What 4 Little Letters Can Tell You About Your Team
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A lot has been written on introverts and extroverts, including which type of person makes a better leader and selling tips for introverts. But possibly the simplest way to determine the best career positions and job preferences for someone is to revert back to the good ole Myers-Briggs test.
In essence, the Myers-Briggs assessment analyzes four preferences for how people process information and relate to the world, resulting in 16 distinct personality types. Besides determining if an individual is an introvert or extravert, the assessment also examines a person's preference for decision making, taking in information and how he or she relates to the outside world. So preferences like intuition, judging and perceiving are combined to create personality types.
The test has been around for more than 50 years and is used in various fashions – everything from knowing what Harry Potter character a person represents to determining a career path for high school students. One way founders can use the Myers-Briggs preferences is in team building, a strategy that can help boost company growth.
Here are a few pointers on how entrepreneurs can use the assessment to determine their company's personality.
Learn your team's communication style. Simply identifying that some individuals on your team have a different preference should open up a discussion on what you could do to communicate better with those who process information differently.
Look at the types on your team. Do you have 90 percent extroverts? What can you do to make the introverts feel more comfortable? Are you all “sensing” people? If so, you may have issues thinking through problems critically. Determining the different types of people on your team can help you learn how to work together better.
Determine which personality types work best in what roles. Using an exercise from PeopleKit, our team discussed which personality types are most prevalent in different departments. We noticed that the account-strategy team is almost entirely extroverted, while the editorial team is mostly introverted. This kind of insight allows leaders to look for areas to add more diversity and play to individuals’ strengths.
Look at the personality types on your team. Is someone with a minority personality type struggling in a certain area? Would she excel in a department where her strengths are better appreciated and utilized?
Have fun. Some say that Myers-Briggs isn’t credible and that real personality types are much more nuanced. Even if the science behind it isn’t perfect, it sparks great conversations. Do certain personality types have leadership capabilities you’ve overlooked? Should you develop decision-making teams that incorporate different personality types to ensure that you’re considering both people and numbers in your decisions?