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Why’d You Do THAT?! Understanding Interpersonal Needs & Motivations

Feb 26, 2014 in CPP Connect | 0 comments

Understanding personality type helps us see how our minds are wired—how we like to get energized, take in information, make decisions, and orient ourselves to the outer world. Understanding interpersonal needs gives us insight into another aspect of our personality—what motivates our behavior in regard to how much interaction we want with others.   For example, we know that people who prefer Extraversion are energized by the outer world of people and things, but what if they have low interpersonal needs? How they express their Extraversion will “show up” differently compared to Extraverts who have high interpersonal needs. Interpersonal needs add another unique dimension to who we are and why we do the things we do.   Based on the research of Will Schutz, PhD, the FIRO-B® instrument was created to assess interpersonal needs. The theory is that beyond our physiological needs—for food and safety, for example—we each have interpersonal needs—for Inclusion, Control, and Affection—that strongly motivate us. Unlike personality type preferences, which, according to Jung, are hardwired at birth, interpersonal needs are developed throughout our lifetime, based on our experiences, culture, values, and so on. As Schutz explains, everyone has the desire to express Inclusion, Control, and Affection, as well as to receive these from others.  These interpersonal needs are ranked low, medium, or high depending on the strength of the desire to get them met.   Knowing about interpersonal needs gives us a better sense of why we seek out or avoid certain situations, as well as why we seek to be “satisfied” or to have those needs met.   Inclusion, sometimes called Involvement, is about the need to belong. The desire to be recognized, to be a part of the group, is Wanted Inclusion. It could be a work group, a book club, a family circle, a sports team (or a group that watches a particular sport), a volunteer group, or even an organization. The other side of this interpersonal need is Expressed Inclusion—the drive to include others, to decide who to include.. For some, Inclusion is not a strong motivating factor, while for others it is very important.   Control, sometimes called Influence, is another interpersonal need that may motivate an individual’s behavior. How important is it to you to be in charge or to not be “managed” in any way? The need to lead, influence, provide structure, make the decisions is Expressed Control. Wanted...

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Understanding Team Relationships & Myers-Briggs Conflict Pairs

Feb 18, 2014 in CPP Connect | 0 comments

Written by Pamela Valencia, Solutions Consultant, CPP Professional Services (If you didn’t get a chance, read Part I of this post or Part II of this post to get the full picture.)   The Role of Conflict Pairs In their research, Damian Killen and Danica Murphy determined that where people focus their attention in conflict and how they respond to conflict are best represented by the last two letters in their four-letter personality type code—their “conflict pair.” There are four different conflict pairs: TP, TJ, FP, and FJ. In our example team (see graphic below), only two of the conflict pairs are represented: TJ and FJ. Our conflict pair provides insight into what likely causes conflict for us, our desired outcome, how we tend to deal with our emotions during conflict, and what we see as a successful outcome. For people with the conflict pair TJ, challenges to/of authority can propel them into a conflict situation. Such challenges can take many forms and may be interpreted as disrespecting their authority. TJs need closure and tend to deny their emotions to the point that they burst out, causing them to quickly shift from easygoing to intense and seemingly angry. They tend to be aggressive in their approach but want a way forward. Once closure is achieved, they can walk away from the conflict situation satisfied.    For people who have the conflict pair FJ, conflict is not easy because their ultimate desired outcome is intact relationships. They react when there is a challenge to/of beliefs. When dealing with conflict, FJs want to include emotions as part of the dialogue. They seek communication and harmony and pick up on conflict easily, striving to make sure that there’s no lingering bitterness.   I was recently in a conflict situation with a person whose type preferences are ISTJ. When I was unable to fulfill a request for ethical reasons, the request came back as a directive. I recognized this aggressive tactic as one commonly associated with the TJ conflict pair. (Keep in mind that not all TJs manifest this conflict behavior because as we become more self-aware, we can choose our behavior instead of simply reacting in the most comfortable way.) Understanding this conflict pair response helped me not personalize the conflict and instead enabled me to step out and recognize the situation for what it was. Once the situation was resolved to mutual benefit (and ethical compliance), agreeableness was restored to...

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Reading Behavioral Clues to Myers-Briggs Personality Types: Extraversion/Introversion & Sensing/Intuition Preferences

Feb 18, 2014 in CPP Connect | 0 comments

Written by Pamela Valencia, Solutions Consultant, CPP Professional Services After identifying the preferences in your team or group, the next step in improving relationships is learning to identify behaviors typically associated with each preference. Being able to recognize what behaviors “go with” which preferences will enhance your ability to flex your style to better connect with others and be more effective.   So what behaviors are associated with which personality type preferences? Answering this question can be complicated because people have a choice in how they behave. So even though I try to observe, sometimes I will ask outright. One key question/observation for me when it comes to Extraversion and Introversion is whether a person likes to talk out an idea or prefers to think through an idea thoroughly before presenting. Does that individual say, “I think I have a general idea of what I want to do, can I bounce some ideas off of you?” or, “Okay, I have really thought this out and I want to get your opinion.”? It can be that subtle.   Extraversion and Introversion are about how we get energized and where we direct our energy. Within these two preferences, there are many subcategories—for example, how we prefer to initiate communication with others, the depth and breadth of our relationships, and how much we share about ourselves. Here comes the tricky part: We all extravert and introvert. If we have a preference for Extraversion, then our dominant or favorite part of our personality will be extraverted. Then, because we need balance, our auxiliary or second favorite part of our personality will be introverted. Similarly, if we have a preference for Introversion, then our dominant or favorite part of our personality will be introverted and our auxiliary or second favorite part will be extraverted.   That’s why it is important not to generalize—“The talkers are Extraverts” and “The quiet people are Introverts” is far from correct. We all have a preference for one element in this pair over the other, and recognizing the energizing component goes a long way toward helping us better understand each other and avoid conflicts. Does an individual mostly prefer self-reflection time, appear contained, and wait to be invited into conversations? Or does she seem to initiate discussions and conversations most of the time? Does a person prefer to provide feedback at a later time rather than be called on in a meeting? Does he say he wants to work out a situation and...

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The Inherent Conflict Regarding Who Determines Your Self-Worth

Feb 11, 2014 in CPP Connect | 0 comments

Ralph H. Kilmann, co-author of the Thomas-Kilmann Instrument (TKI) Recently, I’ve been having more discussions on the core topic of self-worth: Am I a good or bad person? Am I valuable? Am I loveable? Do I deserve to be happy? And, most importantly, who chooses the answers to these profound questions: You or other people? I find it useful to divide this inherent conflict about self-worth into two different aspects: (1) Whose criteria are used to judge your self-worth: yours or others? (2) Who’s the ultimate judge of your self-worth: you or others? Naturally, we can resolve the conflict (as we often do), by using other people’s criteria (of what it means to be a good or bad person, etc.) and then allow them to judge us accordingly. Our feelings about ourselves are therefore determined by cultural norms and other people’s expectations. We can also resolve the conflict by ignoring our surrounding society and rely solely on our own criteria and be our own judge exclusively. As a result, a person can choose whatever criteria suit him or her and then render the final decision. Ironically, however, people often pick perfectionistic criteria for themselves and then judge themselves much more harshly than any other person or group would judge them!   Using the TKI Conflict Model, we realize that the either/or choice of who determines your self-esteem (short term and long term) is on the distributive dimension. At best, we can come up with some compromise solution: For example, when I am with my family, I use my own criteria to judge my self-worth and I, myself, render that decision. But when I am at work, I rely on my boss, co-workers, and the reward system to determine how I feel about my self-worth: They render that decision for me, based on their criteria and their assessment of my competency and contribution. Of course, if we can move this discussion from “either/or” to “both,” we can move up the integrative dimension on the TKI Conflict Model and find creative ways to synthesize our criteria, others’ criteria, my judgment, and others’ judgments…to arrive at our self-worth in a manner which recognizes that we are both an individual AND we are embedded in a society (where how we behave affects other people). The nature of self-worth and self-esteem seems to always influence how people approach all their other conflicts in life. And yet, most often, the underlying—...

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Self-Care: Doing Your Best Requires Being Your Best

Feb 11, 2014 in CPP Connect | 1 comment

Managing your transition home – Part 10 Written by Elizabeth and Katherine Hirsh In previous posts we’ve looked at how who you are in terms of your personality type shapes your outlook generally and your reintegration approach specifically. In the next four posts we will discuss quick tips that are useful to all personality types during the transition from service to civilian life. We begin with self-care, a much talked about but frequently overlooked necessity. Service members are taught to put the needs of others and the needs of the group above their own. This is admirable and makes sense during deployment. But back at home, it is just as sensible to follow a self-care plan. Now you’re in command. Leading yourself correctly ensures your well-being as well as the well-being of those around you. Doing so is not selfish—rather, it’s the only way to take charge of your life successfully and to impact others positively. Here are some simple yet important tips to help you do just that:* Eat right, exercise, and get rest—the first two will assist with the third. Be cautious with the use of alcohol and drugs. Find and do things that are fun and playful and make you laugh. Realize that, in order to be useful to others, you need to attend to your own needs, too. Recognize that it shows more courage to seek help than it does to suffer alone. Reevaluate priorities and goals—don’t try to force your new life into outdated forms. Take responsibility for whatever you can do to change your situation for the better. Celebrate all your successes, no matter how small. Resist cultural norms that suggest that you need to respond to challenging situations by putting on a stoic or cheerful face. Try to silence your internal critic and cut yourself some slack—reintegration is a process, and it doesn’t happen overnight. For most service members, getting back home is a much-anticipated event. However, along with all the happy moments following your return, times of self-doubt and confusion will almost certainly be part of the experience, too. Knowing your personality style and how it shapes what brings purpose to your life—combined with taking your well-being seriously—can help in good times and in bad. You are now the captain of your own ship. Steer it wisely toward better physical and mental health, which benefits you and all those around you. You...

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Increasing Self-Awareness & Understanding Team Relationships Part II

Feb 7, 2014 in CPP Connect | 0 comments

Written by Pamela Valencia, Solutions Consultant, CPP Professional Services (If you didn’t get a chance to read Part I of this post, you can read it here.)   Thinking–Feeling on the ‘Type Head Team’ The way we prefer to make decisions—using Thinking (based on logical analysis) or Feeling (empathetically)—also plays into the relationships on a team. In our team example, half prefer Thinking and half prefer Feeling. Is there harmony on the team? Is everyone treated fairly as an individual? These questions are important to people who have a preference for Feeling. People who have a preference for Thinking may be more focused on tasks and want to make decisions based on everyone being treated the same (no individuals treated differently based on circumstances). Conflicts often arise on a team when decisions need to be made. With Thinking and Feeling preferences, the information being considered in making the decision would differ between preferences. Judging–Perceiving on the ‘Type Head Team’ Last but not least, let’s turn to the preferences having to do with how people deal with the outer world—Judging (living life in a planned, orderly way) and Perceiving (living life in a flexible, spontaneous way). In our team example, everyone has a preference for Judging. People who have a preference for Judging tend to strive for closure and enjoy planning out their day and having goals, checklists, and so on, while people who have a preference for Perceiving want flexibility in their work and enjoy leaving tasks open to last-minute changes that occur. You might think that because everyone on the team has a preference for Judging no conflict occurs, but that’s not always the case.   If a preference is missing on a team or in a relationship (such as the missing Perceiving preference in our team example above), often a member will “flex” his or her type and take on the role of the missing preference to help the team be more effective. In our team example, one member may flex to represent the Perceiving preference, attempting to slow down the rush to closure by playing devil’s advocate or suggesting that the team think on a decision until the following week. Or that person may show flexibility by changing direction quickly even though he or she would prefer to work the plan. This can cause stress for those who consistently flex their style to support their team by recognizing the team’s need and...

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Increasing Self-Awareness & Understanding Team Relationships with the MBTI® Assessment

Feb 6, 2014 in CPP Connect | 0 comments

Written by Pamela Valencia, Solutions Consultant, CPP Professional Services Having team members identify their MBTI® personality preferences is a critical first step in helping a team manage relationships and deal with conflict. As the members learn about their own preferences and the behaviors associated with the preferences, they also learn to value and appreciate the differences between people. From the employer’s perspective, the MBTI® assessment provides an excellent framework for helping individuals develop their own awareness of self, others, and their organizations.   Type Preferences on a Team Let’s take a look at the role of personality preferences in a team and what behaviors may cause conflict to arise. The same ideas that are applied to a team could also be applied to any relationship between two individuals, coworkers or partners. As an example, we’ll look at a four-member workplace team with four different personality types: ENFJ, ESTJ, INFJ, and INTJ (we’ll call them the Type Head Team).   Introversion–Extraversion on the ‘Type Head Team’ First, let’s look at the preferences having to do with where we focus our attention and how we get energized—Extraversion and Introversion. Half the members of this team have a preference for Extraversion (focus on the outside world) and half have a preference for Introversion (focus on their inner world).   In the workplace, the two groups have very different needs that the other may not see or understand without help. Communicating these needs is imperative for smooth team functioning. For example, a team member with a preference for Extraversion may need to tell those who prefer Introversion, “Please understand, I recharge by talking to others. Even if not work related, it helps me be more productive” or “When I’m talking to you and you give me a blank look, please let me know you are listening.” Alternatively, a team member with a preference for Introversion may need to explain, “When my door is closed, I don’t want to be interrupted except in case of fire” or “Please don’t put me on the spot in meetings; give me time to formulate my responses.” If what each preference needs is not understood or is ignored, conflict and resentment can occur within the team, resulting in people bringing more stress than energy to the table.   Sensing–Intuition on the ‘Type Head Team’ Next, let’s examine the preferences for taking in information—Sensing and Intuition. In our team example, only one person has...

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Relationships, Connections & Conflict – Now Through March!

Jan 31, 2014 in CPP Connect | 0 comments

Written by Pamela Valencia, Solutions Consultant, CPP Professional Services “The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.” – Carl Gustav Jung How many people do you interact with in a day? A month? A year? When we stop and look at the sheer volume of our interactions, it’s easy to see why learning to deal with conflict effectively is essential—not only for our success, but also for our sanity! Over the next few months, we’ll be putting on our excavation gear and delving deep into the essentials of relationships and conflict. First we’ll use the Myers-Briggs® (MBTI®) assessment to explore personality preferences and how they influence interactions—and can sometimes lead to conflict—on a team. This awareness can shed light on conflict management styles and motivations, stress management, and communication styles. Next, we’ll use the FIRO-B® assessment to explore the caverns of interpersonal needs and learn how people’s needs for inclusion, affection, and control drive their behavior and shape their ability to build trust, influence others, and create productive relationships. These two parts of the series—together with the webinar “Ask an Expert: Exploring MBTI® Type Dynamics & Relationships”—will help us better understand relationships as the meeting of our complex personalities. Finally, in the third part of the series, we’ll explore what we can do when personalities clash and conflict arises to reconcile differences and work together more effectively.  We’ll use the TKI assessment to explore five practical, situation-specific styles for dealing with conflict effectively (competing, collaborating, compromising, avoiding, accommodating) and how to choose the appropriate style for any situation. We’re putting together blog posts, videos, infographics and more to help give you a better understanding of yourself and how you can interact with others more effectively. In addition, all of this information can be applied to better understand dynamics between employees in the workplace. To find the latest and greatest information, keep your eyes out for our next email and blog post. If you’re not sure about your email subscriptions, visit www.cpp.com/emailprefs. Better relationships. Better connections. Better you. #CPP4U   This post is part of a blog series on Relationships, Connections & Conflict. Read the next post in the series: Increasing Self-Awareness & Understanding Team Relationships with the MBTI Assessment.   Need a 30,000 ft. overview? Let us provide you with this handy map of where we’re...

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CPP is Going Green! Explore Our 2014 Online Catalog!

Jan 10, 2014 in CPP Connect | 0 comments

Although improving people performance is our main goal, we’re just as committed to protecting the environment. As part of our ongoing effort to reduce our carbon footprint, we’re turning over a new leaf and offering our 2014 catalog in PDF format only. But don’t worry—our catalog is still filled with gold-standard assessments, resources, and tools that will help you be a better people development professional and, in turn, help your employees flourish. Download...

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Meet Rachel Birkenseer – Your Broadway Musical Fan/Customer Relations Advisor

Jan 7, 2014 in CPP Connect | 0 comments

What’s your MBTI® Type? ISFP How long have you been at CPP? In February 2014, it will be 13 years. Why do you like working at CPP?  CPP is like my home, I practically grew up here.  The atmosphere and culture is what I love best though.  I love the department I work in!   I also really enjoy our products.  I see such value in what they offer and I’ve learned a lot about myself. Have you had a memorable moment at CPP or while working here? If so, could you share it with us? I love the back pack drive we participate in every year.  We have the opportunity to put together a back pack for kids in need with all of the school supplies they need to get them started for a successful school year.  Growing up, this was always expensive for my parents to provide for us, so this is dear to my heart and I’m honored to participate every year.  Plus I love school supplies! Have you had a memorable experience with a customer before? Can you share?  There have been many memorable experiences throughout the years.  I know many customers pretty well and it’s such a treat when I get to talk to them.  It’s like catching up with an old friend you haven’t spoken to in a while.  I love when I can get a customer to laugh and just have a good time on the phone.  They may be calling in with a seemingly mundane task or are frustrated but I want them to relax and know I want to help them get their issue resolved.  And we might as well laugh while we do it. What’s your favorite hobby? I am a huge movie lover, especially musicals.  If I could live in a musical I would!  I also love crocheting, traveling, and hiking. What is your favorite quote? “Don’t panic” – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy How do u you use the information you know about your type to communicate effectively with customers?  Knowing about type helps me, I hope, to be more patient when communicating.  Also to realize when I’m getting too caught up in the details or being too literal.  I try to be conscious of the need to flex my type when necessary. How would people communicate in a perfect world? Patience, understanding, and active listening. Anything else...

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