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« 8. EI tips on team work using the MBTI »

Written by Rachel Green. Director, The Emotional Intelligence Institute. MBTI coach with over 25 years MBTI experience, and author of the new book: "INFJ: What's it like to be one."

Working in teams can require sophisticated levels of emotional intelligence. Many teams include people with diverse backgrounds, personality types, ages, genders, cultural history, sexual orientations and more.

It isn't always easy to get along. The potential for clashes and friction is high if emotional intelligence is at a low level.

Here are some emotional intelligence tips for getting on as a team when there are personality differences and diversity.

Emotional intelligence tip 1: Team-work starts with you

Understand your personality needs, weaknesses, strengths and your communication style, and the impact these have on others.

For example, Introverts may need to make sure they don't keep information to themselves, as others may think they're deliberately withholding information, or they're not interested.

Extraverts may need to remind Introverts that they are thinking aloud and say, "I am just thinking aloud, don't hold me to this".

You need to know what the strengths and weaknesses are that you bring to any team you are in.


Emotional intelligence tip 2: Tolerance

Team-work requires understanding and tolerance.

Develop acceptance of the other team members' differences, weaknesses and strengths.

For example, allow the Extraverts time to think aloud with the full understanding that they may just be thinking aloud and have not yet come to a decision. Don't just think they are wasting time.

Allow Introverts silence and space. Don't interrupt Introverts because all they are doing is sitting in their office reading or writing, this means they are BUSY.

Be tolerant of the other types' ways of working.

Different types have different aspects of emotional intelligence they find harder and easier. However, developing their emotional intelligence is vitality important for each type. Come join with me in this exciting new emotional intelligence coaching package and I will make sure it is personalised to you and your type.

Emotional intelligence tip 3: Team-work requires willingness

Team-work requires the willingness of all team members to help provide the best working conditions possible for each team member to draw on their strengths. Be willing!


Emotional intelligence tip 4: Each type contribute to decisions

Specifically encourage each type to contribute to decision making.

Each of the types brings different strengths to decision making. Enlist the strengths of each type to help your team make the best decisions.

For example, you might ask an iNtuitive (N), "Are there any new ways we could do this?", whereas you might ask a Sensate (S) "What practical problems may arise with this?"

Similarly you might ask someone with a Feeling (F) preference, "What impact will this have on the people in the organisation?", but to a Thinking preference, "Are there any

principles, policies or guidelines being violated here?"

Encouraging people to use their strengths brings out the best in them.


Emotional intelligence tip 5: Negotiate time schedules

The different types have different concepts of time. Try to accommodate these where possible.

For example, when calling team meetings, Ps and Js may have different concepts of time. Js tend to want everyone to arrive "on the dot!"

Ps are more likely to go with the flow and arrive after the "scheduled" time. Negotiate an agreement amongst everyone as to how to handle this.

Getting stressed by others' differences isn't emotionally intelligent.


Emotional intelligence tip 6: Accommodate the types

Adapt your team process to support the different types rather than making everyone do it one way.

For example, Introverts may need time to think before they respond - therefore send out written agendas in advance for meetings, give them time in a meeting before expecting their responses and make sure a chair person specifically invites them to comment.

Do not expect them to speak up over the Extraverts, whereas Extraverts may enjoy talking things through on the spot.

Emotional intelligence tip 7: Draw on the strengths of the types

Don't expect all members of the team to find the same activities equally easy.

For example, brainstorming sessions may be easier for Es and Ns than Is and Ss.


Emotional intelligence tip 8: Understand stress triggers

The different types get stressed by different things.

For example, an "I" may get stressed out by a constant round of meetings, whereas "E" may get stressed by being left on their own too long.

ISTJs may get stressed by change and inattention to detail, an INTJ may get stressed by a lack of autonomy.

Be aware of who gets stressed by what and help to keep stress levels down.

Different types have different aspects of emotional intelligence they find harder and easier. However, developing their emotional intelligence is vitality important for each type. Come join with me in this exciting new emotional intelligence coaching package and I will make sure it is personalised to you and your type.

Emotional intelligence tip 9: Give relevant rewards

Different types have different needs regarding praise, incentives and penalties, and it's important one person's viewpoint on rewards doesn't dominate.

For example, TJs may believe that having a job is motivation enough and say, "You don't need to reward what's expected".

While other TJs may agree, they may offend and de-motivate other types such as the Feeling types who work best with praise and rewards.


Emotional intelligence tip 10: Allocate jobs by strengths

To get the best out of your team allocate jobs according to strengths.

Multitasking can lead to a weakening of people's strengths. Instead, use the strengths of each type.

For example, if an ESTP is excellent in dealing with challenges, risks and crises but is poor at developing five-year strategic plans then encourage their involvement in the former rather than the latter.

Similarly, if an ISTJ is excellent at proof reading but doesn't enjoy creating new solutions for complex problems but an INTP does then allocate jobs accordingly.


EQ at work, INFJ: Get to know your type, increase communication effectiveness and lower conflict

There is so much that you or your team can learn so that you develop greater understanding of, and skills with, your communication, personality and relationships at work and home. The EI Institute has a number of options to help you:

  1. If you are an INFJ or live or work with one, then this 2018 book by Rachel Green, our Director, is a must read: "INFJ: What's it like to be one."
  2. If you are in Western Australia, a high energy, MBTI interactive team-building workshop can be organised for you: "Getting on: MBTI Team building".
  3. Meditation appeals to many introverts and we have a very popular audio-download on meditation called: "Happy Not Hassled". A perfect way to introvert and stay healthy.
  4. There is superior 1-1 coaching; and the MBTI is included as part of our smart leadership coaching package. You can find out your MBTI type and develop the skills you need, with Rachel Green.

For more details or to make a booking e-mail us now or pick up the phone and call us.