Project Managers & Personality Preference Types

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There is no question that technical skills are a requirement for good project management. But to be a well rounded Project Manager, one needs to master soft skills as well. Soft skills are those intangible skills, such as communication, self-motivation, leadership, etc.

The top soft skill for a Project Manager has to be communication. Without efficient communication, your project will suffer. Your relationship with your team, stakeholders and sponsors is critical to the projects success. If poor communication tarnishes these relationships, you are putting your project at risk for success.

Have you ever wondered why the same statement resonates differently between two people? One tool that may help to understand these differences is being able to identify personality preference types.

One approach is based on a personality typology developed by Carl Jung. He identified three aspects of ones personality. This typology was further developed into four aspects by Isabel Myers-Briggs. These personality profiles are:

 

EXTRAVERT

INTROVERT

Where attention is focused

Needs to talk, focus is usually on the outer world of people and things Needs to think, focus is usually on the inner world of ideas and impressions

SENSING

INTUITIVE

Way information is gathered

Wants details, they process in a very linear fashion, focus is on the now and concrete facts Wants “the big picture”, they process in a very non-linear fashion, focus is on the future and possibilities

THINKING

FEELING

Way decisions are made

Focused on task, base decisions on logic Focused on relationship, base decisions on values

JUDGING

PERCEIVING

How outer world is dealt with

Wants a plan and an organized approach Comfortable with more spontaneity  and open to options

 

Of course no type of categorization is 100% one way or the other all the time. But by being aware of the differences of how people obtain information, and process information, communication can be tailored to be more effective. And by observing people and how they communicate, you can begin to identify where they may fall within these preferences.  For example, if you notice someone speaking with more concrete facts, they probably have a preference for Sensing and you know that they will understand things better if they are presented in a linear and detailed fashion. If someone is quiet and contemplative, they most likely have a preference for being Introverted and you can adjust and not expect a quick reaction as they will need some time to think about what you said and process internally.

The flip side of observing the possible preferences of others is that you must be aware of your own communication style and preferences. And as a Project Manager, you must develop the skills necessary to modify your communication style to bring out the best in your team and ensure success…. on a team level and for the entire project.

If you are interested in seeing where you may score along these personality preferences, you can take a free online test at: www.humanmetrics.com and choose the Jung Typology Test. It will be very enlightening!

Posted By: Lynn Jesus

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