MBTI® Type Lenses for Teamwork

Myers-Briggs Tool, Tool located in Leadership, Small Business posted on December 3, 2014

When working with teams, it is not always possible to examine team issues from the perspective of individuals’ whole types. To help simplify and speed up team building activities, every individual’s four-letter type can be divided into various two-letter combinations that can be used as lenses to view his/her interactions with team members. Three of the basic lenses are: functions, quadrants, and temperaments.

Function Lens

This lens groups preferences by using the Functions, which are the preferences for gathering information (S and N) and making decisions (T and F). This lens can provide important information when examining communication issues. For example:

  • ST’s prefer to use proven methods of communication.
  • SF’s like to share their experience to help others.
  • NF’s prefer to communicate in creative ways.
  • NT’s like to debate challenging questions.

Quadrants Lens

Each type also falls into one of four Quadrants. These are useful to examine when dealing with change or culture issues. For example:

  • IS’s want to be careful and mindful of details when involved in change.
  • ES’s want to see and discuss the practical results of change.
  • IN’s want to work with ideas and concepts.
  • EN’s want to maximize variety.

Temperaments Lens

The temperaments lens is useful when teams are working with leadership issues. For example:

  • SJ’s value responsibility and loyalty.
  • SP’s value cleverness and timeliness.
  • NF’s value inspiration and a personal approach.
  • NT’s value ingenuity and logic.

This is simply a brief overview of how examining individual’s preferences through different “lenses” can help in the exploration of team issues. If you would like more information on these type of activities a good book to read is Introduction to Type® and Teams, Second Edition by Elizabeth Hirsh, Katherine W. Hirsh, Sandra Krebs Hirsh.

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