When I first became a Manager, quite a few years ago, I was lucky enough to be sent on a week-long residential management course. It seems strange to think that I remember very little from it except I loved it. I guess it goes back to the old adage – people won’t remember what you say but how you made them feel. This course made me feel special… in a good way!
Two parts have stuck with me forever:
- As part of a team exercise we built a boat from random bits of stuff to cross a river; I’m sure we were meant to learn about team dynamics and strategy, all I remember was we had a big belly laugh and worked well together. Maybe that was the hidden lesson to learn – teams work better when they laugh together!
- We spent two hours looking at Myers Briggs® Personality Type Indicator (often called MBTI®).
I’ve yet to have my boat building skills tested, but if my team and I ever find ourselves on the wrong side of a river… stand aside, I’m ready!
I have however, had the chance to learn and apply Myers Briggs® Type in every week of my working life.
To give you some context, back then I was working in the Financial Services industry; an environment abound with rules, compliance and attention to detail, literally the complete opposite to me. I felt like a fish out of water waiting to be fired anytime.
After two hours learning about Myers Briggs® and finding out my type was ENTP; my mind (which is usually like a thousand moths in a lampshade) became calm with a new insight. ‘I’m not a weirdo; I’m just not like most of the people I work with’.
The session finished just before lunch, and as the lead trainer was about to wrap it up a man walked into the room. I still remember what he looked like 30 years later, a cool dude, a bit like Owen Wilson. This is what he said:
Him: ‘Who is the ENTP in the room?’
Me: (sheepishly raising my hand) ‘that would be me’ (trying to style out coolness back).
Him (looking straight at me) ‘It’s gonna be alright’.
Then he smiled and walked out.
It was only a few years later when I began to revisit Myers that I began to sort of understand what he meant, or to understand that ENTPs sometimes come out with some weird sh*t (I later found out he was an ENTP). With all Personality Types there are some strengths and shadow sides (weaknesses). I’ve coached a lot of ENTPs; these strengths and shadow sides seem pretty consistent. If you are an ENTP… it will be alright!
Now some of you reading this will know Myers Briggs®. When I train a group, usually 30% have done it at some stage in their life. However, there is a good chance that many of you have never done Myers Briggs® and will be thinking what the hell is an ENTP?
Of all the things I have learned in my years, I have to say I think understanding Personality Type has been one of the most useful. It has led me to have greater self-awareness and increased awareness of others. To realise that people aren’t doing things just to annoy you, they are doing things because they are different.
This Guide on Personality Type is intended to work with anyone, whether you are a qualified practitioner, have some knowledge, or you’re a complete newbie. If you are cynical about this type of thing then as long as you can keep your mind open for a while, I am convinced even you will get some great insights.
Once you understand this it leads to greater flexibility in your style, improved relationships, better communication/influencing & enhanced decision making.
Throughout this Guide I will show you the aspects that make up Myers Briggs® Personality Type, give you clues to work out yourself and others’, give tips on influencing, show you how to make better decisions as well as demonstrating how it fits into behaviour.
This is the 5th book in my ‘A Guide to…’ series. All Guides are based on my experience of Coaching & Training over 10,000 people worldwide as well as carrying out senior roles in Corporate Business, and if I’m allowed to say so myself, with some pretty stunning results. They are designed to be read in around an hour, be very practical, easy to use and apply immediately and most importantly the content works. I know because I’ve used it all.
To read my Guide to Personality Type click here