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Navigating the Labyrinth of Stress: Interpersonal Needs and Personality Preferences

Oct 10, 2017 in CPP Connect | 0 comments

This article was originally written for Training Magazine and appeared on their website October 4th, 2017. To read the article on the original website, click here.  In managing stress, the big first step is recognizing how you tend to act under stress. Once you recognize what it looks like for you—and consequently for those you work with—you’re empowered to manage it. Stress isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but when it’s sustained, it can be debilitating. It affects our ability to regulate our emotions, and our metabolism and overall health. Stress can even cause our brains to shrink—a problem I’m confident no one needs. With 2017 seeing tremendous change already—and there’s surely more to come—stress management has to be a top priority for individuals and organizations alike. One effective way to deal with stress combines looking at our behavior through two models. First, our interpersonal needs (as described by the Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation or FIRO model) often lie at the root of what tends to get us stressed. Second, our personality type (as described by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator instrument or MBTI) affects how we react to stress. By understanding what gets us stressed, and how we react to it, we can more readily pull ourselves, as well as teammates and co-workers, out of counter-productive stress. When Our Interpersonal Needs Aren’t Met, We Get Stressed According to the FIRO model, our behavior is driven by individually varying levels of interpersonal needs in three areas: Inclusion Control Affection We experience different degrees of need along these three areas in both “expressed” and “wanted” ways. For example, if you have a high expressed need for inclusion, you may want to make sure everyone and anyone is invited to anything and everything. If you have a low “wanted” need for inclusion, you might not care whether or not you’re invited to that meeting or party. When our needs are met, we engage and contribute. When our needs aren’t met, we withdraw, sometimes we even sabotage (outwardly or passive aggressively), or try to get our needs met in negative ways—through substance abuse or other destructive behaviors. Consider, for example, that you have got two people with high “expressed” and low “wanted” needs for control on the same team—you can imagine how unpleasant things could get as both of these individuals try to get their needs met. Suffice it to say, there are a limitless number of things at work that can stand in the way of getting our...

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MBTI Step II Facets: Realistic–Imaginative

Oct 10, 2017 in MBTI Talk | 0 comments

A colleague came into my office one day and asked me, “Why would someone send another person flowers?” I was a bit surprised by the question. She continued, “They seem like such a waste. I mean, they are really expensive and they are going to die.” I thought about it for a minute, not sure at first how to respond. I love to send and receive flowers, so I tried to explain that the cost and short life span of such a gift are not the point. Clearly not getting my message across very well, I decided to switch gears and asked my colleague, “What is the best present you have ever received?” She thought about it for a minute, then replied, “A coffee maker. I can use it over and over again.” Then, grinning, “It won’t die.” Realistic people usually prefer getting useful things. Cost, utility, life span are all considerations they take into account when making up their wish lists. But as someone who reports Imaginative, I tend not to consider usefulness and cost first. When it comes to gifts for me, the more unique and whimsical, the better. In terms of how people view each other, people who report realistic may see Imaginative people as lacking common sense, ignoring reality and/or wasting time. Yet these people also tend to admire Imaginative people’s ability to dream up something that may be useful. On the other hand, people who report Imaginative may see Realistic people as materialistic or unimaginative, yet admire their grasp on realities of a situation (including the bottom line). As an exercise, think about leaders you’ve seen in the past. When they’re learning about new competition, or taking in information to determine the company’s direction, how would a Realistic or Imaginative facet play a difference in what information they decide to pay attention to and what information they ignore? (If you want to read this series from the beginning, start...

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Fortune 10 Senior OD Consultant Talks about CPI 260 Certification Experience

Sep 28, 2017 in CPP Connect | 0 comments

Mike A., a Sr. OD Consultant at a Fortune 10 company, shares his perspective on attending the CPI 260® Certification course and why he wanted to add the CPI 260 instrument to his development toolkit. “In my world, I coach people who are high potentials. Individual contributors who’ve been seen by executives as future leaders – they can be first line managers, directors, etc. One thing about the CPI 260 is you can get the same kind of data [that you’d get from 360 feedback] without having to go out and ask folks who you work with on an everyday basis. It’s amazing how this instrument is set up, and that’s why I wanted to go to this certification program to learn more about it and see how I can use it more. My objective going in was to see how this instrument could be a part of a battery of tools I use in my company. One of the valuable [parts] of being in certification was to be with people that were different, but with the same passion that I have for development and using assessments as a way to develop. Being able to be in a room with a lot of other professionals where we were able to learn from each other, look at data and interpret it differently and be able to understand why we were looking at it differently and what filters we were putting on it – that was a lot of fun. I love assessments. They’re a great way to be able to learn more about yourself and then use that information to be able to grow, and become a more productive and effective individual. The challenge is that you don’t want to use just one assessment, and one of the things I like about the CPI 260 is we can use it to close out a battery of assessments and say, “You know what, we’re on track. We’re growing, we’re improving. We’re doing this differently.” This is great information to be able to put together a plan for them to move forward and grow. Helping people and supporting people who want to grow, who want to make a difference in the world, and knowing that I play a tiny role in that makes it all worthwhile.” To learn more about how the CPI 260 certification course can help you with your development...

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MBTI Type, Age, and Occupation Play a Significant Role in Workplace Happiness [Whitepaper]

Sep 28, 2017 in MBTI Talk | 0 comments

New research lead by the CPP Asia Pacific office in Australia reveals personality type plays a role in workplace well-being. The study—Well-being and MBTI® Personality Type in the Workplace—investigates how differences in well-being are influenced by personality type, gender, age, geography, occupation, and activities. “Research shows that higher well-being of workers adds to a company’s bottom line,” said Martin Boult, Sr. Director of Professional Services and International Training at CPP Asia Pacific. “Happy workers are more energetic, creative, cooperative, and work harder. Businesses with high worker satisfaction are more productive, experience lower turnover and higher customer loyalty, and have a higher share value.” Well-being was measured by the five factors of Martin Seligman’s PERMA well-being model: Positive Emotions, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishment. Findings of the study include: Differences by Personality Type People with a preference for Introversion show lower levels of workplace well-being than those with a preference for Extraversion: Those with preferences for ISTP (Introversion, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving) show the lowest levels of well-being, and people with a preference for ENFP (Extraversion, Intuition, Feeling, Perceiving) show the highest well-being ENFP respondents had especially high Engagement and Relationship PERMA scores Personality type also influences the activities people use to support their happiness: Social interaction was scored by most Extraverts as effective in maintaining well-being Introverts reported activities such as reading, playing video games, or meditation most effective Differences by Gender, Age and Geography Well-being increased with the age of the respondents Women rated their well-being higher than men Effectiveness of activities that increase well-being differs by region—African respondents indicated that the two items associated with religion and spirituality were effective, while European respondents rated those two activities as less effective Differences by Occupation “Community and social services” and “Education, training, and library” occupations reported the highest overall levels of workplace well-being “Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media” and “Office and administrative support” occupations reported the lowest levels of workplace well-being “The results of this study show that organizations seeking to support workplace well-being should consider personality types and offer a range of activities. You want to avoid relying on a one-size-fits-all approach.” said Boult. “Findings also suggest that organizations in different parts of the world should consider localized approaches to supporting well-being at work.” For a copy of the complete study, visit...

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The Importance of the Order of the Sensing–Intuition Facets

Sep 26, 2017 in MBTI Talk | 0 comments

When interpreting MBTI® Step II™ facet results, practitioners sometimes forget about the significance of the order of the facets. When it comes to paying attention to things, Sensing–Intuition (taking in information) people start by using a Concrete, Midzone, or Abstract approach first. They then go down the list of the remaining facets, in order: Realistic-Imaginative, Practical-Conceptual, Experiential-Theoretical, and Traditional-Original. (If you want a great team exercise involving these Sensing and Intuition facets to improve team information gathering, download it here.) I report Intuition and in-preference Abstract on the first S-N facet. When I’m learning something new, I need time to “go beyond the surface and read between the lines,” as my MBTI® Step II™ Interpretive Report reads. As a result, I have trouble focusing on the tangible specifics involved. When my kitchen was being remodeled a few years ago, I “volunteered” to help make the cabinets. My partner (reported Sensing and in-preference Concrete) had lots of experience building things like this and was doing his best to teach me. However, his level of detail was overwhelming to my learning style. He could tell, so every few minutes he would look me in the eye and say “focus,” because he thought he could see I was losing interest. What he didn’t realize was that my mind was moving forward to the bigger-picture possibilities. Building the cabinets was a struggle for me, but in the long run I was able to focus and do my small part. The kitchen cabinets look great…and I helped! Sometimes understanding the Step II facets can be more difficult than we thought. If you’re looking for an aid in better understanding these facets, take a look at this booklet and read more about flexing your MBTI Step II facets here. Also if you want to read this series from the beginning, start...

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