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Navigating the Personality Maze

Page history last edited by Brandi Jackson 8 years, 9 months ago


Navigating the Personality Maze


Faye Altman

October 10, 2014

9:00am - 1:00pm

University Center

Rose Room

4 Course Hours


Learning Objectives

  • Identify individual personal styles
  • Relate personal style to patterns of behavior and relationships they establish in the world
  • Plan behavior they believe will help them develop more satisfactory and productive relationships with a wider range of people


Personal Style Indicator (PSI)

We focused on personality types that were identified using the PSI test.  The test consisted of 32 questions that were divided according to preference (i.e. being called factual and accurate versus being called imaginative and intuitive).  The class was instructed to rate answers based on our preference only and not on our behavior (i.e. how we would prefer to handle situations versus how we actually handle situations) on a 0-5 scale with each category being equal to 5.  I wrote down my demographics and rated each set of questions then added up each row per instruction to determine my personal style.  My PSI revealed that I am a strong ESTJ type.  


The E type suggests that I rate extroversion as being high in my personal style.  The S means that I value sensing over intuition; whereas the T suggests I am more of a thinking type than a feeling type personality.  The J means that I am more judging than perceiving.  Sensing people are more attentive to concrete details and prefer to see evidence of things.  Because of the attention to detail, Sensing types are generally trusted to document events completely and accurately.  Sensing types are also considered to be effective at solving problems.  Although Sensing types are impatient with theorizing about issues, these individuals are efficient at monitoring processes.  Thinking types are founded in logic and analysis and focus on strengthening evidence.  These types are more comfortable in an environment in which they have a logical system for making decisions and clear, concise communications.  Thinking types prefer environments that have rules, procedures and guidelines.  Judging types are less likely to be open to new ideas or perceptions once these individuals have made their own decision about an issue.  These individuals are unwavering in their decisions and examine only relevant facets to their problems.  The decisions made by Judging types are relatively quick decisions due to the focus on relevant topics of the issue.  Extroverts find stimulation from the outside world.  These individuals strive on interaction with others and attempt to fit in seamlessly with what is expected and valued in the world.  Extroverted individuals relate easily to others and are able to communicate thoughts and feelings easily.  


The above facets, when paired together as an ESTJ, allow individuals to be categorized in one of sixteen basic personal styles.  An individual with the ESTJ personal style strives on analytical, organized, and practical approaches to situations and solves problems through past experiences.  These individuals want immediate and tangible results.  I can see myself in a few of these descriptions but I would choose to be an ESFJ or ENFJ type.  One of the descriptions for an ESTJ is impersonalization; however, I like to think that I strive in situations where I can interact with others and build harmonious personal relationships with others.  After discussing how we perceived our individual types, we charted our scores on the chart below to visually interpret our strengths and weaknesses.


According to my chart, I have "Definite Strength" on both the "Judging" and "Extraversion" facets.  I believe that this is representative of my personality because I thrive on interactions with others, outside stimulation, quick decisions, and I am not typically open to new ideas once I have made a decision.  I have "Some Strength" in "Sensing" and "Feeling," meaning that I pay attention to detail and I enjoy environments with structure.  I am "Balanced" in "Intuition," which I assume means that I enjoy theories and understand general impressions but I am able to back up my theories with facts and data due to my "Sensing" strengths.  I scored low on "Introversion," "Perceiving," and "Feeling."  I believe those scores accurately represent my weaknesses because I do not relate to others with caution, I believe a balance exists between feelings and logic, and I do not allow things to happen without making a decision.


After discussing our charts, the class was grouped in pairs according to their PSI types.  First, we paired with someone who shared our same PSI style.  I partnered with Ben because we were both ESTJ types.  We were asked what do we see in our jobs and told to compare and contrast our answers.  We both preferred standardized systems and procedures.  We also need clear, concise communication of expectations from our managers and we are impersonal with our coworkers during work hours.  Ben and I rely on logic and facts to convince customers through reason to purchase things they would not otherwise purchase.  Next, we attempted to pair up with someone who was our complete opposite.  I paired up with Megan for this exercise.  During this exercise, we talked about our differences and how those differences can offer opportunities to develop as a person.  An individual with the INFP style is able to convey that some of my more "charming" preferences can be perceived as stoic, rigid, or cold.  Those with opposite styles open up people with similar traits to ESTJ to new experiences and ideas.  The purpose of these exercises is to become familiar with your personal style strengths and weaknesses.  It is important to know what is important for one's job and personal relationships.


Supplementing My Strengths

When discussing our differences in depth, we discussed why group diversity is important.  To have a successful team, we need those who possess opposite traits to supplement our strengths.  As an extrovert, I can benefit from an introverted individual because introverts can helpmeet discover how y own values can facilitate my own needs.  Also, introverts can help extroverts see when their values are in conflict with the values of the group and help understand certain theories that my be relevant to their problems.  Introverts are beneficial to extroverts because these introverted individuals help extroverted individuals focus on their inner values and feelings, which can help in group situations.  Being a sensing type, I focus a lot on concrete details.  "Intuitors" can help sensors see possibilities in different situations, any gaps in data collected, and consider the implications of the data gathered.  Sensing types are not adequate at generalizing information and data from experiences; however, intuition types are good at helping sensors generalize.  Overall, intuition types are beneficial for sensing types because they can help sensors think about the future implications of their data, solve novel problems, and generalize findings.  Thinking types are more logical and analytical.  Feeling types are beneficial to thinking types because the help thinking types see the value in their decisions, understand and deal with others, and help market and sell ideas.  Feeling types illuminate the value of emotion and feelings to thinking types.  Judging types focus on making decisions quickly and have a high amount of respect for authority figures.  Perceiving types help judgers slow down their decisions making processes and weigh all options before coming to a conclusion.  Perceivers are also good at taking the reins away from judgers so that they do not always feel the need to take charge in situations.  Perceivers are good at getting judging types to relax and enjoy their surroundings and make decisions by weighing the options.


The Action Plan

After the class, we were responsible for developing an action plan.  I decided to use my strength to work at ease and being flexible as long as I am working with a team.  I am more productive and efficient when I receive more concise instruction.  Being able to remove feelings and emotions from situations and focus solely on logic and reason is a very important skill when working in stressful situations that require quick decision making.  I can also learn much from those with opposite styles.  Introverts can help me see that my values may be in conflict with the group dynamic.  I need those with intuition to aid me in sorting out relevant data from irrelevant data.  Those who rate highly on "Feeling" are equipped to help me sell my ideas and consider the values of my decisions.  Since my personal style thrives on taking a leadership role in group dynamics, "Feelers" can help me curb that tendency and allow others in the group to have a voice.  I found this course to be very informative and useful to management situations, as good leaders share some of the concepts discussed here.


Final Thoughts

This course proved to be very insightful.  The PSI is good at identifying strengths and weaknesses in individuals.  The sixteen different personal styles are important in group dynamics.  Some of these personalities may not "mesh" well and individuals need to understand what benefits are available when the different personal styles are able to work together in cohesion.



Notes, Handouts, and Certificates

Personality Maze Handout.pdf

Personality Maze 10:07:14.pdf

Personality Maze Certificate.pdf



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