Neeley makes sure your education doesn’t stop after you graduate. At the recent “How Do I Find My Zone?” workshop for Executive MBA alumni and students, we focused on using psychology to improve ourselves, our coaching style and our sales approach.
We all seem to see, prioritize and react to things differently – which can make communication a challenge, even when we all speak the same language. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) helps organize our personality differences so we can understand them – and leverage them.
We all took the MBTI during the In-Residence Seminar, and in the last part of Dr. Nick Grant’s recent workshop, he dug deeper into how to use type to improve performance evaluations, coaching and even sales pitches. (Read part 1 and part 2)
Find Your Type
First, here’s a review of the types. Ideally, you’ll have a certified MBTI facilitator conduct an assessment for your entire team, or have your team take the assessment online.
How are you energized?
- Energized by people
- Prefer to talk things through
- Prefer face-to-face communication
- Energized by time alone
- Prefer to think things through
- Prefer written communication
How do you take in information?
- Trust your experience
- Delay making interpretations until the facts have piled up
- Want to know practical applications
- Trust your hunches
- Make interpretations based on a few details
- Want to know additional uses or innovations
How do you make decisions?
- Decide by disconnecting, objectivity
- Tend toward skepticism, controversy and impartiality
- Want a logical outcome
- Decide by relating
- Tend toward acceptance, tolerance and sympathy
- Want a harmonious outcome
How do you approach the external world?
- Like planning and organization
- Prefer to avoid problems through preparation
- Feel that work comes before play
- Like to adapt to challenges
- Solve problems when they arise
- Feel that work and play coexist
Coaching by Type
Once you know the personality type of your team members, you can use that to structure performance evaluations – when you cater to personality, you’ll make them more comfortable and get more out of the evaluation.
Sensing: Talk about specifics first, and big picture later
Ask questions like:
- How did we measure success in meeting goals?
- What specific problems impeded you?
- What specific improvements can you make?
- Do you have suggestions for workplace improvement?
Intuitive: Talk big picture first, then drill down to specifics
Ask questions like:
- How did your performance match our vision and mission?
- What would happen to the system without your work?
- What innovations did you make?
- What resources do you need to make improvements?
Thinking: Talk facts first, then relationships
Ask questions like:
- Were the objectives feasible?
- Why did you exceed or fall short of goals?
- What skills/training do you need?
- What reward system would be most effective?
Feeling: Talk relationships first, then facts
Ask questions like:
- How have work relationships helped your performance?
- Have any conflicts impeded you?
- What personal values do you express through your work?
- Do you feel you are helping others through your work?
What they need to work on
Personality type can also tell you about areas for growth. While strengths in one area don’t necessarily indicate weaknesses in another, they are usually a good indicator of space for improvement. Dr. Grant provides more specifics on areas where each of the 16 types usually need work, but here’s a basic guide.
- E – listening
- I – assertiveness, influence and power
- S – creative problem solving and risk taking
- N – planning and management by objectives
- T – interpersonal relations and giving feedback
- F – delegation, power and handling criticism
- J – stress management and risk taking
- P – time management, decision making and planning
Sales and Personality Type
Whether you’re trying to gain support for a cause, or sell a product or service, catering the personality type of your audience can make a huge impact on your pitch.
Dr. Grant offered a couple of methods for uncovering the personality type of your audience:
- The Art of SpeedReading People, a book detailing ways to detect personality type through interactions.
- CAPT.org, where you can search the occupation of your target audience (e.g. computer programmers or registered nurses) to find the personality types most prominent in that profession.
- Introduction to Type® and Selling, a book that provides sales people with ways to estimate a client's personality type based on behavioral and language cues, then match the approach to the customer's type mode.
Customize your pitch
Design your presentation based on what you know about your audiences’ strongest personality preferences.
- Make the presentation interactive
- Make it broad and fast-paced
- Follow up immediately
- Offer written materials they can review before or after your presentation
- Make it deep and thorough
- Give them time to consider before you follow up
- Solve a specific problem
- Provide accurate facts, timetables and costs
- Offer deliverable, the next step
- Align with their vision
- Connect to imagination/innovation
- Provide exciting new framework
- Skip the small talk
- Promote features and benefits, pros and cons
- Align the product with their needs
- Open with small talk
- Use testimonials and situational examples
- Align the product with their values
- Position yourself as an authority
- Reference standards
- Give specific directions
- Position yourself as a resource
- Reference the immediate need or impact
- Offer a general approach
Learn more about type
This recap only covers a few gems from Dr. Grant’s workshop – we walked away with so much more information on how to understand and work with our own personality types and our coworkers’ types. Want Dr. Grant to teach your team how to improve everything from your leadership to your sales meetings through psychology? Contact him here.