You and your co-workers’ Myers-Briggs® Personality Type (MBTI®) can affect how decisions are made, both as individuals and as a group or team. Not only can your MBTI personality type influence final agreements that are reached, but it can also affect the process, including what information is considered important by different individuals, how negotiations take place, and what final outcomes are more or less valued. It can even influence how “set in stone” the final agreement is. By developing a deeper understanding of personality type, individuals and teams can gain valuable insights into the decision making process, as well as how it can be improved.
For instance, ISTJ personalities (Introverted-Sensing-Thinking-Judging) tend to approach decisions in linear, structured ways. They are generally averse to change, and instead advocate for solutions that maintain the status quo. As they begin to consider options, they value each possibility against their empirical knowledge about the world. When they offer an opinion of their own, they tend to be clear, linear, and detailed. At times, they may have difficulty understanding others’ points of view, particularly if they are not as clearly structured, or if they are flawed but have some redeeming qualities—ISTJs sometimes take an “all-or-nothing” view of the world, which can make them prematurely dismiss others’ contributions.
Once the issue at hand is considered and brainstorming is complete, it comes time to commit to a decision option. ISTJs tend to prefer incremental rather than monumental change, as Hirsh and Hirsh (2007) observe. ISTJ personalities also value efficiency above all else, both in terms of the decision itself as well as the implementation. They work to implement the agreed-upon plan quickly and logically, often taking on more responsibility than necessary. They appreciate others offering tangible help or concrete suggestions for implementation, but can be impatient with vague or impractical feedback.
When reflecting on or evaluating a decision, Myers-Briggs ISTJs focus on practicality and efficiency. They are able to analyze how and why methods deviated from accepted practice, and consider how they could be improved upon in the future. ISTJs shortcoming, however, is often neglecting to consider emotional or interpersonal consequences for a given decision, and instead lending too much importance to logistics or financial payoff. They should make an effort to come to terms with the fact that even logical, well-reasoned decisions may not necessarily have a positive impact on people.
As ISTJs continue to grow as team members and leaders, they should make an effort to consider their own and others’ thoughts and feelings, and how they may affect the tasks of their organization or department. Furthermore, while certainty and structure can be comforting, ISTJs can develop even more by becoming more comfortable with dynamism and unknown possibilities, for instance by exploring new ideas, or asking others why they are excited or intrigued by particular possibilities. Since ISTJ personalities tend to be overly structured and logical, taking a walk on the wild side every now and then can breathe new life into their ideas, initiatives, and decisions.
Introduction to Type and Decision Making. (Hirsh, K., & Hirsh E. CPP. 2007)
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Click on a link below to read more about different MBTI Personality Types