Using the MBTI® STEP II to Help Teams Make Decisions

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

Written by Shawn Bakker

A popular way to use the MBTI ® preferences to help people make decisions is to focus on the four functions – Sensing, Intuition, Thinking and Feeling. This ensures that the information gathered includes the current facts (S) and future possibilities (N) and that the decision takes into account the logical consequences (T) and the impact on people (F).

The Step II provides a great way to work with teams through this process. Page 10 of the Step II Interpretive Report describes how an individual’s preferences influence their decision making process – and this is something you can also use when working with teams.

First, identify a decision, problem or issue that the team is struggling with. If the team is large, break it into smaller groups of 4-5 people. Have these small groups work through each of the facet questions on Page 10 of the report in the order of Sensing, Intuition, Thinking and finally Feeling. As the team works through these questions have them note their answers. Depending on the team members’ preferences, some of the questions will be easy to answer and others will be more difficult. When the groups have worked through the questions, have them present their answers to each other. It works well to have the groups write their answers on a flip chart because the groups can visually compare their thinking.

As a facilitator, things to look for include:

  1. Homogeneous teams who share preferences for the same facet pole – What does the opposite pole bring that the team may be missing? How can the team include that perspective in their decision making?
  2. Heterogeneous teams who have difference preferences for the facet poles – Where and how do team members clash as a result of these differences? How can the team use these differences in a positive way rather than seeing them as a basis for conflict?
  3. The leader’s preferences – In what ways do they influence the focus and work of the team? Do team members avoid presenting some types of information because they know that the leader will not see it as important?
  4. Preferences do not necessarily equal skill – Just because a team that likes to do things a certain way does not mean that they are good at it. Have the team focus on their strengths and blind spots, taking into account both their preferences and the skills they have developed.

Click here to view the full MBTI ® Step II Interpretive Sample Report.

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