Turning Personality Clashes Into Collaboration
November 4, 2020 / 54:04:00
Hello and welcome, everyone. Thanks for being here. My name is Emmet. I’m a marketing coordinator over at Avitus Group, a Division Partner of Vensure, and I’m going to be your host today. We’ll be spending the next hour talking about how personality clashes can be turned into opportunities for collaboration. There will be a Q&A session at the end and we’ll do our best to answer all those questions in the time we have, but if we don’t get to them, we’ll answer them after the session.
As always, this webinar is brought to you by Vensure Employer Services and all of our partners. Vensure Employer Services is the leader of 20-plus PE0 partners and we have clients in all 50 states.
Alright, today’s agenda is starting with the study of personalities. We’ll talk a little bit about extroversion, introversion, sensing, and intuition, thinking and feeling, judging and perceiving, and lastly, we’ll have a Q&A. If you hear a topic that you want a little bit more clarity on, feel free to submit a follow-up in the Q&A.
Our panelist today is Robin Paggi. She’s a human resource practitioner who specializes in training on topics, such as harassment prevention, team building, and supervisory skills. So with that, I’ll hand it over to Robin.
Thank you, Emmet. It is probably not a surprise to you that our personality differences are often a major source of conflict, especially in close quarters such as the workplace. And when we work with people for eight hours or more a day, the potential for personality clashes increases. So, today I’m going to provide you with some information that hopefully can help you turn those clashes into collaboration.
So, as always, I like to start with a little bit of history. And so, let’s look at the study of personality styles.
Humans have been studying personality styles for thousands of years. You might be familiar with the Greek physician Hippocrates. He is the father of medicine and he believed that humans could be divided into four personality types based upon the kind of humors, or fluids, most prevalent in their body. Now, that seems kind of far-fetched, but actually not so as we will see as we go through our little history lesson here.
Now, the four humors that Hippocrates identified were blood, phlegm, black bile, and yellow bile. And so, we all have all of those in us. He thought the one that is most prevalent is the one that reveals your personality style. So, here’s a quick little personality test for you. You can try to see which style best meets you. People who have more blood work hold sanguine and if you have a sanguine personality style, chances are you’re a people person. You like being in a lively entertainment, lots of stuff going on. And so, if you’re feeling bored at work, chances are it’s because not enough exciting stuff is going on or you’re not interacting with people enough.
People who have more phlegm were called phlegmatic. And these personalities love to help people and often work in service-oriented jobs, such as health care or hospitality. They’re pretty mellow, tend to go with the flow, great to be around in a crisis because they aren’t very emotional and don’t freak out easily. They internalize all of that stuff and they like routine. They aren’t drama queens and they don’t like getting mixed up in other people’s drama.
People with more black bile were called melancholic. And this style loves having a plan, working slowly and cautiously, and getting it just right. They believe in perfectionism. So, if you think you’re a perfectionist, chances are this is you.
Because they care so much about their work being quality, they can become preoccupied with what people think, worried that it’s not good enough. They tend to think that they are not qualified and that people are going to find out any moment that they’re not qualified. That’s called imposter syndrome and they tend to be a bit serious and sometimes unsure of themselves. And they are highly critical but don’t like criticism.
And then people with more yellow bile were called choleric. And this is the rarest style, especially for women. People who fall into this group or more task-oriented than people-oriented. So, it’s task first, then people second, if there’s enough time. They’re very driven by results. They tend to be competent, independent, and like to work alone rather than in a group. And they also don’t require a lot of sleep, which means they can get a whole lot of stuff done.
Now, Hippocrates incorporated these beliefs into his medical teachings and used a personality test to help diagnose his patients. Now, this theory has been widely debunked. However, it remained very influential until the mid-18th century when Franz Gall came along. Now, Gall was a physician who theorized that human personality and behavior was based on the shape of the brain, and the different regions within the brain. And so, he would fill his patient’s skull and look for elevations and depressions in the skull, and determine personalities and development of mental faculties based on the shape of the skull. And this examination was called phrenology.
Now, today, phrenology, again, widely debunked by the scientific community, the idea that a person’s personality could be determined by the shape of their skull has been repeatedly disproven. But at the time, his arguments were very persuasive and intriguing. And even though now they’re incorrect, he did set the groundwork for modern neuroscience by spreading the idea of functional localization within the brain, meaning that different areas in the brain generate different behaviors.
And that is true.
Next is Phineas Gage and he was not a physician, he was a railroad construction foreman. But the reason that we’re talking about him is that in 1848, at only the age of 25, an iron bar accidentally went through his brain. Amazingly, he survived the accident, but people noticed dramatic changes in his behavior afterward, which, of course. So he is, he was the first and arguably most important case to reveal that some faculties can be associated with specific regions of the brain. So again, that echoed what Gall had said, and especially behavior that generates from the frontal lobe, because that’s where that iron bar went through for the most part. So, people studied Phineas Gage and they were able to determine lots about the brain, based upon what happened to him.
Next is Sigmund Freud. Most people are familiar with Freud. He was the founding father of psychoanalysis, which is talk therapy, a method for treating mental illness, and also with theory, which explains human behavior, and that’s why we’re talking about him as far as personality styles. Freud believed that events in our childhood have a great influence on our adulthood. And words that he introduced, that we still use, a lot of us, are neurotic, denial, and the Freudian slip, which means accidentally revealing what you really feel when you are trying to say something else. So, that’s all I’ll talk about as far as Freud is concerned.
But a protege of his was Carl Jung, and I know it spelled Jung, but it is pronounced with a Y, Jung. He was a Swiss psychiatrist, greatly influenced by Freud, and even conducted research along with him. He is best known for his research and personality styles, dream analysis, and the human psyche. And he wrote a book called “Psychological Types” that was available in 1921 in Europe and had a profound impact on the Myers-Briggs ladies we’re going to talk about next. So, based on his observations of people, Jung concluded that differences in behavior result from people’s inborn tendencies to use their minds in different ways. In other words, he believed that the way our brain is wired determines how we act. And our brain wiring is intact upon our birth, and he felt that about half of our personality style is intact upon our birth. And lots of people have studied personality styles and come to the same conclusion. Half of our personality is nature and half of it is nurture.
And so, one of the things that I’d like you to do, if you’ve got a pen or pencil handy, I don’t know if anybody uses pencils anymore, but if you’ve got something handy, I’d like you to pick it up. And I’d like you to write your name as if you’re signing a check, or signing a credit card statement, or something like that.—Just sign your name the way you always do. Now, chances are you use the hand that you always use to sign your name, and why would you do that? Because that’s what comes naturally to you. But, why did you originally start using your right hand or your left hand? Jung said it’s because of how your brain is wired. Now, I want you to put your pen in your other hand and try to sign your name exactly the same way. Alright, if you’re actually doing this, it probably feels weird. You probably have to really think about how to sign your name. It’s probably taking you longer and it’s probably going to look different than it normally does. So, that’s what he meant by inborn predispositions, were predisposed to behave certain ways, such as being right-handed or left-handed.
Now we can use, or learn to use, the opposite hand if we need to. And I am right-handed, when I was in the sixth grade, I broke my right arm. I had a cast on it for six weeks and I had to learn to write left-handed. And it was awkward and it never looked good, but I was able to do it well enough to complete my homework. And so, that’s what Jung said, is that we can use the opposite side and it comes more naturally for some than the others.
Now, Jung’s theory included two different attitude types, which he called introversion and extroversion. You’re probably familiar with those terms. Then he separated introverts and extroverts into four subtypes, according to the functions that control the way they perceive the world. And those functions were thinking, feeling, sensation, intuition. Now, I know I went through that really fast, but that’s okay, we’re going to slow it down on the next slides and talk about those in-depth. Before we do, let’s talk about Myers-Briggs.
Katharine Briggs was an American who began her research into personalities in 1917. And I think this is a funny story. It’s when she met her future son-in-law and she noticed that he was really different than her family members. And so, she began to study personality types, and she read lots of biographies, and then she developed this typology where she proposed four temperaments:.meditative, spontaneous, executive, and social. And if you look back at what Hippocrates came up with, her personality types are pretty similar to his. But then, she read Jung’s book, “Psychological Types,” which came to America and was printed in English and she fell in love with that book. And she recognized his theory was kind of like hers, but went way further, and so she devoted the rest of her life to trying to figure out how to take this theory and make it into something practical. Now, that was Katharine Briggs, where’s the Myers? Who is that? Well, that’s her daughter.
And so, after extensively studying the work of Jung, Briggs and her daughter, Isabel, extended their interest in human behavior into efforts to turn the theory into practical use. And so, they developed what is called the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, MBTI. And this is one of the most popular personality assessments in the world and it’s what the rest of this webinar is about. It has been used all over the world for decades in many Fortune 500 companies, even though some people claim it’s pseudoscience, it’s little more than a Chinese fortune cookie, it’s one of the worst personality tests in existence, and it’s the fad that won’t die. So perhaps you’ve heard those things about it.
Now, why would I spend the remaining 45 minutes of our time together talking about something that has received such criticism? Well, the reason is because I became certified in administering the MBTI about a decade ago and I have used it quite frequently in workshops and individual coaching since then. But it’s not just because it’s an instrument that I use that I want to tell you about it, it’s because it has had such a profound personal and professional effect on me. If I had understood my personality style and other personality styles decades ago, I would have had fewer personality clashes, and life would have been easier. And so, one of the things that I tried to do for people with providing information is to make their lives better. And this has made my life better. And so, I’m hoping this information will help you in your personal and professional life.
Alright,without further ado, let’s go to the next slide and learn more about the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. And the first preferences that we are going to study are extroversion and introversion, and chances are you have heard those terms before. Extroverts, people usually say, are the life of the party, and very outgoing, and talkative. And they tend to be. And a lot of times introverts say that people are shy and withdrawn, and sometimes they are. But the definition of introversion, extroversion is where you get your energy. So, extroverts get their energy from the outside world, and that’s where they focus their attention. And introverts get their energy from inside themselves, and that’s where they focus. And so, let me tell you a little bit more about extroversion and introversion. And let’s see if you can identify with one more than the other.
Now, we all do extroverted things. We all do introverted things, and we don’t fit neatly into a category. But we tend to prefer one type over the other, and that’s why they’re called preferences. And so, let’s see if you prefer one more than the other. So, let me tell you about extroverts, and then I’ll tell you about introverts, and then you can make your decision. If you prefer extroversion, you probably tend to talk first and think later, generally not knowing what you’ll say until you hear yourself say it—and that’s one of the things extroverts process information by talking about it. I identify as extrovert and
I will hear myself say things that I didn’t even know I was thinking or feeling, and when I hear myself say them, I go, “Yes, that’s exactly it.” And so, in, extroverts do not process information quietly for the most part. They have to talk about it in order to know what they think or what they feel. Now, it’s not uncommon that they find themselves talking too much or saying the wrong thing. And so, they frequently berate themselves by saying, “Shut up, when will I ever learn to keep my mouth shut?” So, if that’s something you tell yourself sometimes, you might be extroverted. They tend to know a lot of people, and they like to include them in lots of activities. So, extroverts are very action-oriented. They like to be doing things, and they like to do things with people. They tend to be approachable and easily engaged by friends and strangers alike. It’s very easy for them to talk to people, and so they can have conversations with people they don’t even know. And they like to talk on the phone, more so than texting or email. It’s easier for them to do so, and also because they get more energy that way. They tend to like to go to parties, just like to interact with people. And their conversations aren’t necessarily limited to people they already know. Again, they can reveal very personal information to strangers and that’s one of the differences between extroverts and introverts. Introverts think that just about everything is personal information, and extroverts tend to think that hardly anything is personal information. And so, extroverts tend to embarrass introverts by revealing personal information. Extroverts like to generate ideas with a group rather than by themselves. They have to bounce things off of people because again, they need to hear themselves talk. And, sometimes the person on the receiving end doesn’t even have to say anything. The extroverts get all their thinking done, they thank the person, “Thank you so much, you’ve been very helpful,” when the person never said anything at all. They find listening more difficult than talking, and it’s tough for them to just be quiet. And if, when they are listening, they tend to be verbal listeners by going, Aha, uh hmm, yes, aha. And they nod their head a lot, lots of facial expressions when they’re listening. They get bored when they can’t participate in a conversation, and their energy starts to drain. And they need affirmation from friends, and their spouses, or significant others, or parents about who they are, what they do, how they look, just about everything. So, they like to check in with people to see how people are reacting to them because that’s very important to them.
Now, then. If you prefer introversion, chances are you probably will find some of these things appropriate for you. You’ve been called shy or aloof from time to time. And, whether you or not, whether or not you agree with that, you did, do tend to see yourself as quiet and reflective, and never have enough time to be by yourself. You tend to rehearse things before you say them and you wish other people would, too. You don’t understand why people just blurt out things or why people say some of the things that they do. They embarrass you sometimes because they’re so personal. And, when you are faced with any kind of confrontation, you tend to get anxious and want to think about things before engaging, and preferably not talk about conflicts at all, if you can get away with it. Again, you never seem to have enough peace and quiet. And introverts like quiet. They don’t need a lot of stuff going on in the background like extroverts do. Introverts tend to adapt to noise by developing a high power of concentration that can close out TV, no, nosy, noisy kids, nearby conversations—all sorts of stuff. So, they tend to have tunnel vision and could just block things out. They are told that they’re a great listener because they will just let people talk to them sometimes, even though they might not be listening. And they wish they could get their ideas out more forcefully. They resent it when other people say what they were just about to say. They don’t feel they need to say something when somebody’s already said it. What’s the point of that? And they need to recharge after they spend time socializing with people. So, they can go out and they can socialize, even when they’re around people that they know really well, they can look extroverted. But then they need a lot of downtime to recharge their battery. And they don’t understand why some people jabber away and can’t keep their thoughts to themselves, and they want to tell people to be quiet, but they rarely do because they don’t like confrontation. Chances are, if you’re an introvert, you were told by your parents as a child to go outside and play with your friends. And your parents were probably worried about you because you like to be by yourself so much. And introverts tend to believe that talk is cheap. That you’re just talking, you don’t mean it. They get suspicious if someone close is being too complimentary or say things that have already been said. Why do you need to repeat what’s already been said? What’s the point? You just probably like to hear yourself talk.
Alright. So we all do extroverted things and we all do introverted things. But chances are one side resonated with you a little bit more than others. This then can give us an indication of why we clash with people. Extroverts tend to have too much energy for introverts. They talk too much, there’s too many words. They’re too loud. They tend to be loud people. They tend to have so much energy sometimes it’s overwhelming to the introverts. Sometimes they can appear manic to people sometimes because of so much energy. There’s too much emotion, too much facial expression. All of those things is just too much. And so, that’s how they tend to be a problem for introverts.
Now, how are introverts a problem for extroverts? Because it’s too little…It’s not enough words, it’s not enough emotion, it’s not enough facial expression, it’s not enough energy. And so, when our energy level is off, we have a difficult time connecting. And so, what we really want to do is try to meet in the middle, to collaborate. And so, extroverts, bring everything down, the facial expression, the body language, the amount of words, the volume of the voice, the energy, bring it all down. And introverts, bring it up. More words, more facial expression, more body language, more energy going out into the world. And when our energy connects like that, then we’re able to work together better.
Now, it might seem fake to you. If I’m an extrovert and I have to make myself talk less, and make myself have fewer facial expressions, and all the things, then I’m not being myself. That’s not true. We’re all introverted and we’re all extroverted. It’s just that we prefer one over the other. So, just how I had to learn how to write with my left hand because my right hand was broken, when I’m interacting with introverts, I need to learn to be more introverted so I can make that connection with them. It’s not being fake or disingenuine, it is just drawing upon resources that I have available to me. I just don’t use that much. So, when we make small changes in our behavior, not in our personality style, but in our behavior, that’s when we can connect with people. And when we connect, it’s easier to collaborate.
Alright. By the way, before we move on, I do want to tell you that being an extrovert and introvert pair is a great pair. And chances are if you prefer extroversion, your significant other is an introvert and vice versa because we tend to marry our opposites or partner with them because they give us balance. And so, that’s what we need. And so, take advantage of the differences that you have. What we tend to do is we spend so much time on criticizing each other for being different than us. Instead, we need to take advantage. So, what extroverts get from introverts is calm and peace, and what introverts get from extroverts is a little bit more energy and getting them out into the world, which is where they need to be sometimes.
Alright. Now, we’ll move on and we will talk about sensing and intuition. Now, this is how we get our information and the information that we trust. So, again, the way we process information and the kind of information we like. And sensors are very in touch with their senses, what they can see, smell, taste, touch, hear…they believe that information and they’re just more adept at picking up on tangible things that are right in front of them. So, if you prefer sensor, or sensing, chances are you prefer specific answers to specific questions. When you ask someone for the time, you’d prefer 3:52 rather than a little before 4. You like to concentrate on what you’re doing at the moment and generally don’t wonder about what’s next. You’re very present in what’s happening now. And you’d rather do something than think about it. You find the most satisfying tasks are those that make you work hard and yield some tangible results, not coming up with ideas or concepts of that kind of thing, but tangible stuff you can see. And as much as you hate doing so, you’d rather clean the house than think about where your career is going. So again, sensors are very in the now and don’t want to think too much about the future. If you prefer sensing, you probably believe that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Don’t reinvent the wheel if you don’t have to. And you don’t understand why some people have to try to improve on everything, why can’t you just leave good enough alone? You’d rather work with facts and figures than ideas and theories. And you get frustrated when people don’t give you clear, specific, step-by-step instructions. You like things specific instead of general. You don’t like it when somebody says, “Well, here’s the overall plan. We’ll take care of the details later.” No, you want the details now, so that you can see what the situation is. You tend to be very literal in your use of words. You also take things literally and find yourself asking people, “Are you joking, or do you really mean that?” And sometimes you can’t tell when somebody is joking because you do take things so literally. And you also find it easier to see individual trees more than the forest. So, if you’ve ever heard the phrase, “they can’t see the forest for the trees,”, that’s you. And at work, you’re happy to focus on your own job and are disinterested in how it fits into the entire organization or what other people are doing. And you also believe that seeing is believing. And if I don’t see it, I don’t believe it. So, if the train is here, you know it’s here because it’s on the tracks, not because it’s coming.
Now, intuition focus on meanings and relationships and see connections between things. So if you prefer intuition, chances are you believe that time is relative. And no matter what the hour, you still have time to do three more things. And so, for intuitives, they need to understand that things take longer than they think it will. And things are more difficult than they think they are. If you like intuition, you’d rather fantasize about how you’re going to spend your next paycheck than sitting there and balancing your checkbook. That’s boring. You tend to give general answers to most questions and you don’t understand why people can’t follow your directions. Get irritated when people push you for details, because details just tax the brain. You believe that boring details is redundant. You like figure out how things work just to because you like to do it. Prone to puns and word games. And so, intuitives like to talk in metaphors. They say things like, It’s raining cats and dogs, and they tell stories to illustrate their points. Sometimes sensors don’t understand why they’re telling the story, how is it connected? But the intuitive always understands the connection. Intuitives tend to think about several things at once, and are often accused by friends of being absent-minded or daydreamers. And intuitives seek connections and interrelatedness behind most things rather than accepting them at face value. They want to know what’s the story behind it. They tend to read between the lines. They say, “Yeah, that’s what you said, but that’s not what you really meant.” And they like to think about the future and they’re stimulated by possibilities. They tend to be optimists and see the silver lining in every cloud.
Now, again, we all have both of these. We tend to gravitate more toward one than the other. So, what is the clash between these two preferences? Well usually to the intuitive, the sensor is too objective, too detailed. They see what’s wrong instead of what’s right. They’ll pick things apart and find the flaw. And, and they’re just a little bit too pessimistic for the intuitive. Now, the intuitive for the sensor is too much of a daydreamer. They start things but don’t finish. They are thinking about the future instead of what’s right here. They aren’t detailed enough and they get their feelings hurt when the sensor very nicely points out why their ideas won’t work. And so, how can they collaborate better together? Well, again, it’s always, “Do more,” of the opposite. And so, what the sensor can do is to be a little bit more imaginative, to not get hung up on the details, to see the good side instead of the bad side. And what the intuitive can do is to be more factual, to be more specific, to have more details, and to not get their feelings hurt when the sensor points out why their ideas aren’t really as great as they think they are. So, you really need both of these. You need the sensor who is very practical, and step- by-step, and follows routines and, and has every detail they need before they take the next step. But, you need intuitives also, because they come up with ideas and possibilities, and they see the bright side of everything. And so, you put those together and that’s an awesome team.
Thinking and feeling. So this is the way we make decisions. And these terms often are a little bit confusing for people because sometimes people think, well, if I’m a thinker, does that mean I don’t feel or if I’m a feeler, does that mean I don’t think? And no, we all think and we all feel. This is specifically about how we make decisions. And thinkers tend to make decisions based upon logic. If it makes sense, it’s probably a good decision. And feelers tend to base their decisions on how it’s going to affect people. And the best decision is one that makes people happy. So, that’s primarily the difference between the two. But let’s look at a little bit more.
If you’re a thinker, you probably enjoy proving a point for the sake of clarity, even at the expense of harmony, which means that if you think you’re right, you’re probably going to argue that you are right, even if it makes the other person not like you, because you value clarity over harmony and people liking you. If you’re a thinker, you probably pride yourself in your objectivity, despite the fact that some people accuse you of being cold and uncaring. And so, that’s the thing, you can usually tell who prefers thinking and who prefers feeling upon how they communicate. And thinkers tend to be a little withdrawn and standoffish and/or that’s how they appear as cold and uncaring, because they’re trying to make the best logical decision they can. And they think that being objective will help them do that. And so, they try to distance themself from the feelings involved in the decision. They tend to be firm-minded than gentle-hearted and they believe in being firm but fair. And tough love is something that they use. And they think that honesty is the best policy and would rather tell somebody the truth rather than not say anything and let people suffer as a result of not hearing the truth. They’d rather settle a dispute based on what’s right and truthful rather than what’s fair and good. And that’s one of the things sensors, or excuse me, thinkers and feelers, have different ideas of what is fair. A thinker tends to believe that treating everybody equally is fair and everybody plays by the same rules, whereas a feeler tends to think that you have to take people as individuals into consideration in making the right decision for them. So, they have different definitions of fairness, which tends to cause problems for them sometimes. Thinkers tend to think it’s more important to be right than to be liked. And so, that’s why they’ll argue. And they don’t believe it’s necessary to like someone to work with them and do a good job. Thinkers tend to respect people who are very competent and they don’t have to like that person in order to think they’re competent, they just have to think that person knows what they’re doing. They’re impressed with and lent more credibility to things that are logical and scientific. And that’s what they trust. And they remember numbers and figures better than remembering faces and names, and they’re able to stay cool, and calm, and objectives in situations when everyone else is all upset. Now, after everything is all said and done and the dust has settled, they might get upset at that point. But in a crisis situation, usually, they dial down the emotion and they try to handle the situation as logically as they possibly can.
Now then, feelers. If you identify with feeling, you probably consider a good decision, one that considers other people’s feelings, and feelers are often considered to be considerate. They consider other people’s feelings. That’s one mistake that thinkers tend to make in their decision-making. Thinkers tend to think that if the decision makes sense, then it’s a good decision and go forward with it. And they often forget to think about how it’s going to impact people or to solicit other people’s advice. But, feelers usually solicit other people’s opinions and they want to make the decision that makes as many people happy as possible. Feelers tend to enjoy serving others and will do almost anything to make people happy, even at the expense of their own discomfort. And so, let’s say if you’re a feeler and you’re going out to lunch with a group of people and they all want to go to a restaurant that you don’t want to go to, you’ll go because you want to make people happy, even though there’s nothing you can eat at that restaurant. Feelers have wondered, “Doesn’t anyone care what I want?” Although they have a difficult time telling people what they want, they think that feels rude. And so, they don’t put things out there. But then, sometimes they don’t understand why people don’t get what’s going on with them, even when they’re not saying what’s going on with them. And they enjoy providing needed services to people at a party, they might be serving others even when it’s not their party. They just want to be useful and helpful. They put their selves in other people’s shoes. They’re very empathetic and they tend to think, “How would I feel if this were happening to me?” And make decisions based upon that. Won’t hesitate to take back something that they said that might have offended somebody because they do not like to offend people. They do not like conflict and as a result of that, people sometimes think that they’re wishy-washy or wimpy. And again, they prefer harmony rather than clarity and they are embarrassed by conflict in groups or family gatherings. And they just prefer to pretend the conflict is not there or they’re not unhappy with somebody and try to smooth things over with other people. And, if you are a feeler, you’re probably often accused of taking things too personally, because that’s a thing that feelers have a tendency to do. For them, it’s all about the relationship, and anything that might harm the relationship is going to impact them and take it personally. So, again, we all think, we all feel and we all make decisions based upon those things. But chances are, you gravitate toward one side more than the other.
Now, what’s the potential clash? Well, feelers tend to think that thinkers are too logical, too cold, uncaring, uncompassionate, unempathetic, just don’t have feelings, because that’s when they’re making decisions, what they see. And thinkers tend to think that feelers are too emotional, too dramatic, take things too personally, don’t make good decisions, care too much what people think of them, etc. But the thing is, put em together and they make an awesome pair. You need someone who can bring logic to a situation, and you need someone who can bring empathy to the situation. And you put those things together and you make some pretty good decisions. And so, what can the thinker do in order to collaborate? To realize that decisions involve feelings or they should involve feelings? And that’s one of the things, people my age, and I’m in my late 50s, we were taught when we were early into our careers that you leave your feelings outside the door, you leave your, leave your personal life outside the door, and then we have that expectation for other people. And that is not a realistic expectation and that’s not good decision-making either. And so, be, or thinkers need to be more empathetic and understand how their decisions impact people. And feelers need to use more logic in their decision-making and not care so much about what other people think of them. And that’s where they can meet in the middle.
Alright. One more set of preferences to go through and then we’ll wrap it up. We’re going to be talking about judging and perceiving. This is how we approach the world. Judges want to organize it, and make decisions, and stick with the plan. And perceivers just want to show up, and experience it, and figure it out at that point. So, we all do both things, but we tend to have a preference. If you prefer judging, chances are you’re always waiting for everybody else. You are early, you hate being late. You hate it when other people are late. And that’s one of your things. You tend to have a place for everything and aren’t satisfied until everything is in its place. And you do not understand why people can’t just put things away where they’re supposed to go. You know that if everyone would simply do what they’re supposed to do and when they’re supposed to do it, the world would be a better place. And probably you walk around saying, “Why can’t people just do their jobs?” You wake up in the morning knowing what your day is going to be like. You’ve got a plan, and you like to follow that plan, and you don’t like it when things interfere with that plan. You don’t like surprises and you make this well known to everyone. And, any kind of surprises, even good surprises, can throw judges off course. They like to know what the future holds. And, you probably keep lists and use them. And if you do something that’s not on your list, you’ll probably put it on the list so you could check it off because that feels really good. You like order. You have a special system for keeping things in your refrigerator, and in your cupboards, and in your closet. And chances are in your garage you’ve got outlines of tools on the walls, so that you know exactly where the tools go. You’re accused of being angry when you’re not angry, you’re just stating your opinion. But judgers tend to do it so forcefully that it sounds like anger sometimes. And you want to get things done quickly and out of the way, even if it means having to do it over and get it right. And so, judges don’t have a lot of patience and need things to move at a fairly fast pace.
Alright. So if you prefer perceiving, you probably love to explore the unknown, even if it’s something as simple as a new route home from work. I identify as perceiving. Yet yesterday, I was driving home, and I was daydreaming, and I didn’t take the turn that I was supposed to turn, and so I was having to drive further and I was berating myself. But then I saw a building that I did not know was there, and I was happy because I saw, “Oh, that’s where that building is.” And it’s okay that I was daydreaming and had to take more time because now I know where that building is. That’s a perceiver. Judgers would get mad that they didn’t take the right turn. If you’re a perceiver, you don’t plan a task, but you wait and see what it demands. You show up and figure it out when you get there. And people accuse you of being disorganized, you’re not disorganized, you know where everything is in your massive piles of things. If you’re a perceiver, chances are you have to resort to last-minute spirts of energy to meet deadlines. And that’s the thing perceivers like to have a looming deadline because that’s where the energy happens. If there’s no deadline, there’s plenty of time to get to it. It just keeps going on the back burner. Now with judgers, they want to plan it and stick to that plan, and if the deadline is a year from now, that’s okay, they’re gonna start on it today. The perceivers will start on it, 364 days from today. If you’re a perceiver, you don’t believe that neatness counts, even though you would prefer to have things in order. It’s just, why spend your time making things neat? What’s important is creativity, spontaneity, responsiveness. You turn most work into play. If it can’t be made into fun, it probably isn’t worth doing, or for a while. Perceivers tend to get distracted by bright, shiny objects. And once the shine wears off, then they move on to the next thing. They tend to change the subject often in conversations, anything that pops into their head or walks into the room. They don’t like being pinned down on things. They want to keep their options open and tend to put off until tomorrow what isn’t absolutely necessary to do today. You’ll get at them when it needs to get done, maybe.
Alright. So the clash, you can probably tell, is that judgers appear too rigid and inflexible to perceivers—too uptight. And perceivers seem too flexible, too wishy-washy, don’t have a plan. Just show up, always late. So, lots of potential for clash here. And so, how to collaborate? And again, this is such a great grouping. The judger can make that plan and stick to that plan. But when plans don’t go well, all they need to do is look to the perceiver, and the perceiver will come up with all these possibilities because that is their talent is trying to find all the possibilities at the moment. That’s where they shine. So collaboration, if the judger could be a little bit more flexible and not get so upset when things don’t go according to plan. And if the perceiver could be a little bit more organized and have some kind of a plan, then that would help them meet in the middle.
Alright, so that is it, and if you were really paying attention along the way, you might have identified yourself as an extrovert or an introvert, or an E or an I, a sensor or an intuitive, so an S or an N. A thinker or a feeler, so a T or an F. And a judge or a perceiver, so a J or a P. And you take those four letters together, through those four different preferences, and that is your psychological type, according to Myers-Briggs. And when you uh, really identify with that psychological type, then there’s all sorts of resources available to help you be more collaborative with people who are not like you.
Okay, so moving on. That’s all the information I have for you, I just do want to say this before we have questions. Communication works for those who work at it, and the work is that flexing that we’ve talked about. And so, one of the things that I have to do is I have to work on not talking too much, and being more practical, and being more sensitive, and then having a plan. And I have those things inside me, they just don’t come naturally to me. But when I dig down deep and I bring them to the surface, they help me be more collaborative with people who are opposite styles than I am. And collaboration leads to success. And so that’s what this is all about.
Okay, let’s hear some questions.
Thanks, Robin. And once again, the instructions for submitting questions are up here on the slide. First question we have here is, can people’s personalities change over time?
That has been a big debate. And, one of the things that Jung said is that our innate preferences really don’t change over time. What changes is our ability to respond to situations. Now, whether that’s true or not, I don’t know. I mean, I think people change to a certain degree. I think I have changed. But I do know that my initial reaction to things tends to be the same. I’ve just learned how to filter and how to pause before I respond. The important thing, whether we change or don’t change, is how is our world going? If our interactions with people are successful, meaning that we benefit from them, they benefit from them, then that’s what is important. But if our interactions with other people are not successful, meaning that we’re getting into conflicts with them and that we’re not able to be as productive as we possibly could, then that’s when we need to look at maybe we do need to make some changes in order to be more collaborative. And so, the debate on whether people change or they don’t change, I think is not worthy of a discussion. What I think is important is, do you need to make some changes in order to get better results from your interactions?
Okay. Second question here is, are personality tests legal?
Yeah, well, one of the things, the Myers-Briggs folks don’t like the term personality test, because a test indicates that there are right answers and wrong answers. And so, they use the word assessment. And so that, that’s one of the things. But, yes, they are legal. One of the things that employers have a tendency to do is use personality assessments in their hiring process. Now, the Myers-Briggs people will not allow that. And that’s one of the things that people request of me sometimes is, “Will you have this applicant complete the questionnaire, and provide a report, and let us know?” And I won’t do that because that goes against the code of ethics for Myers-Briggs practitioners. And I won’t do it also because I know when I am using personality assessments in training and coaching, that I have people assess themselves by going through the descriptions that I provided for you. And then, if they’re with their coworkers especially, I ask their coworkers whether they agree with their assessment, and a lot of times their coworkers do not. And the reason for that, I believe, is first of all, that people do not see themselves as other people see them. And so, we tend to see ourselves in the best light and we know our motivations and, our, what’s internally going on with this and all of those types of things that other people can’t see. And how we see ourselves is very important. But for our purposes here, how others see us is more important, because how others see us determines whether we’re getting the results that we want or not. And so, I don’t like using personality assessments in the interviewing process because first of all, how people complete a questionnaire might not be accurate as to who they are. And second of all, they might fill out the questionnaire based upon how they think you want them to fill it out. So, I discourage the use of personality tests or assessments during the interviewing process, even though they are legal. I do like them for training and coaching purposes. I think they’re quite helpful there.
Okay. What resources would you suggest we go to or read to learn about how to interact or collaborate with other personalities?
Well, one of the things, as I mentioned, I am a certified professional coach. And so, if you’re really interested, you can contact me and I can send you a link to the questionnaire that I use, and then it generates a report. Now, this does cost a little bit of money. I think it’s like $50 or something. And so, there is that. Now you can always just go online and if you’re interested in Myers-Briggs, then you can just Google it. And there are some assessments, but sometimes those are not as accurate as the one that I use because the one that I use is from the Myers-Briggs ladies versus other people who’ve just put their own personality test together. But if you just want to look online, again, you can take these assessments and they usually come up with reports that tell you what you might be doing that’s causing problems for you and what you could do instead. And the thing is, is that when you really identify with these types, those reports are so right on. It is scary. When you really don’t identify, then it’s not as valuable. And so, that’s one of the things, I really identify as being an extrovert. So, all the advice for extroverts, extroverts on how to be more effective with introverts really applies to me. And
I’ve incorporated those things into my life. So, that’s one of the things to consider as well. So, if you’d like to contact me, I’d love to help you out with that. If you want to just do it online, all you have to do is just Google, MBTI, Myers-Briggs, or just personality test and you’ll have a whole lot of information at your fingertips.
Great. Thank you. It looks like that’s all the questions we have. If you guys do have any further questions, just email firstname.lastname@example.org, and thank you all for being here once again. And we’ll see you next time.