Re: Myers-Briggs LO2080

Carol Anne Ogdin (
13 Jul 95 5:07:04 EDT

Replying to LO2066 --

Kate Andrews wrote, replying to LO2043 in LO2066, a marvelous
personal account of an event in which MBTI helped gain insight--

> A person on my team consistently bothered my by his inability to make a
> decision. He seemed to have a terrific need to keep asking questions,
> and looking for more information. I thought he was "in-decisive",
> "afraid of making decisions", and a "procrastinator".

> During a team building session which used the MBTI, I discovered that
> his orientation to his external world was one that is open to change
> and flexible (Perceiving), while mine is one of systematic goal
> setting and organization (Judging). Neither of these orientations
> are more important than the other.

> What I found out was that he considered me someone who "jumped to
> conclusions-without all the facts." We both began to see how we could
> benefit from the other persons orientation and how we could learn
> from each other and depend on each other for balance.

Now I've previously admitted a bias against "classification" systems,
so I wonder: can we apply Ockham's razor and come up with a simpler
way for people to discover these things about each other? Perhaps in
this case, Kate can help by considering an alternative possibility?

Here's the approach that I think is simpler: Teach the team to
participate with the clear and present shared presupposition:

Every behavior has a positive intention

(I know this is controversial...we can debate the legitimacy of that
presupposition separately.)

Now, each party has the obligation to ask, "Since that person does it
differently from me, what's their positive intention, and how can I
leverage that intention toward the goals of the team?" I submit that with
little practice you have a more general-purpose tool that can be used by
you to discover: "Hmmm, this person who seems to be indecisive has the
intention of gathering more facts; how can the team use that skill?" (and
by the other party to discover "Hmmm, Kate makes decisions before all the
facts are in; that might be useful when we have to make emergency
decisions; how can the team use that skill?")

My intent is not to be argumentative, but to explore whether there are
better ways of facilitating team processes than classification. Does it
make sense?

Carol Anne Ogdin