I’ve Been Tryin’ to Get Down to the Heart of the Matter – Don Henley

So, everyone on your team has taken the MBTI and now you understand each other’s preferences when it comes to gathering information, decision-making, structure, and extraversion vs. introversion – although you all probably could have guessed that Johnny likes to be the life of the party, whereas Jane would rather eat the birthday cake from the party at her desk.  But you’re still having trouble communicating with one another, everyone is getting flustered when talking about the next big project, it seems like everyone is at each other’s throats and it’s hurting your productivity.  It turns out, just have to get in the middle of them – literally.  Hidden in the center of each team member’s MBTI personality type is the key to solving all of their communication woes.  It will teach you how to talk to one another, how to present constructive criticism and new ideas without an office-wide blowout, and will help your team to make good, conflict-free, and well thought-out decisions – it’s called the “functional pair”.

The MBTI function pairs are comprised of preferences of either Sensing or Intuition and Sensing or Feeling.  MBTI encompasses Extraversion (E) / Introversion (I), Sensing(S) / Intuition (N), Thinking (T) / Feeling (F), Judging (J) / Perceiving (P).  These combinations MBTI types – SF, ST, NF, NT- often tell the most about how we interact with and function in our world.

Found in the middle of the personality type, the functional pairs are often referred to as the “heart of type”.  Not sure what your “heart of type is”?  Take this quick self-assessment from http://myevt.com/teamdev/4-mbti-function-pairs to determine which “heart of type” best describes you:

  1. “I am someone who is decisive, quick to take action, values facts and logic, and pays attention to details.”
  2. “I am someone who is service-minded, seeks to help people in very practical ways, and is unselfish, kind, and understanding.”
  3. “I am someone who is guided by my passions and beliefs, has a sixth sense about people, and works to ensure harmony in the workplace.”
  4. “I am someone who is an agent of change, a person with a vision who values logical argument, competence, and independence.”

KEY: Statement 1 ST; Statement 2 SF; Statement 3 NF; Statement 4 NT

Understanding coworkers’ “heart of type” can help with communication and decision-making.  Each pair contributes a unique point-of-view, perspective of team goals, and work environment preferences.  When each pair is well represented, or at least well understood, a team is often more productive.

In our next blog we will look at each type’s preferences and turn-offs.


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