Myer’s Briggs & Business
I am currently talking to my roommate a little less than usual. Why? Today is the day that I am going to be journaling what it is like to act the “opposite” of my Myers Briggs personality. As an “ENFJ” (Extrovert, iNtuition, Feeling, Judging), my ways of life contradict the ISTP (Introvert, Sensing, Thinking, Perceiving). I may have only been awake for an hour, but my day has already been radically different. It hasn’t bothered me yet; I am appreciating seeing the difference of how other people live.
However, this assignment has officially piqued my interest. While others may find it a waste of time, I enjoy real assignments such as these. As I started thinking about the Myer’s Briggs test and how it can relate to the business world, I desired to understand how it could truly define a person’s lifestyle and brand.
“Human Nature” And Collaboration: No Bueno
It is also extremely important to understand other people. According to Thejendra:
“Human beings are fiercely independent animals and will have always their own opinions and independent methods of doing something, though they may be unwilling to express it openly. This is the way we humans are hardwired by nature from millions of years. Except for a very small percentage of people, sharing and collaboration with others is not exactly programmed inside every human being. This is because each person is mainly concerned about his or her rewards, appreciation, need for power over others, and so on. But teamwork insists on everyone playing an unnatural ballgame that aligns our mindsets in a cooperative and usually selfless manner towards a specific business purpose. And this involves unpalatable stuff like sacrifices, compromises, sharing of rewards, sharing blame and punishments, suppression of personal opinions, etc., which is not acceptable to almost anyone. No matter what is expressed on the outside, internally it is always, ‘What is in it for me?’ rather than, ‘What is in it for us?’”
No wonder collaboration can be so difficult. It’s strictly against our nature! Regardless, businesses don’t grow without insight from others and collaborative tools. The only way to really get better at working with others is to learn how to understand them. The rut of business conversations may occur when groups of people are unwilling to concede on a choice that will majorly affect the business; this is common. The only way that group work and partnerships can move forward is to have a general understanding of how the other thinks.
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A good way to teach ourselves how to understand others is by using the Myer’s Briggs test to understand those opposite of you. For example, as I scored highly in the “Feeling” category:
If you have a preference for Feeling and your teammates have a preference for Thinking:
1. Practice laying out arguments by discussing the causes and effects.
2. Understand that critical feedback is given in the spirit of improving your professionalism
3. Use brief and concise language to express people’s wants and needs.
4. Bring attention to stakeholders’ concerns regarding the projects or work.
This and others can be viewed on this website. In order to maximize group activity, I believe it would be best if everyone studied a little about how to interact with someone that lives their life differently. This is a great tool for learning how to better communicate with people both in the business and social world.
Connecting It To Branding
Who we are (and our characteristics) strongly correlates to what type of brand we would create.
An article on Viget (that you can view here) states: “Understanding who you are will help others understand your brand positioning.” This also applies to teamwork, as understanding others will help you understand their brand positioning.
If business were a type of person, it would be a “people person.” Ignoring how to understand others hinders your understanding of the world. Work, work, work to understand others and the aspirations that they have and, in effect, better understand yourself.
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