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

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

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).

 

Team Type


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 a preference for Sensing and the other three have a preference for Intuition. People with a preference for Sensing tend to favor factual, detailed, concrete information presented in sequential order, while those with a preference for Intuition tend to favor information that points to the possibilities of what could be and is presented in a big-picture, snapshot way.

 

Working with teammates with these different preferences can be an advantage if you are able to value and appreciate one another’s contributions. If what each preference needs is not understood or is ignored, conflict and resentment can occur within the team. For example, those who prefer Sensing may express annoyance that the information being presented isn’t grounded in facts or sufficiently detailed, while those who prefer Intuition may feel mired in unnecessary details or irritated by information that is too specific. In our team example, in which the majority prefers Intuition, the person who prefers Sensing could be shut out if the team doesn’t value and appreciate a style that is different (and needed) within the group.

 

Curious about how our team interactions occur on the Type Head Team from the Thinking-Feeling and Judging-Perceiving preference perspectives? Take a look at Part II of this blog post!

 

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Increasing Self-Awareness & Understanding Team Relationships Part II | CPP Blog - [...] you didn’t get a chance to read Part I of this post, you can read it [...]
  2. Reading Behavioral Clues to Myers-Briggs Personality Types: Extraversion/Introversion & Sensing/Intuition Preferences | CPP Blog - [...] identifying the preferences in your team or group, the next step in improving relationships is learning to identify behaviors …
  3. Understanding Team Relationships & Myers-Briggs Conflict Pairs | CPP Blog - [...] you didn’t get a chance, read Part I of this post or Part II of this post to get …
  4. Reading Behavioral Clues to Myers-Briggs Personality Types: Thinking/Feeling & Judging/Perceiving Preferences | CPP Blog - [...] identifying the preferences in your team or group, the next step in improving relationships is learning to identify behaviors …

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