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Working on Group Projects: E and I

Working on Group Projects: E and I

10-part series by Patrick Kerwin, MBTI® Master Practitioner, with some great tips on how students can manage conflict.

Working on Group Projects: E and I

The group projects you work on in school are great preparation for what you’ll likely experience when you start your career: working on teams. Each of the four MBTI® preference pairs can have an impact on how successfully or unsuccessfully group projects go. In this blog we’ll get started by looking at how the Extraversion (E) and Introversion (I) preferences influence group projects—and how you can get the best out of both.

The E and I preferences are the energy preferences, so they’re often the most important preferences to get working well in a group. If group members aren’t energized, they’re probably not going to be very productive on the project. So let’s examine how your preference for E or I might work on a team.

If you have a preference for E, you’ll likely be energized by all the interaction that comes with group projects, and will probably be quick to jump in and communicate with others. You might find yourself quickly adding on to others’ ideas, or even interrupting them when you’re especially enthused. A natural role for Es in a group project is to get the ball rolling and get everyone involved.

If you have a preference for I, you’ll likely enjoy the interaction with your teammates but also want time to reflect and process internally before you jump in or share your thoughts. You might find yourself getting completely absorbed by your thoughts, or even needing to slip away for some quiet time every once in a while. A natural role for Is in a group project is to calmly get the project moving and keep the group focused.

When Es and Is work together on a group project, they’ll need to remember their very different energy needs. And doing things just a little differently can greatly benefit the project.

If you have a preference for E, watch how often you interrupt and how much you talk in the group. Check to consider whether you really need to interrupt or share your thoughts. Have you created room for the Is to contribute?

If you have a preference for I, watch how often you sit back and listen. Check to consider whether putting an idea forward before it’s fully formed could actually benefit the group or the project. Have you engaged enough with the Es?

Once you have the Es and Is working well together in your group, you’ll be ready to examine the S and N preferences—which we’ll do in our next blog!

 

Read Patrick’s previous blog: Dealing with Difficult Professors, Part III

Read Patrick’s next blog: Working on Group Projects: S and N

 

 

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