Author Archives: Ben

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Join me in Orlando in May 2018 for Temperament-based Strategies for Excelling in the Workplace!

Category:introversion,personality,STC,Summit Tags : 

Summit Save the DateTemperament-based Strategies for Excelling in the Workplace
Sunday, May 20, 2018, 1:00-4:30 PM | Ben Woelk

Temperament types have big impacts on work relationships. Today’s workplace presents challenges for both introverted and extraverted team members.

  • Many workplaces are adopting open space layouts that foster teamwork but provide little opportunities for introverts to contribute as individuals.
  • Extraverts may struggle with working with Introverts.

Because of Western society’s emphasis on extraversion, many introverts feel unsuited or ill-equipped to thrive in today’s workplace and are not sure how to take that next step to increase influence and improve visibility.

All personality types may have issues working with coworkers or management. Is your manager a Guardian, an Idealist, a Rational, or an Artisan? How does that change how you approach them?

Suitable for all attendees, you’ll benefit from understanding your temperament and how you interact best with others. Attendees will benefit most from the workshop if they know their Myers-Briggs/temperament profile in advance. I recommend taking the tests at and before attending.

Register at

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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. 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,


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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.

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.