In the personality typing system developed by Myers and Briggs, the Thinking/Feeling pairing describes how a person makes decisions. A Thinking type uses objectivity to solve a problem, even when considering a moral or aesthetic puzzle. Feelers, on the other hand, make decisions based on their internal belief system. Feelers also solve problems using a system guided by their internal values and motivations rather than extrinsic facts. Because of these opposing styles, Thinkers and Feelers face challenges when tasked with solving problems as a team.
Disagreement is inevitable when you work with others; people have diverse opinions, contexts and viewpoints that can sometimes escalate to full-blown conflict. How you handle that conflict determines whether you get a productive outcome or the conflict destroys your team.
One common source of workplace conflict is the clash between thinking-judging (TJ) and feeling-perceiving (FP) types on the MBTI scale. Fortunately, it's possible to cut through the dissonance by understanding what makes these dichotomous personalities tick.
It may seem counterintuitive to suggest that introverts – those individuals who live inside their own heads and aren’t the happiest around large crowds – could make effective leaders. But, taking a look at a few well known introverted leaders like Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Albert Einstein, and Abraham Lincoln can quickly dispel the myth that one cannot be both introverted and a great leader. In fact, some of the best introverted leaders will use those tendencies to push themselves ahead of the pack. Here are five reasons why introverts excel as leaders:
Who steps up to the plate when you establish a group-brainstorm environment? All too often, it's the go-getting ENTJs, ESFPs and other extroverted types who take the lead — often because they associate leadership with extroverted traits such as speaking up, taking control and directing others. The problem however, is that these dynamic voices end up drowning out the introverts in the group. Here's how to put the "I" in "team" and help your organization's introverts thrive in a group environment.
When I worked as a consultant using the MBTI®1, there was one type of call I dreaded: the calls from firms who wanted to start using the assessment in their hiring process. They’d heard about the MBTI® and its popularity in organizations. Maybe they’d even assessed some of their existing employees, with inspiring results. Now, how great would it be if they could use it to weed out all the undesirable candidates in their hiring pool?
Personality is at the center of how we interact with each other on a daily basis. It provides a framework for understanding why our lives look like our own, and not like our neighbors. Whether we’re choosing a job, a partner, or even a home, our personalities drive our choices and shape the paths that our lives take.
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.
Since personality typing is useful for self-knowledge, it follows that knowledge gained through taking the TypeFinder would assist with conflict resolution between employees. People who become more cognizant of their own personality traits and preferences can more easily view the traits and preferences of other people with increased understanding. Mutual understanding – that is, employees developing empathy for one another – is key to harmony in the workplace.
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.