Posts Tagged ‘personality type’

Personality Type and Careers

Saturday, January 14th, 2017

A thorough understanding of your personality type can be a tremendous guide that can help you to:

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

– Choose a new job or career

– Change your job or career

– Increase satisfaction with your present career

Your personality type can assist you in developing your career goals and establishing a process to reach those goals. When you use Side 1 of The PEOPLE Process Wheel to decide your four-letter type, you can study the Profile Sheet that is within the participant package for your type and gain a thorough understanding of your strengths – your unique gifts.

The more you understand about yourself, the better your decisions will be and the more effectively you will be able to implement those decisions. Your personality preferences can help you decide what you want to do, how to approach that field and get what you want.

To briefly review, personality type theory was developed by Dr. Carl Jung in the early 1900s. Dr. Jung sought to explain the normal differences between healthy people. Jung espoused that the differences in people’s behavior was a result from people’s inborn tendencies to use their minds in different ways. As people act on these tendencies, they develop patterns of behavior.

We have different energy levels, notice different aspects of the world around us, make decisions based on different criteria and structure our lives in different ways depending on what makes us most comfortable. These characteristics combine to create the whole personality. Dr. Jung identified four dimensions that make up our personality type – and these are part of our DNA – they are inborn traits.

The four dimensions are: Energy, Information, Decision, Action, and are used by us hundreds of times a day. Each dimension consists of two opposite poles. Picture each dimension as a continuum with a mid-point in the center. Each of us has a natural inborn preference (strength) for one side of the continuum or the other in each of the four dimensions.  We use both of the preferences throughout our day, however, our inborn strength/preference is our natural behavior.

Turn The PEOPLE Process Wheel to Side 2 and review how someone should treat you in the four windows that match your four letter type. This will give you insight into the types of work and surroundings that will be most fulfilling for you. For instance, if in the Energy behavior dimension you chose Introvert you will see that the way you prefer to be treated is:

  • Relate one-on-one
  • Value their need for privacy
  • Allow them time to change focus
  • Ask questions to draw them out
  • Do not pressure for an instant response

This tells you that you like to work alone and don’t need a lot of supervision. You’re great at putting things together behind the scenes.

However, if you chose Extravert in the Energy behavior dimension, you’ll find that you like to have a lot of interaction with others and you want them to:

  • Listen attentively
  • Be actively responsive
  • Be energetic & enthusiastic
  • Support their need to communicate
  • Recognize their need for social interaction

Extraverts like to be able to bounce ideas off of others and get immediate feedback. They would be very frustrated working all alone in a cubicle on a project by themselves.

In the Information behavior dimension, if you chose Sensing as your preference, you’ll find that you have skills in dealing with facts and details and when receiving information from someone you prefer that they:

  • Be orderly and organized
  • Show facts with evidence
  • Be direct and to the point
  • Draw on your experience
  • Be practical because you are

If you chose Intuition in the Information behavior dimension, you are terrific at coming up with creative solutions, marketing direction and out of the box  ideas and when receiving information you prefer they:

  • Give you an overview
  • Have a vision of the future
  • Appeal to your imagination
  • Encourage your need to explore
  • Allow for the expansion of ideas

When it comes to making a Decision, a Thinking person is logical, steps back and objectifies the decision, preferring to be treated this way:

  • Expect questions
  • Use logic
  • Be calm and reasonable
  • Be brief, concise, yet thorough
  • Present information for their analysis

A Feeling person personalizes decisions asking, How does this affect me and the people involved?   This person likes you to remember to:

  • Be honest and sincere
  • Be personal and friendly
  • Share with them your feelings
  • Encourage them to share their feelings
  • Allow them time to know and trust you

In the Action behavior dimension, the Judging person likes to control their environment and prefers that you:

  • Don’t disturb their order
  • Be prepared and deliberate
  • Value their time because they do
  • Finalize whenever & wherever possible
  • Take their deadlines seriously

And, the Perceiving person values spontaneity above all and prefers that you:

  • Be open to options & changes
  • Use variety in your approach
  • Let them set their own deadlines
  • Make use of their resourcefulness
  • Encourage possibility-thinking

Does this give you an idea of how to approach finding out your strengths and preferred way of being treated so that you can decide on the career that best suits you? Continue studying Side 2 of the Wheel, determining your strengths and preferred way of being treated by others. Once you have analyzed this information, identify the types of careers that include your preferences and strengths –  the way you like to be treated and are most comfortable.

On the flip side of the Profile Sheet that matches your four-letter type, are a few of the careers that are suited for your strengths. Take a look at these as they will give you a basis of thinking about and identifying other rewarding types of work.

 

Teamwork – A Team Needs A Good Mix Of Types

Saturday, December 24th, 2016

Excerpts from The TYPE Reporter, Issue No. 4

The PEOPLE Process Training Manual & Participant Package

www.typereporter.com

by Tom Carskadon, INFP

Sometimes folk wisdom is right on, but sometimes it’s so contradictory that it’s no help at all. Do opposites attract, or do birds of a feather flock together?  This is an important question not just in friendship, love, and marriage, but also in team building.

A large body of research in psychology suggests that in general, we are most attracted to people who are fairly similar to us. Isabel Myers concluded that we tend to favor people similar in type to ourselves, more often marrying them, for instance; but that when it comes to team building, a well rounded mix of types is the most effective and desirable.

This idea has been part of type lore for decades; but is there actual research evidence to back it up? A few years ago Bruce Blaylock, a professor at Eastern Kentucky University, did a major study in which 17 four-person teams of students competed with each other over a month in a sophisticated and realistic simulated production exercise.

Some of the teams included a wide variety of types; other teams had all members with the same type or very similar types. All were objectively evaluated according to their total effectiveness. The teams composed of a broad range of types clearly and significantly outperformed the teams with little or no variety in types. Writing in Volume 6 of Research in Psychological Type, Dr. Blaylock notes that no particular type preference was predictive of success; instead, teams with a thorough mixture of types outperformed virtually any single-type or similar-type team.

This is one area where type theory and type research mesh very well. In forming teams, it may be tempting to choose people similar to ourselves  and this could be a special trap for feeling types who value harmony so highly – but even in tasks that seem made for a particular type, the best results are likely to come from a well rounded mix of types.

(At the time of writing this article, Tom Carskadon,INFP, was a professor of psychology at Mississippi State University and editor of the journal, RESEARCH IN PSYCHOLOGICAL TYPE.)

 

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.

 

Perceiving Listening Strengths

Friday, September 2nd, 2016
The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Surprising Results Of Servant Leadership

Friday, June 24th, 2016
The PEOPLE Process Training Manual & Participant Package

The PEOPLE Process Training Manual & Participant Package

Guest Post by: Lee Ellis – As originally seen at: www.linked2Leadership.com    

As a POW in Vietnam, I was typically the junior ranking and youngest person in my cell block.  This meant that I was always a follower and never a formal leader.  I used to think that this meant that I didn’t have influence.

But in retrospect, I see that I did have influence. And one way it came was through being a joyful doer

Gettin’ Busy

The truth is that I felt better when I was involved in the action so I stepped forward to do whatever needed to be done – clean the dirty latrine, sweep the floor, or deliver a very important message under dangerous circumstances. The lesson I learned was that serving and doing all the little things that others might avoid brings respect and ultimately influence.

And, this type of servant leadership made an impact after I returned to continue my full-time military career.

Even though I was behind my peers after being away, this leadership tactic was a primary factor in making up lost time and being promoted to a senior officer.

‘The lesson I learned was that serving and doing all the little things that others might avoid brings respect and ultimately influence.’

Young and Hungry to Serve

I had not thought about this lately until last week while interacting with a group of college students (Air Force ROTC cadets) in San Antonio at the Air Education and Training Command’s 2012 Symposium. The Air Force Association (AFA), cohost for this event, had invited a number of Air Force ROTC Cadets – all college students to assist with security and logistics at the Exposition in the convention center.

Since I was operating out of the AFA booth, my host volunteered these impressive young folks to help in any way I needed.

They were all bright and impressive young folks and it was soon obvious why they were chosen to attend this high-level event as guests of AFA and the Air Force!  The senior-ranking cadet took charge and managed the most important job of door security, insuring a regular rotation of sentries from 6:30 AM until 7:00 PM.  Other cadets helped me with the book signing by carting in books, stuffing bookmarks, collecting money, and scanning credit cards.

Rising to the Top

Watching them and listening to them carefully for a day and a half, I realized that even in this elite group, some stood out above their peers due to their willingness to get involved and commit totally to the task at hand.

All the students were sharp and helpful, but the ones that I’ll remember best are those who stepped forward first and then remained eagerly engaged until the job was done.

They won my heart and gained my highest respect – and that is powerful influence.

I appreciate the opportunity to be reminded of this lesson – that joyfully serving others is a powerful way to gain influence – even when you are young and have no position or formal power. It’s also a reminder that we are never too old or too important to learn lessons about influence. After all, influence is what leadership is all about.

Regardless of your age or level of influence, how does this story impact your day-to-day work? With pure motives, what acts of service can you do today that will make far-reaching impact in the future? The only way to find out is to just do it!  And if you have a servant leadership story, share it in the comments section below. I would love to hear your story!

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Be sure and read Lee’s book:  Leading with Honor: – Leadership Lessons from the Hanoi

Leading With Honor: Leadership Lessons from the Hanoi Hilton

Lee Ellis is founder and president of Leadership Freedom LLC and FreedomStar Media.
He is a leadership consultant, keynote speaker, and author in the areas of teambuilding, executive development, and assessments.

                              

“I Can’t Decide What Type I am!” – Part 1

Friday, June 10th, 2016
The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

According to the manual on the MBTI, around 25% of the people who take the MBTI score close to the middle on one or more of the dimensions.  Although some of those people are able to identify their preferences in spite of their slight scores, other people aren’t able to identify their preferences in spite of their clear scores. So let’s say it evens out, and for around 25% of the people who take the MBTI, their type is still an open question even after they’ve received their report forms.

If you believe that making a person familiar with their natural gifts and course of  development is a worthwhile pursuit, then it probably bothers you when that’s not easy, and sometimes nearly impossible, to do.  You’d probably like to know more about why people sometimes can’t decide what type they are, and what can be done about it.

To get closer to some answers on these questions, we’re going to use as an example a man named Bob. He’s a real person who has not been able to decide on his type in 13 years! Bob first took the MBTI in 1977 and came out ISFP, but he didn’t feel that the profile fit him entirely. Since then he’s taken it 12 times, each time coming out a different type, each time feeling the profile didn’t entirely fit him.

You may be wondering why he doesn’t just drop the search for his type if the theory doesn’t seem to be working for him. “I’ve tried,” he says, “but it’s like one of those birthday candles that won’t go out when you blow it. I put it aside but I keep coming back to it.”

Bob is looking to the MBTI to give him guidance in making a mid-life career change. He’s been a successful lawyer, but he hasn’t been happy as a lawyer. “I had to work so hard just to keep up that it wasn’t fun. I saw other lawyers around me going great guns and still enjoying themselves. I want to find a career where I can do the same. I feel that if I knew my true type, I could start laying out a plan consistent with that type.”

We talked to some of the MBTI experts who have had experience with people who have a hard time deciding on their type. We’re going to tell you what they recommend, and how it worked for Bob. In this issue we’ll look at what the experts recommend you do in a workshop setting to help people decide on their type, and how Bob reacted to these experiences. He is a good example of how frustrating, fascinating, and eventually satisfying it can be to help people find their true type.

Tell them it’s normal and give them some time.
For most of the people who are uncertain on one or more of the dimensions of the MBTI, time usually takes care of the problem. After they’ve had some time to absorb the definitions of the functions and observe their own behavior, their type usually becomes clear to them.

If you’re giving a workshop on type, it’s probably a good idea to tell people up front that they may not be able to decide their type in the course of your workshop. Tell them that initial uncertainty about your type is normal. You don’t want to cause them any stress because they don’t fit into the theory right away. Be as general, positive, neutral, and non-suggestive as you can be about this issue.

And you might mention that some people may never be certain about what type they are. Some people are just more distinctly a type than others. You can see this even in small children. Some have a clear sense of who they are when they’re very young, some don’t have a clear sense of who they are until 30 or 40, and some are never sure. The important thing is, for most of these untypical people, it’s not a problem. It’s no big deal.

Time and observing his own behavior did not help Bob decide on a type. In fact, the more time went by, the more uncertain he became. But Bob continued to pursue his type because of his own feeling that he had to know, not because poor training had made him feel that something was wrong with him.

Give them a variety of experiences in a workshop.
We talked to Janet Thuesen and Otto Kroeger, a team that has trained at least 10,000 people in type theory in the last 10 years and recently co-authored the book Type Talk (Delacorte, 1988). They said that a good way to help people decide what type they are is to offer them a variety of experiences in a workshop, especially the experience of being put into groups with others who are supposed to be the same type as they are, and seeing if they experience agreement and similarity.

In one of the first workshops on the MBTI that I attended, the trainers asked all the Introverts to get into a group and all the Extraverts to get into a group. In the group of Introverts we were asked to answer the questions:

What do you like about being an Introvert? What don’t you like about being an Introvert? What do you like about Extraverts? What don’t you like about Extraverts?

Then we reported back to the group on what we had talked about and heard the Extraverts answer the same questions. We did the same thing on all four of the dimensions. I remember how powerful an experience that was for me. I still remember a woman saying “When I hear Extraverts talking about what they’re going to do today, it makes me tired. I couldn’t possibly do all that in one day!” We all laughed and nodded our heads in agreement. That kind of clicking with other people strengthened my certainty that type worked, and that I was an Introvert.

I’ve also been present in several type-alike groups since then where it became clear that one of us did not belong in that group. It’s an excellent method for helping people get clarity on their type. But it didn’t work for Bob. He attended one workshop where people were asked to go into groups with their like types and answer questions such as “How are you in a team?” and “How are you as a leader?” It didn’t settle anything for him. “I went around and listened to different groups, and read the things they put up on the wall, but none of the groups rang out loud and clear to me,” he said.

Ask them to read several profiles and mark the parts they agree with.
Another thing Otto Kroeger recommends for people who can’t decide what type they are is that they do some homework. Their assignment is to read profiles on all the types that they might be, and mark the lines they agree strongly with, then add them up at the end. I did this with my husband when he was uncertain if he was an INTP or an ENTP. He had a terrible time deciding if he was an Extravert or an Introvert in the abstract, but he agreed with every line of the ENTP profile and not a single line of the INTP profile.

But Bob has been doing this kind of thing for 17 years. He has every book of profiles that has been published, and they’re all underlined and checked and X’d. However, none of the profiles really fits him completely, and over time.

Most of the profiles have some things that sound true for Bob, and some things that don’t. And on some days he feels like one type but the next day it might change. And sometimes it doesn’t even take a day. Before breakfast, he may be reading the profiles of the INFP and identifying with them, but later in the day, the ESFP and ISFP may sound better to him. For several days he may write in his journal about how he’s an SJ, but today write that he must be an SP because he feels so impulsive, playful, and physical.

Ask them to discuss it with people who know them.
The third thing Otto Kroeger suggests is that you ask people who know you well what they think. When I asked Bob to tell me the name of someone who knows him fairly well, and also knows type, he mentioned Katherine Myers, an INFP who has been familiar with type for most of her life.

Kathy Myers told me: “His endless searching for self, and his insistence that he know what is at the core of him before he can make any decisions, reminds me of an INFP. It’s a weakness of the INFP, in fact. Like other NFs, INFPs need to operate out of their core, to be true to themselves. But without the E or the J to pull them out into the world, INFPs can really get stuck trying to figure themselves out.”

“In more specific ways he also reminds me of an INFP. He’s very much in tune with other people, and responds to them so that they feel good about themselves. He speaks quietly, about things he’s enthusiastic about. He entertains beautifully, but he’s not a hail-fellow-well-met. He does it quietly and graciously. I’ve been trying to get him off this obsession with knowing what type he is. He feels he can’t move or decide on a career until he does. I tell him that he’s fortunate to be able to use each of the functions when it’s appropriate.”

I told Kathy Myers that I had two doubts about Bob being an INFP. One was that when he was young, he became a leader at just about every opportunity. He rattled off a dizzying list of leadership positions. He was president of his junior class in high school, and then of the whole student body in his senior year. A high school teacher told his parents he had never seen a better leader come through the system. In college, he was captain of his football team, president of his college fraternity, president of the leadership fraternity, and voted the best leader in his senior class. And all through his legal career, people were trying to persuade him to go into politics.

Why, I asked Kathy, would an Introvert place himself so often in front of, and in the middle of, groups? I could see an Introvert being the leader of a group if they all shared a passionate interest, but Bob seemed to be the leader of a variety of groups, with no particular shared interests.  “Introverts can often be leaders,” Kathy said. “I’m an Introvert and among other things I was the editor of the school paper, and voted most likely to succeed.”

And then I told her that in many hours of listening to Bob talk, I had never heard him make a large generalization, which Intuitives seem to need to do as much as they need to breathe. And when asked a question about his preferences, he referred to something he had done recently, instead of looking at his behavior over a lifetime and observing patterns. I’m usually hungry for specifics when I’m listening to Intuitives. When I’m listening to Bob, I’m hungry for a generalization.

Kathy said he seemed to be comfortable talking about the type theory, which was fairly abstract. She also said that she doubted an S would spend this much time trying to find out who they were. And I had to agree. If Bob was unlike any Intuitive I’d ever listened to, he was also unlike any Sensing type I’d ever listened to.

It’s hard for some people to put a type on themselves because on one or more of the dimensions, they really do have attributes from both sides. When you ask them to choose a type, you’re asking them to deny something about themselves that is important, but not typical.

To be continued…..

The TYPE Reporter, Excerpt from Vol. 5, No. 2, written by Susan Scanlon www.thetypereporter.com

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

 

 

 

Our Favorite Type Breakthroughs

Saturday, June 4th, 2016

The TYPE Reporter, Excerpt from No. 102, Part 4, by Susan Scanlon.

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

Naomi Quenk, INFP    

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

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

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

When I was a clinician in private practice,  I got a message on my answering machine from a man saying he would like to see me for the first time, and he would like an appointment at 11 o’clock next Thursday.  At first I took offense at his assumption that he could tell me when his appointment would be.  Then I thought, well, wait a minute, the chances are this guy is some kind of TJ who has spent quite a long time deciding if he would go into psychotherapy, and once he made his decision, he was anxious to get on with it.  That turned out to be the case, and I’m glad I had a chance to reflect because it prevented me from approaching this guy with a bias.

I sometimes hear people automatically assume that Js are doing things just to control people.  It irritates me, because that is rarely their purpose.  Js are just trying to do what they’re best at, which is to get the world organized and to get on with it.  Actually, when it comes to controlling people, I’ve seen some Ps do that really well.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One mother came in dragging her son and asked, “What have you got for an 8-year old who hates to read?” My daughter asked the boy what he was interested in. He said, “Airplanes.”  My daughter gave him a half dozen books on how airplanes work, the people who fly them, and their history. A week later, the mother came back and said,  “I don’t know what you did to him, but he read all those books and he wants more!”

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

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

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

 

How Does Type Influence Our Listening?

Friday, April 29th, 2016

In the last blog update, 16 people were asked the question, “Who is the best listener in your life?”, and 14 of them mentioned an Introvert.  Do Introverts really have a natural advantage over Extraverts when it comes to listening?

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

According to type theory, Introverts have two good reasons to listen more than talk.

First of all, they have a lower need to talk because they process their thoughts internally.  They may want to share their completed thoughts with others, but that usually requires less time than thinking through something out loud.

Second, when Introverts talk, they’re using their Auxiliary function, which is not what they’re best at, so they don’t get the positive response that Extraverts do. After awhile, they become less confident and more critical of themselves when they speak.  The role of listener becomes a better way for them to garner self-esteem.

Extraverts, on the other hand, have two good reasons to talk more than listen.  First, they need to process their thoughts out loud.  They often do their best thinking when they are talking, so they need to have several good listeners in their lives to allow them to reach clarity and understanding.

Second, Extraverts derive greater self-esteem from talking than Introverts. Because they are Extraverts, they are showing their dominant function to the world, which is what they’re best at, whether it’s practical knowledge, possibilities, logic or caring.  When they finish speaking, they usually get a better response from others, and more of a sense of accomplishment in their speech.  It’s hard to give that up and switch over into listening.

However, just because Introverts tend to do more listening, they don’t necessarily listen well.  Although they may be silent when someone else is speaking, they may actually have a strong internal dialogue going, and may be listening more to themselves than the speaker.

Let’s face it.  It’s an effort for all of us to be good listeners.  Extraverts have to manage their external voice, and Introverts have to manage their internal voice.

In trying to become a good human being though, nothing makes a bigger difference than developing the ability to listen well.  No matter what else we do for other people, if we listen attentively and sympathetically to what they are saying, and let them know that they have been heard and understood, that will mean the most to them.

 

 

Personality Type and Careers

Friday, February 12th, 2016

A thorough understanding of your personality type can be a tremendous guide that can help you to:

– Choose a new job or career

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

– Change your job or career

– Increase satisfaction with your present career

Your personality type can assist you in developing your career goals and establishing a process to reach those goals. When you use Side 1 of The PEOPLE Process Wheel to decide your four-letter type, you can study the Profile Sheet that is within the participant package for your type and gain a thorough understanding of your strengths – your unique gifts.

The more you understand about yourself, the better your decisions will be and the more effectively you will be able to implement those decisions. Your personality preferences can help you decide what you want to do, how to approach that field and get what you want.

To briefly review, personality type theory was developed by Dr. Carl Jung in the early 1900s. Dr. Jung sought to explain the normal differences between healthy people. Jung espoused that the differences in people’s behavior was a result from people’s inborn tendencies to use their minds in different ways. As people act on these tendencies, they develop patterns of behavior.

We have different energy levels, notice different aspects of the world around us, make decisions based on different criteria and structure our lives in different ways depending on what makes us most comfortable. These characteristics combine to create the whole personality. Dr. Jung identified four dimensions that make up our personality type – and these are part of our DNA – they are inborn traits.

The four dimensions are: Energy, Information, Decision, Action, and are used by us hundreds of times a day. Each dimension consists of two opposite poles. Picture each dimension as a continuum with a mid-point in the center. Each of us has a natural inborn preference (strength) for one side of the continuum or the other in each of the four dimensions.  We use both of the preferences throughout our day, however, our inborn strength/preference is our natural behavior.

Turn The PEOPLE Process Wheel to Side 2 and review how someone should treat you in the four windows that match your four letter type. This will give you insight into the types of work and surroundings that will be most fulfilling for you. For instance, if in the Energy behavior dimension you chose Introvert you will see that the way you prefer to be treated is:

  • Relate one-on-one
  • Value their need for privacy
  • Allow them time to change focus
  • Ask questions to draw them out
  • Do not pressure for an instant response

This tells you that you like to work alone and don’t need a lot of supervision. You’re great at putting things together behind the scenes.

However, if you chose Extravert in the Energy behavior dimension, you’ll find that you like to have a lot of interaction with others and you want them to:

  • Listen attentively
  • Be actively responsive
  • Be energetic & enthusiastic
  • Support their need to communicate
  • Recognize their need for social interaction

Extraverts like to be able to bounce ideas off of others and get immediate feedback. They would be very frustrated working all alone in a cubicle on a project by themselves.

In the Information behavior dimension, if you chose Sensing as your preference, you’ll find that you have skills in dealing with facts and details and when receiving information from someone you prefer that they:

  • Be orderly and organized
  • Show facts with evidence
  • Be direct and to the point
  • Draw on your experience
  • Be practical because you are

If you chose Intuition in the Information behavior dimension, you are terrific at coming up with creative solutions, marketing direction and out of the box  ideas and when receiving information you prefer they:

  • Give you an overview
  • Have a vision of the future
  • Appeal to your imagination
  • Encourage your need to explore
  • Allow for the expansion of ideas

When it comes to making a Decision, a Thinking person is logical, steps back and objectifies the decision, preferring to be treated this way:

  • Expect questions
  • Use logic
  • Be calm and reasonable
  • Be brief, concise, yet thorough
  • Present information for their analysis

A Feeling person personalizes decisions asking, How does this affect me and the people involved?   This person likes you to remember to:

  • Be honest and sincere
  • Be personal and friendly
  • Share with them your feelings
  • Encourage them to share their feelings
  • Allow them time to know and trust you

In the Action behavior dimension, the Judging person likes to control their environment and prefers that you:

  • Don’t disturb their order
  • Be prepared and deliberate
  • Value their time because they do
  • Finalize whenever & wherever possible
  • Take their deadlines seriously

And, the Perceiving person values spontaneity above all and prefers that you:

  • Be open to options & changes
  • Use variety in your approach
  • Let them set their own deadlines
  • Make use of their resourcefulness
  • Encourage possibility-thinking

Does this give you an idea of how to approach finding out your strengths and preferred way of being treated so that you can decide on the career that best suits you? Continue studying Side 2 of the Wheel, determining your strengths and preferred way of being treated by others. Once you have analyzed this information, identify the types of careers that include your preferences and strengths –  the way you like to be treated and are most comfortable.

On the flip side of the Profile Sheet that matches your four-letter type, are a few of the careers that are suited for your strengths. Take a look at these as they will give you a basis of thinking about and identifying other rewarding types of work.

Teamwork – A Team Needs A Good Mix Of Types

Sunday, January 31st, 2016
The PEOPLE Process Training Manual & Participant Package

The PEOPLE Process Training Manual & Participant Package

Excerpts from The TYPE Reporter, Issue No. 4
www.typereporter.com

by Tom Carskadon, INFP

Sometimes folk wisdom is right on, but sometimes it’s so contradictory that it’s no help at all. Do opposites attract, or do birds of a feather flock together?  This is an important question not just in friendship, love, and marriage, but also in team building.

A large body of research in psychology suggests that in general, we are most attracted to people who are fairly similar to us. Isabel Myers concluded that we tend to favor people similar in type to ourselves, more often marrying them, for instance; but that when it comes to team building, a well rounded mix of types is the most effective and desirable.

This idea has been part of type lore for decades; but is there actual research evidence to back it up? A few years ago Bruce Blaylock, a professor at Eastern Kentucky University, did a major study in which 17 four-person teams of students competed with each other over a month in a sophisticated and realistic simulated production exercise.

Some of the teams included a wide variety of types; other teams had all members with the same type or very similar types. All were objectively evaluated according to their total effectiveness. The teams composed of a broad range of types clearly and significantly outperformed the teams with little or no variety in types. Writing in Volume 6 of Research in Psychological Type, Dr. Blaylock notes that no particular type preference was predictive of success; instead, teams with a thorough mixture of types outperformed virtually any single-type or similar-type team.

This is one area where type theory and type research mesh very well. In forming teams, it may be tempting to choose people similar to ourselves  and this could be a special trap for feeling types who value harmony so highly – but even in tasks that seem made for a particular type, the best results are likely to come from a well rounded mix of types.

(At the time of writing this article, Tom Carskadon,INFP, was a professor of psychology at Mississippi State University and editor of the journal RESEARCH IN PSYCHOLOGICAL TYPE.)