Using personality assessments for team building
5 min. read
In this video, Jeff Hayes, President and CEO of the Myers-Briggs Company, talking about Human Resources Training within his own leadership team, shares how one member of his mostly extraverted team of senior leaders (Thad) has a preference for introversion, and how the group works through that dynamic.
About the team, Hayes says with a smile, “We have a lot of voice going on within the meeting.” He describes how the introverted member often has little to say until near the end of the meeting, but then suddenly speaks up with an idea or opinion very different from anything that had been discussed in the group up to that point.
“We would find a bit of frustration in that,” says Hayes. “Like ok, but why couldn’t you have done that like 10 minutes ago before we got into this whole conversation?”
“Sometimes I don’t think of it in the meeting,” said Thad. “Sometimes, I need time to go away. Sometimes I need processing time to get all of what’s been laid out and decide, how would I respond and what is the essence of what’s being discussed here?”
Team Building for Introverted and Extraverted Types
Hayes and his team eventually realized that their extraverted majority had to take into account the natural tendencies of their single introverted team member. But it took the experience and daily exposure to personality insights and team dynamics that the Myers-Briggs assessment revealed to bring it to light.
They’ve learned it’s their responsibility to understand that the way Thad and those like him receive and process information is a valid preference. Introverted types often feel the need to think through what they have to say before they say it, often while Extraverted types quickly say what’s on their minds.
Human resources training is important, even at the highest levels of an organization.
Following their experience together, the Myers-Briggs leadership team developed an action plan for meetings. At the end of each discussion, they’d deliberately pause for a few seconds to ask Thad if he had anything to add. This not only gave Thad a chance to speak more comfortably, but the freedom to say, “I need to go away and think about this, but I’ll get back to you on that.”
Team Building and Personality Differences
Observing an employee’s behavior in the workplace is a lot like approaching the tip of an iceberg at sea. We see the image the employee presents to those around them. But this image is based on a complicated array of factors like a person’s upbringing and beliefs, their self-image and level of self-awareness. Even their experience as an employee in general, and an employee in their current position in particular, affect how employees behave in the workplace.
Corporate culture also plays a major role in determining behavior.
How comfortable people are with revealing personal truths about themselves and expressing themselves honestly about company policies and procedures depends on the company’s culture. In any case, understanding our workforce is imperative.
Effective human resources training can reveal what lies beneath the surface and allow workplace diversity to become an asset to an organization rather than something to be suppressed for the sake of fitting in. People’s personalities are so rich, multi-faceted, and full of valuable experience that to overlook what’s under a team member’s most obvious characteristics is to risk the consequences of conflicts based on all that wonderful hidden complexity.
In addition to conflict, you risk missing out on that employee’s full potential contribution.
Growth Through Self-Awareness
The MBTI assessment goes into the depths of human personality in a way that reveals its nuances, but not in a way that feels intrusive or risky in a professional environment.
The MBTI tool offers a framework that can be applied, constructively and flexibly, to most aspects of human interaction, human resources training, and personal development outside the workplace. When someone chooses to take the assessment, they’ll end up with an MBTI profile that can reveal how they interpret and interact with the people around them. The MBTI profile lays a solid foundation for development, growth, and finding strategies to work with–and around–one’s own unique personality. This helps people to excel at work, as well as in interpersonal relationships in all aspects of life.
Armed with such valuable knowledge and enhanced self-awareness, people can become more effective within a very short period of time.
The Other Side of the Coin–Awareness of Others
Beyond acquiring better knowledge of oneself, one person’s MBTI tool results can easily and objectively be compared to others.
The Myers-Briggs assessment is designed with an emphasis on ethics with a view to improving people’s understanding of themselves and each other, and improving quality of life. When taking the assessment, it’s designed so that no one person’s personality preferences are seen as superior or inferior to another person’s.
Rather, the assessment shows how a wide variety of very distinct personality types can, and do, mesh and interact in productive and rewarding ways. The combination of self-awareness and an increased understanding of “what makes others tick” amounts to a super-power for organizations prepared to take advantage of the opportunity the MBTI tool offers. A workforce made up of people enlightened by a deeper understanding of themselves and those they spend their days working shoulder-to-shoulder with is bound to be more productive and professionally fulfilled, as well as more adept at avoiding conflicts within teams.
Getting to know how coworkers receive and process information, and what motivates them, is the first step to a mentally healthy work environment. It also contributes to a company culture where employees feel valued and comfortable enough to stick around and build a career with your organization.
Personality Assessments for Team Building
Are you building a team or looking for some way to bring your existing team together?
Whether your leadership focus is on a single critical project or the overall wellbeing of the people on your team, the Myers-Briggs assessment is a sensible place to start laying the foundation for your team’s ongoing success.
One of the best things about the assessment is that it’s not only an incredibly effective professional team-building tool, it’s a personal gift, by its very nature, to each individual person.
The insights revealed by the assessment’s results range from interesting validation to astounding revelation, depending on how well those who receive their results know themselves. People get to keep and rely on this gift of self-awareness and increased understanding for the rest of their lives.
Want to become certified to give the MBTI assessment to your employees and teams? Learn more about the Myers-Briggs Certification Program here. Let us know how we can help with your team-building needs. Get in touch.