In this issue:
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® and Stress: INTPs and ESFJs
About the Strong Interest Inventory®: No Clear Pattern
About the FIRO-B™: Team Work Environment – Total Need for Control
The 16PF®– The 16 Personality Factors: Factor A – Warm vs. Reserved
INTPs and ESFJs and Stress
Let's start with INTPs. What are the signs that an INTP is under stress?
Some things to watch for include being overly sensitive, becoming disorganized and unproductive, or focusing on minor logical inconsistencies to the point of excluding all else. Other INTPs can become caustic with their comments, with snide remarks or sarcasm. Some will display passive-aggressive behavior or have emotional outbursts. Finally, some INTPs will procrastinate, withdraw from others, and resent others who make demands upon them.
Stressors for INTPs include people they consider incompetent, particularly if they cause delays or trouble for the INTP. Other stress factors include irrational acts by others, or when people become emotional in response to an INTP's calm, rational evaluation of a situation or problem. If an INTP feels out of control in a situation, particularly when others are giving orders or instructions, and the INTP has little or no input into how the situation will be resolved, they can feel stress. Many INTPs feel time spent discussing personal issues or emotions is wasted time.
ESFJs react differently to stress. Some become rather unrealistic and unfocused, turning critical of themselves and others. They can start the "blame game," looking for people who are at fault for whatever problem is at hand. Other ESFJs lose their easy-going ways and become quite demanding. Others act the part of the martyr, complaining about all they have done to help and the lack of recognition for their efforts. Some ESFJs become extremely cautious, unwilling to take any risk. Still others tenaciously stay in situations that are comfortable to them, even if no longer appropriate.
What can cause this stress for ESFJs? One key stressor is seeing others get hurt or becoming emotional. Others feel stress when their well-meaning intentions to help others are misinterpreted or misjudged. If an ESFJ feels his or her loyalty is being taken advantage of, they can experience stress. When others challenge the ESFJ's beliefs, stress can result. ESFJs often dislike people who play the devil's advocate, or argue both sides of an issue to make sure all points are considered. Still other ESFJs dislike conflict so much they do as much as possible to end it, hoping to avoid unpleasantness, which might be impossible.
About the Strong Interest Inventory: No Clear Pattern
Some people who take the Strong have difficulty deciding which themes apply to their career interests. There can be several reasons why some people find it hard to focus on a career area.
For example, some people do not have enough work experience to know about different jobs, work environments, or skills. Others lack the experience to know what their own interests are. A person's self-perception takes time to develop, as do skills and competencies. It would follow that this more likely the case for a young person than an old person.
Still other people have had negative, conflicting, inaccurate, or ambiguous experiences in the fields or occupations that interest them. If a person has had several such experiences, he or she might question his or her personal qualities and skills. In fact, the person might be just fine. Perhaps the work situation was poor. For example, a person might have an interest in journalism, and work in several jobs with large newspapers. If these experiences are negative, it might be that working with a small newspaper would be a better fit, rather than a new career outside journalism.
The same can be true about our self-perceptions. If friends or family tell us we're poor at math, we might believe them, whether it's true or not. The opposite can also happen: our friends and family might tell us we'd be great doctors, but we aren't interested in medicine.
When all these potential difficulties are combined, a person might question his or her suitability for a profession, college major, or hobby. Likewise, changing jobs or careers is likely to be much more difficult simply because the direction or path will certainly be less clear. People develop at different rates, so while one person might have great career clarity at 6 years of age, another might still be uncertain at 60. Further, other people have a more complex view of the world of work. They are likely to spend more time considering options and exploring than those who quickly decide on a profession.
The FIRO-B: Team Work Environment – Total Need for Control
This issue we'll look at how your total Need for Control score might affect your perception of your team’s mood or work environment. In general, your highest total need score shows which aspect of the team will give you the most satisfaction. If Control is your highest score, then this will be the most important aspect of team work for you. You will likely work hardest to maintain or improve this aspect of team work.
Here are some signs your total needs for Control are not being met by your team. You might feel the team is drifting about, without clear goals and objectives. Meetings can appear to be random affairs, lacking structure and concrete decisions. Spontaneous decisions are common, while guidelines and accountability seem to be missing. No decision ever seems to be final and no one is in charge. If you are uncertain what your role and responsibilities are, you're likely to believe the team lacks Control. Finally, if there are few standards for expected results, behavior, or goals, you're likely to feel your team needs more Control.
The more of the above statements you agree with, the more likely you'll need to address some key issues with your team. For example, you might need to have a team discussion about roles and responsibilities, expectations, duties, and outcomes. With further clarity, you can redefine your team role or perhaps move out of the team entirely if no agreement can be reached.
The 16 Personality Factors: Factor A – Warm vs. Reserved
This issue we’ll start discussing the 16 factors of the 16PF, starting with the first, or "A" scale, which is Warmth. What exactly does this scale measure?
Basically, this scale measures a person's tendency to be socially and interpersonally reserved or warmly involved with other people. Either side is normal; there's no good or bad score on this scale. Warmth is generally considered a socially desirable trait to have.
Reserved people tend to be cautious in their interactions with other people. Many like to work alone, particularly on intellectual, mechanical, or artistic tasks. They can be uncomfortable in situations that require a lot of personal interactions or emotional closeness. They would often prefer to work in a laboratory on some invention rather than show people what it does. Others report they would rather be an architect than any kind of counselor. Reserved people frequently are uncomfortable talking about or showing feelings of caring or affection. Still, they can be effective and accomplished workers. One research study found some famous researchers are reserved people.
Warm people usually have an interest in people, and often enjoy occupations dealing with others. They frequently are comfortable in situations that require them to be close to others. Women tend to score higher on this scale than men. People with high scores on this scale often report enjoying working in a busy office, especially with people who openly show their emotions. Friends might describe these high scorers as comforting types.
There is some correlation with the Myers-Briggs on this scale. Extraverts tend towards the Warm pole and Introverts towards the Reserved.
As with all the 16PF scales, major insights come from the interactions among the 16 scales, and not from each scale in isolation.