Friday, December 21, 2007

Myers-Briggs at Work

The theory behind Jung's work and the MBTI is that the differences in normal people and consequently their work and relationship requirements and conflicts are a result of the different ways they perceive and adapt to the world. These differences are easily observable in the workplace and we are constantly dealing with the results of these variables.

The purpose of using the MBTI within a business environment is to attempt to measure these differences, so that they can be better understood. Instead of having creative tension in the workplace cause conflict and opposition, the MBTI can be used to anticipate these opposing but legitimate viewpoints and be creative with the tensions that come from them. Work environments using Typology as a systematic, workable, logical tool for individual organizational development and for team-building have proven more efficient, productive and, ultimately, financially successful.

Within corporate structures, Typology can profoundly affects people as well as the overall work environment. Human motivation comes from within the individual Type and no manager, regardless of how effective he or she is, can be successful if they attempt to motivate everyone in the same way. The challenge for leaders is to create an environment where people are encouraged to be all they can be. When a leader has a knowledge of the personality Type of their subordinates, it can assist them in knowing the unique abilities of each person and helps them work to develop and maximize their potential. This results in saving time and negative energy that may have been spent trying to make people fit a specific or defined position or way of performing. Exceptional performance by ordinary people occurs when leaders have worked with whom their employees are rather than who they think they should be.

Typology works on the basis that it is normal and healthy for people working together to have a variety of opinions and attitudes. The challenge facing the manager in any organization is to direct these distinct personalities into a formation that will work toward a common goal, to create synergy or organizational group cohesiveness.
Ideally, all managers would like to establish an environment where people, of their own free will and desire, want to work well together and optimize their own performance. Using Typology, a manager can learn to understand what motivates each individual and then create the conditions for superior performance.
People will strive to perform to the best of their ability when their work is satisfying, meaningful and enjoyable to them. When the workplace is conflict-ridden, unpredictable or too rigid, people will feel threatened and become preoccupied with surviving or searching for better opportunities elsewhere. The use of the MBTI and a thorough understanding of Typology can assist leaders and managers to construct a work environment that is creative, productive and fulfills both personal and corporate goals.

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