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The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) And Problem-Solving

Every executive or senior business manager has problems to solve. They may be your own or you may be coaching a colleague. It might be sales, turnover, team performance, marketing strategy, customer complaints, the list goes on. However, often the bigger problem is how to solve the problem to the satisfaction of others: customers, staff, shareholders, etc. They all have different interests depending on their stake in the problem at hand. However, they also have different interests that require satisfying depending on their personal preferences. Tricky, but think positive because by looking at the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) we can find a problem-solving tool that takes everyone into account.

As you may know, the Myers-Briggs research suggests 4 pairs of preference relating to different areas of our lives:

Extraversion - Introversion (attitude) Sensing - iNtuition (perception) Thinking - Feeling (judgment) Judging - Perceiving (lifestyle)

We each have a preference for one out of each pair. So when it comes to problem-solving, we simply need to consider the issue from each angle rather than just our own preferences in order to make a well-balanced (and possibly more widely acceptable) decision.

The key pairs here are those for perception (how people see the world and take in information about it) and judgment (how people make decisions based on that information).



STEP ONE (Sensing) What do you know for sure about the situation? How did it arise? Who is involved? Basically, you need to establish the facts.

STEP TWO (iNtuition) What patterns are there? What do the facts imply? What similar situations have there been? What are the possibilities (don't rule anything out at this stage).

STEP THREE (Thinking) Now take the fruits of Steps One and Two and apply logic. Be objective, balance the advantages and disadvantages.

STEP FOUR (Feeling) Consider the implications for people. How might the options align or clash with values (corporate and personal)? What might be the emotional impact.

As you can see, the idea is to zigzag your way from top left to bottom right. Often it is useful to involve others with preferences different to your own and it may be - depending on the scale or complexity of the problem - that you need to go through the Steps more than once to consider things fully from all angles.

What is certain is that by following this model, you can be sure that you have not fallen into the traps of one-dimensional thinking or of ignoring the relevant concerns of others. Think positive and apply good decision-making to your business.