Posts Tagged ‘team building’

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

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???

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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.

Servant Leadership

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Summary of article, ?Is Servant Leadership the Answer to the Recession???

A few weeks ago, I told a client that the difference between their firm and a closely related ?sister? firm they are associated with, is humility. ?Your firm?s leadership has humility and has truly put it to practice in their interaction with their clients and employees.? What is the definition of humility? Webster?s Unabridged Dictionary lists descriptive words such as, absence of pride, having or showing a consciousness of one?s shortcomings, unpretentious. When I shared my opinion my own definition was, ?not being a know-it-all, teachable, and approachable.????????????????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????????????????????

Imagine my elation when a few days later I received this article conducted with Ken

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Blanchard, the One Minute Manager himself, and who truly put ?Leadership Training? on the map, by Training Zone about ?Servant Leadership? requiring humility. Humility is such a powerful, important quality, and no one expresses its power in leadership qualities better than Ken Blanchard. Therefore, I?d like to share portions of his interview with you.

What does this have to do with personality-type? Servant leaders learn as much as they can about the people they supervise. They get to know, trust and love them. One of the best ways to do this is by understanding the strengths of their employees. And, that understanding is easily achieved by learning about the four-letter personality type of the people we work with. As you read this article, please note that servant leaders help people win through teaching and coaching them to do their best. Knowledge of personality type theory gives you the skills to be able to teach and coach people to do their best.

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?Servant leaders?are humble people who don?t think less of themselves, they just think about themselves less. They don?t deny their power, they just realize it passes through them, not from them.? (Ken Blanchard-www.kenblanchard.com)

The idea that leaders and managers must serve their people if they are to create highly successful organizations is not new. Ken Blanchard ? a high profile supporter of the servant leadership concept ? explains why leading with humility could be the key to surviving and thriving during the current economic crisis. If you want to survive and thrive during this crisis, you need to first make sure you are a servant leader. In tough times and in good times, the first question you need to ask yourself is why are you leading? Are you here to serve, or be served?

Servant leadership was first introduced by Bob Greenleaf in the 1960?s, at that time, a top executive with telecommunications giant AT&T. Although it is now far more accepted as an effective management principle, the idea that leaders and managers must serve their people if they were to create highly successful organizations was entirely new at that time. Servant leadership flew in the face of traditional management practice which concerned itself with directing, controlling, and supervising employees? activities ? of playing the role of judge, critic and evaluator of their efforts.

Mr. Blanchard emphasizes that in a shrinking economy, this kind of hierarchical leadership is even less effective. ?The last thing we need to develop are still more organizations where colleagues spend most of their time trying to please the boss rather than accomplish the organization?s goals and visions; where people try to protect themselves rather than to help move the organization in its desired direction; where people get promoted only on their upward influencing skills and not their actual achievements. It is precisely these kind of organizational cultures that have got us into this mess, cultures where a ?what?s in it for me?? mentality has prevailed, and where longer term ethical considerations have been sacrificed at the altar of short-term greed and the exploitation of the less fortunate. This downturn should be a wakeup call for each and every leader and manager. There is no better time to start grounding ourselves in humility, no better time to start thinking about how we can make a real difference on this planet and focus on the common good. Now is the time to become a servant leader.?

The qualities of a servant leader

Servant leaders don?t fear losing face by making ethical as well as purely financed-based decisions, or fail to recognize and promote talent at a ?lower? level in case they later find their positions threatened. On the contrary, they are confident and skilled enough to set powerful visions, build up people at the frontline and put more power into their hands, so they can really make a difference to the customer experience and help get business booming from the bottom up. They are ?humble? people who don?t think less of themselves, they just think about themselves less. They don?t deny their power, they just realize it passes through them, not from them.

Servant leaders seek to help people win through teaching and coaching them to do their best. They listen to their people, praise them, support them, and redirect them when they deviate from their goals. They find out what their people need to be successful. Rather than focusing on self-interest, on what will please them, servant leaders are interested in making a difference in the lives of their people and, in the process, impacting the organization for the better.

Sadly, too many top managers still think leading in this way will lead to mutiny. Instead of becoming successful servant leaders they become the opposite; they become self-serving leaders, who ultimately set themselves and their organizations up for failure because of their destructive influence. Servant leaders avoid this destructive influence by turning the traditional hierarchical pyramid upside-down in their organizations. This inspires and excites people to live according to their organization?s vision, because when they see leaders taking on coaching roles to build self-esteem, encouraging individual growth and giving people the tools they need to deliver that vision, people are more motivated, more responsible, and far more loyal. Everyone wins.

Becoming a servant leader

Ask yourself: ?What is my self-worth based on?? Self-serving leaders base their self-worth on how much money they make, the recognition they get for their work, and their power and status. And while there is nothing wrong with making good money, and with getting power and status and recognition as a result of what you do, you?re in trouble if you confuse those things with who you really are, because then you are always going to need more and more of them.

Servant leadership is about recognizing that you are someone who needs to let go of your ego, and recognize that you are entitled to self-esteem irrespective of your salary or status. It is about getting up 45 minutes earlier, so you can take time to get in touch with who you are and what kind of person you want to be. Then you?ll have a better chance of living that vision that day. It is about developing the habit of getting a small group of people to be honest with you, and allowing them to tell you when you?re being stupid, just in case.

Finally, servant leadership is about having the courage to let your people bring their brains to work and giving them the power to help deliver your organization?s vision and values. Catch them doing things right and praise them. And remember that profit is the applause you get for taking care of your people, taking care of your customers and doing a great job.

Why I Became Involved in Writing and Teaching About Personality Type

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

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

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

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

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

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

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

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 - Judging & Perceiving

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

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

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

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

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

Judging Types in communication

Strengths ? ?Just do it!?

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

Communication Approach:

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

When Communicating with Judgers:

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

Perceiving Types in communication

Strengths ? ?Have we researched this enough??

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

Communication Approach:

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

When Communicating with Perceivers:

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

Communications & Personality Type - Thinking & Feeling

Monday, July 9th, 2012

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

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

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

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

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

Thinking Types in Communication

Strengths ? ?Does this make sense??

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

Communication Approach

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

When Communicating with Thinkers

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

Feeling Types in Communication

Strengths ? ?Will this upset anyone??

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

Communication Approach

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

When Communicating with Feelers

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

Communications and Personality Type - Sensing & iNtuition

Friday, June 29th, 2012

The Sensing and Intuition scale represents the greatest potential for communication differences between people, since it really influences one?s worldview.? And, when you remember that Sensing and Intuition are the two preferences for the cycle of behavior that has to do with Gathering INFORMATION it?s easy to understand why the potential for confusion and chaos exists in giving communication when you don?t understand and recognize someone?s preference.?

Intuitive types are motivated by change and get enthusiastic about doing things differently and they want to share their inspirational ideas that they gained through their Intuition.? These ideas start as abstract concepts, often not too complete with details.??

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

?Sensing types may be skeptical of theoretical concepts and want to see concrete evidence that the theory presented will work.? Sensors want to hear and see specifics and factual information that is linked to reality and presented in a step-by-step format.? They will ask practical questions and will want the details or the specific steps described.

Intuitive types usually see a lot of questions as being overly limiting, nitpicky, challenging or demonstrating a lack of confidence.? When the Intuitive type is unable to ground ideas with facts and details, the Sensing type will see the information being presented as unrealistic and impractical.

Intuitive types tend to use metaphors, analogies, and other abstract language.? They use theoretical words and concepts.? Sensing types prefer to speak in language that is literal and descriptive.? These two ways of using language are quite different and can block effective communication.

Sensors in communication

Strengths

  • Anchored in reality & common sense
  • Practical & realistic
  • Observant & attend to details
  • Immediately apply communication

Communication Approach

  • Seek facts, details & concrete examples
  • Like step-by-step explanations
  • Trust what has been tried & proven
  • Comfortable with familiarity & practicality

When Communicating with Sensors

  • Be practical with ideas that are down to earth
  • Present information sequentially
  • Show a plan & process for change
  • Use words that relate to sensory images

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Intuitives in communication

Strengths

  • Are open to possibilities
  • Anticipate & create change
  • Are future oriented ? see trends
  • Generate ideas

Communication Approach

  • Become bored with details
  • Like to brainstorm
  • See patterns & the big picture
  • Don?t like to be hampered by limits

When Communicating with Intuitives

  • Provide an overview first
  • Suspend reality when brainstorming
  • Share main points, then detail
  • Show future possibilities of your ideas