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For an Authentic, Effective Job Interview, You Must First Understand Your Own Personality Type

May 16, 2018 in MBTI Talk | 0 comments

I remember my first job interview. It was a long time ago. I was very young and had yet to learn how to be true to myself. I was trying to get a job for the summer in between undergraduate and graduate school, and remember thinking to myself: “Answer how they [my interviewers] want you to answer, no matter what.” I got that job, and at first I was thrilled. Once I began to do the work, however, I hated it. I couldn’t wait for the summer to end! What could I have done better? How could I have given a better interview to get not just a job, but the job I wanted? Presenting your true, authentically developed self is perhaps the most important part of your interview technique. Knowing who you are and understanding how that helps you – or might not help you – in your work and life allows you to walk into any interview for any job and authentically present yourself to the employer. From there, the employer can decide if you and the job will truly be a good match. More importantly, knowing who you are allows you to decide if the job and the workplace environment are really the right fit for you. One way to understand who you are is to learn more about your personality type preferences. One tool many people use to do this is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). You have likely heard about the MBTI before. Some of what you’ve heard is true, and some isn’t. I teach people how to use the MBTI competently and ethically, and I am amazed by how many people who think they know what the MBTI tool is really have no idea. Understanding Ourselves Without Labeling or Limiting Ourselves In short, the MBTI gives us some understanding of how we take in information and how we make decisions. That’s really it. The MBTI is not meant to label or limit anyone in any way. For example and in spite of what many think, there is no such thing as an “extravert” or an “introvert.” Instead, the MBTI tool is trying to help us see whether we have a preference for extraversion or introversion, along with other preferences. There is a difference, and it is huge. When we talk about extraverts or introverts, we limit people. When we see it as a...

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Effects and Causes of Conflict Among Employees

May 8, 2018 in MBTI Talk | 0 comments

By Mark Taylor This article originally appeared in HRZone. You may read the same article on the original publishing website here.    Do you know what it takes to create a productive team? According to research published in the Harvard Business Review, a workplace characterized by positive and “virtuous” practices is able to form a productive team. Such practices, the report went on to say, include caring for your colleagues as friends, treating one another with gratitude, respect, trust and integrity, providing support whenever needed, offering compassion and kindness when you see your colleague struggling with something and more.   However, a team becomes even more productive when they avoid blaming each other and forgive mistakes. But is all this achievable in the real world?   Effect of Employee Conflict on Businesses According to a study on workplace conflict, commissioned by CPP Inc, publishers of the Myers-Briggs Assessment and the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument, in 2008, US employees spent 2.8 hours per week dealing with conflict. What’s worse was that these hours translated into the wastage of 385 million working days and approximately $359 billion in paid hours, when calculated on the basis of average hourly earnings of $17.95.   It was also added in the study that around 85% of the employees had to deal with conflict to some extent, and spend a significant amount of time managing such conflicts, while 29% US employees do so “always” or “frequently.”   But how do conflicts amongst employees affect the entire organization? The fact is that a conflict never occurs by itself. It is accompanied by a lot of time spent in gossiping, protecting turf, retaliating, taking sides, planning one’s defence and navigating the drama. This is that precious time which the employees would otherwise have spent on their designated tasks in the company, for which they have been hired. Things can get even worse when two employees in conflict recruit other employees to take sides. This encourages the involvement of the entire organization where their presence is not required.   However, according to a blog post by Abel HR, most conflicts can be prevented, thereby saving a business’ time, easing frustration and regaining productivity. Having some fun at the workplace, giving positive feedback, immediately reaching out to the HR department, and respecting differences are some of the many ways workplaces can keep the positive energy going.   And to...

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Confidence, Extraversion & Understanding – What Helps You The Most?

Dec 12, 2017 in MBTI Talk | 0 comments

Written in collaboration with John Hackston, Head of Thought Leadership at OPP Politicians are known for their confidence, but sometimes this can get them into hot water (I’m sure that you can think of some recent examples). You can probably think of a time where you saw someone who seemed to use confidence to cover up a lack of ability. But confidence isn’t just important for politicians, as this article by Laura Barton points out. Women tend to be less confident in their abilities than men. In fact, studies have shown that less able men are the group most likely to overestimate their abilities. Are Extraverts more confident than Introverts? Confidence isn’t the same thing as Extraversion, but they’re often mistaken for one another. In Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, Susan Cain cites a study by the Kellogg School of Management, finding that in an average large meeting, three people do 70% of the talking. Those three people aren’t necessarily the most confident people in the meeting, but by their saying more they will tend to seem more confident. Their ideas and suggestions get more airtime. And good ideas that others may have are less likely to be heard. It can even seem that the people not doing the talking are disengaged, less creative, or less intelligent. Humans, chimps and theory of mind One of the things that sets us and chimpanzees apart from all other animals is our possession of a theory of mind. Theory of mind is made up of two things: the ability to credit mental states to ourselves the ability to understand that others have beliefs, desires, intentions, and perspectives that are different from our own. However, this sometimes means that we judge others unfairly. To correct this, it we can boost our self-awareness as well as our understanding of other people. And one of the best ways to do this is to understand what makes us tick. We need to understand our personality. There are many exercises you can do to boost self-awareness and assessments you can take to understand your personality better. The Myers-Briggs Type IndicatorMyers-Briggs Type Indicator ®(MBTI®) assessment is one that gives us an effective way of improving our self-awareness, as well as starting to understand others. The MBTI model seems simple. After all, it’s just four dimensions of personality. But it builds into...

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10 Books About the MBTI Tool and Type That You Should Read in 2018

Nov 30, 2017 in MBTI Talk | 0 comments

Which books about the MBTI assessment and type have had the biggest impact on practitioners? We posted this question on the LinkedIn group of MBTI certified professionals a while ago to discover the titles that had most impressed and inspired practitioners or been a key support in their work with the MBTI assessment. Twenty books rose to the top of the piles. Here are the second set of ten (in no particular order – you can find the first ten in our April post) with comments from the individuals who recommended them. Now you can put them all on your Amazon wish list before the holidays! Work Types – Understand Your Personality Jean M. Kummerow, Nancy J. Barger and Linda K. Kirby (2010) “A highly accessible and readable resource, it contains the most helpful and liberating insights into time management that I’ve seen anywhere.” –Betsy Kendall, Executive Director, COO and Head of Professional Services at OPP Ltd The 16 Personality Types: Profiles, Theory, & Type Development Dr. A.J. Drenth (2013) “Easy to read, good profile descriptions – good ‘Stage 1’ introduction to the different Myers-Briggs types.” –Dianna Hillier, Global Talent Manager at Cello Group plc Navigating Midlife – Using Typology as a Guide Eleanor Corlett and Nancy B. Millner (1993) “Incredibly helpful for working and coaching people in transition .” –Lynne Norman, Managing Director, equip consulting ltd Portraits of Type: An MBTI Research Compendium Paperback Avril Thorne and Harrison Gough (1991) “A wonderful reminder, based on high quality research, that we don’t always have the gift to see ourselves as others see us. Representative male and female groups of 10 of the 16 types are described by people who saw them behave in a variety of situations over a period of three days. Their observations are not always flattering and can be an antidote to the corresponding pages of ‘Introduction to type’!” –Robert McHenry, Chairman, OPP Ltd Introduction to Type and the Eight Jungian Functions Margaret T. Hartzler, Robert W. McAlpine, and Leona Haas (2003) “I really like the CPP book on the 8 Jungian Functions.” –Jerry Gilpin, Coach (EMCC Senior Practitioner), Supervisor, Facilitator and Trainer Growing Spiritually with the Myers-Briggs Model Julia McGuinness (2009) “As a specific application, a shout out to Growing Spiritually with the Myers Briggs Model.”  –Jerry Gilpin, Coach (EMCC Senior Practitioner), Supervisor, Facilitator and Trainer Personality Types: an Owner’s Manual Lenore Thomson (1998) “For getting...

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MBTI Step II Facets: Traditional or Original and the Holiday Season

Nov 14, 2017 in MBTI Talk | 0 comments

The holidays are just around the corner. The music, decorations, food, smiles on people’s faces, and gifts (giving and receiving!), all make this season special. I love this time of year. Of course how people prefer to celebrate this season can differ quite a bit, and one way it differs depends on where they find themselves on the Traditional-Original MBTI® Step II™ facet. This facet is about the approach to traditions in the social context. People who have the preference for traditional tend the value that you follow a rule/regulation the way it’s meant to be followed. People on the original side like to think of new, novel ways to do things. And that means sometimes we look a bit different, but sometimes we like that about ourselves—the unique approach. Traditional people like to honor the holidays by keeping things like they have always known them. If you are a traditional person and you have tamales every Christmas or livivot for Hanukkah or mrouzia for Eid al-Adha, then your holiday just would not be the same if for some reason that food is not there on the special day. Then along comes the Original person (that’s me!). While I may like any or all of the foods above, the idea of introducing some new food or some new way to celebrate the holiday really appeals to me. A few years ago, I took a road trip with my partner to visit friends in Sedona. I wasn’t sure what we were going to eat, but I knew it was unlikely to be my mom’s incredible tamales. But to me, that was okay because I got to experience something new and interesting instead....

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MBTI Step II Facets: New Experiences for the Experiential or the Theoretical

Nov 7, 2017 in MBTI Talk | 0 comments

Second to last for the Sensing-Intuition preference pair facets are Experiential and Theoretical. These facets “emphasize the process by which we derive knowledge or meaning from our perceptions.” (MBTI Step II Manual, page 24. As a reminder, the order of these Sensing-Intuition facets goes Concrete—Abstract, Realistic—Imaginative, Practical—Conceptual, Experiential—Theoretical, and Traditional—Original. Whenever I travel, I usually like to experience something new and different…something I won’t find in most other places. I was in Singapore last year and I invited a small group to join me for a meal away from the hotel. Before arriving, I heard about a restaurant that offered prescribed herbal remedies with your meal to cure ailments or improve your health. It sounded like an interesting idea, but it took some work to convince Jennifer (not her real name). Her Experiential side wanted to know more about the restaurant before she would agree to go. She asked questions like, “Do you know anyone who has been there?” and “Are there reviews we can read so we know what to order and what not to order and whether we should go there in the first place?” When I wasn’t able to provide her such evidence, she decided she would rather stay at the hotel for dinner. Jennifer had eaten at the hotel restaurant several times on this trip as well as several times on previous trips. But after some prodding from me and the other invitees, she eventually (though reluctantly) agreed to give this “adventure” a try. All the way over to the restaurant, Jennifer made sure I was aware that if she did not like her meal, I was going to get an earful. I could tell she was only half joking though. Fortunately for all involved, the restaurant was a hit! If you are ever in Singapore, I suggest that you check out Imperial Herbal...

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MBTI Step II Facets: Practical–Conceptual & the Importance of Ideas

Oct 24, 2017 in MBTI Talk | 0 comments

While delivering a training program recently, I was getting excited about the “miracle” of the theory behind personality type. I felt like I was in my wheelhouse expounding on the power of type and the implications of these ideas. As explained in the MBTI® Step II™ Manual, “[Conceptual people (like me)] are not content…just to make inferences. Inferences give birth to ideas, and ideas are what excite them” (p. 30). I was brought back to reality when a participant raised her hand with a slightly frustrated look on her face and simply said, “Why?”   I had to smile, because it hit me over the head how easily I can take an idea and run with it. My Conceptual style is probably the reason I feel bogged down when I have to make an idea real and practical in the here and now.   Practical people, on the other hand, need to know how the idea will be realized. While they can be creative, their creativity tends to be derived from what they already know. That knowledge gives them a sense of certainty they can then use to understand an idea—thus, the question “Why?” The participant in my program probably also wanted to ask “Who?” “What?” “When?” and “How?”   Want more? Here’s a great article on the three types of creativity that exist – and their categories may surprise you. You also might find it interesting because this article interviews people of different creative manners – see if you can determine which might lean towards conceptual and which might lean towards...

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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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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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