Personality Blog

Judging vs Perceiving in the workplace

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Published on Fri, 02/21/2014 - 14:35 by Bill McAneny

CoffeeI met with my friend Gary last Thursday for a coffee and catch up. We were really pleased to see each other. We caught up on what’s happening, had a really warm chat about things and then something strange happened as we got down to work. He got out a notepad which had a list of items and said: “OK this is what I’d like to get out of this meeting, what do you want to cover.” Me: “I don’t know, I hadn’t thought about it!” And do you know what the difference was? Yep, Judging vs Perceiving. He needed a list and a plan, and I wanted to just see where it would go.

In the workplace there is often a misalignment between Js and Ps. Unlike Extraversion vs Introversion, which now gets a lot of airtime, has heaps of books and articles written about it and which is probably easier to ‘get,’ the J-P scale can cause friction between those who need to create a plan and stick to it, and those who prefer to see how it all unfolds.

Carl Jung on Extraversion and Introversion

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Published on Fri, 02/14/2014 - 08:51 by Bill McAneny

Carl JungWe all know what Jung meant by Extraversion and Introversion, but do we know what he actually said?

It’s strange how many people are bought into the theory and practice of Jungian type but haven’t ventured to read the words of the great man himself. The primary source materials provide an excellent insight into his thinking on personality differences and he gives us colour, flavour and lots of humour! We all know that Jung was clear what he meant by Extraversion and Introversion: where we draw our energy from. However when we read his words we can see not only his take but also his opinion. On Extraversion:

Extraversion is characterized by a desire to influence and be influenced by events, a need to join in and get “with it,” the capacity to endure bustle and noise of every kind…the cultivation of friends and acquaintances, none too carefully selected…He has no secrets he has not long since shared with others.  Should something unmentionable nevertheless befall him, he prefers to forget it…all self-communings give him the creeps.  Dangers lurk there which are better drowned out by noise. 

INFP vs ISFP: savouring new possibilities vs savouring new experiences

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Published on Fri, 02/07/2014 - 09:45 by Bill McAneny

Golden Air​People often confuse the INFP and the ISFP, as they are both quiet, laid back, gentle enigmas. They are also both intensely private inhabiting their own internal worlds but there is a major difference: INFPs are future oriented dreamers who enjoy flights of fancy and seeing many possibilities while ISFPs prefer to stop and savour the sensory, real experiences of the moment to the max. Neither are forthcoming types, both love the new, both dislike structure or being controlled, however the INFP will look up and dream big dreams and the ISFP will look down, immersing themselves in actual experiences.

These are subtle differences but they help us better understand the two character types, which, paradoxically, are often the most misunderstood. Both are astute observers of life, caring and loyal: yet they experience the world in very different ways with the INFP wanting to see way beyond the here and now and the ISFP wanting to remain there until their need for experience is satiated and they move onto the next, new sensory experience.

Does psychometric testing ‘work’?

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Published on Thu, 01/30/2014 - 14:19 by Bill McAneny

Multiple choiceOn the BBC Jeremy Vine Show yesterday he posed the question: “psychometric tests are they good or worthless?” Then several people were paraded, each with their own experience of how brilliant they are and others who had bad experiences of applying for a job only to have ‘failed’ the test. We know for a Radio Show it is good to polarise ‘good vs worthless’ but in reality this probably needs a little unpicking.

Firstly there are so many psychometric assessments around and some are true ‘tests,’ ie ‘pass or fail,’ such as Numerical Reasoning or Verbal Reasoning, and some are ‘assessments,’ ie to be used as a jumping off point for discussion, such as personality or behavioural assessments. The first issue to determine is ‘why do we need to use an assessment?’ In the 1990s assessment became ‘the norm’ (if you pardon the pun) but often with no valid rationale behind it. So many organisations used ‘Intelligence Testing” without defining ‘intelligence’ or establishing why that was an important attribute for the role. So why are you assessing, what is it you’re trying to establish and why? For example reaction tests for train drivers are important in determining how quickly they can see changes in their environment.

So how do you use them? The majority of assessments are based around personality and behaviour and these are really useful jumping off points for discussion. We would never recommend making any decisions about individuals based on an assessment result, but they are great to use at interview, or in discussions about promotion, career change etc as an opener. For example we recently assessed an individual and we said: 

you are not detailed, you are expedient and often disregard rules, regulations and like to go your own way.

ISTP - full on or full off - nothing in between

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Published on Fri, 01/24/2014 - 14:48 by Bill McAneny
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Dusty Roostertails

It’s difficult to quantify personalities and this is especially so with the contradiction that is the ISTP. They tend to not do half measures and so trying to assess if someone is such a personality type will depend if you experience the full on, jump in, thrill seeking ISTP or the withdrawn, apparently disinterested ISTP, ie on which ISTP you get.

The STP desire to store knowledge and apply it practically right here right now is compounded by Introversion: so while the ESTP will live a life full of jumping from one exciting adventure after another, the ISTP will be more likely to jump into the adventure, butt out completely and utterly, then, like Clark Kent putting his suit on, throw himself into the action.

This anomaly also manifests itself in the level of detail that the ISTP becomes immersed in.

The power of difference: Sylvester Stallone vs. Robert De Niro

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Published on Fri, 01/17/2014 - 09:49 by Bill McAneny

With actors it’s often difficult to get know the real person behind the characters they play. However the endless promotion of the new film ‘The Grudge’ has given us the chance to really get to know Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro as people. Watching them together actually helps as we can see that Sly clearly takes the lead whereas Bob is happy to sit back and let him. Sly uses the interview as an opportunity to entertain and engage, Bob looks as if he’d rather be at home, but is polite, serious and factual. In this clip Bob only really answers a question because Charlie Stayt pushes it and of course he answers politely and factually and when he is finished Sly says straight to camera: “Did you miss me?”

Life is a people game, and a contact sport

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Published on Fri, 01/10/2014 - 16:48 by Bill McAneny

Water DropIn business, as in life, success often depends about the quality of the interactions we have. Understanding ourselves is a great first step but ultimately it is about understanding ourselves in relation to other people and of course getting to better understand them. Our behaviour has an impact and that impact has a consequence: the impact is how we leave people feeling and the consequence is what occurs as a result of that impact. I once asked an SVP of a large energy company how his people saw him (I had already asked): “A livewire, a bit of a joker who loves the joust, they love me,” he said. Nope. So I told him: “They say you’re a sarcastic, self-indulgent bully who makes a joke of everything.” So we can see our SVP was aware of his behaviour but he viewed it from the standpoint of himself, rather than those on the receiving end. 

Making your New Year a SMART one: Some tips to make your New Years' resolutions stick

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Published on Sun, 01/05/2014 - 10:31 by Guest Blogger

Two champagne glassesWe've all been there. Big Ben bongs, Champagne glasses clink and as the final strands of Auld Lang Syne disappear into the horizon your thoughts turn to the New Year. This year.

This year I'm going to...

My New Year's Resolution is to...

As T.S. Eliot said: “To make an end is to make a beginning.” It's a blank canvas: a fresh start. As of 00:00 on 1st January 2014 you can be or do anything you want to, (which may or may not be precipitated by the aforementioned Champagne!)

But all too often we find ourselves making grand declarations: “I'm going to go for a run five times a week,” without the ability to follow it through. So how do you make a decent resolution and actually stick to it? That's where SMART comes in:

Specific

Make your resolution/s specific – focus on what it is you would actually like to achieve. Want to see more of your friends in 2014? Your goal could be to put a date in the calendar each month to see a certain friend.

Hulk and Bruce Banner

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Published on Fri, 12/20/2013 - 13:20 by Bill McAneny

Yin + Yang

The Hulk vs Bruce Banner relationship was originally conceived for Marvel Comics by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby as a mixture of previous ‘horror-but-moral’ tales such as Frankenstein and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, exploring the two sides of the same coin, paradoxically polarising them as well as blending them.

The Bruce Banner character is a quiet, thoughtful scientist, a little bit awkward and introverted who accidentally creates his alter ego ‘The Hulk,’ an angry ball of extraverted rage. Banner is a serious guy and indeed in order to escape his predicament and to ensure ‘The Hulk’ is contained at one point he disappears, working as a doctor in the slums of Calcutta. But ‘The Hulk’ is only temporarily buried within Banner; he has not been eradicated, because he is part of him.

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