Posts Tagged ‘team building training’

Hallmark Cards Using Myers Briggs Personality Type

Monday, May 28th, 2012

(Summary of article in February 2010 issue of T&D Magazine.)

Over the course of the past century, the family-run company of Hallmark Cards has earned a reputation and cultivated a culture befitting its positive, uplifting products.? Underlying its core mission is a belief? in the best of human nature, including people?s ability to accomplish great things and find deep meaning in relationships.? This belief has always shaped Hallmark?s policies, which place people ? both within and outside the organization ? at the forefront.

The market, the workplace, and the competitive landscape have become more dynamic, global, and diverse, and the Internet, mobile technologies, and other innovations?have completely remade the communication landscape by connecting people in ways never thought possible.?

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

Recognizing that such shifts affect a company that earns its revenue by communicating feelings, Hallmark?s top management made the objective of adapting the corporate culture to the realities of this decade its highest priority.? The company set a goal to change its overall mindset from one of a manufacturing organization focused on putting product on shelves to that of a consumer-centric company that fully engages its key audiences.

Hallmark decided to develop leaders that view situations from multiple perspectives and an agile management culture of accountability in which people work toward each others? success and build their agendas to support the company?s goals.? The new vision includes leaders that inspire the hearts and minds of employees and instill confidence, and an organization capable of efficiently implementing the right ideas at the right time.

Hallmark?s HR manager for corporate development and senior HR specialist created a program called, Steppingstones, which is designed to open lines of communication within the organization by giving mid- and upper-level managers greater self-understanding and insight into how their actions and communications are perceived by others.? One of the central features is the use of an instrument designed to shed light on how personality shapes thought and behavior ? the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assessment.

The assessment tool by CPP Inc., is based on Dr. Carl Jung?s personality type theory, which states that we each have an innate fundamental personality type that shapes and influences the way we understand the world, process information, and socialize.? The assessment helps individuals determine which one of the 16 personality types fits them best ? a discovery process that can uncover an abundance of information, including factors directly related to work habits, interpersonal relationships, and other elements affecting workplace cohesion.? The 16 four-letter types are based on preferences for introversion or extraversion, sensing or intuition, thinking or feeling and judging or perceiving.

The Steppingstones program takes participants through a series of activities designed to show them how they tend to interact and operate within a team.? The program uses?Myers-Briggs?personality type theory?to dig deeper into conversations and determine the real intent of the persons engaged.? Oftentimes, individuals tend to place people into files according to their perceptions of them, which are often skewed.? More often than not, the intent is actually positive, even if the delivery comes across as negative.? The?type theory?results shed light on how individuals may be perceived by others, helping participants understand how personality type affects communication style, and providing tools to improve co-worker interactions by expressing and discerning intent with more clarity.??An understanding of Myers-Briggs personality type gives managers the ability to check their perception against reality and avoid taking offense where none is intended.

By understanding personality differences and improving their ability to pick up on type-specific cues, managers can open the channels of communication and avoid potential landmines.? Additionally, they help people learn how to speak up and express themselves in ways that elicit positive responses, thereby creating an environment in which people feel comfortable expressing contrary opinions.? Managers ? particularly those dealing with Introverted personalities ? need to be aware that they may be shutting down discussion without actually hearing what their team thinks.

An understanding of personality type and awareness of the personality makeup of the organization has shaped the overall implementation of Hallmark?s change strategy, placing the emphasis on initiating a program that would approach it in the right way.?

The company is composed of predominantly STJs, who tend to resist change unless they truly understand why it is called for.? For an ISTJ or an ESTJ personality type, it is very important to help them see the logical progression that has led the company to the place where they currently are, and why the changes are necessary.? This philosophy has shaped Hallmark?s approach from the beginning.?

More than 1,000 managers have attended Steppingstones to date and the program and its emphasis on?Myers-Briggs?personality type?have yielded numerous positive results for Hallmark which have contributed to the company?s overall efficiency.? To begin with, decisions are being reached faster, and thoughts are delivered with increased clarity.? This is attributable in part to the communication insight gained through?Myers-Briggs?and the Steppingstones program, which helps managers avoid misunderstandings that often hamper decision making and flex their communication styles to their audience.?

Additionally, a major improvement in diversity of thought has been noticed, as people with different personality types become more comfortable speaking their mind and learn how to communicate in ways that appeal to people of other types.? Furthermore, as the company gains greater insight into how personality affects relationships, the ability of staff members to connect meaningfully has improved, positively affecting cohesion, motivation, and interpersonal communication.

The Myers-Briggs?personality type training?has created a common language that fundamentally underlies all of the aforementioned changes.? All of these improvements are enabling Hallmark to work more cohesively toward a unified goal, and react to the dynamic, and sometimes hectic, realities of a global economy and revolutionized communication landscape.

Sensing Listening Strengths

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

?I remember all the facts and details.?

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

The PEOPLE Process Assessment Wheel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Do The Best Listeners Do? What Do The Worst Listeners Do?

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

The best listeners give you their time.

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

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

?The best listener I know is an INFJ who became my mentor,? says, Dee, ENTP.? ?When she listens, she doesn?t intervene a lot while you are telling your story.? She lets you get your narrative well said.?

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

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

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

The worst listeners don?t give you their time.

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

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

?The worst listener in my life is my ESTJ friend,? says Chip, ESFP.? ?She wants closure so quickly that she?ll finish my sentence for me.? I?ll go ?Wait a minute, that isn?t what I was saying.??

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

The best listeners give you their attention.

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

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

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

?A friend of mine growing up was an ISTP,? says Craig, ENFP.? ?He had a laser-like ability to listen.? When I was talking, he was there.? His mind wasn?t anywhere else.? He didn?t say affirming words, but his attention would affirm me.?

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

?When you talked to her, you felt like you were the only person on earth,? says Jamie, ISTJ.? ?She wasn?t thinking about the next thing she had to do; her mind wasn?t elsewhere.?

?No matter who she was listening to, it could be a scientist who studied mangroves in the florida Everglades, she looked like that was the most important topic in the world at the time,? says Anna, ISFP.? ?When she listened, she was captivated.? She couldn?t wait to hear the next sentence from you and was truly interested in what you were saying.? With as much wisdom and knowledge as she had, she always looked like she might be learning something from you.?

The worst listeners don?t give you their attention.

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

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

?One of the worst listeners in my life is my friend, Justy, and I think he?s an INTP,? says Dan, ESTP.? ?When I get done talking, he doesn?t say anything, or he?ll say, ?Yeah, OK, that?s interesting.?? It?s a flat response as opposed to a two-way conversation.? I get the impression that he would rather talk about something else.?

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

?I might tell my friend that I just got back from Las Vegas, and right away, she?ll tell me that when she went, she lost all her money and had a really horrible time,? says Patty, ESTJ.? ?She doesn?t seem interested at all in hearing about my trip.?

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

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

Conflict and Type

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Kenneth Thomas and Ralph Kilmann developed one approach to understanding conflict-handling styles that has been used to research the style most used by each of the types. Using a model developed earlier by Robert Blake and Jane Mouton (1964) for categorizing management styles, Thomas and Kilmann identified two dimensions of behavior involved in managing conflict with another party: concern for one?s own interests and concern for the other person?s interests. They labeled these Assertiveness and Cooperativeness, respectively. Depending on the degree to which a person proportions his or her energy into each of these dimensions, one of the styles will be engaged.????

The PEOPLE Process Assessment Wheel

The 16 personality types respond to conflict according to their preferences. According to the Thomas-Kilmann Model, none of the styles are inherently good or bad. Each is appropriate for some situations and each is also inappropriate or less effective for other situations. The model describes five different approaches to conflict according to how people think about the importance of a task versus the importance of their relationship with the people they are working with ? Competing, Collaborating, Compromising, Avoiding, Accommodating. The main point of the model is to encourage people to be purposeful in how they confront and collaborate with others, rather than relying on their natural ? and often inappropriate tendencies.

In the Competing category, behavior is based on a high attempt to satisfy one?s own interests and a low attempt to satisfy the other party?s interests. A person chooses to use power to win with his or her position. This style is appropriate in situations requiring an emergency decision, where there is no other option and someone must be willing to take the tough stand, or where self-protection is essential. The downside of this style is that it intimidates others to the point where problems may go underground and develop into actions that escalate the conflict. The personality types we find in this category are the ENTJ and ESTJ males.

In the Accommodating category, behavior is based on giving up one?s own interests in order to satisfy the other party?s interests. A choice is made to yield. This style is appropriate when the issue is not of great importance to you and harmony is, or when the other party has all the power. The downside is that if used excessively, neither you nor others have an opportunity to understand your real strength. We find the ENFP and ESFP personality types in this section.

In the Avoiding category, behavior in which there is no attempt to satisfy either one?s own or the other party?s interests is found. A choice is made to remain apart from interactive engagement on the issue. This style is appropriate when the issue is of no importance to you or when used as a strategy to buy time for thinking or ?cooling down,? or if the other person has unyielding power over you. The downside is that issues may persist and remain unresolved. The types we find in this category are the INTJ, ISTJ, ISFJ, and INFJ.

In the Compromising category, behavior in which each party sacrifices some of this or her own interests in order to satisfy some of the interests of the other is found. Each person negotiates to win some personal interests in exchange for yielding others. This style is useful when the issue is if some importance but there is not time for a full-fledged collaborative process. It is also a fallback process when collaboration is not going to produce a fully win/win solution. This downside is that there may be missed opportunity for a more creative solution that would increase resources, productivity and satisfaction. The types we find in this category are the ENTJ and ESTJ females, and the ISTP, INTP, ESTP, ENTP of both genders.

And, finally, in the Collaborating category, behavior that seeks a way to satisfy fully both parties? interests ? a win/win solution is found. Issues are examined that are important to both people and commitment is made to exploration of alternative resolutions that address all concerns. The downside is that the process may involve more time than is available. The types found in this group include the ESFJ and ENFJ.

Source: Wired for Conflict; Sondra S. VanSant

(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

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

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

Not all successful CEOs are extroverts

Monday, March 28th, 2011

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

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

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

The PEOPLE Process Wheel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Great Destroyer of Teamwork - The Fundamental Attribution Error

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

We human beings have a tendency to falsely attribute the negative behaviors of others to their character, while attributing our own negative behaviors to environmental factors.

In other words, if I see a woman being impatient with her children at the grocery store and giving them a swat, I think, ?that is a mean woman.?? While, when my own kids are driving me crazy and arguing with me and I give them a swat, I think, ?I?ve got some really unruly children.?

We tend to like to believe that we do bad things because of the situations we are in, but somehow we assume that others do bad things because they are predisposed to being bad.

In the same way, we often attribute other people?s success to their environment and our own success to our character.? That?s because we like to believe that we are inherently good and talented, while others are merely lucky, beneficiaries of good fortune.

This fundamental attribution error often creates misunderstanding and distrust among team members.? By getting to know one another better and understanding our personality tendencies, team members can often avoid this problem.

Personality-type training can eliminate the ?Fundamental Attribution Error.?