Using Type in Organizations

Myers-Briggs Tool, Tool located in Career Coaching, Leadership, Small Business posted on December 3, 2014

Type Tips by Jean M. Kummerow

Here’s an example of some natural tensions between the quadrants of the type table and what might be done to validate the perspective of each:

IN

The “let’s think big/dream about it” people. however, “if the INs are always dreaming up other possibilities, making dreams a reality may not ever happen.” Other types may encourage that dream and ask questions to help everyone understand it. Then they might help identify resources to help make that big picture come true.

EN

The “let’s change it” people. however, “if the ENs are trying to continually change things in the process of trying to discover what can be better, they may change some things that are already working well and waste resources in the process.” Other types may help by separating the things that really need changing now from those that are working well and encourage efforts on the former rather than the latter.

ES

The “let’s get it done!” people. however, “if the ESs are always ready to jump to action, they may jump to action prematurely before other perspectives are examined and before they really have a clear picture of what their future could be.” Other types may help them identify what the long-term consequences of those actions might be, and help them clarify what their goals really are.

IS

The “let’s keep it” people. however, “if the ISs feel their ideas are not being heard and facts are being ignored, they may dig in their heels and refuse to move ahead. They may say something like, “how will this really make things better? you haven’t given me any practical reasons. If we do have to try something different and it doesn’t work, I reserve the right to go back to my old way of doing things.” Other types might acknowledge the facts and suggest pilot programs as a way of testing out new ideas.

Placing session participants into quadrant-alike groups (or for that matter any of the various preference combinations) and asking them to come up with examples of how they’ve used their style to help their team or organization is one way to start to ground this information. This often leads to a fruitful discussion of how other types view them and how they can help one another. The MBTI® framework provides a vocabulary to discuss differences, and there’s lot of room for you to facilitate the conversation that follows. Best wishes!

For more tips and strategies for using type in organizational settings check out Introduction to Type in Organizations and the MBTI Practitioner’s Field Guide