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Team preference clashes 2: Meetings

All types of people say they cannot abide endless, unproductive meetings. All types dislike meetings of this kind but they present most difficulty for Is and Js. 

Of all the types, ENTPs and ENFPs have the greatest tendency, if they occupy management or leadership roles, to run unstructured meetings. These two types  particularly like brainstorming and value spontaneity. As they like a fairly free flowing exchange of ideas they assume that everyone else does as well. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Most sensing types do not like discussing ideas at length. Most introverts say they would rather not speak at meetings than have to 'waffle' or talk without adequate time for reflection.

So the moral is, unless you are leading a team made up exclusively of ENTPs and ENFPs, structure your meetings so that team members have an opportunity to reflect on the agenda before the meeting. Also encourage people to contribute to team deliberations in a variety of different ways. Some types will never communicate to the best of their ability at meetings. Encourage team members to write their thoughts down in long or short discussion papers, if they think this would suit them better. Encourage them to send e-mails or memos if they find that a more suitable way to communicate their thoughts.

Team leaders with a preference for introversion should reflect on whether they have a tendency to avoid holding meetings and if this is undermining team effectiveness.  When your team includes people with a preference for E they will feel that there just isn’t a team at all unless there are fairly regular opportunities for the team to meet and share views.

Once teams have undergone a MBTI™ session, it can be very useful to have a full and frank discussion on how effective team meetings are and how they could be improved.


© Carol Craig

MBTI, Myers-Briggs, and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator are registered trademarks or trademarks of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Trust in the United States and other countries; OPP Ltd. has exclusive rights to these trademarks in the U.K.

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