Everyone likes the security of being in control of their time and their environment, but some people like predictability more than others. Guardian personalities (ESFJ, ISFJ, ESTJ and ISTJ) are hard wired to seek out situations they can control, where they do not feel any risk and where "business as usual" reigns supreme. This preference sounds great on the surface, but it has a habit of binding Sensing-Judgers in imaginary shackles that prevent them from taking on any challenge that might not be successfully overcome.
You’re telling the room: any type can do anything. Personality theory is about understanding yourself better, playing to your strengths and broadening your horizons. It was never intended to pigeonhole anyone.
On the inside, you’re thinking. How can I, someone with a preference for Introversion, train groups of people as my job? My energy comes from in-depth, one-on-one conversations, not noise-filled, overstimulating group work. I’m much happier working and spending time alone.
Ah, the open plan office. It's to the 21st century what the cubicle farm was to the 1980s - everywhere. Today's employers are tearing down walls as a business imperative and with them, the barriers to communication and idea flow. Even freelancers are leaving their solitary kitchens and coffee shops. Formal co-working spaces, which offer pay-per-desk access to a community of like-minded individuals, are a mega-trend among the self-employed.
There's a myth that some people are creative and others aren't. This myth is perpetuated everywhere, from the world of art and literature to big business. Marketing departments employ "creatives" to come up with new ideas. Governments rely on "creative consultants" for fresh insights. Yet there's no reason why creativity should be limited to a type or a job description.
When asked to describe a great leader, which type of person springs to mind? The all-guns-blazing, exuberant networker? Or how about the dominant visionary who flips tradition on its head? Certainly not the understated loner who listens more than they speak, right?
In the terminology of personality type, sensors are hands-on people who prefer to process information about the world in terms of what they can see, hear, feel, touch, and taste. Intuitives, on the other hand, prefer to assimilate information about the world around them and process the data in an abstract, big-picture way. When they work together in an office, sensors and intuitives might find their working relationships rife with misunderstandings unless they can try to mutually understand and respect one another's differences. By doing so, they'll contribute to harmony in the workplace, fostering on office politics that are based on cooperation, not conflict.
Office politics is an umbrella term that encompasses many things. On one hand, it can refer to behavior whereby coworkers step on their colleagues in the interest of getting ahead at all costs. On the other hand, office politics at its best can describe a dynamic of cooperation, not competition. When colleagues vary in their personality types, understanding and empathy are the keys to cooperation, which enhances office productivity. Introverts and extroverts differ starkly in how they communicate and resolve disputes. Learning about personality typology can be a solid step toward promoting a greater sense of team spirit in an office environment.
Judgers and Perceivers differ significantly in how they make decisions and approach their lives. Where Judgers prefer structure and routine, Perceivers thrive on spontaneity and possibilities. These differences in style can cause clashes in the workplace. Office politics often gets a bad rap for amounting to nothing more than a collection of cut-throat behaviors, whereby some people try to advance themselves at the expense of others. It needn't be that way, however. Office politics can be conceived as a system in which people work together to accomplish goals, and understanding personality typology as it applies to Judgers and Perceivers constitutes a great start.