Contributions All Types Can Make to Change

Myers-Briggs Tool, Tool located in Coaching & Mentoring, Small Business posted on

Written by Donna Dunning

Change is all around us and to thrive in times of constant workplace change can be a challenge. Here is an easy-to-use model to help you navigate changes.

Not everyone experiences change in the same way. To simplify our understanding of individual differences, we can consider four change perspectives: preserving (SJ), performing (SP), predicting (NT) and promoting (NF). Each perspective brings unique strengths and challenges to the change process.

By identifying and understanding these four change perspectives we can become aware of, and learn to understand, appreciate, and accommodate, the needs and perspectives of ourselves and others when planning and initiating change.

As your organization moves through changes, consider how well you are meeting the needs and using the strengths of the people in your workplace. Your organization will benefit by acknowledging and capitalizing on all four of the change perspectives.

Change Perspective: Preserving (SJ)

Strengths common to people who share this perspective include:

  • Preserving the wisdom gained through past experiences.
  • Ensuring that what has worked well in the past is not lost in the new ways.
  • Acting as organizational historians; sharing past reasons for current practices.
  • Defining specific roles, rules, structures, tasks, procedures and policies.
  • Avoiding repetition of mistakes.
  • Following through and managing details of the change.
  • Completing tasks and keeping the change on track.

Change Perspective: Performing (SP)

Strengths common to people who share this perspective include:

  • Ensuring change is useful.
  • Finding creative ways to adapt the change process.
  • Finding practical applications for the change.
  • Trouble-shooting implementation problems.
  • Acting on the change immediately.
  • Setting the stage by being willing to try new things.
  • Diffusing some of the tension with humor and playfulness.

Change Perspective: Predicting (NT)

Strengths common to people who share this perspective include:

  • Ensuring the change is reasonable and forward thinking.
  • Looking for ways to improve and refine the change.
  • Seeing strategic and systematic results.
  • Aligning the change to the broader organizational vision and business goals.
  • Defining and refining the objectives and goals of the change.
  • Critiquing, questioning and examining the change for flaws.
  • Investigating and logically assessing potential outcomes and consequences.

Change Perspective: Promoting (NF)

Strengths common to people who share this perspective include:

  • Ensuring the change adds value and is meaningful to the people involved.
  • Acknowledging, respecting and accommodating individual needs.
  • Focusing on developmental opportunities for others.
  • Considering the affects of the change on the individuals involved.
  • Monitoring the organizational climate and morale during the change.
  • Working with others to deal with negative affects of the change.
  • Supporting and encouraging people as they move through the change.

Donna Dunning, Ph.D is an author, consultant, certified teacher and member of the MBTI International Training Faculty. She has been working as a psychologist, specializing in the areas of career development, learning and work performance, for over 20 years. She has provided consulting services for a wide range of clients in the public and private sector. Services include counseling, training, assessment, research, writing, evaluation, program development and performance management.


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