On the job and in the office, communication styles often determine how productively your team performs, be it estimating a new job or completing one in the field. Communication is at the center of motivation and leadership, and it can be related to personality. A system for understanding personality types is based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.

You can discover your personal “Type” preference by completing this quick quiz. Check each item on both sides of the lists below that applies to you and enter the number of checks in the summaries. Then subtract the smaller value from the larger and enter the resulting letter in the “Preference” line.

Note: This is not a scientifically validated test and is only offered as an introduction to Type. This short version is summarized from information at www.personalitytype.com and other resources. Type professionals are members of the Association for Psychological Type (www.aptcentral.org).

1. Where is your energy naturally directed?

The Extrovert’s energy is directed primarily outward, toward people and things outside of themselves. Introverts primarily direct energy inward, toward their own thoughts, perceptions and reactions. Extroverts therefore tend to be more naturally active, expressive, social and interested in many people, whereas introverts tend to be more reserved, private, cautious, and interested in fewer interactions but with greater depth and focus.

Extroverts (E) often:

- have high social energy

- talk a lot to everyone

- fill time with spontaneous activities

- need to have people around

- have a breadth of diverse interests

Introverts (I) often:

- have quiet inner energy

- prefer conversation with special friends

- think carefully before they act deliberately

- enjoy spending time alone

- have a few in-depth interests

Extrovert (E) _________ Introvert (I) ________ Preference __________

2. What kind of information do you naturally notice and remember?

Sensors notice the facts, details and realities of the world around them. Intuitives are more interested in connections and relationships between facts as well as the meaning or possibilities of the information on a global scale. Sensors tend to be practical and literal people who trust past experience and often have good common sense. Intuitives tend to be imaginative, theoretical people who trust their hunches and pride themselves on their creativity.

Sensors (S) often:

- admire practicality

- focus on the facts and details

- speak about specifics

- are more realistic, rely on senses

- are more here-and-now oriented

Intuitives (N) often:

- admire creativity

- focus on ideas and the big picture

- speak about generalities

- are more imaginative, see possibilities

- are more future-oriented

Sensor (S) _________ Intuitive (N) ________ Preference __________

3. How do you decide or come to conclusions?

Thinkers make decisions based primarily on objective and impersonal criteria: what makes the most sense and what is logical. Feelers make decisions based primarily on their personal values and how they and others feel about the choices. Thinkers tend to be cool, analytical and are convinced by logical reasoning. Feelers tend to be sensitive, empathetic, and are compelled by human circumstances and a constant search for harmony.

Thinkers (T) often:

- are cool and reserved

- are objective and unemotional

- are blunt and direct

- are critical analysts

- are motivated by achievement

Feelers (F) often:

- are engaging and friendly

- get their feelings hurt easily

- are sensitive and diplomatic

- try hard to please others

- are motivated by praise

Thinker (T) __________ Feeler (F)_________ Preference ___________

4. What kind of environment makes you the most comfortable?

Judgers rely on their preferred-judging function whether thinking or feeling, and prefer a structured, ordered, and fairly predictable environment where they can make decisions and have things settled. Perceivers rely on their preferred-perceiving function whether sensing or intuiting, and prefer to experience as much of the world as possible. They like to keep their options open and are most comfortable adapting to new things. Judgers tend to be organized and productive. Perceivers tend to be flexible, curious and nonconforming.

Judgers (J) often:

- are serious and formal

- prefer specific schedules

- like to get plans settled

- emphasize work first, play later

- like to see projects completed

Perceivers (P) often:

- are playful and casual

- prefer spontaneous schedules

- like to remain open-ended

- emphasize play first, work later

- like to initiate new projects

Judger (J) _________ Perceiver (P) _________ Preference__________

Your Four Type Letters ________________

Type preference is identified with a four-letter combination such as ESTJ or INFP. The heart of communication centers on investigating needs and finding a course of action by the function pairs in the center, i.e., ST, SF, NF, or NT. Conflicts sometimes occur when a communicator unknowingly speaks from his or her own preference to a person who prefers a different approach. Conversely, communication is facilitated if people can learn to “speak in Type.”

The preferred dialogue between workers and foremen or manager is grouped by type preferences in the first question. You don’t have to be a “Type” expert to see benefits in learning to employ the four basic modes of communication. That way, you will be more likely to meet the needs of various individuals of differing types, and your bottom line may go up farther than you ever imagined. It could help improve the family environment at home, too. EC

TAGLIAFERRE is proprietor of C-E-C Group. He may be reached at 703.321.9268 or lewtag@aol.com.


How People Prefer to Communicate


Sensing–Thinking (ST)

- Want hard facts, a clear picture

- Want to understand exactly what is happening

- Want communicators to be thorough

- Want involvement of specialists when needed

- Want to ask questions, identify problems and agree on best action

- Want to be allowed to make their own decisions

Sensing–Feeling (SF)

- Want communicator to be friendly, sympathetic, listen and encourage questions

- Want communicator’s full attention

- Want to be unhurried and unrushed

- Want to feel heard

- Want to be part of the decision-making

- Want a cooperative, harmonious approach

Intuition–Feeling (NF)

- Want communicator to listen attentively with a friendly attitude

- Want to feel the communicator genuinely cares

- Want to feel valued as a person and a professional

- Want communicator to acknowledge values as well as facts

- Want to be treated as a whole person, not just a body

Intuition–Thinking (NT)

- Want complete concentration and attention from communicator

- Want communicator to display skill, knowledge, proficiency

- Want to feel confident in communicator’s competence and confidence

- Want to avoid feeling patronized

- Want to be valued for intelligence

- Want to be involved with communication process