This is one of my favorite subjects, and those who know me for a while also know that I have been fascinated by personality differences for quite some time. Understanding human behavior comes easy for some of us especially those who have empathetic abilities. For others, it is a constant struggle. It is a very useful skill for anyone. it helps you understand and appreciate people more. It allows you to know what drives people, and that they do not always mean to hurt others but that's just the way they are.
It helps you think of people in more positive ways. This in all aspects of life, including in the work setting. It helps you to communicate in extraordinary ways.
It is vital knowledge for anyone in a leadership position.
As a leader, you need to interact with your followers, peers, seniors, and others; whose support you need in order to accomplish your goals. To gain their support, you must be able to understand and motivate them. To understand and motivate people, you must know human nature. You must be able to understand that everyone is different and unique. This doesn’t only apply to your workers, but also to your clients. Their success equals yours.
Forcing qualities on someone who simply doesn't have them, is the one single worse thing that can happen to a human. It creates stress and anxiety that leads to sickness and potentially substance abuse. Sometimes the most radical change one can make in other people's lives is to allow them to be truly authentic, and by saying that is - living their values with integrity.
Leadership and human behavior work hand in hand. To be a successful leader, you must understand your people and work with them to resolve their problems. Each of us has needs, and we direct our energies to meet these needs as we see fit. Helping your people resolve their problems will result in a unit that will operate smoothly and be highly productive. Without an understanding of human behavior, you cannot be as successful as you could be as a leader.
Myers Briggs personality assessment is a tool that should be used in any work environment to understand the different personalities of the people around us. It helps navigate your conversations, your business opportunities and understand where people you work with are coming from. MBPA is based on 4 different dichotomies and that, as a result, gives you 16 different personalities. I tend to use this test, for example, to understand my clients better, and to serve them in the most effective way. I will explain those dichotomies so you have a larger perspective on how to understand people better.
1. The E-I dichotomy- Focused on how we direct or receive energy: Extroverted or Introverted. Extroverts seem to have a broad range of interests. They get energy by interacting with others. The way they consume their energy is outwards. They learn best by doing things and act before thinking. They talk things through. Introverts, on the other hand, are generally quiet. They consume their energy internally sometimes bottling things inside without showing to anyone. They like to spend time on reflection. They have a few ranges of interests but in depth. Tend to think before acting and gain energy from concentrating on one thing. Understanding the E-I dichotomy is really important. It will let you show up in a conversation a lot more comfortably. Let's say that you are working with someone who is an extrovert. Those folks like to talk... A lot... But a lot of times when they are talking, they don’t mean to say final statements. They are not closing a thought - they are forming a thought. It means - they are thinking as they're talking. They try to give meaning to their words by actually having a conversation with you. Because they are busy talking, they don’t always are listening to what you are really asking. Introverts are the opposite. They are generally quiet. These are people, who really say something only after thinking it through. They are making a final statement. Most of the time, they are presenting an opinion, and their dialogue is actually internal. When you ask an introvert a question, there might be a long awkward pause, while they are reflecting on your question, trying to make sense of it. And replay.
2. The S-N dichotomy- Focused on how we absorb information: Sensing or Intuition. Sensing people love facts and small details. They are rational and they focus on what’s really important at the moment. They enjoy a realistic approach, they like repeated things and they like structure. They are very observant and remember the specifics. Intuitives on the other hand, like to see the big picture and often see possibilities ahead of time. They are interested in innovation and new ways of doing things focusing on patterns and meanings and they’re abstract and imaginative. An S personality type would ask you for a lot of details. N dichotomy might talk about visions and ideas and that’s how they operate. When you interact with them, then you will know that you probably should concentrate on details if they are an S dichotomy, and with N-type personality, you probably should be talking about vision because details would bore them. When you understand this dichotomy. You will be able to know what is important to them to absorb the information, so you can communicate back to them much more effectively.
3. The T-F dichotomy- Focused on how we make decisions: Thinking or Feeling. The thinkers are people who step back to get an objective view. They analyze everything, and usually use the cause and effect reason, they tend to solve problems from logic, they act mostly from what their head says. They are very objective and highly focused. On the opposite side, we have the feelers. This is the personality of those who are involved. They tend to empathize with everyone, they are guided by personal and social values, they make their decisions based on people and act from their heart, they’re more subjective. In a conversation, a thinker is very much attached to the facts and usually care less what every other individual thinks about the situation. They are also those people who usually follow rules really really strong. Where else, a feeler cares about every single person that is involved in the conversation. They need to know, how everyone benefits or how everyone wins in that particular say. They are also ready to break rules to make sure that everyone has a personal benefit from a situation.
4. The J-P Dichotomy- Focused on how we approach the outside world: Judging or Perceiving. The fourth and last dichotomy is about how we organize our information. Judging personalities are organized, controlling, systematic and methodical. They like to make short and long plans and follow them religiously. They are very, very deliberate. The perceivers, on the other hand, are adaptable and curious. They like to experience different things, they are casual and usually open-ended. They also like to be quite spontaneous. In a conversation, if you are fluent with a J dichotomy, you might have a challenge with them, and if you are too rigid with a P dichotomy you might have a problem because they won’t be able to understand what the hell are you doing.
Learning about different dichotomies should give you a better opportunity to achieve the things you want to communicate with people and make sure they understand you. The chances of getting desired feedback from them will be much higher. You will also notice that there is a type of dichotomies that you tend to attract more in your life because you naturally lean towards those types of individuals. Understanding your own dichotomy will tell you how to use that for your own benefit and see how you are perceived by the world. The crux of effective leadership lies not in the way you manage differently, but in the way, you ‘manage’ different individuals coherently. The 21st-century workplace is complicated and you need to go down to the wire if you need tangible results. Now, at the end of this blog, I would like to invite you to take a free test that would allow you to see who you are. Find out the unique elements of each person, and use them to your advantage to avoid finding yourself in the midst of trouble.