The Five Relationship Attributes Necessary For Successful Leadership

December 9th, 2016

Leadership is the ability to inspire and motivate others. Each one of us is required to exhibit leadership capabilities every day, in our

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professional and personal lives –

a mother inspiring her children to do their best in school; an HR Manager attempting to lift the morale of the company; a politician asking for our vote; a president of a corporation asking management to increase productivity. It doesn’t matter what the size of the organization is, understanding your personal leadership strengths can assist in accomplishing your goals.

In a study of Leadership, Emotional Intelligence and Personality Type, conducted in 2004 by Richmond, Rollin and Brown, the findings were:

  • The five most important leadership attributes were identified as Vision, Strategic Thinking, Relationship Building, Execution and People Development.
  • Emotional Intelligence attributes are essential to successful leadership, especially the relationship management attributes – Vision, Relationship Building and People Development.
  • Of the remaining attributes, all the Emotional Intelligence competencies are more important than all the general leadership attributes, such as External/Market Orientation, Financial Acumen, and Planning.

The Center for Creative Leadership in studying why managers derail on their way to becoming executives found four themes that emerged:

  1. Problems with interpersonal relationships
  2. Failure to meet business objectives
  3. Failure to build and lead a team
  4. Inability to change or adapt during a transition

In short, difficulties with – relationship management – attributes (vision, relationship building and people development) were identified as prime contributors to the failure of otherwise promising executive careers.

Personality Type and Leadership

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator identifies common differences among normal people.  The essence of the theory is that much seemingly random variation in behavior is actually quite orderly and consistent – based on differences in the way individuals prefer to perceive information and reach conclusions (Myers, et al, 1998).

Research shows that personality type explains some of the variation in leadership behavior and perceived effectiveness.  A brief summary includes:

  • Leaders come from all 16 personality types, however, nearly every study of leaders by type finds TJs over-represented relative to other types.
  • Research shows that leaders of different types focus on different aspects of their roles and also choose to handle the same activities differently.

Leadership studies usually indicate that most corporate leaders exhibit TJ preferences. For example, 58% of participants in Center for Creative Leadership programs prefer TJ (MBTI Manual, p. 327). TJ leaders are considered tough minded, executive, analytical leaders who communicate their confidence in the primacy of focusing on logical outcomes. TJs may be seen by others as too quick to judge and act, and tactless in their style of communication.   (MBTI Manual pps 52-53)

Implications of these studies for Leaders

Leaders can use the findings from the above studies to gain the following insights into what their executives, and peers may be expecting from them:

  • Assess and increase your effectiveness in building relationships, developing people, and thinking strategically.
  • To excel at the highly-ranked relationship management attributes, develop your Emotional Intelligence capabilities such as Self-Awareness, Empathy, and Adaptability.
  • Consider your effectiveness in providing vision and inspiration, executing work to plan, taking initiative, and fostering teamwork.
  • When seeking to influence others, be aware of differences in what each of you values in leaders.

Leadership Styles of the 16 Personality Types

Type: Motivates Others By:
ISTJ Providing precise, accurate and timely information
ISFJ Presenting factual information personally to influence people to understand the job that needs to be done
INTJ Describing end result desired, by connecting actions, intentions and desired outcomes
INFJ Building enduring relationships through cooperation and acting on values that promote well-being
ISTP Using tangible goals to get things moving
INTP Talking about theory and discussing outcomes
ISFP Encouraging others to take action in an easy-going manner
INFP Creating alternative solutions
ESTP Quickly acting to solve problems for others
ESFP Relating to people at a personal level to get them involved
ENTP Using their problem-solving skills
ENFP Engaging with others to share ideas, & brainstorming
ESTJ Using specific facts and a systematic method
ENTJ Systematic & logical action; ideas and global issues
ESFJ Practical, hands-on action, moving toward completion of a project
ENFJ Energizing with their assertive and personable nature

Knowing yourself well and understanding how others function is fundamental to building strong relationships and effective leadership. Leadership is about behavior and the psychology of leadership as theorized by psychological type allows individuals to recognize their demonstrated behaviors as expressions of their type and to apply type theory as a way to enhance leader development.

Clearly, based on the stated desired leadership qualities, it’s easy to understand the importance a thorough knowledge of personality type can provide. Type is about relationship management and people development. To understand and apply type theory is to be able to motivate and lead others – including ourselves.

 

Personality Type & The Coaching Process

December 3rd, 2016
The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

The application of personality type into the coaching process – both the person being coached and the type of other people in their life – is particularly valuable because you can identify and develop his or her strengths, assist them in recognizing blind spots and how to manage them and strategize a method for personal and career development.

Step 1: Assess the Client’s Type

Guide the person through Side 1 of the The PEOPLE Process Wheel, explaining each of the four dimensions of behavior, the two preferences within each behavior dimension, and have them choose their four letter type.

Step 2: Determine Strengths and Challenges
By yourself, review the person’s type from the standpoint of their strengths as it relates to their personality type. Think through the description of their preferences on side 1 of the Wheel and determine which qualities are assets and which present the greatest challenge.  Have the person answer the following questions:

  • As you read through the description of your personality type preferences, which ones seem like assets and which present the greatest challenges?
  • If someone wanted to have a positive relationship with you, what fundamental things about your type would they need to understand?
  • Which aspects of your psychological type are the most difficult for you to accept or change?
  • Which aspects of your type most often cause relationship problems between you and others?
  • How have your personality type preferences influenced your life and career?

Often conflicts between the person being coached and the people in their life comes from differences in preferences.  Lead the person through the descriptions of all of the preferences on Side 1 of the Wheel: E-I, S-N, T-F, and J-P.  Assist them in choosing the four-letter type of the person with which they are experiencing conflict from Side 1 of the Wheel.

Profile Sheets – 16 Personality Types

Have the person choose their Profile Sheet and the Profile Sheet of the person with whom they are experiencing conflict from the package. Compare the individual descriptions in each of the categories and answer the following three questions on Side 2 of the Profile Sheet:

In what areas are you similar to this person?
In what areas are you different from this person?
In what areas can you improve your relations with this person?

When going through this exercise, the person is then able to step back and realize that behaviors are most often the result of each other’s inborn, personality type.

Use the following questions to guide discussion around areas they might need to address:

  • What contributions do you bring to the relationship?
  • Which of your habits might be irritating to the other?
  • What do you find valuable about each other?
  • What does the other do that bothers you?
  • What do you hope to achieve in resolving this conflict?

Step 3: Evaluate Individual Needs
Assist the person being coached in evaluating their needs through discussion of a series of questions:

  • What are some of your behaviors that seem to get in the way of having effective relationships with others?
  • What talents do you have that are especially helpful to others?
  • How would your spouse, boss, colleagues, or close friends briefly describe you?
  • What do you care most about in your life? What concerns you most?
  • What do you feel proud of and what concerns you about the way people at work treat one another?
  • What inspires or motivates you?
  • What kind of appreciation/recognition do you prefer? From whom? Under what circumstances?
  • What kind of criticism do you prefer? From whom? Under what circumstances?
  • Which work tasks do you pass on to others, ignore, or never get around to doing?
  • Tell me about a recent change you’ve experienced. How did you react? How did you cope with it?
  • Describe how you handle change.
  • What are your thoughts about conflict? What do you do to resolve it? How effective have your efforts been? Why?
  • Are there any questions I have not asked that we should discuss?

Step 4: Assess Skills and Interests
Lead the person through a discussion of the following four questions:

  • Things I like and do well
  • Things I don’t like but do well
  • Things I like but find difficult to do
  • Things I don’t like and struggle to do

Focus your discussion on things the person likes and does well. Those things the person doesn’t like and struggles with doing, identify as areas for coaching. Assist the person in developing ways to handle those things they don’t like and struggle with.

Step 5: Develop Your Action Plan
The key to successful coaching is identification of objectives, steps that will be taken, timelines and the desired results. To achieve this:

  • Have the person identify someone they trust that can help them practice the coaching suggestions.
  • Develop specific action items and timelines. Establish accountability, such as how will the person know when they have reached a goal?
  • Encourage the person being coached to practice the behaviors in coaching sessions and then in real time.
  • Suggest the person keep a journal where they record behaviors practiced and the results – who, what, when, and where. Discuss the results of the experiences practiced in the next coaching session.
  • Share personal insights about your own type and your potential interactions with other types as it relates to strengths and differences. Encourage person being coached to give details about how the process is moving forward toward identified goals, needs and wants, and be clear about what is working.

 

Using Type in Selling – Part 2

November 25th, 2016

How does type actually work in the selling process?

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

 

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 listening is 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.

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 suggest 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

Using Type in Selling

November 20th, 2016

With the competitive nature of business today, an understanding and use of type theory can be beneficial in the selling process.  By just listening for the communication and  behavior clues of   four dimensions of personality type theory – Energy, Information, Decision, Action, – you can adapt your behavior to the comfort zone of your customer.  All of us like to purchase from a sales person that we feel comfortable with and understands us. Listen and watch for cues in your customer’s behavior.

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

All that you have to remember is four dimensions – Energy, Information, Decision and Action,  and two preferences within each dimension.    You can pick up someone’s preference for each of the four dimensions while listening to them on the telephone. And, it’s easier in person because you have the benefit of watching body language.  A study of Side 1 of The PEOPLE Process Wheel – the four dimensions of type theory and the two preferences within each dimension and Side 2 – how to treat each preference within their – zone of comfort– will enable you to easily remember the type preferences.

Does this customer generally prefer to Talk it Out (Extraversion) or Think It Through (Introversion)?

Does this customer generally prefer to give information and respond to Specifics (Sensing) or the Big Picture (Intuition)?

Does this customer generally base his or her decisions on Logical Implications (Thinking) or the Impact on People (Feeling)?

Does this customer generally have a Joy of Closure (Judging) or a Joy of Processing (Perceiving)?

Customer Preferences

(Adapted from the Four Part Framework, by Susan A. Brock.)

E – Talk it Out —- I – Think it Through

S – Specifics —- N – The Big Picture

T – Logical Implications —– F – Impact on People

J – Joy of Closure —– P – Joy of Processing

A survey of 200 people, who had previously verified their type preference, was conducted asking them, How do you prefer to be sold to? Upon examination of the responses, the individuals described common themes when grouped by the functional (middle two letters) of their four letter type – ST, SF, NF, and NT.

A common theme for STs is to focus on the facts. During a sales interaction, an ST wants specifics, logically presented, with a focus on meeting practical needs.

NFs, on the other hand, want to know how the product, service, or concept makes a difference or supports their vision of what could be, especially as it relates to people. NFs prefer to hear and use a relational train of thought, where one thing reminds them of another.

SFs want personal and individualized service. They form a bond of loyalty to the person or product that gives them personalized service.

NTs show a theme of wanting logical options with which to fulfill unique needs. They stress that the salesperson must demonstrate competence and should expect to be tested on this competence during the sales interaction.

Four Basic Sales Approaches

Functional Pair Customer Prefers
ST The Facts
SF Personalized Service
NF Their Vision
NT Logical Options

(Adapted from FLEX Selling by Susan Brock, 1993.)

The four functional pairs of types use different ways of expressing themselves when they are communicating that reflect their type preference. An ST speaks in brief, logical statements, while an SF shares personal stories. NFs speak of possibilities emphasizing the people-oriented values of the situation. NTs focus on what makes sense, from a long-range perspective.

The personality type framework is a tool that can easily be used to choose and shape how to interact best with your customer. As you listen and watch, you can adjust your behavior to your customer based on a knowledge of sound theory that works. You can also use the type framework to put together letters and marketing materials. The same idea of matching the language of the customer applies to written work as well as to face-to-face interaction.

Practice presenting your product or service from the four basic functional positions so you can shift when necessary. In an actual sales situation, watch your customer’s nonverbal cues such as facial expressions, body language and tone of voice. Be aware that using type in selling requires practice and discipline. As you continue to work with type you gain a greater appreciation of your customers, their needs and their diversity.

Using type in selling is well worth the effort. It really pays off!

 

 

 

The Effect of Personality Type on Team Performance

November 12th, 2016

Team approach to IS development                                                                                         

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The PEOPLE Process Training Manual & Participant Package

                                                                                           

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 demonstrate 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.

(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.)

                                                                        

 

Servant Leadership

November 5th, 2016

“Is Servant Leadership the answer to the “recession”?    

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

                                                                                                                       

Once 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 about Ken 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

October 29th, 2016
The PEOPLE Process Training Manual & Participant Package

The PEOPLE Process Training Manual & Participant Package

It occurred to me recently that I haven’t shared why I became involved in creating products and training about                   personality type.

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 had 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/gal 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, 28 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

October 22nd, 2016
The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

“Leadership humility is rare and doesn’t necessarily enjoy the recognition it deserves,” 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.”

“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

October 15th, 2016

The fourth behavior dimension – how we take Action – Judging or Perceiving – J/P  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.

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

Judging types feel tension until they make a decision and Perceiving types feel tension when they feel pushed into making a decision too quickly.

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 and Personality Type – Thinking & Feeling

October 8th, 2016
The PEOPLE Process Training Manual & Participant Package

The PEOPLE Process Training Manual & Participant Package

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.

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