There are several “personality tests” on the market and selecting the right one can be confusing. One of the most effective tools we’ve used at WinterWyman is the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). It is also one of the most widely used assessments by companies worldwide. It’s especially helpful to teams in developing positive, healthy working relationships.
WinterWyman has been incorporating the Myers Briggs Assessment into our onboarding process to help teams get a better understanding of each person’s natural personality preferences, creating awareness about the personalities among teams and how they impact day-to-day interactions and communication. MBTI results help us to see the world from a different perspective.
Here are three ways Myers Briggs helps our organization build stronger relationships and improve the company culture.
1. Enhances Communication Skills
Understanding people’s communication style and how they give and receive information is key. At WinterWyman, our managers meet with their new staff members to discuss their Myers Briggs results and what communication style is most effective and motivating for them. We believe in approaching each person differently and bringing out the best in them by communicating in a way that matches their style.
For example, if you are communicating with an introvert, allow them time to think before responding. No need to jump in to fill in that (sometimes awkward) pause or to finish their sentences. Introverts get their energy from within – they “think, talk, think” and need the time for reflection. On the other hand, when communicating with an extrovert, allow them the opportunity to think out loud. Extroverts get their energy from the outside world – they “talk, think, talk” so their responses may not always be well thought out. They enjoy brainstorming and talking things through with others.
Knowing this type of information can be very useful when planning meetings and trainings in order to get participation and input from all those involved.
2. Improves Team Dynamics
Myers Briggs can help organizations identify and capitalize on the powers of their teams! We each bring our own perspectives, strengths and growth opportunities. It may be challenging to collaborate with individuals with different points of view, but it’s worth it! The result is going to be far greater than you imagined as you open your mind to other ways of thinking and problem-solving.
If you are rolling out a new initiative, seek out someone that has a strong preference for Intuition and another that has a strong preference for Sensing, two MBTI dichotomies. Each person will bring their own perspective to help with the initiative. The “Intuitor” will consider the big picture, possibilities, challenges and future benefits, where the “Sensor” will provide the details, steps involved and facts to prove how this idea will work. Both are so important to a fully laid out initiative and plan.
3. Leadership Development
The most effective leaders are those who show empathy, are self-aware, understand their behaviors and how those behaviors impact others. The MBTI provides leaders with the framework to be more self-aware – not only of their own preferences, but also of those they lead. Each person’s personality type comes with its own inherent challenges as well as assets, and it can be frustrating at times when people don’t approach things the same way we do.
The true value comes in when we can use these results and debrief with the employee and their manager so they can understand similarities and differences between them and what each can expect. It’s about creating awareness and learning to be more flexible based on a specific situation or working with various individuals. It can be as simple as asking the following of both the leader and employee to create this awareness:
- What MBTI preferences do they consider to be their strengths and helps them to succeed in their role?
- What about their MBTI style may make them challenging to work with?
- To be more effective with my manager/employee or my team, I’ll attempt to…
As businessman Henry Gruland once said, “Being a leader is more than just wanting to lead. Leaders have empathy for others and a keen ability to find the best in people… not the worst… by truly caring for others.”
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