SUMMARIES > REVIEW OF SELF-ASSESSMENT TOOL: PERSONAL REFLECTION
|Download SummaryClick on link, choose "Save" and save the document to your computer. It should open in any word processing program such as Word and Word Perfect.
MYRNA L. BAIR, PhD
Director, Womens Leadership Development Program, Institute for Public Administration, University of Delaware, Newark, DE
Different people have different ways of viewing the world. Some deal strictly with facts; others with metaphor. Some are rooted in the present, others are future-oriented. The details go on. In order to lead effectively, it is important to understand one's own modus operandi, as well as that of one's close coworkers, said Myrna Bair, the Director of the Women's Leadership Program at the Institute for Public Administration at the University of Delaware.
To that end, an assessment tool called Myers-Briggs classifies people into 16 mental types and explains how they work. According to Myers-Briggs, there are four basic mental processes, each of which can be approached from opposite ends of a scale. For example, "sensors" take information in as facts, specific and literal, while "intuitives" are general, figurative, and abstract big-picture people. The sensor sees a tree and what's to know what kind. The intuitive wants sees the tree as part ofa forest.
In decision-making, thinkers (T) are objective and logical, seeking clarity, critique, and cause and effect. Feelers (F) "tend to be much more subjective, and very interested in the impact a decision has on other people... They are looking not so much for clarity but harmony," says Bair.
In dealing with the world day-to-day, "Judging" people are organized, purposeful, and prefer structure, while "perceiving" people prefer the flexible, diverse, and casual.
Finally, there is the extroversion/introversion dichotomy.
Each of the 16 combinations of these four traits behaves in a unique manner, and the dynamics of this are complex. But all 16 types can lead, says Bair. "Just in different ways."
Communicate in the style of the person you are talking to, says Bair. In talking to a sensor-feeler, "you better have your facts straight and be concerned about the impact on others."
"Good type development can be achieved at any age by anyone who cares to understand his or her own gifts and the appropriate use of those gifts," Isabel Myers said in her book, Gifts Differing. "When people differ, knowledge of type lessens friction and eases strain."
Bair recommends getting a professional to come to the office to do the Myers Briggs. The Otto Kruger Institute or the Consulting Psychology Press can provide a list of professionals in your area. "It's very dangerous for somebody to try to administer the instrument without having been properly trained."