Archive for March, 2011

Not all successful CEOs are extroverts

Monday, March 28th, 2011

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

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

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

The PEOPLE Process Wheel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hallmark Cards Using Myers Briggs Personality Type

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

(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

Friday, March 11th, 2011
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

Retrieved from http://www.articlesbase.com/training-articles/boost-your-business-with-employee-training-1578710.html

Judging Listening Strengths

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

?I just have to make good listening my goal.?

When I asked the question, ?What are your strengths as a listener??? no one mentioned anything related to Judging.? It seems that Js don?t get much help from their Judging when it comes to listening, and that Judging tendencies are just something they have to manage.

That made me think about my own Judging function.? Is it really a deficit when it comes to being a good listener?? It?s such an asset in so many other ways.? It helps me keep my life organized and take care of others.? It helps me set goals and work steadily toward them, making it possible to do just about anything I want to do, like go on a trip to Europe with my family, finish writing a book or even learn how to use the espresso machine I got for Christmas.?

Wait!? If my J allows me to be good at reaching goals, maybe that?s what can help me be a better listener.? I just have to make good listening my goal.? Or, I can change the goals I used to have into good listening goals.? Instead of the goal to ?Give my opinion? why not have the goal, ?See it from their point of view.?? Instead of the goal to ?Solve their problem? why not have the goal, ?Let them know you understand their problem.?

Js like to make ?to-do? lists, so why don?t I make a ?to-do? list about listening, of all the techniques that have come up in these issues.? Then, after I?ve followed all the points on the list, I can have the satisfaction of checking off one more conversation where I?ve accomplished my goal of being a good listener.? I can feel proud of one more time where I really opened myself up to another person, and let them know that they are not alone in this life.? someday I may even meet my ultimate goal, which is to do those things on my list so naturally that I?m not even thinking about them.

So we Js do have a strength when it comes to listening.? If we put ?Be a good listener? on our ?to-do? list, if we make it our goal, well then, we?ll probably pull it off.