Author Archives: Ben

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An Introduction to Type

Category:Introverted Leadership

Co-authored with Andrea J. Wenger, the original article appeared in the February 2017 Intercom magazine of the Society for Technical Communication and is reprinted with permission.

When I first started to study personality and temperament types, I didn’t realize the differences between the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the Keirsey Temperament Sorter. Even when these systems use the same terminology, the meanings may differ slightly.

For instance, while the Keirsey Temperament Sorter (KTS) and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) measure personality according to the same scales, their approach to personality type is very different. While the MBTI focuses on the internal workings of the mind (“cognitive processes”), the KTS is more interested in observable behavior. The KTS groups the 16 personality types into 4 temperaments, and highlights the similarities between them. The MBTI, by contrast, delves deeply into each of the 16 types and into the layers of cognitive processes that contribute to individual personality.

It’s important to note that although individuals are grouped into the 16 different personality types, the personality types are not distributed evenly across the population, with some types being fairly rare. For example, Andrea is an INFJ while Ben is an INTJ. Although the statistics vary, INFJs comprise only 1.5% of the population, while INTJs comprise 2.1%. In contrast, ESTJs comprise 8.7%, while ESFJs comprise 12%. In the Myers-Briggs’s table, extraverts and introverts are pretty equally divided, while Ss comprise 73.3% and Ns 26.7%.   S (Sensing) individuals typically are focused on concrete concepts, while N (iNtuitive) individuals are more interested in abstract concepts.

http://www.myersbriggs.org/_images/estimated_frequency_table.gif. The table is based on MBTI® results from 1972 through 2002, including data banks at the Center for Applications of Psychological Type; CPP, Inc; and Stanford Research Institute (SRI)

If these concepts are new to you, it may be most helpful to start with the basics: the four scales, also called dimensions of personality.  This is where the bulk of the benefit lies. For instance, if you understand that extraverts tend to do their best work by discussing ideas with others, while introverts tend to do better by spending time reflecting alone, you can take immediate practical steps in your work life to improve communication and workflow.

If any of the typing systems discussed in this issue resonate with you, you may wish to delve into them further. Upon deeper examination, the differences become more obvious and important. The systems are complementary, each offering unique insights. Use the concepts that you find helpful.

Typing of various kinds is used extensively by many corporations when determining the best fit for prospective or current employees. They provide useful tools for the workplace, but don’t necessarily capture the nuances of an individual employee. We all differ. Typing may help us understand our own and others’ workstyles, but they’re not determinative of an individual’s behavior or performance. Other “typing” tools used in the workplace include DISC® and Emotional Intelligence (from the work of Daniel Goleman).

For further reading:

Briggs-Myers, Isabel & Myers, Peter B. Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type (CPP), Reprint Edition, 1995

Cain, Susan. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking (New York, NY: Crown), 2012.

Keirsey, David. Please Understand Me II: Temperament, Character, Intelligence (Delmar, CA: Prometheus Nemesis Book Company), 1998.

_______, Jung Typology Test, www.humanmetrics.com

 


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Free meRIT webinar, noon Eastern, 8 November–An Introvert’s Journey to Leadership

Category:Introverted Leadership

Join me at noon Eastern on Wednesday, 8 November  as I share An Introvert’s Journey to Leadership as a meRIT alumni webinar.  Attendance is open to all. https://lnkd.in/ewabirr

I’ll provide a link to the YouTube recording as soon as it’s available. This is a great opportunity to learn more about how I’ve learned about my introversion and leveraged my strengths to become a leader.


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Introverted Leadership Reading List

Category:Introverted Leadership,Leadership,personality

In our mentoring and coaching relationships, we’ve identified several books that you may find helpful as emerging introverted leaders.

Understanding Personality and Temperament

Briggs Myers, Isabel and Myers, Peter B., Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type

Provides an easy-to-read overview of the MBTI. Important for providing the basics of Myers-Briggs Temperament theory. The MBTI focuses on the internal workings of the mind (“cognitive processes”). The MBTI delves deeply into each of the 16 types and into the layers of cognitive processes that contribute to individual personality.

 

Keirsey, David, Please Understand Me II

 

The Keirsey Temperament Sorter (KTS) is more interested in observable behavior. The KTS groups the 16 personality types into 4 temperaments, and highlights the similarities between them.

 


Introversion

Cain, Susan, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

Susan Cain’s book and her Quiet Revolution have helped introverts understand their strengths and their importance in the workplace. As an introvert, I found reading the book to be transformative.

 

Kahnweiler, Jennifer B., The Introverted Leader: Building on Your Quiet Strength, 1st Edition

Preceding Cain, The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, Kahnweiler provides a discussion of introversion and leadership.

 

Petrilli, Lisa, The Introvert’s Guide to Success in Business and Leadership

Petrilli provides a discussion of introverted leadership in the workplace and a set of tools for helping you progress.

 


Workplace Dynamics

Bradberry , Travis and Greaves, Jean, Emotional Intelligence 2.0

The importance of emotional intelligence in the workplace has seen increasing attention as companies work to help employees understand how to work together.

 

Patterson , Kerry; Grenny, Joseph; McMillan, Ron; Switzler, Al, Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High, Second Edition

Crucial Conversations provide exercises (including videos) of common workplace discussions and potential conflict and focuses on helping readers better understand themselves and others, so that a “win-win” is more achievable.

 

 


Verbal Communication Skills

Alda, Alan,  If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face?: My Adventures in the Art and Science of Relating and Communicating

 

Alan Alda writes about his work with helping scientists and medical professionals communicate clearly and empathetically by using improv exercises to build stronger verbal communication.

 

 


Career and Professional Development

Slim, Pamela, Body of Work: Finding the Thread That Ties Your Story Together

Pamela Slim provides a series of steps (with a workbook) that helps us understand what we’re passionate about and how to leverage our backgrounds, desires, work histories, and passion to identify either new careers or side hustles that may be more meaningful to us than our day jobs.

 

 

What other books would you recommend?


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