Anyone who has ever been part of a close-knit, work team understands the benefit of both culture and cohesion. Your team relies on you, just as you rely on them. This means that the higher level each individual performs at, the higher level the team will perform at as a whole. How do you strengthen a team that has already been put into place? I recommend taking the time to learn about each individual on the team, and I don’t just mean their strengths and weaknesses…
Take The Time To Get To Know Their Personality
Just as each individual on a work team brings their own set of strengths, they also bring a unique point of view and personality. In fact, the Myers Briggs Type Indicator recognizes 16 different personality types that people fall into. These types are determined based on how an individual views and interacts with the world around them. Knowing this information can completely alter the way you interact with your co-workers, as well as how they respond. Myers Briggs is an outstanding tool for getting to know your co-workers and how to interact with them in a way that will benefit you both.
E vs. I – Uncover How Co-Workers Prefer Interact With The World
Some people may wonder why this information matters, especially in a structured work environment. The truth is, you can generate an incredibly different reaction from someone, depending on how you deliver them information. There are two different types of preferred ways people can interact with the world around them, Introversion (I) and Extroversion (E). People who prefer Extroversion tend to concentrate their attention on the outer world of people and things. On the other hand, people who prefer Introversion tend to focus their attention on the inner world of impressions and ideas. This determines how a co-worker may prefer to receive information. For example, if a co-worker is an Introvert, they would ordinarily prefer to receive information for a meeting prior to the meeting itself. This is because they formulate their thoughts before sharing. An Extrovert is less likely to prefer this style, as they often articulate their ideas through speaking.
In 2014 I did an in-house Myers Briggs session with a dental office. This company was determined that cultivating a great culture was critical to their overall success. They felt they had done everything they could to develop the culture they desired, but something was holding them back. They generally understood that each individual had a different personality, however, they didn’t understand the importance of learning the differences between them. During a routine exercise, the group was separated between Introverts and Extroverts. I had each individual in the group explain why they thought their MBTI assessment sorted them by that preference. One of the dental hygienists was shocked to discover the doctor she worked with most wasn’t the preference she had assumed. Apparently, she had begun to believe this doctor disliked her due to the silence that often occurred before his responses to her. It turns out he was just an Introvert sorting his thoughts before he spoke. Communication is key in business, particularly when it comes to co-workers!
N vs. S – Recognize What Details Matter To Your Co-Workers The Most
Similar to Introversion and Extroversion, another dichotomy that Myers Briggs looks into is Intuition (N) versus Sensing (S). This dichotomy determines how an individual prefers to take in information. People who prefer Intuition tend to concentrate on the big picture, as well as patterns and meanings. They are also abstract and imaginative, often using metaphors and analogies. They tend to follow hunches, move quickly to conclusions and trust the insight of others. Those who prefer Sensing tend to focus more on concrete facts. They are careful and thorough when it comes to making conclusions. They are very literal and love specifics, as their trust is based off of experience. Knowing which a co-worker prefers can help you ensure that you give them the information they need in order to make a decision they are comfortable with. Take the time to learn which your co-worker prefer and make communication more productive! In the MBTI In Business class, I even teach hand gestures that can give this dichotomy away.
T vs. F – Learn How Your Co-Workers Make Decisions
Everyone makes decisions differently, particularly important ones. Myers Briggs explains how with the Thinking (T) versus Feeling (F) dichotomy. People who prefer Thinking make their decisions based off of impersonal, objective logic. They take a step back, analyze the situation, then they balance out the cause-and-effect. The results are most always a logic-based decision. Those who prefer Thinking strive for an objective standard of truth, they aim for everyone to be treated equally. Those who prefer Feeling (F) usually make their decisions based off of personal priorities and relationships. They are able to identify with those involved through empathy, looks toward group values as a guide, and then evaluate the impact of the decision on each individual person. Those who prefer Feeling strive for harmony and positive interactions, aiming for everyone to be treated as an individual. The Myers Briggs Type Instrument recognizes both of these decision making processes as rational. Everyone uses both of them, however, preference shows which process occurs with more ease.
P vs. J – Discover Which Attitude Your Co-Worker Has Toward The External World
The dichotomy between Judging (J) and Perceiving (P) describes how a person prefers to approach life. Those who prefer Judging tend to be more organized, systematic, methodical and always enjoy having a plan. They like having things decided and do not like reopening decisions. They often aim to avoid any last-minute stresses in their life. People who prefer Perceiving are much more casual. They are very curious, easily adaptable, and enjoy flexibility, often leaving options open-ended. These individuals prefer not to cut off options or make decisions too soon. They are even energized by the last-minute pressures they tend to experience. This preference is good to know in your work environment, particularly when it comes to planning and deadlines. It will give you a sense of what to expect with each co-worker in your business.
When it comes to preferences, there is a little nature versus nurture at play. This is why it is important to only trust official Myers Briggs Type Instrument results from a Certified Practitioner. Myers Briggs can be utilized in a variety of ways to benefit your business. One of the most beneficial ways is to create a positive culture and cohesion in your company. Getting to know each co-worker as an individual helps improve the overall function of a work team, while also improving communication. For more information on how you can improve your business culture and cohesions, feel free to contact us today.