Archive for March, 2010

Communications & Personality Type ? Sensing & iNtuition

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

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.?

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

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

Communications and Personality Type ? Extravert & Introvert

Friday, March 26th, 2010

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

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

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

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

EXTRAVERTS? in communication

Strengths

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

Communication Approach:

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

When Communicating with Extraverts:

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

INTROVERTS ?in communication

Strengths:

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

Communication Approach:

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

When Communicating with Introverts:

  • Value their need for privacy
  • Allow them time to change focus
  • Ask questions to draw them out
  • Don’t pressure for an instant response

Not all successful CEOs are extroverts – Part 1

Monday, March 15th, 2010

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

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

Chris Scherpenseel, president of Microsoft’s 140-employee FRx Software subsidiary, is an amateur astronomer. “I hate to call astronomers lonely, but most people don’t want to be up at 1 a.m. when it’s cold outside,” he says.

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

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

There are many ingredients to success, and one of the most obvious has always been an outgoing, gregarious personality that lets fast risers stand out in a crowd of talent. But successful introverts seem to have mastered the ability to act like extroverts. Some liken it to an out-of-body experience that lets them watch themselves be temporarily unreserved. They remain introverts to the core, and if they don’t get down time alone or with family, they feel their energy being sapped.

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

“I’ve always been shy,” Barnes told USA TODAY in an interview early this year at her Chicago office. She turns down most speeches and nearly all interview requests. “People wouldn’t call me that, but I am.”

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

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

“I tried to deal with my weakness” by being active in such endeavors as the

United Way, he wrote. That seemed to work, but throw Copeland into a cocktail party and watch him squirm. “In purely social events, I just toughed it out and did the best I could.”

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

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

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

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

Hallmark Cards Using Myers-Briggs Personality Type

Monday, March 8th, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Boost Your Business With Employee Training

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010
If you want to improve staff retention, increase productivity, and improve morale then you may want to consider employee training. It is important for a number of reasons that?members of? your staff remain up-to-date, and I will discuss some of these below.

Employee training improves staff retention

If staff feel that they are stagnant and not challenged, then they are more likely to lose interest in their work. This boredom will cause many to look for another job that seems a bit more challenging. Employee training keeps things fresh, and it makes the staff feel like they are developing while in the job. So long as they feel they are learning something new and needing to meet new challenges their attitude to the job will remain fresh and enthusiastic. It is when members of staff feel that there is nothing more to learn that problems set in.

Employee training improves productivity

In every industry there will always be?innovations and improved ways of doing things. Employee training will keep people up-to-date and consequently more productive. The fact that they are not bored with their job will also mean that they will work a lot harder.

Employee training improves staff morale

When you provide employee training, it demonstrates to staff that you view them as important for the company’s future. It?gives them the message that their contribution is needed by the company.? In fact, it is so important that you are willing to invest in their education. When employees feel valued like this it increases staff morale. It also adds to their productivity and makes them less likely to leave the job.

Employee training is good for team building

When staff members are brought together in an environment like employee training, it increases their sense of being a team. These sessions tend to mix people who work in different parts of the business together. This will allow them to better understand how the other parts of the business work and how everyone is in it together for a similar purpose. These training sessions allows for a bit of socializing as well as learning. It also gives the managers a chance to mingle with staff in a more relaxed manner.

Employee training ensures that everyone is up-to-date on policy and procedures

There will be some types of employee training that are mandatory in certain industries. Training such as manual handling, CPR, first aid, and so on. These?sessions will most often be required for each staff member every few years. It is important that you try and have everyone on the same training schedule so that you don’t have to provide many sessions of the same class. If there are new procedures that you want staff to follow, then these training sessions are the best time to introduce these.

As you can see there are many benefits available by having training for staff. It is a good idea to aim to have so many of these every year. If your business is constantly changing or involves a lot of on-the-job learning, then monthly training sessions might be a good idea.

By:? Ryan Fyfe

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