Archive for June, 2013

Our Favorite Type Breakthroughs

Saturday, June 29th, 2013

The TYPE Reporter, Excerpt from No. 102, Part 4,

written by Susan Scanlon

Naomi Quenk, INFP

Naomi Quenk was introduced to the MBTI 47 years ago and has been working with it ever since. She has been active in setting policy for its ethical use, researching, teaching and writing on many aspects of type, and used the MBTI in her clinical practice for over 25 years. She served as president of the Association for Psychological Type from 1985-1987. She is the author or co-author of numerous publications on type, including the 1998 revision of The MBTI Manual, and several books, including Was That Really Me?: How Everyday Stress Brings Out Our Hidden Personality; In the Grip: Understanding Type, Stress, and the Inferior Function (2nd ed.); and Essentials of Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Assessment. (www.cpp.org) or (www.capt.org.) 

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

Once, an ESTJ woman and I got into a conversation about our favorite ages for our children. She said, “My favorite age for my children was when they were infants.” I said, “Mine too.” She said, “I like infants because you can totally control them.” I said, “I like infants because you don’t have to control them.”

As a result of that experience, I never assume I know someone’s type because of some behavior. I realized that people can have identical behaviors for completely different reasons.

When I was a clinician in private practice, I got a message on my answering machine from a man saying he would like to see me for the first time, and he would like an appointment at 11 o’clock next Thursday. At first I took offense at his assumption that he could tell me when his appointment would be. Then I thought, well, wait a minute, the chances are this guy is some kind of TJ who has spent quite a long time deciding if he would go into psychotherapy, and once he made his decision, he was anxious to get on with it. That turned out to be the case, and I’m glad I had a chance to reflect because it prevented me from approaching this guy with a bias.I sometimes hear people automatically assume that Js are doing things just to control people. It irritates me, because that is rarely their purpose. Js are just trying to do what they’re best at, which is to get the world organized and to get on with it. Actually, when it comes to controlling people, I’ve seen some Ps do that really well.

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Because our children grew up with type, they totally rejected it. They used to get irritated with us and say, “Can’t you watch a TV program without typing everyone?!” My daughter would have nothing to do with type and wouldn’t take the Indicator, but when she was about 14, I caught her in a weak moment and said, “Would you at least read the type description that I think you might be?”

She read the profile of the INFP and got this sheepish expression on her face. “Well, yes, “she said, “but wouldn’t the world be a better place if everyone were an INFP?”

“Oh my Goodness,” I thought. “I’ve spent my life teaching people to respect differences and this is what my own daughter thinks.”

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In my experience, INFPs can sometimes be quite resistant to type. They seem to be defending their individuality, and saying, “Nobody’s going to tell me that I can only be one of 16 types.”

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I counseled one couple where the husband was an ESTJ and the wife was an ENTP. One of his big complaints was that he?d come home from work and see a pile of clean laundry on the couch. The next day, however, it would still be there. It stuck in his craw, and he wondered how it was possible for his wife not to notice it.

I said to him, “You notice the laundry and it’s hard to go about what you’re doing with it there.” “That’s right, he said, and he seemed relieved that I could see it from his point of view. Then I said, “But she really doesn’t notice it. She’s busy with the kids, and she’s not looking at the details. It’s just not important to her to have things in their place like it is for you.”

At the next session he told me, “If it’s a fact that having the laundry put away is important to me and not to her, I will do it from now on.” Once it became a fact, he could fit it into his system, and deal with other things that were important to her and not to him.

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When my daughter was getting her library degree, she did a research project on the MBTI and children’s reading preferences. Teachers and librarians assume that children read fiction for fun, and non-fiction because they have to for a school project. But she discovered that little Ss read non-fiction because they love it.

One mother came in dragging her son and asked, “What have you got for an 8-year old who hates to read?” My daughter asked the boy what he was interested in. He said, “Airplanes.” My daughter gave him a half dozen books on how airplanes work, the people who fly them, and their history. A week later, the mother came back and said, “I don?t know what you did to him, but he read all those books and he wants more.?

Sensing children often get labeled “reluctant readers” because they are not reading what teachers give them to read. It’s just that they often don’t want to read about imaginary people. They want to read facts about the things that they are interested in and the adventures of real people.

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My daughter also learned from some of the mothers she interviewed that Introverted children often come to story time and just sit there and don’t participate in anything. Their mothers reported however, that as soon as they got home, the kids would take their teddy bears or their younger brothers and sisters, and tell them the story. They just needed to get out of the group setting to :participate.”

(Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a trademark or registered trademark of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Trust in the United States and other countries.)

A Great Destroyer Of Teamwork – The Fundamental Attribution Error

Friday, June 21st, 2013

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

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

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

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

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

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

Personality-type training can eliminate the “Fundamental Attribution Error.”

Emotional Intelligence (EQ) & Personality Type

Friday, June 14th, 2013

The Characteristics of Emotional Intelligence*

  • Self-awareness
  • Emotional management –  being aware of your emotions and how you play those out
  • Motivation –  being able to defer gratification
  • Interpersonal sensitivity – empathy with other people
  • Ability to influence others
  • Intuitiveness –  the ability to make a decision when you don?t have all the data by drawing on deep experience
  • Consciousness –  that is linked to integrity
The PEOPLE Process Trainer's Manual & Participant Package

The PEOPLE Process Trainer’s Manual & Participant Package

“Emotional intelligence (EQ) is really a combination of a few things,” says Professor Malcolm J. Higgs.  “What makes you do, what are the consequences? What happens to your behaviors? If you are angry you can’t change being angry but you can understand that you become irrational or deal badly with others when you are angry. It’s understanding all that and based on that understanding having the ability to be able to do something about it,” he explains.

“Part of it is, for want of a better word, self-awareness: Let me be self-aware, let me know how my emotions impact on my behaviors. Secondly, let me try and manage that and use that knowledge to become more effective and the third piece is to understand how other people react to situations and why they may be behaving the way they do and then try to adapt my behavior to try and take that into account,” he says.

Successful leaders tend to be equipped with strong social skills and, in fact, a wide body of research shows that leaders have high levels of EQ, but not all entrepreneurs do. People won’t develop EQ unless they want to or are motivated to do so. It’s not a matter of having or not having EQ – you just need to want to improve. EQ training is about understanding people, and getting them on your side through influence and persuasion.

Emotional intelligence is a term used to describe a complex ability to regulate your impulses, empathize with others, and persist and be resilient in the face of obstacles. Developing your emotional intelligence will help you enhance your leadership abilities, enrich your relationships, extend your influence, and expand the personal resources you can call on to manage life’s mental demands.

An in-depth study and thorough understanding of psychological type can aid in the development of your emotional intelligence. Psychological type, as developed by Dr. Carl Jung, explores people’s preferences for four mental processes – Sensing, Intuition, Thinking, and Feeling – and their tendency to focus more on the outer (Extraverted) or inner (Introverted) world. These mental processes and orientations work in a dynamic way to influence what people see and evaluate in life, and this dynamic affects all their choices and actions.

When you learn to appropriately access the eight mental processes that make up the model of psychological type, you achieve a level of understanding that offers a practical way to expand your emotional intelligence by enabling you to become more conscious of choices you can make to be effective. The mental processes of Sensing, Intuition, Thinking, and Feeling differ markedly when Extraverted and Introverted. These differences result in the eight mental functions we use to take in information and decide how to respond to that information. Our preferences among these eight mental functions are what produce our type. The four letter code gives us direction about our preferences.

These eight areas of awareness represent the eight mental functions of psychological type. Getting in touch with your use of these eight aspects of your mental operations is a major step toward greater self-awareness and interpersonal awareness, which enriches your emotional intelligence. We each use all these processes in Extraverted and Introverted forms, but we tend to rely most heavily on our dominant and auxiliary, or our most preferred, functions.

Using some of the functions comes more naturally to you, but part of developing your type involves being able to access each of these functions in the appropriate situation. Doing so enables you to increase the range of behaviors available, representing a significant step toward greater personal efficacy and emotional intelligence.

These eight functions make up the engine of your personality. They provide the source of analysis, reaction, adjustment, and stability in your character on which you can depend. The most complete depiction of these eight functions is in the dynamic relationship that exists each moment in the exchange of energy between you and those around you.

Personality, emotional intelligence, and performance are interdependent factors in your daily experience. When you have an expanded emotional intelligence and a balanced personality, you have a healthier lifestyle, stronger relationships, and overall greater satisfaction and performance in your chosen work. Studies conclude that strong emotional intelligence among leaders aids employee retention, productivity, and performance. Those leaders who consistently exhibit sensitivity to the range of needs and individual differences in their organizations get the best performance results.

 

 

 

Why Personality Type in Relationships?

Friday, June 7th, 2013

The greatest overall benefit of knowing about psychological-type theory, is to be able to stand back and realize people do what they do because of their natural process. By knowing this, we can begin to eliminate our expectations on another person’s behavior.

The PEOPLE Process Trainer's Manual & Participant Package

The PEOPLE Process Trainer’s Manual & Participant Package

This alone solves a myriad of interaction problems.

Once you understand your type and your partner’s type, it’s time to see how you and your partner mesh. The first step toward creating a satisfying relationship is to understand ourselves. The next is to be more aware of the ways we naturally and automatically, interact with our partners. Then, we can learn how to make some minor adjustments in our styles to be more accommodating and appreciative of each other.

DO OPPOSITES REALLY ATTRACT?

Many couples – about 35% have only two type preferences in common. About 25% have one preference in common, 20 % have three and only 10% are either different on all four or alike on all four dimensions. Just because you and your partner may be very different doesn’t mean you can’t have a satisfying relationship. You may simply have to work harder to achieve understanding and satisfaction.

The greatest opportunities for personal growth come from loving someone who is quite different. On some level, we’re drawn to our partners precisely because of those differences. We see things in them we don’t have in ourselves. We are stimulated to try things we might not ordinarily try, encouraged to open up and share on a deeper level than before, or slow down and have more fun than we normally allow ourselves.

As Carl Jung wrote, “The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances; if there is any reaction, both are transformed.” Indeed, Mr. Jung believed that through the marital and family unit, we could transform ourselves to a greater spiritual level.

Bear in mind that no one combination is either perfect or automatically doomed to failure. There are strengths within each type combination. While every couple faces challenges based in a great part on their type preferences, every relationship also is as unique as the two people in it.

AN ESTJ & ENFP PARENTING CHALLENGE

The three type dimensions that are most often the source of parenting disagreements are:

GATHERING INFORMATION  –  Sensing or Intuition

MAKING DECISIONS  –  Thinking or Feeling

TAKING ACTION  –  Judging or Perceiving

Jake is an ESTJ and Maureen is an ENFP. As such they have different temperaments and values. Jake takes his job as father very seriously. He believes it’s his duty to raise responsible, polite, independent children. He’s the disciplinarian, establishing and enforcing the rules of the house with calm consistency. Jake’s kids will tell you that he’s strict and demanding but that he shows his devotion to his kids by being an enthusiastic coach and never misses a swim meet, dance recital, or school play.

Maureen is more concerned about her children’s emotional well-being and self-esteem. She wants them to develop as unique individuals and strive to find personal meaning in their lives. She’s clearly the fun parent, the nurturer, who is less worried about bedtimes and rules and more concerned about helping the children articulate their feelings and grow into compassionate and tolerant adults.

For the most part, Jake and Maureen complement each other well, but they also have their share of disagreements about everything from how hard to push the kids academically to whether to pay them for doing chores. This hurdle is not insurmountable, but it is a strain on their relationship; it gives them one more thing to disagree and argue about. Fortunately, knowing about their types –  and their children’s types –  has helped them figure out strategies to be more cohesive as a team and more sensitive and effective with their children.