MBTI Bite: How To Pick Up Someone's Personality Type Over The Phone

mbti-bite_-how-to-pick-up-someones-personality-type-over-the-phoneJust think of what it would be like if you could figure out a new stakeholder’s personality type while you speak to them on the phone. Think of how quickly you could connect with them, tailor your dialogue to their preferred communication style, and even know how to balance their weaknesses so that they feel empowered to stay in their strike zones.

It's possible.

Myers-Briggs is the most popular and most researched assessment in the world. It breaks down personality types into four dichotomous pairs.

1. E vs I, Extrovert vs Introvert.

You know the person on the other end of the telephone is an E if they consistently talk things out with you. We E’s are notorious for thinking as we speak. We've also got a case of verbal diarrhea. That is, we are verbose.

I’s, on the other hand pause, think things out and give more concise, formed answers. They also tend to process new information internally instead of with others.

2. S vs N, Sensing vs Intuition.

S’s, or Sensors, are 75% of the population. So when in doubt, you can guess that the stakeholder you are speaking to is an S. But another way to know is if they speak in specifics. Do they give detailed descriptions as they lay out information? Do they talk in more tangibles (sights, smells, sounds) than in abstract concepts?

You know you are speaking to an N, or Intuitive, when they focus on the big picture. N's often think broadly, basing their ideas more on intuition than sensory cues. N’s also love new ideas and possibilities.

3. T vs F, Thinking vs. Feeling.

T’s, or Thinkers, can be spotted because they talk about the logical implications of things.

F’s, or Feelers, may first talk about a task but will often interject with the impact the project will have on the people.

4. J vs P, Judging vs. Perceiving.

J’s or Judgers, feel more comfortable once a decision is made. Over the phone, you will sense them wanting to lock down a decision.

P’s, on the other hand, like to keep their options open. It will be harder to nail things down.

Here is a cheat sheet that gives you all of the above in one page:



Once you can pick off the letters, go to 16personalities.com and get detailed descriptions that will help you get them better.

Even if you can't nail all the letters use this cheat sheet to tailor the way you communicate with them not just over the phone but in email too.

Chew On This:


  • How can you implement this mindset into your phone calls today?


Ryan C. Bailey is an Executive Coach who helps business leaders develop in-demand high performing teams.

*This blog is an amalgamation of a few different clients.  No one single client is being singled out.

MBTI Bite: If You’re Involved In The Hospitality Industry, You Had Better Know How To Work With ESFJ’s

working-with-esfjs One of the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types is ESFJ.  If you are in the hospitality industry, you are probably bumping into ESFJ’s left and right.

For example, I did a workshop with a 100+ person team in the hospitality industry. Despite great diversity in culture, ethnicity, nations, etc. close to 30% were ESFJ’s!

How can you spot an ESFJ?  

ESFJ’s are those who thrive on structure and routine, are very loyal to their managers, and also care very much about people.

They love action-oriented teamwork and are usually among the first to help a colleague in a practical way.

They are also master networkers, and happen to know who is best to bring in for a project.

ESFJ’s are tremendous hosts/hostesses. They are the social event organizers.  This skill translates especially well in management, since ESFJ’s work to make sure everyone is involved and unified. They will work quickly to resolve team conflict so that the project gets done on time.

But the key trait to remember about ESFJ’s is that they are perfectionists at heart.  ESFJ’s love to do quality work.

They can sometimes get too caught up in what, to many others, would be small details.

If you are working with an ESFJ, here are three tips to help the two of you work better together:

1. Make sure that everyone’s role on the team is clear.


ESFJ’s thrive on structure and clarity.  They want to know who is responsible for what. They especially want to know what they are going to be held accountable for.

Since they are master team players, they rely on this clarity in order to play a role in unifying and supporting the team.

Once there is structure and clarity, watch the ESFJ handle their responsibilities with excellence.

If there is little structure or if roles are not clear, do not be surprised if they become confused, and stress becomes visible.  They may also become somewhat paralyzed, not sure how to proceed.

Then comes fear of failure in most ESFJ’s. ESFJ’s hate looking bad in front of others, so this fear of failure will need to be dealt with quickly.

Many ESFJ’s have learned to help their more “go-with-the-flow” managers develop structure and clarity.

So if you are a manager who struggles to put together clear roles and structure, solicit the help of your ESFJ direct reports.  They are probably dying to help you.

ESFJ’s are extremely practical, but often this strength does not become apparent until their role is defined.  Therefore, do not overlook this step when working with them.

2. When giving feedback, be sure to point out what was quality work, and then talk about how they can take it to the next level.


ESFJ’s care very much how people see them.  Many can struggle with perfectionism.

Most feel embarrassed if they made a mistake that was noticed by the team.

They really want to produce quality work.  They work hard to achieve it, so it is especially disappointing to them when they make a mistake, much less fail at something.

When giving ESFJ’s feedback, be sure to acknowledge publicly what is quality about their work.  Stress how much you value them, but not in a way that seems like flattery.  Be sincere.  Look for the quality and praise it.

When it is time to talk about going to the next level, be sure to do that in private.  If they perceive they are being criticized, the privacy will help you to help them process their emotions around it without causing them undue embarrassment.

Ultimately, they are going to love seeing a way that they can take it up a notch, because they really want their work to be excellent.

3. Be careful about challenging their authority--you might get your head bitten off.


Since ESFJ’s give so much respect to those in authority, and they work hard to get everyone on their team involved and unified, they find it highly offensive when their authority is challenged.  Do not be surprised if you see a strong outburst of emotions.

In general, ESFJ’s hate conflict, but if you happen to bait them, they will escalate the conflict.

If you believe something is off, pull them aside and ask them. Ask if they are up for discussing whatever it is. Once again, be sure to share how you value them as a colleague/boss.  And once again, be sincere.  Don’t try to schmooze with them.

Once the matter is out in the open, identify what is quality and strong about the work they did, and ask if what you see would help make things to be even stronger.

When working with ESFJ’s, as with any personality type, play to their strengths.

If you are someone who loves to innovate and come up with unconventional means of doing things, remember to mention frequently how the innovation will enhance your team’s influence on the larger group.

Chew On This:


  • How can you recognize the ESFJ’s on your team for the quality of their work?


Ryan C. Bailey is an Executive Coach who helps business leaders develop in-demand high performing teams.

*This blog is an amalgamation of a few different clients.  No one single client is being singled out.

MBTI Bite: Must-Have Tips For Working With The Dominant Personality Type In the Corporate World

mbti-bite-estjESTJ’s dominate middle management and above, for lots of reasons. This personality type loves work. They are dedicated, tough, and they delight in making order out of chaos. They know how to delegate and how to do it fairly. They are direct and honest. These are all traits that senior leadership values. Even without knowing anything about personality types, it’s not hard to spot patterns in who gets promoted, and to notice that it often happens to the ESTJ’s. They are naturally-bent leaders, and it shows in the hiring and promoting process. However, there are 15 other equal personality types in the workplace. They too have gifts and talents that are extremely valuable to the corporate world.

We are entering an era in which a flexible management style is imperative for drawing out the best our teams have to offer. A flexible management style results when a leader learns the personality type of each person he/she leads, draws out their particular gifts, and utilizes those gifts to produce superior results for the team.

We have learned that if we allow one personality type to dominate, blind spots are created through the lack of diversity on our teams. This leads to a sharper and often more diverse competitor taking market share.

We can’t afford that any more.

So we are seeing other personality types ascend to the top of the corporate ladder. However, I think we will always have more ESTJ’s in leadership because their natural gifts are so crucially beneficial.

Here are some tips on how to work with the ESTJ's on your team:

1. ESTJ’s are unlikely to experiment with new ways of doing things, but they are open to a new idea that is proven to work better.

ESTJ’s love creating order out of chaos. Once in order, they will follow whatever routines are necessary to enforce that order.

This often leads to them doing things just ONE way.

This can get boring to those who have a personality type that values variety or experimentation.

What’s worse is that a team that is not taking risks will stop growing. So ESTJ’s need to have their one way appropriately challenged with a proven new method.

Once the new method is proven, the ESTJ will see great value in you and your thought leadership.

Those of us who like to speculate on ways that something could be done better would do well to prove it to ourselves first, before presenting it to an ESTJ boss.

Another option is to announce ahead of time that you want to brainstorm a possibility with your ESTJ boss. Most ESTJ’s want to take action on ideas; they don’t relish “just talking about ideas for the sake of talking."

2. Since ESTJs do things by the book, you have to be careful when you challenge the book, because that can be viewed as a direct challenge to their authority.

So for me, the key phrase in point one that will help us with point two is “appropriately challenged." ESTJ team leaders want to be respected. They will defend their team hard against those who may want to harm the team through a cutback or some other threat. Since they are loyal to their team, they get rankled when they perceive that someone on their team is disrespecting or questioning their authority.

Challenging the rules or established routines that have saved the team from chaos in former days is often perceived by an ESTJ leader as a personal core challenge.

If you catch your ESTJ boss on a day when they are especially stressed, don’t be surprised if you are hit with an outburst of emotions.

Before you challenge the established way of doing something, make sure you’ve proven that it works, or at least ask to brainstorm a new solution.

Then make sure to ask the boss for time to discuss.

Be direct yet tactful with them. If you’re brainstorming, say something like, “I think I see a way to make XYZ even better. Would you be open to discuss it?”

If you have actually proven the solution, then it could be, “Jack and I may have found a way to make XYZ even better. We have run some experiments that show promise. Would you like to hear about it?”

Even though S’s on Myers Briggs love details, if your boss is a VP (or above) at a large company, don’t be surprised if they can fill in the details once they hear your bullet points. So let them know what the bullet points are and that you have details behind them.

3. ESTJ’s will micromanage or be overbearing, especially if they believe you are not working smart or, even worse, have a bad work ethic.

If you want to kill your chances of being promoted with your ESTJ boss, just let them see you have a bad work ethic and they will find a way to silo you. ESTJ's are hard workers. They respect and value a team that works hard as well.

If you are the type of person that does your best work as the deadline gets closer (See P is for Perceiver), then let your boss know about that. Specifically request that the project be broken down into smaller pieces, with hard deadlines for each of those pieces. Then let your boss know that you will get the highest inspiration about “an hour” before the deadline is due.

Let them see the magic you can do in that last hour so that they understand that you don’t necessarily have a bad work ethic the rest of the time.

ESTJ’s are incredible managers. They will fight for you and the team and stand their ground even through some tough resistance. Play to their strengths and you will see the dynamic between the two of you grow stronger.

Chew On This:

  • What does your ESTJ boss need to know about how you work best in order for the two of you to work more effectively?

Ryan C. Bailey is an Executive Coach who helps business leaders develop in-demand high performing teams.

*This blog is an amalgamation of a few different clients. No one single client is being singled out.

MBTI Bite: Three Tips for Working With Judgers (J’s on Myers-Briggs)

mbti-bite_-three-tips-for-working-with-judgers-js-on-myers-briggsAccording to Myers-Briggs, Judgers (J’s) are decisive, closure-loving, organizers who love to plan and love to be on time.  They tend to be more judgmental than their P (Perceiver) counterparts, but not always, and it is not the defining trait of those who have the J preference. J’s are typically the people who like to make checklists.  In fact, you can tell that someone really is a J if they do something that is not on their checklist, and then put that task on their list just for the satisfaction of checking another thing off the list.

Judgers love to make order out of chaos.  They typically are not quick to adapt or show a lot of flexibility.  When they find a routine they like, they stick to it.  Yes, they will eventually add some variety to it, but for the most part, the variety is just a tweak here and there.

Want another way to spot a judger?  Walk into their office.  If it is organized, they are probably a judger. Bonus tip: If things in the room are arranged symmetrically, yeah, you guessed it--they are a judger.

Judgers are rule-followers.  Not always, but usually.  They also tend to be comfortable with authority.

They find it hard to play when there is work to do.  They don’t mix work and play.  Work comes first, then we can relax enough to play.

As deadlines get closer and the work is not done, they are usually the ones getting nervous (This is why P’s can drive them nuts.)

They also feel much more comfortable once a decision is made than while there are still a lot of options as to how to make the decision.

You get the picture....probably some co-workers have already come to mind.  If you are in corporate America, about 60% of your co-workers are J’s.  The higher you go up in most companies, the higher that percentage goes up.

Even though I am a J, I must say we really need to increase the diversity of personality types in corporate America so we can cover our blind spots better.  But that’s another subject.

When working with J, keep in mind a few things that will help promote excellence across your team:

1. J’s value being methodical.

J’s plan their work and then work their plan.  They do so to avoid unnecessary stress.  If you have a task that needs to be done by a J, share that task with them as soon as you can.  They will develop, at the very least, a skeleton plan of what has to be done, and when.  Stronger J’s will develop a detailed plan.

Give them the chance to map it out.  It will serve you in the long run.

If there are members of the team who are not methodical or who wait until the last minute to get things done, a J will feel frustrated and anxious.

J’s develop the plans to limit the outside influences that can raise the stress level.  If someone tends to do work at the last minute, J’s often fear that something will come up that will lead them (and the rest of the team) to miss the deadline.

2. Be prepared... When in doubt, err by being over-prepared.

J’s value those who are prepared.  J’s cheered when Greg McKeown, in his book Essentialism, extolled the value of early and radical preparation.  Since J’s usually prepare well for their meetings and want to reach conclusion as fast as possible, those who do not prepare--and waste the team’s time due to their lack of preparation--are often frowned upon.

It is important for J’s to learn that their counterparts, P’s or Perceivers, often rely on the moment to put lots of things together at once.  If the P is also an N, then that is even more so. NP’s can see patterns and put things together fast, once the moment it is needed becomes clear.

For J’s, their desire to be methodical often blocks their ability to see things in the moment, unless they have a lot of experience or have prepared really well.

3. Avoid last minute changes.

Since J’s have spent time preparing and working out a plan, a last-minute change can  make them feel frustrated.  It means they don’t have time to prepare as they’d like.  Since they don’t usually possess strong “go-with-the-flow” skills, they will also feel anxious.  Strong J’s do not like to wing it unless they are extremely well versed in the subject.

If there needs to be a last minute change, then it is usually important that you explain why the change is better than what they’ve spent time preparing for.

It is also valuable to have some NP’s on the team who can map out what needs to happen in the moment, then the J’s can follow through with their strengths.

Chew On This:

  • What can you do to limit the amount of last minute changes?

Ryan C. Bailey is an Executive Coach who helps business leaders develop in-demand high performing teams.

MBTI Bite: 3 Tips for Working With Intuitives (N's on Myers-Briggs)

MBI TYPE_(1)You know us iNtuitives.... We are your big picture, forward-looking, imaginative members of the work team.  When a detail-oriented person (S on Myers-Briggs) is going through the facts of a situation, the N is disinterested and unimpressed. We will be among the first to pick up our phones to check for texts and emails. No, we don’t have ADD.  It is just that as we iNtuitives hear the facts, we search for the meaning behind them rather than focus on the facts themselves.  Then, when as little as 30% or so of the facts are out, we will see a pattern and “lock and load” on it.  

Intuitives are often described as theorists or dreamers.  We live in the future.  We love innovation and are drawn towards shiny new things (well, maybe we do have ADD.... just kidding).  

We also like fuzzy facts and guessing the meaning behind those fuzzy facts.  

You can spot us by the metaphors we use (see “lock and load” above).

Since iNtuitives make up only 27% of the population (vs. 73% for their opposite Sensor types), it would be easy to underutilize the gifts that iNtuitives bring to a meeting or project.

Here are three tips that can help you work more effectively with iNtuitives:

1. Ask them what possibilities or alternatives they see for resolving a problem.

In many meetings, alternatives are not discussed.  Those who have the bigger titles or are the most credible in the room tend to state their opinion, and the rest of the team agrees.

If you know you have a couple of iNtuitives in the meeting, why not ask them what possibilities and alternatives they might see before the big cheese in the room gives his opinion? This will broaden the discussion and help the team come to better decisions.

2. Realize that their instincts are reliable.

INtuitives get a hunch about things, and they are usually more right than not.  They may not be perfect, but their gut instinct should be taken seriously.  

Since iNtuitives live in the future, they will often describe future events as if they are happening in the present.  Don’t be thrown off by this.  They can just “see” it happening a certain way, and this gift can provide valuable insight for decision making.

This future sight” also means that iNtuitives can often spot a trend before the data emerges to support it.  

3. If you need to give a lot of details in a meeting....

        3a. Tie in the facts you are relating with what the iNtuitives are passionate about. 

In past meetings, you may have sensed that your iNtuitives start to get restless if the presentation is heavy with facts and details.  You need to let them know how these facts relate to something they are passionate about.  This will increase their staying power.

        3b. Ask them to spot any patterns they see.

Another way to keep them engaged is to ask them to jot down what patterns they see amongst all the facts.  If they can write them down as you (or the presenter) are talking, that will keep them interested and engaged.  

        3c. Ask them to spot any possibilities or future trends.

This is similar to 3b above.  If they are alert for possibilities or future trends among the facts they are hearing, it will be easier for them to pay attention.  Once again, ask them to write down their observations for discussion later.

Although iNtuitives make up only 27% of the population, we have gifts that can help Sensors shine.  The idea is to give iNtuitives space to do something different from what is typically done.  Let them discuss the trends, possibilities, alternative solutions, and future-ramifications of a situation. Then, if you are a Sensor, add these insights to your data to see if you come up with a better solution.

Chew On This:

  • How will you run your meetings differently, to incorporate the gifts of iNtuitives?


Ryan C. Bailey is an Executive Coach who helps business leaders develop in-demand high performing teams.

*This blog is an amalgamation of a few different clients.  No one single client is being singled out.

MBTI Bite: Three Tips For Working With Extroverts (E’s in Myers-Briggs)

three tips for working with extroverts We extroverts vary greatly.  We can be loud, high energy, interrupt like crazy, and when we speak, we can start in one direction and, by the end of the paragraph, be talking in almost the opposite direction.

While many of the traits we possess are viewed as positives for a work environment, we need to understand that our introverted counterparts may, at times, find us overwhelming.

If you are an introvert, here are three tips that can help you work better with extroverts:

1. Let them verbally process.

I wish I could be as succinct as some of my introverted friends.  The reality is that as an extrovert, I process while speaking.  It is as I hear the words come out of my mouth that I can evaluate, and even change my mind on the fly.  On the other hand, most introverts mean what they say.

When working with an extrovert, pay more attention to their conclusion than to what they were saying initially. The conclusion is where they’ve landed.

You can help them to process verbally by--every once in awhile--repeating or paraphrasing what you heard them say.  This often helps them to get clear.

Just remember that you will get your best ideas from your extroverts if you encourage the verbal processing, and give them space to discuss information and ideas before committing to a plan.

As implied, extroverts excel in group work.  They need interaction with others.  Provide more of that for them, and they will shine.

2. Give non-verbal cues.

Extroverts do respond to non-verbal cues, so be aware of your body language when interacting with an extrovert.  For example, you can encourage an extrovert just by leaning in, using positive tones of voice, or smiling more.

3. Give public praise.

Studies show that brains of extroverts are wired differently than introverts.  We require more to get stimulated, and we look for more external motivational and reward cues than introverts do.

On the whole, save the criticism for one-on-one times, as negative feedback can often deflate extroverts.  But if you praise them for what they do right, you will see them come alive, increase productivity and be more successful.  This is especially true if the praise is given in front of co-workers.

Chew On This:


  • What will you do to help the extroverts on your team succeed?


Ryan C. Bailey is an Executive Coach who helps business leaders develop in-demand high performing teams.

MBTI Bite: 3 Tips for Working with Feelers (“F’s” in Myers-Briggs)

Work With Feelers When I was starting out in the business world as a Feeler, I thought I needed to “overcome” my sensitivity and emotional-side in order to make sound business decisions.

I tried hard to become like the Thinkers I admired (“T’s” in Myers-Briggs) and freeze my emotions to come up with “objective reality.”  That just did not work for me.  I felt empty when I did not embrace the emotions I felt and others were feeling in the room.

What I once thought was a weakness, I now see as a core wiring that helps me make effective decisions and bring good to the marketplace.

Having coached in the corporate world for years, I have heard Feeling clients say that they needed to develop: thick skin, the ability to make the “hard decisions” that people don’t like, and to work successfully with those who don’t give emotional cues.

If you are leading a team where some members are Feelers, remember:

  1. Feelers want harmony.

Feelers are sensitive to people’s emotions.  They want everyone to get along.  They want to be liked, believed in, and viewed as competent.

Thinkers often freeze their emotions in order to get to “objective reality.”  Feelers embrace emotions in order to have the emotional data pieces to make a sound decision that enhances harmony.

As a conversation moves impersonally, a Feeler can translate an attempt by Thinkers to be objective as Thinkers being cold or uncaring.  This can trigger a fear in the Feeler that those impacted will not be treated fairly or will be not be considered.  This fear can color how they view the logic the Thinker is presenting and can lead to strong resistance.

A great way to help a Feeler is to make them aware that you (if you are a Thinker) have a tendency to freeze your emotions in order to discern what is true.  This freezing of emotions is not done because you don’t care about people but rather it is because you are trying to arrive at truth.  Once you arrive at truth, you want to make sure that the truth is communicated in a way that brings harmony to the team and that is especially where you will love their insights and guidance.

  1. Pepper what you say with emotional terms so that they can connect to you.

Feelers use emotional cues to stay connected with those they communicate with.  If every once in awhile you include what you feel about the facts you are describing that helps the Feeler to track better with you and not to assume that you feel cold.

If you sense that they are feeling resistant or defensive or keep coming back to the impact on people before you are ready to discuss that piece, assure them that you are still looking for what is best for the overall team and you want to make sure everyone is treated well regardless of choice.  Then say what doing that feels like for you (i.e. you can say, “It would be gratifying to me to not only come up with the best solution, but also that the impact on all is received well.  You just want to handle it one part at a time.)"

  1. Separate out the behaviors from the person.

When offering criticism to a Feeler there is a danger that the Feeler may translate the criticism as an attack on who you believe they are.  So make sure to first stress how you see them and then go into the criticism.  Then come back to the how you see them as you attack the behaviors that need to be addressed.  Always be sincere in how you see them or else it could feel like you are buttering them up but only to cushion the blow.

So you could say something like, “I believe in you.  I value you.  I have seen you contribute in valuable ways like when you did XYZ.  I want to talk about something that will make things even better.  Are you ok with us diving in there?” Get buy-in and make sure that they sense that you are on their side.  Then go into whatever feedback you sense is appropriate and then go back to what you said before, “I am saying this to you because you are already valuable this will take you to the next level and I want to see you there.”

I have coached Feelers who are in fields that most people would not expect them to rise to like in areas of Strategy, Accounting, Engineering, Statistics, etc.  Bringing their ability to pick up what others feel has been a tremendous blessing to their businesses.

Chew On This: What benefits does your company gain from the Feeler personality types?

Ryan C. Bailey is an Executive Coach who helps business leaders develop in-demand high performing teams.

MBTI Bite: 3 Tips for Working with Introverts

Introvert I used to think that in order to be a top business leader, you had to be an extrovert.  However, after working with some introverts, I now know that is not true.

I am currently working with a Senior Vice President of a global Fortune 1000 company who happens to be a solid introvert.  What I love about him is how he takes in information, processes it, and then makes succinct statements that are really powerful.  None of the fumbling-around-verbally-processing-sometimes-sticking-my-foot-in-my-mouth that I, as an extrovert, can do.

If we are at a function, he does engage others, but after awhile he starts to get people-d out.  He tries to smile and be gracious, but it is obvious he needs his alone time.

As an introvert, he really shines when he has a solo project to work on.  I have worked with him through his last five promotions.  The higher up he moves, the more he is working through others to get the work done.  However, we noticed that he becomes a little bored and at times drained through the constant meetings required to keep his direct reports updated and their work refined.

One of the things revealed in a coaching meeting was that he needed one critical solo project to work on, while fulfilling his other duties.  Since we have implemented that, there has been no more boredom, and he handles the direct reports with his one-on-one’s feeling less drained.

How To Work With Introverts

As is implied in the above paragraphs, there are a few things to keep in mind when working with introverts.

  1. Give them time to process – As introverts listen, they formulate their answers in their heads and then they speak.  They may pause before responding.  One way to maximize their ability to process in this way is to favor email over discussion.  This is not to say that they would not profit from face-to-face meetings, but sometimes they would rather take in the details and chew on potential responses ahead of the meeting, especially if they are J’s (Judgers on Myers-Briggs).
  2. Protect their alone time – Are you noticing that an introvert’s calendar is getting filled with meeting after meeting?  Try giving them a chance to take a significant break to process what they’ve been taking in and also recharge their batteries.  Please don’t disturb them during this time as they want to be fresh for the next round of face-to-face meetings
  3. Give them a solo project to work on – Yes, introverts can work in a team and collaborate well, but they tend not to like the office gossip or the small talk.  They want to get into the work, perform their role well, and move on to the next meeting.

When working with an introvert, be sure to give them one solo project that matches their gift-sets.  If they are being “forced” into constant group work, you could start to see discouragement set in.  Even in group work, make sure they get some time to work alone on their own on a piece of the project, and then allow them to come back into the larger team.

Introverts are rising fast in the marketplace.  Those who are rising leverage their strengths, learn to work with their constraints, and communicate their needs to their team members so that all are aware of how to work with them successfully.

If you are leading a team with introverts encouraging them to do the same will increase their engagement.

Chew On This: Do you know which of your team members are introverts?  How can you help them to shine?

Ryan C. Bailey is an Executive Coach who helps business leaders develop in-demand high performing teams.

MBTI Bite: Three Tips for Working with P's

Perceiver Many of the P’s (Perceivers in Myers-Briggs) I know have a duality about them.  On the one hand, they feel like they are a mess: they can’t seem to “get organized” or finish what they start.  On the other hand, when they are in their element and have room to just be, they can chill or be the life of the party.  They love that part of themselves, and those of us who are J’s (Judgers) love watching it. (Okay, to be completely real, we are envious of it.)

The P’s whom I have coached in corporate America mistakenly believe they need to hide their "P qualities” for fear that those qualities will hold them back from climbing as high as they desire.  However, nothing could be further from the truth.  They actually need to leverage those qualities, and we who are J’s can help them.

If you are working with a P, there are three tips for drawing out the best in them.

  1. Set plenty of mini-deadlines ahead of the true deadline – P’s tend to work in bursts.  A burst magically appears about an hour before the deadline is due.  The amount of creativity which P’s show and the work they get done in that last hour is amazing.  J’s who are working with P’s or managing them often feel like the P’s are driving them nuts.  They wish P’s were more methodical.  If you are collaborating with a P, break down the project into multiple parts, then set clear and hard deadlines for each of the parts.  Make sure that you give yourself enough time at the end to refine the work that is being completed because P’s often wish they had “a little more time” to correct some of the pieces.  By leaving time to refine, you can both work on sharpening it.  You will appreciate the ingenuity a P brings to each part of the project.
  2. Don’t suffocate them with a rigid schedule – J’s like to be scheduled.  P’s like to be open-ended.  Many companies I work with have so many meetings that a P tends to feel suffocated.  The calendar is full, which works against their natural desire to be flexible.  If you want a P in a meeting, please make sure the meeting is essential.  All of us need space to think, plan, and review.  P’s also need open-ended space, where they can draw out their gifts for the good of all.  Granted, the higher they climb, the harder it will be to find open-ended space.  However, I would encourage P’s to carve out at least a two-hour, non-negotiated block in their week for free thinking.  Ideally it should be more, but even with that much, they will accomplish so much more than without it.
  3. Feed P’s with knowledge, wisdom and tips and watch them brilliantly mix and match them at the right moments – P’s know how to wing it.  The sharp ones are able to pull from multiple sources in order to wing it well.  They can adjust on the fly and come up with brilliant ideas that seem so well-thought-out, you would think they had been thinking on it for hours.  What P’s often need in order to nail this gift is more knowledge, wisdom, and tips.  If they are N’s (iNtuitives), they could accomplish this through reading the first and last paragraphs of an article and scanning the rest.  If they are S’s (Sensors), they typically they want details.  I would suggest they become thought leaders in the most essential part of their role.  If they set aside even 30 minutes per day to accumulate more knowledge, wisdom and tips, you will see it pay off dividends in meetings where their wing-it skills are praised.

All personality types are equal.  None are better than the others. We need to leverage each other’s natural gifts in order to accomplish the greater good.

Chew on This: How do you need to adjust for the P’s who are on your team?

Ryan C. Bailey is an Executive Coach who helps business leaders develop in-demand high performing teams.

MBTI Bite: 3 Tips for Working With "Sensors" ("S" in Myers-Briggs)


When I was first getting into executive coaching, I could not tell the difference between Myers-Briggs preference types.  I began working with a client who was a high “S” (“Sensor" in Myers-Briggs language).  Sensors are typically concrete.  They love details and facts.  They often search for all available data before making decisions.  They also tend to be literal in their language.

I am a high “N” (“iNtuitive").  Us N’s tend to love the big picture.  We are fascinated by ideas and new possibilities.  We typically tune out when a “ton of details” are being discussed.  We are known for seeing patterns and principles behind the data and jumping to conclusions.  While we may be much more accurate than not, at times we do jump to the wrong conclusion.

Based on the descriptions above, how do you think our first meeting went?  

You guessed it.  He was going on and on with details and facts.  I wanted to “cut to the chase.”  I interrupted at times.  I tried to steer to conclusions sooner than he wanted.

He did not feel like I heard him.  I did not feel like we made much progress in that meeting since we did not complete his stated goal for that first meeting.  I am fairly sure he had doubts as to how well we would work together.  I was confused as to how communicate with him.

A mentor who was well-versed in Myers-Briggs helped me understand my client a lot better.

There were three tips my mentor and I came up with during our meeting that I want to share with you in case it helps you with what you do.

What To Do When You See the Signs That You Are Working with a Sensor 

  1. Send out an agenda ahead of your meetings with them. When creating an agenda for an “S,” especially a high S, make sure that it leaves plenty of room for the exploration of facts and details.  If the person you are meeting likes to plan and be prepared, they will often start to gather the facts ahead of time and will start to sift through them on their own.  If you tend to tune out when there are too many details, turn on your curiosity.  Say to yourself, “I want to understand how he comes to conclusions.”  There may be times when you need to set a limit to the amount of exploration, but allow yourself to understand them.

  2. Start with the highest priority item. Even if you set an agenda that has plenty of room for the exploration of details, you may find you don’t get through all the items on the agenda.  Often times the first item on the agenda gets the most amount of time.  Then each successive item gets less and less time as the meeting winds down.  Some items could get postponed.  Therefore, always start with the most important item.

  3. Make things tangible.  Get practical with Sensors as soon as you can.  Sensors take things in through their five senses.  Leverage that.  Show them charts and drawings.  If there are videos or audio recordings that can be used in a meeting, use them.  Be specific.  Say what you mean.  Mean what you say.

If you practice adjusting your style to another it will go a long way toward building a great relationship.

Chew On This: Which stakeholders are High S’s?  Choose one.  How will you adjust your communication style when you engage them?

Ryan C. Bailey is an Executive Coach who helps business leaders develop in-demand high performing teams.