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A popular tool used in studying and analysing an individual's personality is a psychometric inventory known as Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (Briggs &Myers 1995). MBTI was developed and based on a work of Carl Gustav Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist on the theory of psychological archetypes which asserts individuals have distinctive unlearned tendencies to experience the world in particular way ( Briggs &Myers 1995, Jung, 1971). It is argued that when people are aware of their differences in personality. They can build better understanding of each other to reduce conflicts that may arise due to these differences. MBTI can be used individual to understand their prefer learning styles and understand their behave in a particular way as well as their decision making process ( Briggs &Myers 1995). Furthermore, MBTI is also widely used by employer to assess the individual employees and help to derive strategy for improving teamwork , productivity and reduce the internal conflicts within the organisation (Pearman & Albritton, 1998). MBTI use four basic scale with opposite poles, these are; extraversion/introversion, sensing/intuitive, thinking/feeling and judging/perceiving. 16 different personalities can be found from combination of these preferences (Myers et al, 1998). The individual personality is derived from a set of questionnaire involving 93 forced-choice questions; individual must answer every question by choosing the answer that best related or best describe themselves. Myleen( et al 2008) point out that most criticism directed at MBTI focus on the inventory's unfaithfulness to Jung's theory, its reliance on typologies whilst individual preferences are continuum and the discrete categories espoused by the inventory may not be independent after all, but are possibly related.
2.0 Implications for Understanding My Behaviour and the Behaviour of Others in the Workplace
To properly and exhaustively interrogate the mentioned implications, I pose the questions:
Must my organisation understand my behaviour and that of others in the workplace? .
Isn't being trained and competent just enough for me to positively and productively contribute to the success of my organisation?
Upon taking the MBTI, my reported type was ISTP [i] i.e.:
This, in brief, implies I prefer to draw my energy from my inner world of ideas and emotions(Introversion), my preferred mode of taking information is via five senses(Sensing), my preferred style of making decisions is through structuring and organising information in a logical manner(Thinking) and, in dealing with the outer world, I prefer spontaneity and flexibility(Perception).
Being an ISTP, my work style is pragmatic, facts driven, realistic, independent and I am generally resourceful. As such, my contributions to my organisations would reflect my pragmatic approach which include being a trouble shooter, remaining calm during crises. In terms of leadership traits, I prefer to lead via action, being logical and also driven by a sense of independence.
My work preferences indicate that I love quiet places/privacy, I am driven by interest in facts and I prefer developing my ideas through reflection. I prefer to analyse situations logically and I would also tend to be firm minded.
My communication style is driven by reflections- and I prefer to pose and reflect before responding, I prefer written communications and being brief and concise.
When solving problems, I prefer considering all available facts, analysing the merits and demerits of each alternative, before arriving at conclusions. Getting the facts behind what brought a particular situation is given prominence when I am solving problems.
The role of effective management in facilitating organisational success is a richly researched field and a recurrent theme greatly equates appropriate managerial strategies with organisational success (Bushe2001). Particularly, the seminal role of understanding employees personal preferences and their influence on individual/organisational performance has gained prominence- personal preferences have been found to influence one's relationship with others, conflict resolution, appreciation of cultural diversity, increased motivation amongst other influences; upon undertaking my research, I came with four possible implications of understanding my behaviour and that of others in the work place:
Nature of communication
Organisational success is largely dependent on the suitability of interaction structures existing and the day to day communication approaches employed; effective managers must, without exception, be equipped with appropriate managerial skills to effectively communicate within and outside of organisation(Parker & Stone, 2003).
. Such skills not only involve the classical approaches to formal communication but must endeavour to understand and contextualise the character of employees. Effective managers must appreciate the different (and potentially troublesome) preferences diversity amongst employees and, by extension, appreciate that any form of communication will impact differently on different employees(Parker & Stone, 2003).
. Consequently, communication structures that don't factor in aspects of emotional intelligence will, most likely, fail to persuade, direct or even motivate, with repercussions detrimentally affecting organisational cohesiveness and, inevitably, performance(Parker & Stone, 2003).
In my workplace, therefore, the management will reap great benefits if it adopts and invest in MBTI as a tool of understanding difference preference types and, thusly, appreciate that different persons require different communications approaches, will process the same information differently and their overall reactions to the same communication will be different. By using MBTI, my organisation will no doubt reap greatly in improving communication strategies it employs and as Myleen( et al 2008) argue, organisational culture will greatly be consolidated alongside corporate success.
In my case, being ISTP, my organisation would reap greatly if it employs one to one form of communication, written and orderly communication laden with facts and evident. In such a scenario, I would not only appreciate and react positively to any given communication but would also see my level of motivation going up and increase the richness of my interactions with the management and fellow workers.
2.2 Leadership Practices
Human resources practices literature is categorical that, in a rapidly changing and increasingly competitive world, human resources managers must constantly evaluate their practices and convictions and align them with fitting and organisational strategies. Evidently, a key managerial trait is possession of adequate skills to positively manage workplace emotions, changes, diversities and different personalities (Parker & Stone, 2003).
Managers equipped with emotional and character management will comfortably deploy effective strategies in dealing with different personalities. To effectively deal with challenges of managing emotions, change management, dealing with transitions and teamwork motivation, managers must, in the first place, understand different personality types, their different perceptions((Parker & Stone, 2003).
This where MBTI comes in handy. In my organisation, to effectively manage the highlighted managerial challenges, the management will have no option but to utilise MBTI to identify different preference types and their different perspectives and, hence, deploy different strategies in dealing with them. This will be of great benefit to my organisation and Myleen( et al 2008) documents benefits of such an approach: rapid development of teamwork in the organisation, increased motivation in the workplace, harmonised HR practices and greater levels personal fulfilment amongst the employees.
In my case, my organisation would greatly benefit by realising that I prefer to be pragmatic, realistic, reasonable, independent and relying on logic in solving problems faced by my organisation. In that case, motivating me to develop my career via following my workplace strengths would not only be a great motivational factor to me, but would also increase my input and contributions to the organisation.
When managers claim to understand employees, what do they really mean?. I, for one, would want to assume that, in significant number of cases, the managers simply imply that "Susan has BSC in chemical engineering, she works for us, is never late and she has a boyfriend who drives a BMW"
Of course, in modern management, such an assertion would not only be rickety, but even the least concerned student of human resources management would pierce numerous holes in that statement. For managers to be effective, they must understand the different types of employees and their radically different approaches to problem solving and tasks performance (Myleen et al 2008) In particular, it has numerously been proven that managers who understand the mental 'architectures' of the employees stand a better chance at motivating and leading them to achieve the set objectives. This, then, tend to inspire innovation and creativity. At the heart of this argument is the different preference types and how managers respond to the different 'makes' of the individuals in organisation. Good managers will develop coherent policies that identify individual strengths and cultivating those strengths to benefit the individual and, in the process, the organisation enjoys the input of highly performing workers (Myers et al, 1998).
For instance, would best as a worker lead by example, enjoy equality in workplace and would prefer minimum supervision. If such traits are recognised, understood and allowed to develop by the management, then my motivation would undoubtedly increase, leading to higher performance.
2.4 Coaching Practices
Coaching has gained prominence in many organisations, principally because of its immense role in unveiling the potential of an individual, thusly increasing his performance. It is widely accepted that effective coaching is a tool that greatly motivates people to achieve more, via identifying and cultivating their goals and objectives(Kilburg, 2000). However effective coaching -especially to managers- must take into account the need for managers to be fully aware of their sensitive positions in the organisations: leading people with different goals, different approaches and different personalities and steering them to achieve a single goal(Kilburg, 2000). This calls for greater understanding of how to consolidate different personality traits in the organisation and, in particular, how to align different preferences in such a manner as to ensure that, at no time, does internal conflicts negate key organisational strategies(O'Neil, 2000). Hence, MBTI is integrally linked to coaching since the latter attempt to make people identify their values and align them with their goals; this, then, means that you cannot talk of effective coaching without first helping people identify themselves. Therefore, my organization would greatly would leap handsomely from coaching efforts if, in the first place, people are aware of their values and hence able to identify their goals-via coaching- whilst living their values(Brunning, 2001). Similarly, my organisation would stand to gain from MBTI driven coaching activities undertaken by me- since I will first know myself well (MBTI) and therefore identify my goals clearly (Via Coaching)
This report has achieved several objectives. To begin with, it has become clear that MBTI is a tool used to assess different personality preferences and this makes it a useful tool in assessing people in the work place. I t has emerged that MBTI is a tool with 93 questions with four scales: extraversion/introversion, sensing/intuitive, thinking/feeling and judging/perceiving and 16 different personalities can be found from combination of these preferences. Each person will then have a different combination.
Several implications for understanding my behaviour and that of others have been identified.
Firstly, communication is an important aspect of any organisation. However, different people need different communication styles. It will therefore be important for managers to understand each and every person in the organisation to be able to come up with appropriate communication strategies that best serve the organisation.
MBTI is also useful in leadership practices. An effective leader must possess good leadership skills in managing different personality types and in developing viable and acceptable leadership strategies. Hence managers should understand the very nature of the employees they are leading to understand them better, and this calls for use of personality tests to understand the workers. Hence the importance of MBTI.
Again performance in an organisation will go up with proper use of MBTI since managers will easily identify the strong areas in every individual and work to improve those areas, thusly bringing more success to the organisation. Still, effective coaching would need one to fully understand his preference type in order for coaching to achieve its desired objectives. It is therefore concluded that this report has opened new perspectives to the author and more so in helping to understand the important role MBTI play in helping organisations achieve success. Of course, the word limit of the report prohibits further examination of the subject matter.