This post follows on from our previous post about working with thinking and feeling personality types. It’s the fourth and final in a series of posts about the use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) in the workplace.
As you will recall, the MBTI can help us understand how we prefer to take in information (sensing or thinking), and how we prefer to make decisions (thinking or feeling). But when we look at human behaviour, it’s obvious that some people tend to be more decisive than others. This leads us to the fourth dimension of the MBTI: whether we would rather make decisions (judging), or gather more information (perceiving).
Obviously, this is another aspect of our personalities which can easily lead to conflict. On the one hand, you have those who leap into action prematurely. Their motto is ‘Ready, fire, aim!’ Their natural enemy is the perpetual procrastinator, the Hamlet-like character who is too busy contemplating the nature of existence to ever take any real action. Most of us fall in between these two extremes. Even so these preferences, if ignored, can create friction between us. Here’s a quick guide to help you better understand your preferences, and the (possibly different) preferences of your work colleagues:
- You are likely to state your position as clear and fixed, and expect others to do the same
- You expect people to make decisions as quickly as possible
- You prefer to plan to avoid surprises, and you expect advance warning of changes
- You expect others to develop schedules, and you enjoy working to tight deadlines
- When others agree to a task, you expect them to accomplish it within the agreed timeframe.
- You are likely to express a tentative opinion, and expect others to remain flexible
- You expect others to canvas the full range of possibilities before reaching a decision
- You welcome change, and may find that you work well during periods of uncertainty
- You may regard schedules as merely indicative, and feel constrained by tight deadlines
- When others agree to a goal, you expect them to be adaptable in their approach to it.
Success in any workplace or on any project team depends upon striking the right balance between planning and action. So time spent clarifying your preferences and the preferences of your work colleagues will usually save time, money and frustration in the long run. To learn how we can help you integrate the use of the MBTI in your workplace, contact us today!