Posts Tagged ‘communication’

What’s It Like To Be A Thinking Woman?

Monday, March 20th, 2017

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

What’s it like when the world expects you to be one way, and you’re just the opposite?

What’s it like to often surprise people, or shock them? What’s it like to be a Thinking woman?

Growing up, you identify with boys and men.
Do you know a little girl who pals around with a gang of boys? She’s probably a T. Many T women said that when they were young, they played with the boys. “I was considered one of the guys,” says Julie, ESTJ. And the guys were the ones I did heavy-duty sharing with, not as feelings, but more as “What do you think about such and such?”

Even if they didn’t play with boys, Thinking girls usually enjoyed imagining themselves in the positions of men. “Even when I played with the girls, I gave myself the role of the father or the doctor,” says Madeline, INTP. And because they identified so strongly with the masculine role, their fathers were especially important figures in their lives. “It was pretty clear that the people who were out there using their T were men,” says Jean, INTP. “I valued my father’s role much more than my mothers.”

You don’t identify with girls and women.
“I never got along with my sister, who was sweet, lovable, and innocent – mama’s pet,” says Julie, ESTJ. “I teased the hell out of her and we fought all the time.”

Thinking girls, like Thinking boys, prefer competitive play and learning about how things work. But Thinking girls, unlike Thinking boys, often find themselves in the company of Feeling girls, where the talk and the play is non-competitive and concerned with how people work. And they don’t like it.

“I didn’t like “girl talk” about movie stars and periods,” says Jan, ISTP. “And even “women’s talk” struck me as strange. I’d listen to my mother and aunts talk about how they dealt with problems with their husbands and families and I’d think, “That’s so dumb, why would you do it that way?”

“I thought the girls were kind of flitty,” says Julie, ESTJ. “When people tell me things, I take it as a truth, but things were always changing with them, and I’d realize that they were talking about one of their feelings rather than a fact.”

You get criticized for being tactless and hard-hearted.
“Thinking is wonderful for work and study, for power and achievement,” says Madeline, INTP. “But for any kind of affiliation, it’s not always helpful. I frequently got into trouble for putting truth over tact.”

“I gave riding lessons when I was young,” says Jan, ISTP. “Once, one of the girls in my class asked me for help getting her stirrup fixed, and I told her to do it herself because I really wanted her to learn. “Don’t you think you were kind of hard on her?” a friend said to me later. Now my son is taking violin lessons from an ISTP woman. I’m real satisfied with her, but I had to laugh when one of the other mothers said she dropped her because “she was just mean!”

When a boy is tactless, parents can comfort themselves with “Well, what do you expect from a boy?” When a girl is tactless, there is no such comfort. Thinking girls are likely to feel the full brunt of their parents’ embarrassment at their remarks, or their parents’ hurt if the criticism is directed at them. Fortunately, most T girls have pretty strong defenses against people’s opinions of them.

Thinking girls tend to concern themselves about people’s feelings in their adulthood, when they can see a good reason to do so.

You don’t date much in adolescence.
Thinking girls may not be popular with the opposite sex in the early dating years. The boys are unsure of themselves at that time and look for girls who will make them feel manly. Thinking girls, even when they are very good-looking and interested in dating, give boys the impression that they are going to be judged on their abilities and intelligence. Thinking girls usually have to wait until boys have more confidence in themselves to get asked out.

“I tended to intimidate the boys in high school,” says Janice, ESTP. “Some of them told me later that they had been afraid to ask me out because I seemed aloof, like I thought I was too good for them.”

If they wanted to date in high school, Thinking girls usually hid their Thinking side. “I never talked about anything intellectual when I was dating,” says Kim, ENTJ. “I let the boys talk about themselves. I just needed to be loved and I liked the feeling of someone holding me.”

You can feel right at home with a T husband.
Marrying a Thinking man can be very liberating for a Thinking woman. In her own home, at least, she doesn’t have to feel like an oddball. But it can be good for her spouse, as well. Ruth Sherman did a study of 167 couples in 1981 and found that Thinking men living with Thinking women reported fewer problems in their marriages, and Feeling women living with Feeling men reported fewer problems.

“In my senior year, I met someone I really liked and I’ve been with him ever since,” says Julie, ESTJ. “He was an ISTJ, and he allowed me to be me. He liked my thought patterns and I heard him when he talked.”

“There are only certain men that can get along with me,” says Kim, ENTJ. “My husband (also a T) is one of them. He’s never intimidated by me and we have some terrific sparring on an intellectual level. Sometimes the two of us come home and think “Are we the only people in the world who are sane?”

But even with a Thinking man, there is still the possibility that the T woman may become so engaged in a career that her husband feels that he is secondary, and although women are prepared to feel that way in a marriage, men are not.

But you can learn a lot from an F husband.
Thinking women and Feeling men have the same conflicts as Ts and Fs everywhere. “I’m married to an INFJ,” says Karen, ENTP, “and we have problems helping each other when we’re down. When I’m down, he tries to tell me nice things to make me feel better about myself, like “You’re sweet.” I don’t want to hear that. I want him to ask me questions and listen to me until I can figure out how to solve the problem. Then, when he’s down, I try to address his problems when all he really wants is warm assurance that he’s a valuable person.”

Besides the usual problems between Ts and Fs, Thinking women married to Feeling men may have a few more because of the confusion of their roles in the family. No matter how informed we may be about people and their differences, we all still have ideas of what our spouses “should” do for us.

“I get very resentful when he won’t be assertive,” says Karen, ENTP. “There are times when we reverse roles,” says Sue, ISTJ. “For example, when we moved, my husband panicked and wanted to call an electrician in to hang the light fixtures. But I got out the ladder and the tools and put them all on with dimmers. I know our role reversals would bother me more if I didn’t know type.”

There are many times when Thinking women married to Feeling men think they are both better off because of the way they balance each other. “I’m very career oriented,” says Dawn, INTJ, “and I think that if I were married to a T we’d be like two ships passing in the night. But my ESFP husband keeps calling me back to our relationship. For my psychological health, I know I need relatedness, so I welcome his demands.”

You tend to compare yourself to Fs in motherhood.
Thinking women have an edge in motherhood about half the time, because about half the time children need an adult who can detach themselves from the emotions of the moment and look at things objectively.

“I really like the kind of mother I am,” says Jan, ISTP. “I talk to the children in a respectful way. I’m fair, honest, and consistent about enforcing the rules. I can help them analyze their problems and see the consequences of what they do. If I went down a list of what makes a good parent, I could check most of them.”

“Listening has always been my strong point as a mother,” says Lucille, ENTP. “I made a point to drop what I was doing and listen when my children needed to talk. I was good at helping them analyze their problems, and view them in a more positive light. And when they would get angry at me, I wouldn’t get angry back. I could stay calm and give them an opportunity to explain why they were upset.”

Even though Thinking and Feeling women have the same amount of natural talents for motherhood, nowhere is the temptation to compare yourself to Feeling women stronger than in the role of mother. Probably the biggest problem for Thinking mothers who work outside the home is the temptation to give so much to their careers that there isn’t enough left for their personal life. Finding a balance between work and family is especially tricky for them.

You find the greatest satisfaction in the work world.
In her work, the Thinking woman can point to actual products that she has created, to objective evidence of her skills. She can attach a dollar amount to her value. In fact, in an article published in volume 13 of The Journal of Psychological Type, on type and gender, Jean Stokes points out that without such healthy outlets for Thinking, it can become “nagging, nit-picking, critical in extreme.”

“It wasn’t until my children were grown and I entered the business world that I really discovered my strength,” says Lucille, ENTP. “I could finally let go and be analytical and objective and not always have to be thinking “Will this offend someone?”

“There’s no question in my mind that it’s more difficult to be a woman, even a Thinking woman, in the work world,: says Madeline, INTP. “There’s an assumption that a woman is emotional, unreliable, fuzzy-thinking.”

And in maturity, you realize you didn’t get such a bad deal.
In maturity, we hope that people will come to accept themselves for what they are. “I’ve become more comfortable about being a T woman since I’ve been able to put a name on it and recognize that I’m a minority,” says Virginia, INTJ.

In maturity, we hope that people will have increased understanding and tolerance of the people who are different from them. “I’ve come full circle with Feeling women and feel a sisterhood with them now,” says Jan, ISTP. “I can understand and value the way they make decisions when I used to think they were dumb.”

In maturity, we hope that people will begin to develop the sides of their personalities that they didn’t develop in youth. In maturity, we hope that people will pass on what they have learned to the young, and by their example make it easier for the next generation.

In maturity, we hope that people will bring peace to some of the wars within themselves. In the case of Thinking women, that they will be able to see that perhaps they have had richer lives because they were “different.”

 

 

“Give me the facts, Maam……….just the facts.”

Saturday, February 25th, 2017

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

When describing the decor of my home to a Sensor, I said things such as, “the furniture is traditional                                   

with oriental accent pieces mixed in, the front yard has blue pots and a blue wrought iron fence.”

“From the front door entryway, what do you see?” asked the Sensor.  “How wide is the front door”, and “how deep is the entry?”  “Once inside the house, where is the living room?”  “How many steps until you reach the kitchen?”  How many windows in the kitchen?”

As an Intuitive, my description of the house was an overview of the general plan and scheme of the decor with such words as, contemporary mixed with Oriental theme, rooms opening up into each other to give a feeling of freedom, white carpet with bold accent colors.

As an author of personalty-type training products and conductor of trainings, it is amazing to me when I have an experience such as this because it brings home to me how important it is to understand each other’s preference for giving and receiving Information as a Sensor or as an Intuitive.

I can honestly tell you that the Intuitive becomes impatient with the lengthy, factual and detailed descriptions.   And, I’m sure the Sensor becomes frustrated with the Intuitive’s broad stroke, overview and generalized description.

During this conversation, I had to keep reminding myself,  this is a Sensor and he cannot see the picture unless you give the facts and details.

Thank goodness I understand this.   As I think back over my life prior to becoming involved so deeply in personality type theory, I am amazed that I was able to communicate with people at all and get my point across. No wonder I had so many ”dead end”  conversations with people.

Do yourself a favor – learn everything you can about type theory and use it!  Your communications with your family, friends and co-workers will improve tremendously!

Personality Type & The Coaching Process

Saturday, 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

Friday, 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

Sunday, 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

Saturday, November 12th, 2016

Team approach to IS development                                                                                         

The PEOPLE Process Training Manual & Participant Package

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.)

                                                                        

 

Communications and Personality Type – Judging & Perceiving

Saturday, 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

Saturday, 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

 

Communications and Personality Type – Sensing & iNtuition

Sunday, October 2nd, 2016
The PEOPLE Process Training Manual & Participant Package

The PEOPLE Process Training Manual & Participant Package

The Sensing and Intuition scale represents the greatest potential for communication differences between people, since it really influences one’s worldview.

And, when you remember that Sensing and Intuition are the two preferences for the cycle of behavior that has to do with Gathering INFORMATION, it’s easy to understand why the potential for confusion and chaos exists in  giving communication when you don’t understand and recognize someone’s preference.

Intuitive types are motivated by change and get enthusiastic about doing things differently and they want to share their inspirational ideas that they gained through their Intuition.  These ideas start as abstract concepts, often not too complete with details.

Sensing types may be skeptical of theoretical concepts and want to see concrete evidence that the theory presented will work.  Sensors want to hear and see specifics and factual information that is linked to reality and presented in a step-by-step format.  They will ask practical questions and will want the details or the specific steps described.

Intuitive types usually see a lot of questions as being overly limiting, nitpicky, challenging or demonstrating a lack of confidence.  When the Intuitive type is unable to ground ideas with facts and details, the Sensing type will see the information being presented as unrealistic and impractical.

Intuitive types tend to use metaphors, analogies, and other abstract language.  They use theoretical words and concepts.  Sensing types prefer to speak in language that is literal and descriptive.  These two ways of using language are quite different and can block effective communication.

Sensors in communication

Strengths

  • Anchored in reality & common sense
  • Practical & realistic
  • Observant & attend to details
  • Immediately apply communication

Communication Approach

  • Seek facts, details & concrete examples
  • Like step-by-step explanations
  • Trust what has been tried & proven
  • Comfortable with familiarity & practicality

When Communicating with Sensors

  • Be practical with ideas that are down to earth
  • Present information sequentially
  • Show a plan & process for change
  • Use words that relate to sensory images

Intuitives in communication

Strengths

  • Are open to possibilities
  • Anticipate & create change
  • Are future oriented – see trends
  • Generate ideas

Communication Approach

  • Become bored with details
  • Like to brainstorm
  • See patterns & the big picture
  • Don’t like to be hampered by limits

When Communicating with Intuitives

  • Provide an overview first
  • Suspend reality when brainstorming
  • Share main points, then detail
  • Show future possibilities of your ideas

 

Judging Listening Strengths

Friday, September 9th, 2016

I just have to make good listening my goal.                                                                             

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

     

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.