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Type watching in team situations

When type watching, it is important to keep in mind the old "whole is greater than the sum of its parts" rule. A person's extraversion may be easier to spot than his or her sensor characteristics. Keep in mind the complexities of putting the four preferences together. People with three of the same preferences and only one difference can be quite opposite in personality or outlook on life. Type watching is much easier on paper than it is in real life!

Time Management

Judgers/Perceivers:

Time management is primarily a judger/perceiver issue. When it comes to time management, it's a judgers' world. J's have their homework done on time, their projects done on schedule. In a time-conscious society, people who are slave to their clocks get ahead. People who are constantly late are said to "have problems with authority." Unfortunately, society's J preoccupation with time sometimes leads to poor results. Citing a hard-core Js slogan: "We don't have time to get it right. We only have time to do it over."

In groups, judgers need perceivers to help them avoid being overly rigid and compulsive. Ps help Js stay open to creative solutions. Js, in turn, help Ps complete a project in a realistic time frame.

Introverts/Extraverts

Introverts are usually perceived as being better time managers because thinking about a problem or issue takes less time than talking about it. Extraverts, through their need for constant engagement, use up their own time as well as that of others.

To work effectively, Is need to realize that at some point, they have to talk: to let the rest of the group in on their thoughts. Conversely, Es need to stop talking at some point and start listening. Is and Es need to periodically schedule breaks in discussions and work to give I's time to reflect and recharge.

Sensors/iNtuitives

Sensors perceive a minute as sixty seconds; iNtuitives perceive time as what you make of it. This often leads to misunderstandings and hard feelings. When working together, S's and N's must learn to accommodate each other. Sensors must be flexible in realizing "an hour meeting" might sometimes mean 90 minutes. iNtuitives, on the other hand, must realize that they sometimes must stick to a time-exact schedule.

Thinkers/Feelers

Thinkers schedule their time based on the day's priorities, regardless of the nature of the tasks. Feelers set up their schedules according to the people with whom they will interact throughout the day. Feelers will usually avoid conflict, putting off unpleasant meetings, such as an employee reprimand. It is important to remember that both preferences are valid. If you alienate half of your staff in the name of getting things done, your day might be classified as less than successful. On the other hand, you need to do more in a day than making everyone happy; you need to get work done.

Additional Time Management Tips

Everyone procrastinates around their non-preferences. If a group member keeps putting off a certain kind of job, he or she might need some support.

Everyone has a natural preference toward controlling time or adapting to it. Usually, people who tend to try to control time need to be a little more adaptive; and adapters need to try to be a bit more controlling.

People won't change. Adapters will never become controllers; perceivers will never become judgers. However, people do have the ability to make adjustments to try and better accommodate other personality types.

Conflict Resolution

Thinkers/Feelers:

Differences in this personality preference by far are most significant in conflict resolution. Thinkers want feelers to deal with the facts and not personalize everything. Feelers want thinkers to consider the feelings of all those involved. Both types are afraid of losing control. T's are afraid they will lose control if an issue becomes personal and they appear to be personally affected by the conflict. F's are afraid that they will say something during a heated discussion that will cause irreparable harm to an interpersonal relationship. To work together, both types must simply realize that there are no right or wrong ways to approach conflict resolution, only differences.

Tips on resolving conflict

Extraverts: Stop and listen

Extraverts think they can talk their way out of any situation. The key to conflict management for extraverts is to occasionally take a time out from talking and listen to what others are saying.

Introverts: Speak up

Introverts need to get their side of the story out in the open. As difficult as it is for introverts to speak up at meetings, it is imperative to ensure conflict resolution.

Sensors: Look beyond the facts

Sensors need to occasionally look beyond the obvious facts and consider extenuating circumstances.

iNtuitives: Stick to the issues

iNtuitives want to always look at the big picture. A bit of focus goes a long way in resolving simple conflicts.

Thinkers: Emotion is not always bad

Thinkers must allow others to express emotion, even if they are unable to do so. Emotions are an integral part of conflict resolution.

Feelers: Be firm

Feelers should not apologize for showing emotion. At the same time, they must occasionally say something frank, or even mean. People will respect their honesty.

Judgers: Don't be a know-it-all

Judgers must learn to accept the fact that the world is not always black and white. They must learn to entertain points of view other than their own.

Perceivers: Pick one side of the fence

Perceivers have both the blessing and the curse of being able to see all sides of an argument. A devil's advocate is sometimes counterproductive in conflict resolution. Ps should learn to defend the position about which they feel most strongly.

Problem Solving

Some people solve problems; others create problems. Here are some tips for each of the personality types to use their traits to improve the problem solving process. However, remember the importance of balance. Don't go too far in pushing your personality traits. For example, feelers can help ensure that the personal consequences of every alternative are weighed, but getting too emotional and personal will reduce your credibility.

Extraverts: Stop, look, and listen

Just as in conflict resolution, Es need to make an effort to listen. They should avoid the temptation to jump in every time there is a pause in the discussion.

Introverts: Don't think, speak

Is need to avoid their natural tendency to filter everything they say. Sometimes problem solving requires brainstorming and spontaneity.

Sensors: Push for clarity

Ss have the natural ability to express the problem to be solved in tangible, simple terms. They also have a tendency to supply facts and figures that can be extremely helpful in problem solving.

iNtuitives: Make lemonade

When everyone else in the group sees only gloom and doom, Ns have the ability to find creative solutions to turn something bad into something good. Ns should point out the alternatives and make sure each is thoroughly examined.

Thinkers: Help keep things in perspective

Ts can help the group see if it has become too attached to a problem. Ts can help keep things in perspective, including the cold, hard consequences of each alternative.

Feelers: Keep it personal

Fs can ensure that the personal consequences of every alternative are clearly defined. They also can go a long way in ensuring group harmony during the problem solving process, by ensuring everyone has a chance to express their ideas.

Judgers: Keep the group focused

Js can help keep the group oriented on the ultimate goal: solving the problem. Js can also ensure that whatever solution is reached can be implemented in a timely and efficient manner.

Perceivers: Keep the group's options open

Problem solving offers Ps the opportunity to be the devil's advocate. A few pointed questions can lead to better solutions.