Managing All (Psychological) Types Of People

If you have gone to business school, I am sure at least one professor stressed to you the importance of self development. I graduated in 2006 and
remember that personal growth tools were a popular topic at the Langdale College
of Business
. My sales management teacher had me
hooked on John Maxwell’s 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership video tape series
and Dale Carnegie’s book How to Win Friends and Influence People.

I learned to ask many questions, listen to people, give
compliments, and to theoretically make people think that my idea was their idea… Five years later, my concept of self
development is quite different. It is now a concept of developing one’s awareness
and understanding of the self and others.

Awareness of Self

Self-Awareness means ‘catching yourself in the act’. As in: “At
this present moment I am angry and not thinking straight.” It also means learning
how you come across to other people. Imagine you were part of a reality TV
series – which ‘character’ would you be?

It helps to ask other people how they perceive you. When I
was an exchange student in eleventh grade (from Germany,) I was surprised to
learn that my new American friends described me as rude, manipulative, selfish
and arrogant. Self-awareness 101.

With more experience comes more self-awareness. My first few resumes included phrases like Fast
and Excellent time management skills. For me, that is and was never true.

Understanding of Self

Here are the four preferences that make up a person’s
personality type, according to the theories of Carl Jung and the personality
assessment tool developed by the mother-daughter team Myers and Briggs. Can you determine what your four-letter personality is?

● Where does your energy lie? Extraversion/Introversion

Extraverts seek breadth of
knowledge and influence, while introverts seek depth of knowledge and

Extraverts recharge and get their
energy from spending time with people, while introverts recharge and get their
energy from spending time alone.

Are you an E or and I?

● How do you gather information? Sensing/Intuition (Function 1)

Individuals who prefer sensing are
more likely to trust information that is in the present, tangible and can be
understood by the five senses, while those who prefer intuition tend to trust
information that is more abstract or theoretical and can be associated with
other information by seeking a wider context or pattern.

Sensing individuals prefer to look for details
and facts. For them, the meaning is in the data. On the other hand, individuals
who prefer intuition may be more interested in future possibilities. For them,
the meaning is in how the data relates to the pattern or theory.

Are you an S or an I?

● How do you make decisions? Thinking/Feeling (Function 2)

Those who prefer thinking
tend to decide things from a more detached standpoint, measuring the decision
by what seems reasonable, logical, causal, consistent, and matching a given set
of rules.

Those who prefer feeling tend to come to decisions by
associating or empathizing with the situation, looking at it ‘from the inside’
and weighing the situation to achieve, on balance, the greatest harmony,
consensus and fit, considering the needs of the people involved.

Are you a T or an F?

● How do you prefer to interact in the outside world? Judging/Perceiving

Some people interact with the outside world when they are
taking in information (function 1), using the Sensing preference or the
Intuitive preference. Other people do
their interacting when they are making decisions (function 2), using a Thinking
preference or a Feeling preference.

People who prefer the judging function seem to favor a
planned or orderly way of life, like to have things settled and organized, feel
more comfortable when decisions are made, and like to bring life under control
as much as possible.

People who prefer the perceiving function seem to favor a
flexible and spontaneous way of life, and I like to understand and adapt to the
world rather than organize it. Others see me staying open to new experiences
and information.

Are you a J or a P?

You can put your letters together, for example, ESTJ, and learn
more about your personality profile here:

Understanding of Others

There are sixteen ‘possible’ personality types. They each
have different preferences. Not one type
is right or wrong.

As a manager, it is your job to decrease drama and increase
profits. Don’t create an army of introverted salespeople or offer Lady Gaga a
job as an accountant.

Most importantly, learn to understand other people’s

“XYZ is a great idea,” can mean two different things coming
from two different people:

Person 1: Let’s do
this. Where do I start?

Person 2: I like that possibility. Let’s make a plan.

If you want to become good at managing all (psychological) types
of people, start with knowing and understanding yourself and your weaknesses,
then learn to acknowledge, accept and appreciate other people’s differences and

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