Everyone has had to deal with a difficult boss at one time or another. Often you have opposing personality types and you clash almost automatically. Understanding this will help
you appreciate what makes each of you different and how you can overlook disparities.
You can take tests on line such as the Meyer Briggs to diagnose your personality type. At many companies, personality tests are given to assess how a person
will perform. They are often given at the time of hiring to see if someone will fit into the corporate culture and can work with a difficult boss. Management knows
that the workforce has diverse characteristics and varying modes of operation.
A person may be classified as an introvert or extrovert or a combination thereof. This trait may be the most dominant element of personality. Neither is superior to the other. An introvert is more self-reliant and introspective while an extrovert gains satisfaction externally. It has to do with how a self-image is formed. Do you look inward or outward? Do you validate yourself or rely on the opinion of others?
Furthermore, people are either “thinking” or “feeling” in orientation. The first may revel in aspects of the mind, the latter in the softer qualities than emanate from people and their chosen environments. A thinking type likes meaningful and organized instruction, logical reasons for doing things, and analytical functions. They don’t usually act on a whim. People often find “intellectuals” to be oriented this way. A feeling person works well with others and interacts freely in a group. They are sensitive to needs and care about emotional response. They want to please and be pleased. (People can possess attributes of one or more of these types but as a rule they favor a particular direction.)
Another dichotomy exists between a sensing and a conceptual/intuitive nature. A sensing person loves concrete data and tangible numbers, clear-cut tasks with expected outcomes. They like routine and work well in accounting or scientific environments. Conceptual/intuitive people are likely to be artists and dreamers, free flowing in attitude, flexible in nature. They are described as having their heads in the clouds. The two might clash on a work team or enhance each other’s strengths. Both are needed for best results if you can get the right mix together.
Types and tasks
Introvert: working alone and independently as a writer or computer data analyst.
Extrovert: sales rep or agent, supervisor or manager, team leader.
Thinking: analyst, doctor, professor and the like.
Feeling: school teacher, nurse, caregiver, etc.
Sensing: accountant, mathematician, lawyer, data entry clerk.
Intuitive: artist, poet, idea man or woman.
If your boss is a conceptual introvert, he or she will be less rooted in reality than a sensing extrovert who has his or her feet firmly planted on the ground. A sensing type will love keeping a log, an intuitive wants to contemplate everything first. A feeling person gravitates toward pleasing the boss or the team and will adhere to stated deadlines; the thinker will do the job technically correct every time on time. What type will rush too quickly and not dot the “i’s”? Who will assume rather than ask about details? Who will do work diligently but without inspiration? Learn who you are and how compatible you are likely to be with your boss.
This article is so interesting, but I wonder if it could also be used from bosses to employees? While you cannot make bosses/employees take personality tests, you can find out what makes your people tick and work with them to come up with rewards/affirmations that meet their needs and customize each reward based on each individual (within reason). Obviously you want your rewards to be fair - it is just a matter of showing fairness while meeting psychological needs.
Have you done a personality inventory yourself?