Effective Team Building Requires Managing MBTI Personality Weaknesses
People who make up a business or organization are human. When those people are expected to perform their jobs 'perfectly,' all alone with no planned support, there is no recognition of the given that humans have blind spots and need to 'cover for each other.' It is said that 80% of the time we have an idea of where we need help.
Given proper attention, management skills applied to provide effective support can hold up a mirror to the blind spots of each individual and show them what they could not see on their own, and then provide them 'cover.' Serious corporate team building does not put off looking at these possible weaknesses but sees such strategic planning for them as time well spent in group formation. Team performance will be enhanced by providing honest mutual support for each team member's blind areas.
Cover for the blind spots of individual weaknesses
The management of corporate potential must include the allowance for and uncovering of each team member's particular work-related blind spots. We all have them. Each personality has an area with a low level of awareness particular to that type.
Make allowances for the pitfalls of each person's blind spots by identifying what they are. Then the manager or team leader can plan to cover for it with another team member—one who is truly gifted in that area. This reduces the expectation to be perfect and frees up the individual to focus on the direction in which he or she is gifted.
Personal Blind Spots
Natural Weaknesses or Blind Spots
Just as the driver of a vehicle has blind spots out of view to the rear, so does an individual have blinds spots or weaknesses inherent to his or her particular personality type. When those blind spots are not recognized and covered for by other team members more able, he or she will then vainly try to divert energies otherwise better employed to try to do as best they can, or just put that work off.
This is why we want each individual team member supported by leaving to other team members those tasks which
- are an area of weakness or blind spot, and
- can be better done or covered by others, like a car's rear view mirrors have a better view than the driver.
Best suited to those already somewhat familiar with the Myers-Briggs types, this provides a detailed description about how each personality type functions in both leadership and worker roles, with the goal of maximizing performance through understanding the motivations and blind spots of each.
The Team Advantage
We want to cover for the blind spots of individuals with a team member without the same blind area who then does that part of the work—avoid forcing round pegs into square holes. Otherwise, just one or two people on a team forced into such a mismatch can ruin the performance of the whole team.
Groups are particularly good at combining talents and providing innovative solutions to possible unfamiliar problems; even in cases where there is no well established approach or procedure. The wider skill and knowledge set of the group provides the resources to cover for the weaknesses of the individuals.
However, there is the risk of a few bad apples on the team causing ruination. Team members of other personality types with quite a different value orientation may experience conflict. However, an understanding of these differences can aid your negotiation of a workable solution.
In general, there is an overriding advantage in a group-based work force which makes it attractive to business management: that it engenders a fuller utilization of the work force.
Cover blind spots with mirrors
Blind Spots and Required Coverage
The talent and knowledge set of a team is identified as we determine these two things about the blind spots of each team member.
- The lowest level of awareness of which he or she is blind.
- The coverage required to better free him or her to focus in the direction of their gifting.
The blind spots of the 16 Myers-Briggs Personality Types® in the following table are based on the 'shadow' of each type's direction of particular giftedness—like an opposite side that is barely within eyesight.
- Discover the personality type of each team member, and read on this chart what are that type's blind spots.
- Match the natural weaknesses of the team member's blind spots with the supportive coverage that it requires.
Cover for Team Members' Blind Spots by Personality Type
So resourceful and improvising they tend not to consider subtle implications; Inconsiderate and demanding at times; Impatient with long-range solutions; Seem cold and impersonal
Other types to consult—NF on value implications or NT on long-range consequences; Reminders and help to take time to listen for subtle intents; Help to keep interest in time consuming tasks and to see when deadlines must be met
So intent on taking action they tend not to consider peoples’ needs; Tend not to think of subtle implications of their improvising; Impatient with long-range solutions; Seem impersonal and purely task-oriented
Reminders at times to really listen to others; Help to consider rules as not a threat to their freedom and that their quick actions may frustrate and be misread by others; Be informed about subtle implications
Fun interactions can distract them from job tasks; Miss implications of their quick-fix improvising; Impatient with long-range solutions; Focused on details they miss subtle interpersonal relationship signals
Permission to ‘wing it’; An NF or NT to handle the abstract data; Help to see benefits of planning and completing, when deadlines must be met and subtle implications of actions; Support when great uncertainty as to what’s next
So caught up in the activities of the moment they may be distracted from a higher priority; Can miss negative implications of their improvising; Impatient with long-range solutions; May avoid solving the uncomfortable major problems
Help with a more objective viewpoint; Guidance in thinking about future goals and good future direction; Be made aware of being misunderstood; Help to see benefits of planning actions and decisions
Lose sight of individuals and their needs; Forget the purpose of the procedures and frameworks they see as so all important; Tend to self-impose work overload; Worried, they may make decisions too fast; Expect others to be like them; Hard to change course
Reminders that people are more important that organization; Point out when they are overload; Help clarify what is required to be effective; Encourage them to slow down their decision-making process; Help them see other points of view
Lose sight of people needs; May resist change for the sake of stability; Impatient with others' unsteady energy; Tend not to say ‘no’ and get overloaded; May judge and reprimand too quickly; Tend to be too cautious; Miss subtle factors in group behavior
Reminders to listen without judgment; Tell them the usefulness of a change; Explain some work better in bursts of energy; Urge them to delegate and take on less; Allow for their cautiousness; Help them see other points of view and learn to relate with “warm fuzzies”
May burnout; Lose sight of what people really need; Not interested in need for change; Impatient with others’ unsteady energy; Do not say ‘no’ and get overloaded; Make decisions too fast; Focus on appearance and status; Blame too quickly
Reminders to attend to own needs and listen to others; Pros/cons to changes given in advance; Explain some work best in bursts of energy, and some cannot be ‘warm & fuzzy’; Insist on delegating and taking on less; Help think through concern about bad possibilities
May burnout; Stubborn streak; Lose sight of what people really need; Low interest in need for change; Impatient with others’ unsteady energy; Quiet over concern with appearance and status; Find blame and the negative; Hard Lack broader perspective; Avoid confronting
Remind to attend to own needs and listen; Pros/cons to changes given in advance; Explain some work best in bursts of energy; Insist on doing less; Help think through worries; Fairness when accused; Help communicate when in confrontations
May overlook people element; Sarcastic and resistant streaks; Impatient with reflecting/researching and lack of abstract intellect; Protocol not valued; Ignore practicalities for implementing what is envisioned
Urge growth in tolerance of others' limitations and need for reflection; Allow detailed planning in the face of failure; Provide logic/rationale for required procedures, and input on practical factors
May overlook impact on people element; Sarcastic and resistant streaks; Impatient with reflecting/researching and lack of abstract intellect; Other views not valued; Ignore practicalities for implementing what is envisioned
Urge tolerance of others' limitations and own need for reflection, and that they ask for feedback; Allow detailed planning in the face of failure; Provide logic/rationale for required procedures, and input to help make theories practical
May overlook impact on people element; Sarcastic and critical streaks; Impatient with preparing ahead and implementing; Others’ lack of abstract intellect distasteful; Ignore practicalities and protocols to focus on designing what is envisioned
Help with details they ignore; Reminders to engage in implementation; Allow for hunches more than by the book; Help in how to include others who are different; Provide logic/rationale for protocol; Help to keep to procedures
May overlook impact on people element; Sarcastic and critical streaks; Spend too much time planning so delay doing; Others’ lack of abstract intellect distasteful; Avoid small talk; Ignore practicalities and protocols to focus on designing and defining
Help with details they ignore; Deadline for projects and support from an SP type; Reminders to engage in implementation; Help in how to engage in small talk; Provide expert logic/rationale for protocol; Permit creativity; Help to keep within protocol
May get off task too much; Work in bursts; Get stuck in the middle of group issues/conflicts; Group dissatisfaction wear and drain; Ignore own sense of identity so burnout; Ignore ‘unnecessary’ procedures to focus on freedom for people to grow
Regular people interaction; Allow for lulls between the bursts; Help to focus on priority tasks and procedures; Steer away from personalizing conflicts; Urge to plan time for self and speak up when a task is too draining; Reminders to urge others to take responsibility
Focus on people & doing tasks well may derail progress and perspective; Ignore own needs so burnout; Work in bursts; Cannot function where interpersonal conflicts persist; Lured by others’ problems; Drained by ineptly designed procedures that do not allow people to develop
Help focus on priority tasks and procedures; Urge to speak up when too draining and plan time for self; Allow for lulls in work; Help to get out of others’ dependency on them; Work where the team is allowed to use their talents and structures serve all involved; Allow room to dream for something better
May get off task looking to others’ needs; Work in bursts; Ignore own sense of identity/ presence; Get stuck in the middle of group issues/conflicts; Rescuing people from the system; Last minute doer; Challenge procedures that impede peoples’ growth
Comfortable coworkers; Real deadlines; Allow lulls in work; Urge to plan time for self; Help to get out of others’ dependency & policy conflicts; Caring help to focus on priorities; Steer away from personalizing others’ failures; Help with logic/rationale of required protocol
Can tune out others' activities; Burnout ignoring own needs/identity; Shun large tasks; Work in bursts; Internalize all relational tensions; Too involved in others’ problems; Drained by ‘unnecessary’ procedures impeding personal growth; Delay what cannot be done well
Urge to plan time for self and cut back on caring for others; Allow for lulls between the bursts; Help to get out of others’ dependency on them; Comfortable work setting; Help get out of others’ dependency on them; Give logic/ rationale of required protocol; Allow room to dream
5 Tips for Managers
Directing the group of team members to work on a shared common goal will help engender a fuller utilization of the strengths of each member in covering for other team member blind spots. They will engage their strengths in the work of the team and likewise receive support for their own blind spots.
Cover for the blind spots of your peoples' weaknesses in this way and watch them grow and the work capacity of the whole group or organization will expand!
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- Effective Team Building by Using MBTI Personality Strengths
Rather than leaving most of employee potential untapped, determine these two things about the natural aptitude of each persons personality type for building team talent.