HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE ON PERSONALITY TYPOLOGIES

Understanding how others function is a first step in working with them. Organizations consist of people who differ from one another on almost every dimension possible. Diversity certainly is a challenge that is here to stay.

We always can count on Jung, Myers and Briggs, and Keirsey and Bates. But still we need to keep in mind that we are all changing and all that test gives us a frame. People behavior and nature is like unritten book. Jung’s work formed the basis of the later work of Myers and Briggs; the work of Myers and Briggs, in turn, formed the basis of Keirsey and Bates’ work. The four dimensions of personality that provide the structure for these three theories. These dimensions are extraverts/introverts, sensors/intuitors, thinkers/feelers, and judgers/perceivers. 

168505_10151078323650832_755069154_n

Jung’s Theory of Type

Carl Gustav Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist whose theory of psychological types  helps people to recognize and to understand basic personality differences. In essence, this theory describes people’s ranges of orientations to perceiving (sensing versus intuitive), interpreting (thinking versus feeling), and responding (extraversion versus introversion). By becoming aware of these basic differences, people can better understand others’ motivations and behaviors and can expand tolerance and respect for those whose styles are different.

Jung recognized that people make clear choices from infancy on as to how they use their minds. Although each person has some of each kind of orientation, he or she generally favors one type over the other. Furthermore, types seem to be distributed randomly with regard to sex, class, level of education, and so on.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator

In the early 1940s, Isabel Briggs Myers and her mother, Katherine Briggs, began to explore ways to use Jung’s theories to explain personality differences. With World War II as a backdrop for their work, the women saw peace in the world as the ultimate goal of understanding personality types. Their paper-and-pencil instrument for determining personality type became known as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The MBTI is based on a psychometric questionnaire whose results seem to determine accurately a person’s viewpoint and style of behavior in all aspects of work and personal interaction. Use of the MBTI is extremely widespread; to date, several million Americans have taken it. The instrument also has been translated into Japanese, Spanish, and French, helping many people around the world to understand and accept themselves and others.

Using Jung’s theories as a starting point, Myers and Briggs designated three sets of letter pairs: E/I (extraversion/introversion), S/N (sensing/intuitive), and T/F (thinking/feeling). To these they added a fourth letter-pair set, J/P (judging/perceiving). The MBTI classifies each person in one of sixteen personality types, based on that person’s preferences for one aspect from each of the four sets of letter pairs.

The Keirsey and Bates Sorter

David Keirsey and Marilyn Bates (1984), in their book Please Understand Me, use the same four dimensions that are found in the MBTI to outline four “temperaments.” They define temperament to be “that which places a signature or thumb print on each of one’s actions, making it recognizably one’s own”. Temperament is based first on the S/N dimension; differences on this dimension are “the source of the most miscommunication, misunderstanding, vilification, defamation, and denigration” . People with an S (sensing) preference gather information in concrete ways, based on facts in the here-and-now; temperament theory then subdivides them based on how they act on this information
(judging or perceiving). People with an N (intuitive) preference gather information in abstract ways, based on intuition and possibilities; the temperament sorter then subdivides them based on how they make decisions about this information (thinking or feeling). Thus, according to the Keirsey and Bates Sorter, a person is characterized as SJ, SP, NT, or NF.

THE LETTER PAIRS

The dimensions used by Jung, by Myers and Briggs, and by Keirsey and Bates represent tendencies rather than absolute choices. In most situations, a person prefers one approach over another. A person who understands his or her own approach then can use this information to improve communication with others.

Extraverts and Introverts (E and I)

Jung identified two basic “attitude types,” which describe the direction of a person’s interest: extravert and introvert. In the context of personality typology, an extravert is a person whose energy source is the external world of people and things, whereas an introvert is a person whose energy source is the internal world of ideas.

An extravert generally appears friendly and easy to know; he or she tends to think aloud and to express emotions openly. An extravert often acts first and reflects later. In contrast, an introvert is most productive in private and tends to reflect first and act later. An introvert generally internalizes emotions and appears to be less self-revealing and to need a great deal of privacy. Contrary to popular notions, however, a healthy
extravert may need time alone and a healthy introvert may have highly developed communication skills.

Sensors and Intuitors (S and N)

The S/N preference concerns the mental function of how a person takes in data from
the outside world. The letter “S” is used for sensing, and the letter “N” is used to represent intuition.

A person is a sensor if he or she takes in information in parts, noticing fine details by means of the five senses. A sensor is a very practical individual who wants, trusts, and remembers facts. He or she is highly attuned to details and is usually very orderly and organized. For this person, learning is a linear process in which data are collected sequentially and facts are believed only when experience bears them out. A sensor values order and truth; often he or she is a hard worker who values perspiration more than inspiration. A sensor enjoys the present moment, takes directions easily, and may be most comfortable with tasks that are highly detailed and require repetition.

In contrast, a person is an intuitor if he or she perceives a situation in its entirety rather than piecemeal. An intuitor has a global perspective and is often described as living by a sixth sense. He or she is imaginative and is always anticipating future events. An intuitor looks primarily for relationships and patterns in the information taken in. He or she is an innovator who believes in and excels in hunches, visions, and dreams. An intuitor is adept at long-range planning and can recognize all of the complexities in a given situation.

Taken to the extreme, the sensing function causes a person to miss the forest for the trees, and the intuitive function causes a person to miss the trees for the forest.

Thinkers and Feelers (T and F)

Once data have been collected, decisions often must be made, a process that is determined by one’s T/F preference. The letter “T” represents thinking, and the letter “F” represents feeling. Although this preference is based on how logic is used, thinking should not be equated with intelligence or intellectualism, nor should feelings be equated with emotion.

A thinker processes data in a formalized, linear fashion and can be described as logical. He or she uses an impersonal basis to make decisions in an exacting, structured, analytical manner. The thinker’s actions are apt to be deliberate and based on cause and effect. A thinker is ruled by the intellect and will fight for principles; such a person is drawn to jobs that do not depend heavily on interpersonal dynamics.

In contrast, a feeler makes decisions based on a process that more closely reflects personal values or concerns for others. He or she looks at extenuating circumstances rather than rigid laws. A feeler often is artistic and sensitive to the opinions and values of others; consequently, he or she is best suited to a job that requires strong communication and interpersonal skills.

Judgers and Perceivers (J and P)

Jung’s discussion of temperament actually dealt only with the S/N, T/F, and E/I preferences, emphasizing that each person has preferred styles of perceiving and judging that are best done in either the outer or inner world. Myers and Briggs built from Jung’s theory and created a fourth pair of opposites for the MBTI, concerning the style in which a person lives life (J/P). The J/P preference represents the weight that each of the mental functions (S/N and T/F) is given. In general terms, this preference refers to lifestyle.

A judger prefers situations that are orderly and well planned; and the judging function is dominant in the decision-making dimension, regardless of whether the person is a thinker or a feeler. Such a person prefers a decided, settled path and tends to be neat and orderly. A judger must know priorities and works best when his or her attention is dedicated to one assignment. He or she likes to be prepared for any situation, runs life by making and adhering to lists, thrives on deadlines, and always sees a task through to the end. However, because of a strong desire for stability, a judger may find change troubling.

A perceiver, on the other hand, lives life in an open, fluid, and spontaneous fashion. The perceiving function is dominant in his or her actions, regardless of whether the person is a sensor or an intuitor. A perceiver sees life’s possibilities and is always ready for the unexpected. He or she remains open to sudden changes and is comfortable with letting things happen by chance; this person adapts well to changing environments and usually enjoys being given a variety of tasks.

COMBINING ATTITUDE AND FUNCTION

Jungian Functional Types

Jung categorized people according to the psychological functions of thinking, feeling, sensation, and intuition; each of these functions then could be found in either extraverted or introverted individuals. In this way, Jung recognized eight functional types: extraverted sensing, extraverted intuitive, extraverted thinking, extraverted feeling, introverted sensing, introverted intuitive, introverted thinking, and introverted feeling.

The Myers-Briggs Types

The sixteen four-letter type indicators that classify types in the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) consist of one letter representing a trait from each pair. Thus, the possible sixteen combinations are ISTJ, ESTJ, INTJ, ENTJ, ISTP, ESTP, INTP, ENTP, ISFJ, ESFJ, INFJ, ENFJ, ISFP, ESFP, INFP, and ENFP. Each of these types has certain characteristics and preferences that distinguish it from other types.

ISTJ (Introverted-Sensing-Thinking-Judging). The ISTJ type is dependable and decisive. Attention to detail, combined with dependability, draws a person of this type to careers in which he or she can work alone and can focus on results, objective thinking, and procedures.

ESTJ (Extraverted-Sensing-Thinking-Judging). People of this type perceive through their senses rather than through their intuition and can be described as practical and oriented toward facts. Because of their focus on visible, measurable results, this type is ideally suited to organizing and directing the production of products.

INTJ (Introverted-Intuitive-Thinking-Judging). The INTJ type is naturally good at brainstorming and excels at turning theory into practice. People of this type often choose careers that allow them to create and apply technology, and they often rise rapidly in an organization because of their abilities to focus on both the overall picture and the details of a situation.

ENTJ (Extraverted-Intuitive-Thinking-Judging). The ENTJ type uses intuition rather than sensing to explore possibilities and relationships between and among things. People of this type have a strong desire to lead and tend to rise quickly to upper-management levels.

ISTP (Introverted-Sensing-Thinking-Perceiving). An ISTP type excels in technical and scientific fields because he or she uses sensing and thinking to analyze and organize data. Not wasting time is a key value for a person of this type, who tends to become bored by tasks that are too routine or too open ended.

ESTP (Extraverted-Sensing-Thinking-Perceiving). The ESTP type makes decisions based on logic more than on feelings. Such a person prefers to learn as he or she goes along, as opposed to becoming familiar with an entire process in advance. An
ESTP type has excellent entrepreneurial abilities but quickly tires of routine administrative details.

INTP (Introverted-Intuitive-Thinking-Perceiving). The INTP person uses
intuition to explore possibilities, preferring new ideas and theories to facts. This person’s love of problem solving means that he or she is well suited to research and other scholarly endeavors.

ENTP (Extraverted-Intuitive-Thinking-Perceiving). The ENTP type is attracted to work that allows the exercise of ingenuity. Such a person learns best by discussing and challenging and has little tolerance for tedious details.

ISFJ (Introverted-Sensing-Feeling-Judging). An ISFJ type combines an ability to use facts and data with sensitivity to others. Although uncomfortable in ambiguous situations, a person of this type is a hard worker and prefers work in which he or she can be of service to others, both within the organization and outside it.

ESFJ (Extraverted-Sensing-Feeling-Judging). The ESFJ type is probably the most sociable of all types and thus is highly effective in dealing with others. He or she often leans toward a career that serves others, such as teaching or the ministry.

INFJ (Introverted-Intuitive-Feeling-Judging). The INFJ type has a natural gift for facilitating groups. Although interpersonal interactions are important to a person of this type, he or she can be comfortable with any work that allows opportunities to grow and to learn.

ENFJ (Extraverted-Intuitive-Feeling-Judging). An ENFJ person is a born leader who places highest priority on people. This preference, combined with his or her strong verbal-communication skills, makes the ENFJ type ideally suited for motivating others.

ISFP (Introverted-Sensing-Feeling-Perceiving). People whose type is ISFP excel at tasks that require long periods of concentration and have senses that are keenly tuned. They prefer to express themselves in concrete, nonverbal ways and are especially inclined toward the fine arts.

ESFP (Extraverted-Sensing-Feeling-Perceiving). An ESFP type uses sensing and feeling to live in the here-and-now and is most challenged by activities that are new and require some special effort. He or she prefers work that provides instant gratification, an opportunity to work with others, and avenues for learning and growing.

INFP (Introverted-Intuitive-Feeling-Perceiving). People of this type are best described as idealists; they value integrity, hard work, and concern for others. Although they are adaptable to most work situations, they are best suited for careers that involve service to others.

ENFP (Extraverted-Intuitive-Feeling-Perceiving). The ENFP type is most interested in finding new solutions to problems and is attracted to work that involves people. Such a person tends to be impatient with rules and procedures and serves better as a mentor for employees than as a boss.

Keirsey and Bates Temperaments

The Keirsey and Bates Sorter classifies people by temperament rather than by type. Based on Jungian definitions, the sorter lists the four temperaments as sensing perceiver (SP), sensing judger (SJ), intuitive thinker (NT), or intuitive feeler (NF). Sensing perceivers and sensing judgers each make up between 35 and 40 percent of the population, while intuitive thinkers and intuitive feelers each constitute between 10 and 15 percent.

Sensing Perceiver (SP). An SP, or sensing perceiver, constantly seeks adventure and freedom and is open to whatever is new and changing. This person lives for the moment and makes an excellent negotiator. In a work setting, he or she may deal well with vendors and may be useful in keeping the staff abreast of new products and new releases. Such a person often is known as a troubleshooter who likes to resolve crises and to rally the support of others in solving a problem. Hot-line programs are often well served by people with SP temperaments.

Sensing Judger (SJ). A sensing judger (SJ) believes in rules, regulations, and rituals. He or she works best in a formalized, structured situation and often is well qualified to institute the structure that is needed in the workplace. A sensing judger would make a good librarian, inventory controller, scheduler, or administrator. He or she thrives on setting standards, whether in reference to resource selection or the day-to-day operating procedures of a department.

Intuitive Thinker (NT). A person who wants to understand, control, explain, and predict events is an intuitive thinker (NT). He or she is an intellectual purist and a self-motivated learner. An intuitive thinker can best serve an organization as a visionary and planner. He or she is a determined learner and will pursue something until it is mastered. An intuitive thinker makes an excellent system designer because of his or her
conceptual ability and may be well suited to customer support because of a need to strive for resolution. Newsletter production may also be a good outlet for an intuitive thinker’s skills.

Intuitive Feeler (NF). An intuitive feeler (NF) is enthusiastic and often has strong communication and interaction skills. Such a person often excels at public relations and can be effective as a liaison to other companies or departments. An intuitive feeler also often makes a good teacher, especially on the elementary level, because of his or her patience and understanding. Such a person is excellent at setting the atmosphere necessary for quality learning and training.

Being typed, therefore, should not limit people but rather uncover their possibilities. Living or working with a person of the opposite type can generate friction, but understanding may help opposites to accept and to take advantage of each other’s differences.

And keep in mind : It’s easy to judge. It’s more difficult to understand. Through judging, we separate. Throught understanding we grow.

Have a great day,

Kirilka

 

DISCIPLINE OF PERSONAL MASTERY

Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them-a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have the skill, and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill.”― Muhammad Ali

14203239_10205800962457331_7350841119475870421_n An organization is an intangible thing, an invisible repository of will and competence; organizations exist in the thin ether of our actions and values. But there is nothing abstract about the people who make them up. They dream, worry, attend meetings, call on customers, and phone home. You can weigh them, poll them, and clock them. It makes sense that when an organization learns, the locus of that learning is the individual and groups of individuals.

The term “personal mastery” may just be another way of saying “learning,” but I  must be clear about the kind of learning I  mean. It is not just the accumulation of technical and functional information, but the wise and beneficial use of that information. This is an important qualification, because it introduces the issues of self-knowledge and personal values. Here is where we find the answer to the riddle of the learning organization and the reason that the learning organization (as a whole, functioning entity) is so important.

Transcending Our Inherent and Learned Limitations

  “The last thing we learn about ourselves is our effect.”- Ben Kizer, one of the great civic leaders .  Personal mastery entails honing our effectiveness in the world through brave self-observation. It also involves creating a high-tension energy field in one’s life by facing the truth of current reality and boldly envisioning something different: a future of one’s choosing. The creative tension is where the juice of mastery comes from.

Through the ages, sages have testified to the virtues of the examined life and lamented a mind left untended. The following are the observations of three of them.

Those who know much about others may be smart, but those who understand themselves are even wiser.—Lao Tsu

You could drop a leaflet or a Hubbard squash on the head of any person in any land and you would almost certainly hit a brain that was whirling in small, conventional circles. There is something about the human mind that keeps it well within the confines of the parish, and only one outlook in a million is nonparochial.—E.B. Whit

I truly   believe that “personal mastery” is as good a name for the lesson as any. Liberating ourselves from the conditioned, automatic responses to life that endlessly loop us into the same frustrations is one of the hardest things that we can ever attempt. Accepting the need for this is a recognition of what it means to be human. Dealing with this reality is always worth the effort, because even the smallest successes are immediately rewarded with proportionally greater personal freedom. This, in turn, leads to greater creativity, productivity, satisfaction, joy, and expanded life possibilities.

Although the task is difficult, people regularly accomplish even greater goals. Changing one’s world view, says Livingston, is actually easier than overcoming chemical dependence, and people break such deadly habits all the time.

The Effect in Organizations

One person inside an organization ( a trainer) on the trail of personal mastery would be good news for that organization. Think of the ripple effect. Two people would be even better, and the implications of ten people struggling with the ways of personal mastery are even more exciting because of the dynamics of critical mass. The cumulative rate at which individuals within the organization change themselves in pursuit of personal mastery defines the rate at which the organization can change.

Personal mastery is very personal, revolving as it does around the unique mechanisms of the mind. It is challenging enough at the personal level. In the organization, the challenge is compounded not just by numbers but by the fact that no one can choose the pursuit of personal mastery for us; we must choose it for ourselves. Nevertheless, it is a challenge that people and organizations must face if they are to survive individually and collectively. Organizational leaders who have the courage to confront this issue will need all the help they can get from the training profession.

The challenge can be described as follows:

  1. Because of the rapidity of technological change and global competition, becoming a learning organization is now the real ante of doing business.
  2. The pursuit of personal mastery by individuals is the essence of the learning organization.

Unfortunately, the practice of personal mastery by an organization’s employees remains a taboo subject for management. A manager who addresses an employee with, “Excuse me, but I think you need to improve your personal mastery” will likely be as welcome as a religious pamphleteer at the door on Saturday morning. As Peter Drucker says, managers have no business messing with their employees’ minds. I must disagree with Drucker. Although I believe that organizations should not stick their noses into the private lives of their employees, I do not think that you can separate the person’s work from the person.

The notion that we have a work life and a personal life is a dangerous illusion. Each of us has one mind, one body, and one spirit, and we take them with us wherever we go. We do a lot of messing with one another’s minds; it may constitute the majority of human affairs. Every time a manager says “Thank you” or “You did it wrong again” to an employee, the manager is messing with the employee’s mind. Every bonus paid, every new team assembled, every reorganization effort is an exercise in messing with minds. The challenge, again, is to do it responsibly.

By practicing personal mastery as individuals, trainers and other HRD professionals will make their practice more forceful than any sermons they could ever preach on the subject. Happily, the discipline of it will almost inevitably confine one to constructive, ethical interaction with others.

The question is “How do you pursue personal mastery?”Components of the Discipline

The answer is that the biological and psychological force of habit is so great that you must have a discipline.

The personal-mastery technology I propose (O’Brien & Shook, 1995) rests on four adaptive skills:

Raising consciousness – means not just thinking, but thinking about thinking: noticing and managing the workings of your mind so that your mind will not run away with you like a startled horse.

 Imagining- When you “imagine,” you create a mental picture—the most vivid image you can—of an outcome you desire. It works, and you do it all the time. If you are typical, however, most of the imagining you do goes by the name “worry.” This most common form of imagining leads not to something you want but to something you do not want, and it works depressingly well.

Framing and reframing –  are the foundation of human experience and the essence of personal freedom. They mean interpreting the world, deriving meaning, and assigning significance to the events of life. When the Greek Stoic Epictetus noted two-thousand years ago that it is not the events of life that matter but our opinion of them, he was talking about framing and reframing. You do not have to think about anything in any particular way, but some ways of thinking about things are more helpful than others. Learning to frame and reframe means learning to see things in the most helpful light.

 Integrating new perspectives. –  What we see depends on where we stand. And where we stand—that is, the view of the world our senses present to us—is profoundly influenced by the biases of our families of origin and the hands that fate has dealt us. However, each of us is not stuck with just one world view. We can get new ones any time by learning to integrate the perspectives of others. In this sense, the points of view of other people rank among life’s most priceless gifts.

The Impact of Personal Mastery – It probably is not possible for someone to engage in these activities without impacting events around them, without creating powerful and effective relationships with others. But any words that someone who pursues personal mastery could speak about these things would be pale next to the things themselves. In the story of Pinocchio, it is the master’s love and the behavior of love that brings the puppet to life. It may be that way with personal mastery. Only to the extent that we are willing to step into these practices and give them life do they have the potential to shape our destinies and those of the organizations we form.

All this is a matter of considerable importance to organizational leaders, to trainers, and to organizations. Many organizations currently are trying to change themselves from the outside in, by reengineering new organizational forms into existence in the hope that structure alone equals performance. I  doubt that it does. The catalyst missing from such efforts is the inside-out change offered by personal mastery. I doubt that the best team players can be made by teaching the external strategies of teamwork alone. To be constructive members of a team, people must examine their attitudes about collaborating with others, resolving conflict, coping with mistakes (their own and others’), dealing with anger and fear, and so on. That comes from the never-ending pursuit of personal mastery.

When the leaders of an organization sincerely embrace personal mastery themselves, they will automatically begin shifting the parent-child relationship between management and workers to adult-adult relationships. Although the former is still the dominant organizational paradigm, it is the latter that holds the power to drive truly empowered workers and an organization that is capable of continuous learning and fluid response to a dynamic marketplace.

…Just a few thoughts

Greetings,

K.

What Does It Mean to Be People Smart?

Ask the person on the street what it means to be people smart, and you are bound to hear many who have this picture: “Oh, that’s a person who is really a smooth operator . . . a person who knows how to get others to join his side.” A different picture you might hear is someone who is “personable . . . friendly . . . fun to be with.”

10659228_10152944045180832_6147241091455155577_n

While few people would complain about having those attributes, they represent a very limited view of what it means to be gifted with people. Being people smart is a multi-faceted competence. It is not limited to our skills or our social graces but includes a wide range of abilities.

People smarts is about that aspect of emotional intelligence that is best called “interpersonal intelligence.”When you consider how important interpersonal effectiveness is, it also makes sense to build the PQ or “people quotient” of your workforce.

What makes up someone’s PQ (people quotient)? Consider these questions:

Are your employees good at. . .

•   Understanding people?

•   Expressing their thoughts and feelings clearly?

•   Speaking up when their needs are not being met?

•   Asking for feedback from others and giving them quality feedback in return?

•   Influencing how others think and act?

•   Bringing conflicts to the surface and resolving them?

•   Collaborating with others as opposed to doing things by themselves?

How these questions are answered determines someone’s PQ. People with high PQ excel in the following eight areas. How do your people stack up?

14550564_10207602208554582_1341443834_o

1. Understanding People

People with high PQs listen actively, empathize with another’s feelings, and acknowledge his or her viewpoint. That not only helps them to be appreciated but also works to draw out information they need to figure out what makes the other person tick. They ask questions to clarify what someone is saying when communication is unclear. They also realize that understanding others goes beyond the words they speak. They know how to interpret the unspoken. Finally, they are expert at reading other people’s style and motives.

2. Expressing Themselves Clearly

People with high PQs know how to get their message across so it’s understood. When people go on and on to make a point, they simply have no effect on other people. High PQers get to the point when brevity is required, yet give just enough detail so that other people are not confused. They can also sense when the other person has not understood them and can quickly rephrase what they are saying.

3. Asserting Their Needs

High PQers know that they have to be their own person. They have to have limits and establish those limits. If they try to be all things to all people, they’ll wind up disappointing others. They also are straightforward with their wishes. Hinting at what they need from others only leads to disappointment and frustration. Once that happens, they often become angry with others and lose the calm and confidence they need to be at their best. People with high PQs are able to remain calm and confident, even when others try to provoke them and push their emotional buttons.

4. Seeking and Giving Feedback

High PQ individuals are open about their reactions to others. They are able to give feedback easily and do it in such a way that the other people don’t become defensive. They also know that it is smart to get in the habit of asking for feedback themselves. If feedback is withheld, it’s as though the person has blinders on. Without feedback, they’re left wondering what the other person is thinking about them.

5. Influencing Others

A high PQ is evidence of someone’s ability to motivate others to action. High PQers are also people others come to for advice. They are able to connect with others, unearth their needs, reduce their resistance to new ideas, and persuade effectively.

6. Resolving Conflict

High PQers are exceptional conflict resolvers. They get the subject right out on the table. They figure out what’s bothering the other person. They are especially adept at negotiating differences and working out creative resolutions to problems.

7. Being a Team Player

High PQers are team players. They work more to advance the group’s goals rather than their own. They also know how to complement the styles of others, coordinate the efforts of team members without bossing them around, and build consensus.

8. Shifting Gears When Relationships Are Stuck

Finally, high PQers are flexible and resilient. While they have an inner core and a predominant style of dealing with people, they also understand that there are different strokes for different folks. They realize that one of the ways to get a stuck relationship to change is to change the way they behave in it. They know how to get out of old patterns and unfreeze situations that have previously been frozen shut.

KEEP IN MIND:All your employees need to be people smart. No matter what someone’s function is, everyone in today’s workforce is in the people business! It used to be said that some people were in the business of working with people and some of us were in the business of working with facts, figures, and machinery. But the people business is no longer the domain of the few. It now includes everyone.

1743560_10152280338850832_466362137_n

K.

 

Don”t you think that?

imagesA basic human tendency in our culture is to enumerate our experiences. Because people attempt to abstract those elements that they recognize as repeatable, they often end by describing their experiences in terms of “how much” or “how many.” This tendency to attach numbers to observations of everyday life, however, has some inherent dangers.

The tendency to oversimplify is one danger. Another is to imagine that experience can be accumulated, as if one experience is equal to another. Yet another danger occurs when we enumerate the characteristics and experiences of others. In other words, in describing other people numerically, we summarize their experiences, characteristics, and behaviors in terms of linear scales. A fourth danger is that we forget to look at human beings and look instead at quantities.

Numbers, best thought of as symbols or as abstract concepts, are a very useful device. When we assign a numerical value to some event, behavior, observation, or pattern of tick marks on an answer sheet, we are symbolically representing a human process. Counting may be done mechanically or electronically, but the schema is an extension of the thought process of some person or persons. Numbers can be talked about; manipulated statistically and arithmetically; and seen in an abstract, conceptual way. The primary value of numbers, then, is to extrapolate from and summarize
human experience.

In practice, however, there is a tendency to assign more value to our numbering than to the quality of human interaction needed to solve social problems. The logic of numbers is not the syntax of human experience, even though ample evidence exists that we treat people as though they were numbers. People who feel that they are being subjected to such inhumanity are almost uniformly offended by it. When a person feels that he or she has been treated with less dignity than that accorded to punched cards, that person usually feels helplessness and bitterness.

People are not numbers, but their experiences can, nevertheless, to a degree, be collected, accumulated, and used as a basis for prediction. The important humanistic consideration is that in using numbers we not violate the integrity of the people whose human experience we are abstracting.

Greetings,

K.

Millennial generations needs in the design and delivery of training.

14322523_10154650908715832_4391318693932779514_n:Training the Generation X and Millennial generation

 How the differences between the Baby Boomer generation and the Generation X and Millennial generations impact learning and training. What we can do to make training more interesting and effective for members of the younger generations.

Think of these five needs, or five factors, as antidotes

Boomer Habits                                            Millennial Needs

Use telling, text-oriented methods                 Involve to solve

Take a linear approach                                    Offer options

Use a leisurely, even pace                               Pick up the pace

Apply a trainer-focused style                          Link to the learner

Employ a prudent amount of fun                   Turn up the fun factor

Let’s take a look at each og these five differences and suggest ways of addressing Millennial generations needs in design and delivery of training.

10522562_10152946554170832_5806779337945096730_nInvolve to Solve

Interactivity is of the essence. Younger learners crave interaction—with each other, with the material, with problems and information, with experts and people who really know. They don’t want to be told; they want to find out! This is the one factor that always comes out at the top of the list when members of the younger generation describe their ideal learning situation. Discovery learning, engaged learning, collaborative learning, and other such approaches that have been popular in schools over the last two decades focus young learners on what they want to know and how to find out—often with the help and involvement of others. Discovering answers and obtaining information on their own is something younger learners do daily and have come to expect in a learning situation. Giving them a handout of the Top Ten Customer Complaints may not be nearly as effective as letting them sort through a hundred customer complaint forms and discover the top ten complaints for themselves.

            Baby Boomer culture is basically competitive. There were so many of us as we were growing up that we fell almost naturally into a competitive stance toward most situations. We competed for our parent’s attention with our brothers and sisters. We competed for our teacher’s attention in our crowded classrooms. We competed for scholarships, dorm rooms, and part-time jobs and then moved on to competing for real jobs, promotions, and attention from the boss. Many of us are still competing as to who can look younger than they really are!  The emerging generations are far less competitive in their general approach to things. They had fewer brothers and sisters growing up and were more involved in teamwork and group projects in their school years. That’s not to say there are no competitive individuals among the younger generations or that they love to work in groups, but their general approach to the world is not an immediately competitive one.

            Connected to their less-competitive nature is the younger person’s attitude toward risk and failure. In general, they are less risk-aversive than their Boomer elders. No one wins a video game without taking risks and learning from numerous failures.

            I suggest we design training that involves the learners in solving problems connected to the focus of the training and that we allow them to explore problems and discover ways to solve those problems. This can be done through absorbing, challenging, interactive games and structured activities. Let them risk; let them fail; and let them learn on their own terms as much as possible.

14196003_10205800943656861_8056031839396348260_oOffer Options

The younger generations live much of their lives in a hyper existence, above and beyond their immediate time and place. Connected globally, interacting simultaneously in a variety of media, they multi-task their way through each day—working, learning, communicating, and playing on many channels at the same time. They are accustomed to doing more than one thing at a time. They expect options and choices and free samples. They love to pop in and out as they like.

            While Boomer learning has more or less been dominated by text, the younger generations of learners have taken in as much of their learning from graphics, sound, and physical manipulation as they have from text. Interactivity is mandatory. Learners want to literally, physically interact—with things, with people, with ideas. And they want to choose which and when.

            To progress in a video game, you must coordinate the movements of your hands and thumbs with the changing visual images on the screen and respond to a variety of changing audio cues as well. A learning environment that offers little in the way of graphics and sound and that requires almost no tactile participation stands the chance of boring young people, even if those young people are interested in the subject matter and want to learn. They are not passive learners. Action, interaction, and choice are imperative.

            As a trainer or facilitator of Millennial learners, you may need to go above and beyond what you’ve done before. You may need to rethink and redesign your approach to training to include more action and interaction, more options and choices, a variety of parallel processes, and random access to an assortment of learning alternatives. Let the learners choose the “how” of getting to the endpoint, or at least offer a variety of pathways that may be taken.

Pick Up the Pace
  Think for a moment about your own style. What is the pace or tempo of your training? At what speed do you move through the material? If you have mostly older participants, you may want to make just a few adjustments to the speed of your training. But if you have a majority of trainees under 30, you may definitely want to pick up the pace. Try to make it snappy. And there are a number of ways to do so.

            Try starting your training with a bang. Immediately begin with an involving, challenging activity—and I mean immediately. Introduce yourself and the course later. Get the learners up and doing before they can really settle in. Catch their attention and their imagination in the first 20 minutes of your program.

            Keep your delivery pace quick and lively. Do a lot less “telling” and lot more “showing.” Don’t read anything out loud. Cut back on those overhead transparencies and PowerPoint presentations or end them all together. Tighten up all group activities. Better that participants have less time to do things than more time.

Link15195989_1140922826006123_8790694217671068748_o to the Learner

If you’ve been teaching or training for a number of years, you probably have a good feel for your material and your audiences. You’ve learned what works and what doesn’t. You’ve come up with some especially good examples and illustrations. It can feel so good when you’re on a roll. You’re standing up there explaining something and you see the light bulbs go off. You make a comparison, you give an example, and they laugh, they nod, they get it!

            Then comes the day when you notice that a number of people are not laughing or nodding. They may be sitting politely waiting for you to continue or, good grief, they may be rolling their eyes and grimacing! What’s wrong with these people? Your clever analogy to Sgt. Pepper, or your pun on the famous Beach Boys song, they completely miss the target! Whoosh, over their heads and out the door. And there you stand. But most of all, talk with members of the emerging generations—your kids, your relatives, your neighbors, your students. Talk about generational differences. Ask them what they like and don’t like about Boomers. Get their input when you design training. Better yet, let them design their own training and you can facilitate them through it!

            As much as possible, customize your training programs. Be flexible and adaptable to the learners who are present at any given delivery, from any given generation. Have a variety of illustrations and examples ready so that you can pick and choose those that best fit the audience or use a variety of them for a mixed-generation group.

            Younger learners enjoy utilizing their senses. They want to see it, hear it, and get their hands on it if possible. For many years, proponents of accelerated learning have extolled the benefits of appealing to all of the senses in learning situations.The challenge is to do so in ways that engage all learners without coming across as unprofessional and cheesy.

Turn Up the Fun Factor
The more we can bring some of that level of enjoyment into the corporate classroom, the more we will have the attention and the commitment of not only our younger learners, but most likely, learners of all ages.

Have a great week,

Kirilka

How do you train soft skills trainers remotely?

How do you train soft skills trainers remotely? by Kirilka Angelova

Answer by Kirilka Angelova:

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?” “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat. “I don’t much care where—so long as I get somewhere,” Alice added as an explanation. “Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Contracting may be used by a trainer (facilitator ,therapist, consultant, leader, and so on) to accomplish certain goals:

1. To clarify and define the relationship between the trainer and the client (the person or organization seeking the trainer’s services); and/or

2. To clarify with a client where the client is presently, where he or she would like to be (goals and objectives), and alternative ways (strategies) for getting there.

In the first case, contracting is used as a process to explore and define the relationship between the trainer and the client. The client’s wants and needs for services are detailed along with the range of services that the trainer is willing and able to provide. This period is a time of deciding (1) what the various parties involved want from each other, (2) whether they have the ability and resources to provide what is wanted from the relationship, and (3) whether they are willing to enter into the relationship.

In the second case, contracting is a specific tool that the trainer can use with a client to assist the client in evaluating the present situation (A), the desired position (B), and how to get to the desired position. Holloway and Holloway’s (1973) contracting model depicts the client’s present and desired positions and the decision that the client needs to make in order to move from one to the other. The “decision” can be seen as the choice of a strategy (strategies) that will accomplish the movement from A to B.

The trainer can understand contracting both as a process and as a framework that may be used (1) to establish a relationship with the client and to set mutual goals and objectives and (2) as a specific technique to involve the client actively in detailing A and B and the possible strategies for moving from A to B. This latter use encourages the client to take active responsibility for his or her present condition and future state.

Contracting as a Process

Contracting can be seen as a dynamic process along a time line, as opposed to a single event. The trainer and client begin with a “directional” contract, part of which may include the intent to recycle the contract: “In six weeks we will review the contract and update it.” Thompson (1974, p. 31) refers to “process contracting” and states that “the original ‘contract’ can be an agreement to work together to progressively define the relationship and to communicate desired ‘changes’ to one another as each party sees more clearly the development of its interests.” Part of contracting as a process is defining the relationship; one vital aspect of this is keeping the other parties involved in the contract explicitly informed of any changes.

Contracting as a Tool

Contracting is also a useful tool that can be used at various levels. At one level, the intrapersonal, an individual experiencing an inner conflict may use the model as an aid in deciding on strategies that will result in clarifying and eliminating the conflict.

A second level of contracting involves two or more people. For example, in a group setting, one person may feel that she dominates the discussion and may make a contract with other members of the group that (1) they will tell her when they experience her as dominating the discussion and that (2) she will check with them when she experiences herself as dominating the discussion. A third level of contracting may be between the facilitator and the client, group, or organization. In this case, contracting may involve specifying issues such as time commitments, finances involved, or group-maintenance issues.

TWO APPROACHES TO CONTRACTING

Two general approaches to contracting can be useful as guidelines. The first approach concentrates on establishing the relationship between the client and the trainer. The second approach attends to defining the relationship between the client and the problem. In this approach, the trainer assists the client in moving from A to B. Although there is a great deal of overlap between these two approaches, they are presented separately. Depending on the setting, the facilitator may find one approach or the other more useful.

Negotiating the Relationship

A basic structure for using contracting in training can be used for negotiating roles, expectations, and mutual benefits in nontherapy settings as well. There are four requirements for this negotiation: (1) mutual consent, (2) valid consideration, (3) competency, and (4) lawful object.

Mutual consent means that both parties have an adequate understanding of the agreement. What both want and expect from the relationship should be clearly detailed. Thetrainer needs to provide the client with possible time involvements, financial costs, courses of action, methods that may be used, expectations, risks involved, and so on. The client provides the trainer with information concerning expectations, the nature of the problem, objectives, people to be involved, time commitments, and so on. It is important that both the client and the facilitator give each other sufficient information so that both will be able to make informed decisions. The three ingredients of valid information, commitment, and free choice are necessary considerations.

Valid consideration involves an explicit statement of the benefits that each party to the contract will confer on the other. Benefits for the trainer might include money, additional experience, enhanced reputation, or publishable material. For the client, they might mean new information, the alleviation of the problem, or training.

Competency concerns the ability of the parties to enter into the relationship. For the trainer, the question is whether he or she has the competencies and the background to do what the client is requesting. For the client, competency may relate to his or her authority to enter into an agreement. Does the client have the position and the sanction of the organization to enter into such an agreement?

Lawful object requires very simply that what both parties are agreeing to is legal.

With the framework of these requirements, a checklist of questions can be provided for the facilitator and the client in order to explore their relationship.

Mutal Consent

What are the time requirements?

What are the financial costs involved?

Are there any risks that the client/trainer should be aware of?

Who will be involved?

What are the expectations of the trainer?

Are there any ethical concerns involved?

What methods might the trainer use?

If there is research involved, how will the information be used?

Valid Considerations

What will the client pay the ftrainer?

Are there rewards other than financial ones? If so, what?

What rewards will the facilitator provide for the client?

Competency

Is the trainer competent to do what the client is asking? What kinds
of backup services are available?

Is the client in a position to enter into the contract?

Does he or she have the authority to do so?

Lawful Object

Is the agreement legal?

Clarifying Goals and Strategies

In the second approach, contracting focuses on the client and the “problem.” This approach asks four questions: (1) What are the client’s wants? (2) What is the client willing to do to meet these wants? (3) What are the client’s criteria for success? (4) What benefits does the client gain on completing the contract?

Determining the client’s wants involves a clarification of both the present situation and future goals and objectives. The more specific and behavioral the terms of the descriptions are, the easier it is to determine whether and to what extent they have been met. Sometimes the client may feel totally lacking in goals or objectives. In this case the first “want” in this first step may be to “determine goals.”

To find out what the client is willing to do to meet his or her wants involves strategies and action plans. There may be many ways of moving from A to B, and part of this step is weighing the various alternatives. Again, it is important that the answer to this question be expressed in the most specific, behavioral, and measurable terms possible.

Criteria for success are essential in order to evaluate results; and, in order to determine whether the criteria have been satisfied and to what extent, the criteria must be specific.

The question of benefits is linked to motivation. If the client completes the contract successfully, what will that mean to him or her? Will the client think differently? act differently? feel differently? have more income? Are these outcomes pleasing?

This approach, focusing on the client and the problem, can provide the facilitator with a frame of reference. Although the questions are presented sequentially, they are interrelated; and in practice the facilitator may experience a good deal of overlap. Both the facilitator and the client also need to be aware that the contract may be recycled at any time.

ADVANTAGES TO CONTRACTING

Contracting has advantages on many levels. First, within the contracting process, the client’s integrity and autonomy are respected. The first approach emphasizes how important it is for the facilitator and the client to “level” with each other. Both need to reveal hidden agendas, and both are held responsible for their actions.

Second, and closely related, contracting may clarify the “helpee-helper” syndrome, a relationship filled with pitfalls. The charismatic helper may leave the client floating on a magic cloud but with no understanding for self-help when the cloud disappears. The “helpless” client may seduce the facilitator into solving the problem and then discount the solution with “Yes, but…” . Contracting avoids some of these pitfalls by asking the parties to level with each other and to state expectations clearly.

A third advantage to contracting is that it can function to detect and/or eliminate latent conflict at an early stage. The emphasis on clear understanding helps here, as well as the recycling points built into the process. Contracting can also be used as a specific tool for controlling or managing conflict.

The Cat’s answer to Alice provides an excellent model for contracting: Which way you go depends on where you want to go. Contracting is a tool and a process that can help people find answers to where they are, where they want to go, and how to get there

Greetings

Kirilka

How do you train soft skills trainers remotely?