? ?We?d do an exercise where you listen, and then repeat it back to make sure you understood what they intended.? My first reaction was:? ?That?s positively silly; I know what they said.?? But when we did the exercise it was like, ?Oh my goodness, I didn?t really hear what they were saying at all.?? Just knowing that so much miscommunication is possible opened my mind to the thought that listening isn?t just hearing, there?s more to it.

?The other part of that training was that we should not just listen to words, but also to the feeling behind it.? For example, if they said, ?You never do your share of the laundry,? I would think we were talking about laundry, but what the person is really saying is ?I feel used.? We?re not honest partners.? I?m just here to do chores for you,? It is about being valued in the relationship, and that?s what really needs to be addressed.?

Resource:? The Type Reporter, No. 98

Feeling Listening Strengths

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

?I know where they?re coming from.?

Feelings are underneath everything we convey, even if it?s news or information.? Being able to understand the feelings of people, even if they are not being discussed, is a huge plus for Feeling types when it comes to listening.?

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

?My strength as a listener is that I can get inside people?s heads and know where they?re coming from,? says Marthanne, ENFJ.? ?Most people experience that very positively as a blessing and a drink of water when they?re thirsty.?

?When I listen to people I become like them; I?m in the ring with them,? says Craig, ENFP.? ?I love getting inside the head of someone and walking in their shoes,? says Janet, INFJ.? ?In fact, it?s energizing for me.?

Another strength of Feeling types is that they want to please people, and if they figure out that listening is a way to please people, they have a strong desire to give the gift of listening.

?I always try to act as interested and engaged as I possibly can,? says Paul, ESFJ.? ?I ask them a lot of questions, and ask myself what they are really trying to tell me.? Then, I try to share an experience that is similar, so they know they?re not the only ones who feel that way.?

?Ever since I was little, I felt like listening was one of my strengths,? says Susan, ISFJ.? ?I have a lot of patience, and I really, really like people.? I realized early on that people like talking about themselves, and if I listen, they like me.?

Source:? The TYPE Reporter:? The Gift of Listening, No. 98