Posts Tagged ‘team building’

The Gift of Listening

Friday, April 19th, 2013

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

The PEOPLE Process  Training Manual & Participant Package

The PEOPLE Process
Training Manual & Participant Package

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.”

How We Make Decisions - Thinking or Feeling

Sunday, February 17th, 2013

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

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

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, January 12th, 2013

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

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

S/N - Sensor or Intuitive - S——-X——-N

Monday, December 24th, 2012

How we take in Information

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

The PEOPLE Process Participant Pkg & Trainer's Manual

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

Relationship Advice for Extraverts & Introverts

Friday, December 14th, 2012

A couple of months ago, I spent eight days with a charming Extravert.  As an Introvert myself having spent the past 23 years researching, teaching, and writing about personality type, I was very surprised at the feelings and reactions that came up for me during these eight days.  It reminded me of how important it is to understand the Energy behavior dimension of personality type. 

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I’m not sure I’ve ever spent this much time with an Extravert - eight days, from 6:30am to 9:00pm each day!  My husband, who is now deceased, was an Introvert and my parents and three siblings were Introverts with one brother being an Extravert.

Don’t get me wrong. I have tremendous respect and admiration for Extraverts.  They have that wonderful ability to be at ease in all situations that involve interaction with other people.  They can walk up to anyone with total ease and introduce themselves and not experience that gut wrenching feeling that perhaps they’re annoying or interrupting someone. Extraverts seem to exhibit a love for all mankind.  We Introverts feel that same love for all mankind, it’s just that we don’t show it.  It’s all inside.

By the end of this eight-day period I was exhausted from being “on” all of the time!  The mistake I made was not taking time out for myself during the day to “recharge” my batteries.  It took me several weeks to recover. Adding to the intensity of the situation was the fact that I was just getting to know this individual which, of course, added to the energy drain.

I’m thankful for this experience, however, because it reminded me of how important it is, in fact vital, to understand the difference between Extraverts and Introverts and give ourselves permission to “take care” of our energy.

Without this understanding you could think something is the matter with each other when, in fact, it is completely because of the differences in how you “gather your energy.”

This knowledge is vital for couples to understand!  Many people marry without ever knowing about one another’s personality type and then are surprised when they have conflicts.  Most of the conflicts can be solved by applying a knowledge and understanding of one another’s type.

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:???

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  • 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.

 

Using Type in Selling - Part 2

Monday, September 24th, 2012

How does type actually work in the selling process?

There are stages in the process of moving a sale forward. Time is spent ?Initiating the rapport.? This consists of greeting the customer and establishing a basis for moving ahead. Next the salesperson ?investigates needs.? This is when listeningis especially important. Next, a ?course of action? may be suggested using the information gathered in the listening stage. And, the final stage is reaching an agreement on the next action, or ?closing? the sale. You can see all aspects of the type preferences coming forth throughout the sales interaction. Specific aspects of type, however, stand out as more important than others at various stages.???

Personality Type Assessment Wheel

Nonverbal behavior cues such as pacing, timing, body position, and movement are associated with the ENERGY-Extraversion-Introversion preference. Customers can use these cues to decide quickly as to whether or not they will be comfortable in dealing with that person. For this reason, the Extraversion-Introversion preference is important during the beginning stage of ?initiating.????????

The INFORMATION gathering phase?Sensing and Intuition?and the DECISION phase?Thinking and Feeling?intersect during the ?investigating needs? stage and ?suggesting a course of action.? A customer that is making a decision to purchase is definitely involved in taking in information and using that information to make a decision. Various types prefer to gather data and make decisions in different and predictable ways. It is not unusual that the functional pairs?ST, SF, NF, NT?have the greatest impact in this part of the sales process.

The ACTION stage?Judging and Perceiving preference, of course, has the greatest effect on closing the sale. This can become more apparent as the selling relationship is focused on obtaining agreement and closing.

The two middle letters?the functional pairs?express how customers function during sales interactions. The following table summarizes the focus of each customer type, what they value, and what to remember when dealing with them.

????????????????????? Customer Type Modes

ST CUSTOMER??

Focuses on:?The specifics/The Logical Implications of these specifics?

Values:? Acting responsibly/working with a sales person who acts responsibly

Remember:? State the FACTS

SF CUSTOMER???

Focuses on:? The specifics/The impact of these specifics on people

Values:? Personal loyalty/Working with a salesperson who personalizes & individualizes service???

Remember:? Give PERSONAL SERVICE???

NF CUSTOMER??

Focuses on:? The general concept or big picture (not specifics)/ How the big picture impacts people or supports their values

Values:? Making a difference (in the community, for the family, in the world)/ Working with a salesperson who helps to make his or her vision become a reality

Remember:? Support the customer?s VISION

NT CUSTOMER???

Focuses on:? The general concept or big picture (not specifics)/ How the big picture possibilities create logical options

Values:? Having options that fit his or her needs now and in the future/ Working with a?salesperson who demonstrates competence

Remember:? Provide and support LOGICAL OPTIONS

Practice presenting your product/service from each of the four basic positions so you can shift when necessary. In an actual sales situation, watch your customer?s nonverbal cues such as:

  • Changing facial expression
  • Movement away from you
  • Appearance of detachment
  • Irritation in her or his voice

These cues signal a need to listen more carefully and possibly choose a different approach. A good rule or standard is that unless the information is coming across to the customer in his or her ?language,? probably the customer will miss at least part of your message and will feel less comfortable about the interaction.

Finally, be aware that using type in selling is a discipline and takes practice. As you begin using the type framework, you will have immediate payoff in terms of more understanding and control in the selling situation. As you continue to work with it, you gain fluidity, ease, and an even greater appreciation of your customers, their needs, and their diversity.

Adapted from FLEX Selling by Susan Brock