Category Archives: MBTI

Tell Stories If You Want to Influence Effectively

Stories can be as short as a sentence or as long as an epic. Effective stories are the next best thing to an actual experience (a powerful influencer). They place the listener into the action in an empathic connection. If your pulse speeds up while watching an action movie, or you have ever cried over a scene in a movie, you know the power of empathy at work. The best television shows (such as The Wire) build powerful empathy for all of their characters. Stories build trust. Research shows that a story all by itself is more effective at building trust than a story followed by a statistic.  Kouzes and Posner’s book The Leadership Challenge lists ‘honesty’ as the #1 characteristic that people look for in a leader. This was true over time (more than 20 years of research) and throughout all countries. Trust and empathy are two major drivers for increased resonance. Why not try telling some simple stories the next time you are attempting to influence in a low-stakes outcome? By starting small, you’ll have something to build on. If you like the results, you may want to collect a few stories that seem particularly effective for your influence moments. Learn more: MBTI Team Quest - Discover and leverage the various ways your people make decisions, strategize and access information, using this organizational standard. Team members begin to recognize the strengths that other types bring to the team, and the power that comes from multiple types working together.

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Your Boss: Thinker or Feeler?

In leadership and management, the MBTI preferences of thinking and judging are over-represented. (That’s statistically over-represented, not a value judgment.) So even though more people in the general population prefer feeling over thinking when making decisions, your manager is statistically more likely to prefer thinking than feeling. What’s your boss’s preference? Are you addressing it? Learn more: MBTI Team Quest - Discover and leverage the various ways your people make decisions, strategize and access information, using this organizational standard. Team members begin to recognize the strengths that other types bring to the team, and the power that comes from multiple types working together.

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Are You Leading a Feeling Team?

In leadership and management, the MBTI preferences of thinking and judging are over-represented. (That’s statistically over-represented, not a value judgment.) Leaders who take the time to look at the ‘people consequences’ of their decisions and address those concerns when communicating with their team or organization are way more successful than those who don’t. My observation with change failures? The biggest misses in getting employee buy-in with new organizational initiatives stems from leaders ignoring of the MBTI feeling function. Here are thirteen words that are music to a person with the feeling preference: Heart Subjective Relative worth Connections Warmth Affirming Appreciate Empathize Harmony Tactful Compassionate Values Caring Learn more: MBTI Team Quest - Discover and leverage the various ways your people make decisions, strategize and access information, using this organizational standard. Team members begin to recognize the strengths that other types bring to the team, and the power that comes from multiple types working together.

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Influencing or Manipulation?

Influence with integrity. Otherwise it’s manipulation. People have a strong radar for manipulation. False appeals to the feeling side come across as cloying, as false emotion. This is the difference between a great children’s movie and one that makes you gag. If you can’t decide what side your influencing lands on, imagine it’s you on the receiving end. Does your BS detector sniff anything? On Target?  One easy way to tell if you’re on the mark: feeling and formula are two words that are opposed to each other – a scripted reply read off a card isn’t going to influence anyone. Learn more: MBTI Team Quest - Discover and leverage the various ways your people make decisions, strategize and access information, using this organizational standard. Team members begin to recognize the strengths that other types bring to the team, and the power that comes from multiple types working together.

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Ask Questions If You Want to Influence Effectively

1 – Why ask questions? Your Brain On Questions True questions bypass the amygdala, an almond-shaped part of the brain that is like your body’s guard dog. When new information comes in, the amygdala decides, “is this a threat?” If it decides that there is a threat, even a low-level one, it will begin ‘barking’ and release chemicals that will help move you to physical safety more quickly. While that’s helpful in times of physical danger, it increases resistance to being influenced. By bypassing the amygdala with questions and engaging the neo-cortex you increase your chance of being a positive influence. Listen for Connection If you listen for ways to connect and be on the same side and areas of common ground, you increase resonance, something Howard Gardner describes as a key factor in changing someone’s mind. Request vs. Demand As Dr. Marshall Rosenberg notes in his book Nonviolent Communication, a request enlists the other person as a common ally and allows a person to independently choose to help, something we all long to do. A demand doesn’t give the option of choice and creates resistance Can You Handle the Truth? The challenge of questions is that you have to really want to hear the answers. If you ignore the person’s answer (both verbal and non-verbal), you destroy any resonance you have begun to create and give the other person a really good reason to feel resistance. And if you do hear a difficult answer, will you be able to both connect with them empathically and offer a substantive solution?

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Seven To-Do List Tips using the Perceiving MBTI preference

If you have the MBTI Perceiving preference you often find To Do lists hard…to do. You can do To Do lists better. Try these tips: 1. Get Curious Ask ‘what’s engaging my curiosity within this To-Do list? If you follow the items that most speak to your interest, you’ll enjoy what you’re doing more, which makes you more effective. 2. Quality Counts (How > What) Place a new column next to your To-Do items that says ‘quality’. Write down how you’d like to complete a task, not just the quantity of tasks. For example, ‘file my receipts playfully’ or ‘gracefully’, ‘exuberantly’, or ‘pretending I’m a musical robot’, whatever quality will get you interested in a looming mundane task. We all want a richer quality of life, and that can start with this moment by placing ‘process’ on the same level of importance as ‘product’. 3. Don’t Use Them If You Don’t Want To To Do lists may go against your grain. You may struggle with them, thinking you ‘should’ use them, only ‘highly effective people’ use them. Well, it may be a good time to let the war inside be over on this one. People who prefer perceiving would leave doors of opportunity open rather than finishing and closing one. The very idea of completing a To Do list, as much as you may long for it to be otherwise, goes against your nature. You don’t have to use them –  I won’t tell anyone. 4. Use the Small Size Tool There are times when the pain of a task sitting there for a prolonged period of time undone is greater than the pain of following a To Do list. Compose To Do lists task by task, breaking them down into really small chunks. Remember this is just a tool in your tool box; the list exists to serve you and your productivity, not the other way around. Use a prioritized, uncluttered doable list to complete a necessary task and then put the To Do list away. 5. Free Time Each Day Give yourself some time each day during which you are guided by your natural inquisitiveness, free from a To Do list. This will feed your perceiving preference, and will allow you to be more comfortable when you do live in the land of the To Do list. 6. Take the Weekend Off  If by the weekend you’re ‘To-Do Listed out’, you can be courageous and declare a ‘To Do’ list-free day or days. Allow yourself to amble out into the world in the unstructured way that best suits you. If you live each day all day by a To Do list, you’re going to end up drained, edgy, and dissatisfied because it’s going against your preference. If you find you enjoy your ‘To-Do List-free’ weekend move the concept out into parts of your work week. 7. Play with Judging  If you’re feeling playful, want to stretch, and want to grow– Use a To Do list in a case where you wouldn’t ordinarily think of using one, give yourself a time limit and get the task done. If it’s a repetitive task, time yourself and see if you can maximize your efficiency. Tick your tasks off one by one in the most satisfying way you can. If you find yourself delighted by your productivity and feel lighter from having gotten a task or two off your back, you now know the joy of judging. You could even finish a task early, well before it’s due. Try something new and see how the other half live. Bonus Tip: What Works For You? There are really helpful universal hints to putting together an effective To-Do list (such as ‘small bite that can be taken in one sitting, physical action taken by you,’ etc.) that are well chronicled elsewhere. Keep your preferences in mind when working with that material. Many time management books and trainings could be more effective if they incorporated more information that appeals to perceivers. If the blanket advice is just to live a judging life with more organization, then roughly half of the population is being asked to live a life that’s not them at their best. Conversely, being told to ‘move with the cheese’ when change happens or to ‘play’ while at work will only really speak to the half of the population who are perceivers, and does a disservice to judging people. Filter the suggestions in this and all articles through your natural preferences. Act on what you’re excited about, and leave behind what leaves you unmoved. Learn more: MBTI Team Quest - Discover and leverage the various ways your people make decisions, strategize and access information, using this organizational standard. Team members begin to recognize the strengths that other types bring to the team, and the power that comes from multiple types working together.

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Three To-Do List Tips using the Judging MBTI preference

You can do To Do lists better if you have the MBTI Judging preference. Try this: 1. Get Structured  You probably have a high level of comfort with lists so the more structured you are, the greater your chance of success. Hone your To-Do list skills through reading and attending trainings. 2. Use Them Everywhere  Don’t be alarmed if your love of To Do lists spills over into non-work aspects of your life; this is your natural inclination. You can pack a lot of fun adventures into a too-short vacation, which is a wonderful trait. Just be sure to nicely tell your loved ones about your preference and that there’s a reason why you are who you are. 3. Exercise your Perceiving Side  Once your work is done, try allowing a small amount of time to be as unstructured as you can stand to be. Try showing up as late as you can stand for something (pick an event for which it doesn’t really matter whether you’re on time or not). Leave part of a To-Do list undone on purpose. Bonus Tip: What Works For You? There are really helpful universal hints to putting together an effective To-Do list (such as ‘small bite that can be taken in one sitting, physical action taken by you,’ etc.) that are well chronicled elsewhere. Keep your preferences in mind when working with that material. Many time management books and trainings could be more effective if they incorporated more information that appeals to perceivers. If the blanket advice is just to live a judging life with more organization, then roughly half of the population is being asked to live a life that’s not them at their best. Conversely, being told to ‘move with the cheese’ when change happens or to ‘play’ while at work will only really speak to the half of the population who are perceivers, and does a disservice to judging people. Filter the suggestions in this and all articles through your natural preferences. Act on what you’re excited about, and leave behind what leaves you unmoved. Learn more: MBTI Team Quest - Discover and leverage the various ways your people make decisions, strategize and access information, using this organizational standard. Team members begin to recognize the strengths that other types bring to the team, and the power that comes from multiple types working together.

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Know yourself, Then Know Your Audience

It’s as if over 90% of your vision were obstructed. Driving to high school on icy mornings, that’s what my windshield looked like. Whatever your MBTI preference is, it’s probably your default mode of trying to influence others. The golden rule, right? But this only works if the others have the same function preference as you. There are 16 possible MBTI preference combinations. If you don’t think of other people and their preferences, your influencing attempts have a 6.25% chance of landing. That’s not going to cut it. It’s as if over 90% of your vision were obstructed while driving. Even though I made it safely (somehow) to school with such a small view, I’m smarter now. I’m not going to repeat that mistake again. I’m going to take the time to see more out of my windshield. And now you’re smarter too. Take the time and get a clear view of the people you’re trying to influence. Learn more: MBTI Team Quest - Discover and leverage the various ways your people make decisions, strategize and access information, using this organizational standard. Team members begin to recognize the strengths that other types bring to the team, and the power that comes from multiple types working together.

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Everything I Ever Needed To Know I Learned By Watching Commercials

If you’ve ever watched a car or a beer commercial and wondered, “what the heck do these dancers/guys in bear suits/soccer moms/young gorgeous people having a great time at the beach have to do with the actual product?” the advertisers are probably aiming at your feeling function. They’re addressing the emotional side of buying a product and try to attach positive ‘feeling’ experiences to their product. If you see a commercial with technical advantages listed or an actor playing a medical doctor telling you that in medical tests two out of three people preferred pink medicated tissues over blue non-medicated ones, the advertisers are appealing to your thinking function. This is reflected in politics, especially on the national level. While the actual debates and political commentary news shows appeal to the thinking function, the overall image of a candidate is tailored to appeal to the feeling function of the average voter. Statistically, more people will be swayed by appeals to the feeling function. You need to address both MBTI functions – thinking and feeling – but spend more time on the feeling. The most persuasive arguments are ones that appeal to both the heart and the head – they appeal to the feeling side first but also have the data to back it up. Learn more: MBTI Team Quest - Discover and leverage the various ways your people make decisions, strategize and access information, using this organizational standard. Team members begin to recognize the strengths that other types bring to the team, and the power that comes from multiple types working together.

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Influence Using Feeling

The big news: More people prefer the MBTI function of feeling than thinking when making decisions. So purely ‘rational’ arguments are going to be effective less than half the time. Focus more on influencing decisions by appealing to people’s feeling function. Answer these questions to include the feeling function: How will this benefit people and their needs? How will this lead to more harmony, cooperation and collaboration? Does this take into account people’s values? What are the positives of this for the people involved? Will this make the work environment more supportive and nurturing? Will anyone be hurt? Also important: Do your homework and have the facts to back up your appeal. But remember, the facts are your backup, not your first option. The exception to this is when you know that your audience primarily prefers the thinking function. Then you can just go with the facts. Learn more: MBTI Team Quest - Discover and leverage the various ways your people make decisions, strategize and access information, using this organizational standard. Team members begin to recognize the strengths that other types bring to the team, and the power that comes from multiple types working together.

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