There is a new book on the Myers-Briggs personality test used by organisations around the world ( What’s Your Type by Merve Emre). Most people are curious to know their personality type and that of their colleagues but my experience is that this knowledge will not improve team dynamics or make team meeting less fraught.
The management consultants hired to make us operate better as a team explained that teams needed diversity, different personality types could complement each other, the cautious was balanced by the adventurous, the big picture types by those who liked to focus on the detail, the creative ones by those who put the emphasis on rationality. A well balance team made up of a range of personality types was more effective , they claimed. Whilst this seemed logical it flew in the face of the experience of every one of us. In our experience different perspectives and different concerns did not result in better decisions but conflict, hours of frustration and unproductive debate.
The consultants reassured us that Myers-Briggs would help us understand how to work with rather than against personality types . There was they said no point in making a case based on values if the colleague's concern was where was the money coming from. The colleague the rest of us thought of as “difficult “ was therefore not being difficult but simply not swayed by the factors which influenced the rest of us.
We now understood their responses in team meetings They were not being deliberately difficult it was their personality. Which we already knew. They were negative, defensive, argumentative and not a team player or a PITA (pain in the arse).
Blair Mcpherson www.blairmcpherson.co.uk