On Tuesday 15th December 2009, the team met with Ruth Storm of IRRfc for our first team workshop. The primary aim of which was discuss the topic and importance of good team dynamics under stress and then move on to understand a little bit more about ourselves, in terms of personality type and our various preferences within that context.
A couple of weeks prior to the meeting we had been asked by Ruth to complete the MBTI Questionnaire and were eagerly awaiting the results. Would this test at last uncover the truth, that Oli IS in fact part-robot? Only time would tell.
We began the session with a brief discussion about our previous experiences with MBTI, and it became apparent that despite all having completed it on more than one occasion within the workplace – none of us had ever really followed through with the learning outcomes and attempted (consciously) to apply its principles. All in all the workshop lasted over three hours – and by the end we began to see we were only beginning to scratch the surface of our various personalities and idiosyncrasies.
The Myers Briggs Indicator test reports preferences on four dichotomies each consisting of two opposite poles. These preferences indicate the differences in observed in people that result from the following 4 questions listed below. It is important however to note that these are only preferences and one person can not only use, but also be very adept (or equally rubbish) at exhibiting both preferences (but not at the same time). Any given individual will rarely be able to discretely exhibit opposite poles with equal confidence. When using a preferred method we often feel at our most competent, natural and energetic, and vice versa.
For us as a team, the value of this testing lies in being able to understand exactly how each of us prefers to vent, understand, express, cope with, approach and decide upon what may seem like menial decisions during the race. When the temperature is through the floor and we are sleep deprived, exhausted zombies, stumbling through the endless arctic tundra or confined into a small tent for extended periods of time, I’m sure no decision will be menial, and no task a matter of fact. We will all appreciate and work much better as a team if we are well versed in how best frame and package our ideas to others so that they are most palatable, and also allowing each other the space or time (if needs be) to digest that information.
Where they prefer to focus their attention and get energy?
Extraversion (E) – People who prefer Extraversion like to focus on the outer world of people and activity. They direct their energy and attention outwards and receive energy from interacting with people, the environment and from taking action. Often seen as ‘outgoing’ or a ‘people person’ Jay and Andy
Introverison (I) - People who prefer Introversion like to focus on their own inner world of ideas and experiences. They direct their energy and attention inwards and receive it form reflecting on their thoughts. Often seen as ‘reflective’ or ‘reserved’ Oli
How do you prefer to take in information?
Sensing (S) – People who prefer Sensing like to take in information that is real and tangible –what is actually happening. Observant to details and attuned to practical realities. Remember events of snapshots of what actually happened and solve problems by working through the facts until they understand the problem. Jay
Intuition (N) – People who prefer Intuition like to take in information by seeing the big picture, focussing on the relationship and connections between facts. They grasp at patterns and are attuned to seeing new possibilities. They remember events by what they have ‘read between the lines’ and solve problems by leaping between different ideas and possibilities. Andy and Oli
How do you make decisions?
Thinking (T) – People who prefer to use Thinking in decision making like to look at the logical consequences of a choice or action, they want to remove themselves mentally from the situation and objectively examine the pros and cons. They notice inconsistencies, solve problems with logic and their goal is to find a standard principle that will apply in all similar situations. Andy
Feeling (F) – People who prefer to use Feeling in decision making like to consider what is important to them and to others involved. They like to mentally place themselves in a situation to identify with everyone and make decisions based on values about showing respect for people. They are seen as empathetic and as being guided by personal values. Oli and Jay
How do you deal with the outer world?
Judging (J) – People who prefer to use their Judging process in the outer world like to live in a planned orderly way seeking to regulate and manage their lives. They take satisfaction from sticking to a schedule or plan and are energised by getting things done! They like to make lists of things to do and are systematic/methodical. Andy and Jay
Perceiving (P) - People who prefer to use their Perceiving process in the outer world like to live in a flexible spontaneous way, seeking to experience and understand life, rather than to control it. They find detailed plans confining and stay open to information and last minute options. Seen as spontaneous, flexible and casual and work in bursts. Oli
So that leaves us with individual and team personality types of:
Andy – ENTJ – Frank decisive, assume leadership readily. Quickly see illogical and inefficient procedures and policies, develop and implement comprehensive systems to solve organisational problems. Enjoy long term planning and goal setting. Forceful in presenting their ideas.
Jay & Overall team– ESFJ – Warm-hearted, conscientious and cooperative. Want harmony in their environment, work with determination to establish it. Like to work with others and to complete tasks accurately and on time. Loyal, notice what others need in their day-to-day lives and try to provide it. Want to be appreciated for who they are and what they contribute
Oli – INFP – Idealistic, loyal to their values and to people who are important to them. Want an external life that is congruent with their values. Curious, quick to see possibilities, can be catalysts for implementing ideas. Seek to understand people and to help them fulfil their potential. Adaptable, flexible and accepting unless a value is threatened.
In the next session (Tuesday 8th Feb) we will discuss conflict resolution and are aiming to establish and prioritise the team objectives. In the next blog I’ll write a little more on where we think these conflicts might arise, and try explain them within the context of our personality types as detailed above. All very exciting, and no, we can still neither confirm nor deny whether Oli is a robot.