Posts Tagged ‘team building’

What Do The Best Listeners Do? What Do The Worst Listeners Do?

Sunday, April 23rd, 2017

The best listeners send the message that you can take as long as you want to get your thoughts out.  They are listening, and will continue to listen until you are finished.

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“My girlfriend, Paula, an INFP, is the best listener I know,” says Pam, INTJ.

“She lets me go through the whole shebang without interrupting.”

“The best listener I know is an INFJ who became my mentor,” says, Dee, ENTP.  “When she listens, she doesn’t intervene a lot while you are telling your story.  She lets you get your narrative well said.”

“My INFP daughter is the best listener I know,” says Catherine, ENTJ. “She waits to hear the whole story, even though it’s often a complicated story with lots of layers.”

“My INFJ mother is one of the best listeners in my life,” says Dan, ESTP. “She takes the time to actually hear what I’m saying.  I solve problems best by talking about them, and I usually have to talk a lot before I get to a final thought.  It helps me when people take the time to really listen to everything that I have to say.”

“My father was an INFP and he was an excellent listener,” says Anna, ISFP.  “It’s important that someone give me a chance to speak, and he would sit patiently and let me get through the whole idea.  With some people, when I stop to take a breath, they take off on their own story.”

The worst listeners don’t give you their time.

The worst listeners send the message that if you can’t get your thoughts out quickly, you’re not going to get them out!  They interrupt or cut you off. You can sense their impatience and lack of interest.

“One member of an executive team, an ENTP, is one of the poorest listeners I know,” says Craig, ENFP.  “He’ll just voice right over you, and doesn’t even wait for you to breathe.  I’m trying to make a point and he’s already not paying any attention to it.”

“The worst listener in my life is my ESTJ friend,” says Chip, ESFP.  “She wants closure so quickly that she’ll finish my sentence for me.  I’ll go “Wait a minute, that isn’t what I was saying!”

“The worst listener in my life is my ENFJ colleague,” says John, ENTP.  “She gets impatient with how long it takes me to finish my thoughts, and she just cuts me off and takes the conversation over.”

The best listeners give you their attention.

The best listeners send the message that nothing else in the room, or in their life, is as interesting to them as what you are saying!  They look you in the eyes when you’re talking; they appear alert, attentive and focused.

“One of the best listeners in my life is my friend, an ENFJ,” says Carolyn, INFP.  “When she listens, she pays attention to you.  She’s not distracted or marking time.”

“The best listener in my life is my INTJ husband, and he can be remarkably focused,” says Marthanne, ENFJ. “When I’m telling him something that is very important to me, he’s right there; he’s not trying to do something else.”

“A friend of mine growing up was an ISTP,” says Craig, ENFP.  “He had a laser-like ability to listen.  When I was talking, he was there.  His mind wasn’t anywhere else.  He didn’t say affirming words, but his attention would affirm me.”

Two people who worked with Mary McCaulley, the co-founder of the Center for Applications of Psychological Type, said that she was the best listener they had ever known.  McCaulley, an INFP, passed away in 2003.

“When you talked to her, you felt like you were the only person on earth,” says Jamie, ISTJ.  “She wasn’t thinking about the next thing she had to do; her mind wasn’t elsewhere.”

“No matter who she was listening to, it could be a scientist who studied mangroves in the Florida Everglades, she looked like that was the most important topic in the world at the time,” says Anna, ISFP.  “When she listened, she was captivated.  She couldn’t wait to hear the next sentence from you and was truly interested in what you were saying.  With as much wisdom and knowledge as she had, she always looked like she might be learning something from you.”

The worst listeners don’t give you their attention.

While you are talking, the worst listeners send the message that they’re not really interested, and it’s a struggle for them to pay attention. You can hear that they’d much rather talk than listen.

“One of the worst listeners I know is an old girlfriend, an INFJ,” says Paul, ESFJ.  “Whenever I would tell her something about what I was doing, I’d feel like it was really boring to her, and I’d end up not liking what I was talking about.  Once she was really excited about her music, so I said, “Have you heard of this band?” She said, “No,” and went on talking about the music she liked.  I was completely shot down.”

“One of the worst listeners in my life is my friend, Justy, and I think he’s an INTP,” says Dan, ESTP.  “When I get done talking, he doesn’t say anything, or he’ll say,  “Yeah, OK, that’s interesting.”  It’s a flat response as opposed to a two-way conversation.  I get the impression that he would rather talk about something else.”

“Some of the people in our organization seem to have a hard time hearing me in meetings,” says Jamie, ISTJ.  “Their new ideas are flying so fast that the points I’m trying to make come out sounding irrelevant or they’re just not computed.  I don’t have a lot of grand ideas, but I do have input that might definitely matter if it could be heard.”

“I might tell my friend that I just got back from Las Vegas, and right away, she’ll tell me that when she went, she lost all her money and had a really horrible time,” says Patty, ESTJ.  “She doesn’t seem interested at all in hearing about my trip.”

“One of the worst listeners in my life is my ENFP friend,” says Janet, INFJ.   “She just talks non-stop, and then, when she realizes that she’s talked too much, she asks me some questions about myself.  But I can hear that it’s an effort for her, and she’s not really interested in what I say.”

“The worst listener in my life is my Extraverted friend,” says Susan, ISFJ. “She calls up and starts out by asking me how things are going in my life, but she quickly gets diverted to all her issues, and never asks me anything else about me.  She might talk for a half hour, but then, when I start to talk, she’ll suddenly have to get off the phone.”

 

The Gift Of Listening

Saturday, April 15th, 2017

Once, I made two lists.  On the first list, I put the names of the people in my life that I had largely positive feelings about.  On the second, I put the names of the people that I had reservations about, the relationships that I might label problematic.  We called each other friends, but after I’d been with them, I didn’t feel enriched.

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When I looked at the difference between the two lists, one thing stood out.  The people on the first list were good

listeners, and the people on the second were not. The people on the first list always made me feel like a connection had been made between us, but the people on the second made me feel like a connection had been faked.  The people on the first list made me feel like I was accompanied on this journey of life, the people on the second made me feel like I was alone.

That’s when I realized how important it is to be a good listener to other people.  It’s not just a nice thing to do, or good manners.  Good listening has an existential importance.  It’s the only thing that helps us relieve the loneliness of the human condition.

For something that is so important, it’s amazing how little it’s talked about. It’s rarely taught in our families, schools, workplaces or churches.  There isn’t even a cultural cliche about good listening, like:   A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

Most people who have become good listeners learned it in some kind of self-help or psychological setting, and they were usually surprised to learn its importance.  It hasn’t spread to the overall culture.

It’s not even a skill of certain personality types.  Some people may appear to be good listeners because their type makes them less talkative or less opinionated or more sensitive to others, but they will admit that if you listen in on their thoughts, they are often not fully tuned into the other person.  To be genuinely paying attention to another person is a learned skill, and one that takes constant practice.  It’s not something we’re born with.

This is the first in a series.  In the following blog updates, we asked people of all the types,  Who are the best and worst listeners in your life, and why? From that we gleaned some good, practical dos and don’ts on listening.  In the next blog update, we’re going to look at how our type influences our listening.

You’ll probably find a lot of the people you know in these pages, including the person you thought you knew the best, yourself. However, if you decide to begin asking yourself the question:  Am I really listening?  you’ll find that you didn’t really know yourself, or anyone else, before that.

(By Susan Scanlon, The TYPE Reporter, Issue Number 97)

 

How Do You Take Action? – Judging or Perceiving?

Sunday, April 2nd, 2017

 

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The fourth and final dimension of behavior in psychological type theory is how we prefer to take action.  Judging types      represent approximately 60% and Perceiving types about 40% of the U.S. population.

Judging and Perceiving represent the two very different ways that people like to organize their world and live their lives.  In this context, the term Judging does not mean a person that is judgmental and the term Perceiving does not mean a person that is perceptive.  These are the terms assigned to this dimension of behavior.

Perceiving refers to one’s innate drive to keep things open, to keep gathering information and Judging refers to a desire to come to conclusion and make a decision. People with a Judging preference feel tension until an issue is decided and people with a Perceiving preference feel tension if pushed to make a decision too quickly.  The more important the decision is, the stronger     the need to resolve the issue quickly for a person with Judging preference.

Judging and Perceiving have a lot to do with the way we like to run our everyday lives and the greatest potential for conflict exists between couples with this dimension. This is the only dimension that is different between me and my husband. Roy, INTP, and Me, INTJ.  We experienced a lot of confusion, tension and conflict around this fourth dimension of taking action. We had been married just a few years when we were re-introduced to psychological type and were immediately riveted by the explanation in type theory of why we were experiencing this tension. We could be discussing something and I’d head for the phone to take action. This completely unnerved him because of his need to investigate further, look for more information and check things out.

Another part of the differences in this dimension is Judging people want their living area organized and feel distracted living amid clutter, while Perceiving people tend to have a more casual attitude and often leave projects unfinished. My INTP partner liked to file papers in stacks on the office floor and I preferred to file paperwork feeling everything should be put in its place. Once we found out about our preference for Judging and Perceiving in this Action dimension, we understood what was causing the tension and were able to “stretch ourselves” so that we could include each other’s “comfort zone” in our expectations.

Judgers are planners and like to be prepared. They expect a set plan to be followed and often have difficulty shifting gears when the plan unexpectedly changes. By contrast, Perceivers are hesitant to commit themselves for fear that if they do, they may miss some great opportunity that will come along later. Perceivers act spontaneously and are flexible in adjusting to changes.

In the area of handling responsibilities, Judging people like to complete projects ahead of a deadline and it’s very hard for Judgers to relax and enjoy themselves when they haven’t finished something. Perceivers are just the opposite, preferring to relax and take advantage of some unexpected opportunity because there’s always more time.

Because Judgers have such a need for closure, they tend to make a lot of declarative statements and state their strong opinions freely. Perceivers ask a lot of questions and are more inquisitive. This can be a source of irritation between couples and business associates. Perceivers often feel that Judgers shut down discussions too quickly, and oversimplify. Judgers sometimes find the endless questions from Perceivers to be redundant and annoying.

Judgers are more comfortable with the notion of rules and place high importance on following them, while Perceivers view rules as unwanted restrictions on their freedom and their ability to be spontaneous. Judgers are more comfortable with authority while Perceivers are more naturally inclined to rebel against or question authority.

When you factor in knowledge of personality type into how you take action, it becomes clear that all of us need each other for the wealth of valuable contributions we offer in our business endeavors, family relationships and friendships. In fact, our differences just make us that much more valuable for the point of view and experience we are able to provide one another.

There are four behavior dimensions in personality type: how our Energy is focused, how we gather Information, how we make Decisions, and how we take ActionAction is the fourth dimension and all four are equally important. Having knowledge and understanding of our preferences in each of the four dimensions and of our associates and loved ones can profoundly affect the quality of our life and relationships.

 

 

What’s It Like To Be A Feeling Man?

Saturday, March 25th, 2017

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You feel most “different” in times of conflict.      

Men got into their roles because of their bodies. In primitive times, if you had superior size and strength and weren’t tending the children, it was natural that you went out and hunted animals for food and fought off the enemy. In other words, you did the fighting and the killing.

Today, men are still expected to hunt, although now it’s more for money and power.  And they’re still expected to fight and kill, even if it’s just the competition!

But when it comes to hurting people or taking money and power from them, F men don’t feel cut out for the job. All of the F men interviewed for this issue said it’s their unwillingness to hurt people that separate them most from other males. They first noticed it when they were boys, when they were called upon to be physically aggressive.

“I found playground fights to be very distasteful” says David, INFJ, “and it was traumatic when I got into a fight.” “I avoided fights,” says David, ESFP, “I just wouldn’t rise to the bait and I’d walk away. It didn’t bother me to be called ‘chicken’.”

Did the Feeling boys try to stop the fights they saw? Not usually. Fs in situations of conflict tend to freeze up. They are often so shocked by what is happening that they can’t react. Also, they don’t want to do anything to get the conflict directed toward them. When F boys were able to stop their friends from hurting people, it was because they were able to give them a good reason not to do so. But Feeling boys do get into fights. Usually it’s because their feelings have been badly hurt, or they’ve seen someone else being hurt. In other words, their fighting is more defensive than offensive.

F boys become F men but they never lose their distaste for conflict.  At the same time, they never lose their desire to defend the underdog, so they find themselves in conflict much more than they’d like. It’s their lifelong quest to find ways to successfully ‘fight’ for what they believe in, when they don’t believe in fighting.

You learn to hide your feelings around boys.
F men said they got into trouble for expressing their feelings around boys, and being Fs, they wanted to be accepted, so they chose, at very young ages, to hide those feelings. “In friendships with boys, I often did not express my feelings,” says Dan, ENFP. “I got along because I knew how to get along.”

Acceptance is important to Fs, and sometimes that means doing what others are doing when your heart is not really in it. “I kept it a secret that I was sensitive,” says Christopher, ISFJ.

Although F boys may not be admired by other boys for their Feeling talk, they can be admired by boys for their Feeling ways. “I was a leader among the boys because my F extended to them,” says Roger, ISFJ. “I was accommodating, agreeable, and easy to get along with.”

But you learn you can take your feelings to girls and women.
Feeling boys learn they can’t talk like an F in the company of most other boys, but they also learn that they can open up with most females. It begins with their mothers. “I was always close to my mother. We related well and could talk about things,” says Tom, ENFJ.

F boys soon realize that when they’re in the company of girls or women, the conversation often sounds interesting and pleasant to them. However, being around girls and women is accepted only in small doses when you’re a young boy. “I had no problem with girls, I understood them,” says Bob, ESFJ. “But I knew that boys weren’t supposed to have girls as friends, so I didn’t hang around them too much.”

Later on, in adolescence, Feeling boys become more conscious of their Feeling side, and really want to share it with someone. And once they’re teenagers, it’s OK to be around girls. And, it seems that from adolescence on, Feeling men have more female friends than male friends.

One of the pleasant surprises in life for Feeling men is that, because it’s unusual for a man to care about feelings, to be romantic, tender-hearted and thoughtful, it carries more weight than it does for Feeling women.

Your F can make you a great family man.
Fs derive the bulk of their self-esteem from their relationships, and their most important relationships are usually with their families. So as much as they may love their careers, they’ll still need more time with their families than most Ts do.

“I wouldn’t consider taking a job that didn’t allow me to be with my family,” says Tom, ENFJ. “They need my presence more than wealth.” “My home and my family are central to me, much more than my work,” says David, ESFP. I’m motivated to work only to provide for my family.”

And even when they’re on the job, F men can make their work atmosphere feel like a family. “I lead by getting to know my soldiers inside and out,” says John, ESFJ.

But your F can get in the way of being a good provider.
F men lack the “killer instinct” and they find out that it’s hard to make a lot of money without it. If they work in professions dominated by Fs, they’re usually underpaid because Fs, unless they are well disciplined, are not motivated to put high financial value on their work, to strategize ways to best the competition, to put the needs of the business over the needs of the people, or to make decisions based on objective data, like the bottom line.

“Usually, when people go to negotiate agreements, they think, “What’s the least I can concede?” says Tom, INFP. “I’m thinking, “What’s the most generous I can be?” If they go into a T environment, they may be able to get by, but it’s unlikely they’ll earn high-income positions. Like all Fs, they struggle to find careers that are in line with their values, and that usually means less and less money.

Tom probably speaks for most F men when he sums up his attitude about money and power, and his ability as a provider: “It’s not easy to make money when the kinds of things you want to spend time on are not rewarded financially. I think I’ll always be able to provide the basics for my family. I know what I need to do to be comfortable, but I don’t think I’ll ever be in a position of power because people in power have to make choices which I wouldn’t make.”

So no matter what career you choose, you learn that you need some T skills.
“I work in the federal government – a very T environment,” says Dexter, INFJ, “so I’ve had to build up my T muscle. I’ve learned that Ts take your words more seriously. They analyze what you say, word by word, and dissect it to an accurate state, so I’ve had to be careful about my imprecise and insufficiently analytical speech. I’ve learned that I can’t work on something till it feels right to me, and then take it into my boss. He’s just not interested in what I feel; he can’t even get started on it. I have to have collected the facts to support it. I check around a lot, and call different offices. I analyze things through, ask myself what I’m missing, anticipate other people’s criticisms, and get all the possible objections.”

“I’ve noticed that on matters of judging and disciplining people, which we have to do in the military, the Ts try to make rules where everyone is treated the same,” says John, ESFJ. “The Fs, on the other hand, don’t think that any two cases are exactly alike, and look at all the extenuating circumstances in the person’s life. I’ve learned that you have to find a happy medium between the two. I’ve developed a sixth sense about what decision I can make, and still function in both worlds.”

Besides developing T skills to survive in a T-dominated world, some men are finding that it’s also useful to make Ts aware that Feeling input is essential to successful decision-making.

“I used to go into my managers and explain a solution to a problem and they’d say, “Where are your facts?” says Bill, INFP. “I’d say, “I don’t need facts, trust me, I know I’m right.” Well, they never did, of course. Last year we were all given training in the MBTI and since then they’ve begun coming to me and asking me for advice. I’ve become the link between management and employees. I’ve gone from being a “bad fit” to a real asset to the company.”

The TYPE Reporter, Vol. 4, No. 6 & 7 written by Susan Scanlon
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How We Make Decisions – Thinking or Feeling

Saturday, March 4th, 2017

                  T————X————F                                                             

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The third dimension of behavior in psychological type theory is how we prefer to make decisions – thinking or Feeling.

Each behavior is on a continuum with a preference for one or the other, the degree of which falling somewhere along the continuum.

A person could be a strong Thinker or Feeler, meaning they would fall completely to the far left or right of the continuum. The research says that we are, however, one or the other, not both. Even though we use both preferences throughout our day in the Decision dimension, we don’t use each preference with equal ease. Our inborn preference is our natural strength and according to research we are born with a preference for one behavior over the other  and this is part of our DNA.

In the American population, 50% are Thinkers and 50% are Feelers. Of the Thinkers, 65% are men, and of the Feelers, 65% are women.

Thinking and Feeling describe the two ways people make decisions, or come to conclusions. Thinking and Feeling both describe rational decision-making processes. It’s not that Thinkers have no feelings, or that Feelers are incapable of logic, it’s just that they use very different criteria to make their decisions.

Thinkers make decisions more objectively, weighing the pros and cons. For Thinkers, logic rules. When making a decision, Thinkers take a step back and analyze the situation, logically and impersonally, asking, “Does this make sense? What are the pros and cons? What are the ramifications of the decision?” Thinkers objectify the decision.

Feelers make decisions based on how they feel about the issue and how others will be affected by it. Feelers inject themselves into the situation asking, “How do I feel about this? How will it affect me and others? Is this the right thing to do? What are my personal values telling me to do?” Feelers personalize the situation.

Personal feelings and values are important to Feeling types and often they will go to great lengths to remain true to their beliefs. Thinkers are logical and analytical while Feelers are sensitive and empathetic.

It’s no surprise that preferences for Thinking or Feeling influence career choices. The helping professions attract large numbers of Feelers because this gives them an opportunity to fulfill one of their greatest needs, helping people. Feelers have a drive to understand others and receive satisfaction from assisting others in whatever way they can. Business and management attracts a lot of Thinkers because when it comes to being able to make a decision that is based on the bottom line and consider what’s best for the overall company, they can more easily make the decision and take action. Thinkers can step back from the decision, analyze it logically and come to conclusion based on what is best for the company.  A Feeler usually steps forward, putting himself in the shoes of the individuals being affected within that company, and are strongly influenced by their own personal beliefs and values in making the decision.

Thinkers are often attracted to careers dealing with manufacturing, research and development. Thinkers are most satisfied with jobs where there is a minimum of employee caretaking and like working with other people that are as competent as they are. Thinkers place more emphasis on being truthful, even when it hurts feelings, than being tactful.

Feelers are naturally more attentive and concerned with other people because they have a strong need to be liked. This can be seen as being helpful and friendly and in practically every organization across the country, you can find the nurturer, the person whom coworkers go for emotional support and comfort. Whether appreciated by the company or not, these people provide a valuable service.

On teams, Thinkers are great at being able to size up a situation and put the necessary steps in place to accomplish the goal but it’s the Feelers that create the connection with others that allows the team members to function together, and get the job done – because of feeling that their contribution to the team matters.

It’s very valuable for Thinkers and Feelers to work together. My preference for making Decisions is Thinking and I am often considered abrupt by others because of my ability to impersonalize an issue and consider the logical and possible consequences. My Feeling abilities are not well developed. I care greatly for people and desire to be of service and assistance to them, but I don’t come across that way. So, I rely on the Feeling people in my life to provide input for me when I’m weighing a decision that affects other people – and practically every decision we make does affect others.

On the other hand, a dear friend of mine has a preference for making Decisions as a Feeler and calls on the phone to discuss situations in her life because of my ability to impersonalize and assist her in thinking of things she hadn’t considered because of her strong desire to connect with people and assist them at a personal level.

Probably one of the greatest contributions of type in my life has been with the friendship of my dear friend “Paula”. Paula has a preference for Feeling and as I’ve already discussed, my preference in making Decisions is for Thinking. Paula tells me that once I introduced her to personality type and explained my type preferences, she was able to quit projecting her expectations of my behavior based on her own process. This knowledge has done wonders for our relationship.

When you factor in knowledge of personality type into your Decision making, it becomes clear that all of us need each other for the wealth of valuable contributions we offer in our business endeavors, family relationships and friendships. In fact, our differences just make us that much more valuable for the point of view and experience we are able to provide one another.

There are four behavior dimensions in personality type: how our Energy is focused, how we gather Information, how we make Decisions, and how we take Action. Decision is the third dimension and all four are equally important. Having knowledge and understanding of our preferences in each of the four dimensions of our associates and loved ones can profoundly affect the quality of our life and relationships.

                                               

                                                                                                          

             

 

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

Saturday, February 25th, 2017

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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!

Sensor or Intuitive – S/N – S——x——N

Saturday, February 18th, 2017

The second dimension of behavior in psychological type theory is how we prefer to take in Information

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as a Sensor or an iNtuitive.   Since the letter I is used for Introvert, the letter N is used to represent iNtuition.

Each behavior is on a continuum with a preference for one or the other, the degree of which falling somewhere along the continuum. A person could be a “strong” Sensor or Intuitive, meaning they would fall completely to the far left or right of the continuum, or a person could be more towards the middle, closer towards the fulcrum on the continuum. The research says that we are, however, one or the other, not both. Even though we use both preferences throughout our day in the Information dimension, we don’t use each preference with equal ease.

Our inborn preference is our natural strength.  Sensors take in information through their five senses – what they see, hear, touch, taste, or smell. Intuitives take in information through a “sixth sense” – not on what is, but what could be. Sensors prefer facts to support their decisions and live in the “here and now.”  Intuitives take in information by seeing the big picture, focusing on the relationships and connections between facts. They are especially attuned to seeing new possibilities. Sensors tend to think in a linear fashion, one thought following the next, and Intuitives frequently engage in leaps of thinking. Sensors are more down-to-earth and Intuitives are imaginative and creative. Sensors often demonstrate their creativity by finding a new application for something that has already been invented. This is because a Sensor tends to rely on his own or someone he trusts experience.

Sensors are terrific at being able to focus on the details. An example would be an airline pilot. There are a myriad of dials and information to keep track of in the cockpit of an Boeing 737, not to mention the actual landing and taking off ability. And, when it comes to an emergency, Sensors respond with the training they have experienced and solve the immediate problem. Sensors, with their natural abilities to focus on facts and the “here and now” make excellent pilots.

Intuitives are terrific at creating marketing direction because of their ability to look at patterns of information and determine a trend. In 1992, a book titled, “The Popcorn Report”, authored by Faith Popcorn predicted the rise of “Cocooning” (the stay-at-home syndrome), and the phenomenon of “Cashing Out,” where men and women leave the corporate rate race. Faith also foresaw the demand for fresh foods, home delivery, and four-wheel drives, among many other predictions. Faith is an example of an Intuitive at work on a grand scale. With her unusual name and outspoken style, Faith Popcorn has become one of America’s most controversial and quoted market researchers. Her BrainReserve company has served a long list of major clients, including IBM, McDonald’s, American Express, Eastman Kodak, Coca-Cola, Chevrolet, Campbell Soup and so forth.

The gathering of Information dimension represents the greatest potential for differences between people, since it applies to our worldview. For instance, I am an Intuitive and a couple of years ago did some marketing for a civil engineering company. Most civil engineers prefer Sensing to take in information and when giving information relate it in terms of specific facts, numerical order and systemization. When the engineers I worked with gave me information for a project, my brain literally froze and I couldn’t think until I translated the information through my Intuitive frame of reference. I needed to know what we were trying to achieve and the purpose of the project. Once that was clear, I was able to understand what to do with the facts and what information the engineers needed from me. And, I’m sure that when I presented Information to the group of engineers I was working with, my tendency to describe the big picture without the facts leading up was just as confusing to them. Sensors see the individual trees and Intuitives see the forest. Sensors spend a lot of time describing detail and Intuitives can become impatient with this detail preferring the ‘bottom line’ approach to giving and receiving Information.

When Sensors and Intuitives recognize what each other needs in the Information cycle, they can be powerful allies. As members of a team, they can work together on projects creating both the long-term plan and handling the details with ease. When we work in a field that allows us to use our ‘natural strengths’ we can be stress-free. Intuitives are the creators of a new approach, and Sensors are the people who make the idea work.

Team composition of personality types is important and in general, diversity and balance in team member personality types is needed to produce successful team performance. A Sensing team leader may be more effective in keeping the team on task. Intra-team communication will be more natural for the Sensor than the Intuitive. Sensing types perceive the facts and can easily organize their thoughts for communication to the other team members. Intuitives are terrific at creating solutions to problems. The Intuitive’s natural ability at coming up with creative possibilities, future planning and marketing direction is a great strength for a team.

Entrepreneurs would benefit from understanding personality type and in particular the Information cycle. Entrepreneurs tend to be Intuitives and it’s very easy for them to see the positive end results of the company they are creating without establishing the necessary steps of getting there successfully. (Where are the sales, orders and the money?)

When you factor in a knowledge of personality type into your thinking and planning, it becomes clear that all of us need each other for the wealth of valuable contributions we offer in our business endeavors, family relationships and friendships. In fact, our differences just make us that much more valuable for the information, point of view, and experience we are able to provide one another.

There are four behavior dimensions in personality type: how our Energy is focused, how we gather Information, how we make Decisions, and how we take Action. Information is the second dimension and all four are equally important. Having knowledge and understanding of our preferences in each of the four dimensions of our associates and loved ones can profoundly affect the quality of our life and relationships.

Sensors represent approximately 65% and Intuitives about 35% of the American population.

 

How We Get & Direct Our Energy – E/I – Extravert or Introvert

Saturday, January 21st, 2017

E——————–x——————–I

The PEOPLE Process Type Wheel

 

The first dimension of behavior in psychological type theory is how our Energy is gathered.

Each behavior is on a continuum with a preference for one or the other, the degree of which falling somewhere along the continuum. A person could be a strong Extravert meaning he’d fall completely to the left of the continuum or a person could be more towards the middle, meaning closer towards the fulcrum on the continuum. We are, however, one or the other not both. Even though we use both preferences throughout our day, we don’t use each preference with equal ease. Our inborn preference is our natural strength.

Extraverts are energized from the outside world of people, places and things and Introverts are energized by their internal world of ideas, emotions and impressions. Extraverts are energized by being around people and Introverts are drained by being around groups of people too much and need time alone to recharge. Extraverts often feel they are the one to initiate contact while Introverts seem to hold back from initiating contact.

This preference is not gender based –  in other words there is no difference in the percentage of men and women who are Extraverts or Introverts. It is the preference for one or the other that influences behavior, not the gender.

Extraverts often tackle many projects at once and in their work style prefer an open door policy and are seen out walking around the office. Introverts discourage interruptions, prefer to work alone and like to immerse themselves in a project. Extraverts are action oriented taking on many different tasks at a time and Introverts prefer to work at a steadier pace, thinking through how they will do the job before they begin.

Extraverts like to think out loud and really need to talk something through in order to understand it, while Introverts prefer to carefully think things through and even mull them over. This doesn’t mean that Introverts are shy. To the contrary, their process is internal and observational.

All of this information seems very straightforward and helpful and so we may ask ourselves, So what?  Why are you spending time talking about this in an article? I’ve observed a lot of friction and stress between people in business and personal relationships that can be easily solved with an understanding and use of psychological type theory.

For instance, regarding a couple I know that is on the verge of divorce (he is an Introvert and she is an Extravert), a lot of their communication problems could be solved by an understanding and application of personality type theory.

The husband (whom I’ll call Art) is an Introvert. Art is in business for himself and works alone out of the home. His business is successful requiring intense concentration and focus as well as accuracy for large amounts of data. Art cares deeply about people and tends to keep these opinions to himself. Art is a very private person.

The wife (Mary) is an Extravert and a stay at home mom who is very active in her children’s life and their religion. Mary tends to take on a lot of projects at once and likes to provide service for lots of people, taking her from the home a lot. When Mary is involved in a project the whole family and house is involved, including the dog. If someone calls that needs assistance, Mary jumps in the car and is off to provide. Mary is happiest surrounded by lots of people and serves as the Activities Director for their Church requiring being a hostess for functions of up to 350+ people at a time.

Art feels unappreciated by Mary and Mary thinks Art is too harsh because he seems to get stressed out and lose his temper easily. How could an understanding of the behavior dimension of how our Energy is gathered assist Mary and Art in having a better relationship and eliminate a lot of the tension in their relationship?

For one thing, just knowing that there is a difference between how each of them gathers their energy and what that means will be amazingly freeing in how they interact. The common way people interact is to project their way of behaving onto others. We look through our lens of behavior and expectation at others and expect and/or judge them if they don’t behave likewise.

If Art was informed about Extraverts and how they are energized outside of themselves, he would know that Mary requires interaction with others in order to relate to the world. He would understand that if Mary spends too much time alone, she can get depressed. And, if Mary was informed about Introverts, she would understand that Art requires time alone to plan his day, work his plan and think about his work. Mary would know that Art finds it tiring and draining to constantly be around and interacting with a group of people. He likes to plan and schedule the time he spends socially. Mary would understand that if Art is pushed into too much Extraverting, he is likely to become stressed-out and lose his patience/temper.

I’m an Introvert and didn’t find this out until I was in my early 40’s. As I learned more about my preference for being energized as an Introvert, I began to manage my activities making sure that I had time alone for reflection and thinking things through. I suffered from tension headaches all of my life that always lasted two to three days at a time – every week. When I became educated about type, I realized that all of the Extraverting I was doing, because I thought that was what you were supposed to do in life, created physical stress and was the reason I was getting these crippling headaches. In fact, once I planned my interaction with people better, the headaches stopped. I haven’t had such a headache now in over a decade. And, my health is excellent in large part, because of being able to manage my activities through the knowledge of how I gather Energy and making sure that I don’t overextend myself through my interaction with other people.

There are four behavior dimensions in personality type: how our Energy is focused, how we gather Information, how we make Decisions, and how we take Action. Energy is the first dimension and all four are equally important. Having knowledge and understanding of our preferences and the preferences in each of the four dimensions of our loved ones and associates can profoundly affect the quality of our life and relationships.

The percentage of Extraverts is 50% and the percentage of Introverts is 50% in the United States.

 

 

 

How To Measure The Mix – Teambuilding 101

Saturday, December 31st, 2016

Excerpts from The TYPE Reporter, Issue No. 4.  The TYPE Reporter is a newsletter about your personality type, and how it influences you in all the stages of life.  You can subscribe on the website or by contacting Susan Scanlon, INFJ, Editor, 703-764-5370.

The PEOPLE Process Training Manual & Participant Package

HOW TO MEASURE THE MIX – By Susan Scanlon    

I decided to do an issue on team building because I’d heard that term used often among the people who take the MBTI into the workplace. There’s no doubt about it, teamwork is a popular subject in organization development circles. But teamwork was not an idea that excited me at first. In my fantasies, the individual does great things, not the group. I used to cheer on the heroes in the novels of Ayn Rand, who triumphed against that symbol of mediocrity – the committee.

In the few experiences I’ve had working with groups, the argument and discussion went on and on, very little got done, and I was so busy agreeing or disagreeing with others that there was no chance for me to listen to what my own best thoughts were. I’m an American and an Introvert, so it wasn’t going to be easy to convince me that I could produce a better product if I had a wide mix of people messing around with it first. But I’ve listened now to many team members and team consultants and I realize that they’re talking about a different kind of team than Ayn Rand’s or the groups I’ve worked with. They’re talking about a team that can enhance the effectiveness of the individual, that really does improve the final product, and is absolutely essential for success in this very complex and competitive world.

They never played down the difficulty of creating a team that is diverse yet able to work together well, but they made teamwork sound just as dramatic as tales of individual heroism, and worth the work. From dozens of interviews, my team and I selected six team stories. These stories illustrated some of the more common problems a team might have, and how the MBTI can help. We looked for messages in these stories, and from the messages we came up with six questions you might ask yourself about your own team.

                 The Mix —  How To Make It Work

1. Does your team have a good mix of types? Fill in a type table with the types of our team members. Are all the eight preferences represented? Do you have at least one member who is an ST, SF, NT and NF?

2. If your team does not have a good mix of types, who’s missing? Don’t stop at saying you’re missing an ST. Make a list of all the kinds of input an ST might bring to your team. List the information that is not available to the team.

3. If your team does not have a good mix of types, what can you do to compensate for it? You can hire people in, you can seek outside opinions, or you can invent a team member and think for him. Would an N be able to see the big picture in all of this? Would an S be able to see a practical use for it? What else would a P want to talk about before we make a decision?

4. Does your team have a positive attitude toward differences? Very often, just the new perspective of the type theory is enough to smooth out a team’s problems considerably.

5. Does everyone on your team contribute their preferences? Are all the Intuitives really sharing their Intuitive perceptions? Do the S’s feel free to express their doubts that something will work, or are they afraid of being called a stick in the mud?  If our team isn’t benefiting from all the viewpoints represented, they need to work on creating an atmosphere of trust and acceptance. Or they can try to deliberately draw out people’s preferences. (“I need to run this by you for your Sensing” – says the manager.)

6. Is your team leader open to the contribution of all the members? The team leader can have an enormous influence on whose opinion gets heard and whose opinion gets acted on. It’s important that the team have an impartial leader, or even better, one who knows the positive potential of each member and can draw the group’s attention to that.

 

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.)