Archive for October, 2015

Communications and Personality Type – Extravert & Introvert

Saturday, October 31st, 2015
The PEOPLE Process Training Manual & Participant Package

The PEOPLE Process Training Manual & Participant Package

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 Extravert’s 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 Introvert’s 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

Boost Your Business With Employee Training

Saturday, October 24th, 2015

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.

The PEOPLE Process Training Manual & Participant Package

The PEOPLE Process Training Manual & Participant Package

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 allow 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

 

 

Judging Listening Strengths

Friday, October 16th, 2015
The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

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.

Perceiving Listening Strengths

Friday, October 9th, 2015

I really want to know more about what people have to say.

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

The attitudes we’re looking for in a listener:  open-mindedness, curiosity and tolerance, seem to come easily to many Ps.  You can see it in their faces. They have that – I’m interested look –  in their eyes, and it’s fun to talk to someone who looks like that.

I can think of many times where I’ve watched people just open up to a P, and suddenly start talking happily about their interests.

“I like to listen because I’m collecting data,” says John, ENTP.  “Once, a friend told me a long story, and after he finished I said:  “That’s interesting.”  “He said:  “When most people say that, it’s dismissive, but when you say it, you’re actually finding it interesting.”

“My strength as a listener is that I really want to know more about what people have to say,” says Anna, ISFP.  “I know it’s important to them, but I also like to learn from other people.  When I was young, it was a good way for me to be, because I had to go to parties with a whole bunch of my husband’s business associates, who would all be talking about science.  The easiest way for me to mingle would be to ask questions.  I realized that wow, this is exciting.  I could talk to people that I didn’t know, and there were all these other topics in the world that I didn’t really know about.   Also, when I took the time to listen to other people, I got a lot of information that I could really use in my life.”

Because Ps are so good at data collection, they can gently push the speakers to consider new and sometimes surprising information.

“I can pick out what was not said, what was underrepresented,” says Caroline, INFP.  “That’s not easy to do, because a lot of time in discussions, everyone starts following along with evidence in one direction and they totally miss that there might be an entirely different viewpoint.”

Instead of opinions or advice, which send the message that the listener was really listening to themselves, most Ps tend to naturally respond with questions, which sends the message that they are really listening and trying to understand.  Another way of sending the message that we’re listening is to repeat back what the speaker said, in our own words, to make sure we are interpreting it correctly.  One P even told us that this practice of  active listening, came naturally to him, and was his habit before he had ever heard it described.

“When I first heard about active listening, I thought,  “So that’s what you call it,?” says Jerry, INTP.  “I did that naturally.  People always seem to find it easy to talk to me, because I put what they said into my own words.  For example, my wife works in a very stressful job as a nurse in an infant intensive care unit.  If I ask her how her day was, and she says, It was awful, I don’t just grunt.  I really do try to understand as she describes the problems she had with a parent today.  When she’s finished, I might say, I know it frustrates you when you try to tell a parent that what they want isn’t good for their baby.  It turns out not to be a very long conversation, because when people feel understood, the need to tell their story over and over is not so great.”

“I worked as a marriage counselor,  he continues,  and some part of every couple’s problem was the failure to communicate. I taught them to put into their own words what they thought the other was saying.  I told them not to just parrot their words, or you’ll get a response like,  Don’t do that listening stuff on me.  But if it’s in your own words, it sounds natural, and they’ll be able to tell you if you’re right or wrong.”

Thinking Listening Strengths

Saturday, October 3rd, 2015

I can look at it clearly, without emotion.     

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

What I like about talking to Thinking types is that I know they can listen to

me describe a painful occurrence without feeling the pain themselves.

I don’t want to cause other people pain, and sometimes, when I’m confiding to the Fs who are close to me, I realize it’s affecting them, and I end up trying to comfort them and telling them it’s not so bad.  With a T, I know I can describe exactly how bad I feel, because they won’t necessarily feel it with me.

“I don’t have empathy; I can’t feel what they’re feeling, but I can step back a bit and hear the logic of what they’re trying to get across,” says John, ENTP, “I can understand their argument.”

Also, when emotions are strong, Ts can remain untouched by them and continue thinking clearly.  I wish I had a Ts ability not to feel the pain or confusion of others, especially when it’s someone close to me, because then I wouldn’t be so anxious to make it go away.

“My husband, an INTJ, is able to remain calm when I’m upset, which is not my usual experience,” says Marthanne, ENFJ. “Usually, when I get upset, everyone around me gets twice as upset, which is quite annoying.  I remember the first Thanksgiving we spent together when we were dating.  I was cooking the turkey, and I had not allowed the right amount of time and I was supposed to take it from my house to his house.  I was all upset, but he didn’t get upset, or show impatience or condemnation for my being upset.  He just listened through the feeling somehow to what the problem and the solution were.”

“I can look at it clearly, without emotion,” says Pam, INTJ.  “If you’re looking for someone to help you solve a problem, I’m a good one to talk to.”

Also, Ts are more able to keep in mind that even though someone is making a very good case that they have been wronged, there is probably another side to the story.

“I don’t let emotions get in the way and I try to stay fair,” says Jamie, ISTJ.  I’ve learned the hard way that there are two sides to everything, so even though their emotions are legitimate, I should not take sides based on hearing one person’s side of it.  I can listen and commiserate and say, Wow, that’s really rough on you,” instead of  “That’s totally unfair!”

Fs might try to be good listeners simply because people like good listeners. But Ts usually need a different rationale.  They may decide to become good listeners because it makes them more effective in their work.  Good listening, for example, is important in the work of parenting.

“When I was raising children, I realized how important it was to be a good listener,” says Dee, ENTP.  “I raised a 6-year old and 12-year-old from my husband’s first marriage, and the first year we lived together, I was amazed at how much they demanded my attention.  They really needed to talk, especially because their mom had been dying for years.  Kids have a way of focusing your attention.  They’ll tell you, “Mom, you’re not listening.”

Good listening is also important in the workplace, and Ts often get their initial insights about the importance of listening from workplace training or experience.

“I worked on a project with two other people where we had to interview managers,” says John, ENTP.  “We would get together after we’d interviewed a manager to discuss what we’d heard, but we’d spend the whole time arguing about what they had really said.  Finally, I started to take notes and write them up afterwards.  We were shocked to see that we do a lot of interpreting and extrapolating.  For example, a guy would say, “We manage on performance,” and we thought he must mean he’s measuring the outcome of the training programs.  Then we’d find out he wasn’t measuring the outcomes.  “Didn’t he say that?” someone would ask, but when we consulted the notes, we realized that he never said he was measuring performance. After that insight, we became much more effective interviewers.  We could ask great follow-up questions because now we were listening to what people actually said.”

“Once we had a series of staff trainings on listening,” says Jamie, ISTJ.  “We’d do an exercise where you listen, and then repeat it back to make sure you understood what they intended.  My first reaction was:  “That’s positively silly; I know what they said.   But when we did the exercise it was like, ‘Oh my goodness, I didn’t really hear what they were saying at all.’ Just knowing that so much miscommunication is possible opened my mind to the thought that listening isn’t just hearing, there’s more to it.”

“The other part of that training was that we should not just listen to words, but also to the feeling behind it.  For example, if they said, ‘You never do your share of the laundry,’ I would think we were talking about laundry, but what the person is really saying is ‘I feel used.’  “We’re not honest partners.”  “I’m just here to do chores for you.” It is about being valued in the relationship, and that’s what really needs to be addressed.”

Resource:  The Type Reporter, No. 98