Does knowing your MBTI Type make the management job easier?

There are some 19 guides on how to use your Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) knowledge but not one for management!  Given that MBTI is one of the most widely used personality tests in the world it is interesting to see that the Type community hasn’t tackled the challenges of management directly – leadership yes, but not the set of skills that make up the full management job: planning, organising, leading and controlling.  For an introduction to MBTI see MBTI

If you are an Extrovert:

Your planning needs to have depth to it as well as breadth for it to be effective.  Leadership needs to cover listening as well as talking in equal measure.

If you are an Introvert:

Your planning needs to be broadly based and not too narrow in focus.  When leading, go the extra mile in putting energy and enthusiasm into your communications to engage all those extroverts in your team.

If you are a Sensor:

The fine details are unlikely to trip you up but you will need to work on your vision.  When controlling others you may need to watch that you don’t get bogged down in too much fine detail.

If you are Intuitive:

Planning is likely to come naturally but it needs to be underpinned by salient facts and figures to make exciting possibilities a reality.  Skipping over critical facts will damage your leadership credibility.

If you have a preference for Thinking:

Logic and structure alone will just not get the management job done.  You will need to work on the “people” factors in your planning, organising, leading and controlling.

If you have a preference for Feeling:

You’ll need to balance your insight into “people” and what they are feeling with structure and logic.

If you have a preference for Judging:

You’ll need to watch that your plans have contingencies built into them so that you can deal with the unexpected.  Also, keeping your options open where possible might sometimes be a better course of action.

If you have a preference for Perception:

You’ll need to curb your interest in going with the flow and keeping your options open.

The specifics of your Type preference combination ESFP and so on will shed further light on what you need to look out for and they will also enable you to play to your strengths – always a good bet in making life easier.

To return to the original question, yes, knowing and applying your Type knowledge will help you be a better planner, organiser, leader and controller and, as a consequence, a better manager.  It’s really a question of whether you actively apply your Type knowledge to the four management functions.  Type knowledge has the benefit of highlighting our potential blind spots and so it does hold out the promise of making the management job easier.  Self knowledge is a key management capability and the more you understand yourself and your inbuilt preferences the better the chance that you will have an easier life as a manager.

I raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society in the UK – a very small donation at http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/everyonedeservesgoodmanagement would be most appreciated.

 

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