Ask any businessperson what the hardest part of business is, and most will tell you “People.”
Personalities dealing with other personalities can make or break an office. I recently had all my employees take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), which divides people into 16 categories.
I usually dislike labels and division but using the results has helped me better understand my workers. I’m able to manage them more effectively and provide a productive workspace for them to enjoy.
The basic categories of the MBTI are:
Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I): whether a person gains energy through social interaction or expends it.
Sensing (S) or Intuition (N): Whether people pay more attention to their senses or their experience/knowledge in a situation.
Thinking (T) or Feeling (F): Taking an analytical approach to a situation or reading people’s feelings and emotions.
Judging (J) or Perceiving (P): Planning out a decision in more precise steps or being flexible and a bit spontaneous.
While Myers-Briggs has their detractors, I used this test solely as a way of learning more about the people working for me. And I always keep in mind that while the test may say someone is a Thinker more than a Feeler, that doesn’t mean they can’t share both traits.
But knowing more about how my employees approach their jobs has led to increased production and a happier office.
For example, one of my guys is more introverted and likes to work on his own schedule. Also, in the past, he’s been reticent in providing creative suggestions in meetings. But instead of deriding him for being unproductive, I give him the privacy he needs to think and time for him write out his thoughts so he’s more comfortable.
The testing itself is free online at humanmetrics.com and took twenty minutes for everyone to complete.
Again, it’s not rock solid science and should only be used as a guide- not as a tell all.
But the old axiom of “happy employees are productive employees” has served me well.