People are multi-faced. Having a team of PMs that excel in the art of project management doesn’t just happen. They work, learn, listen, speak and communicate differently. There are many reasons using this type of knowledge can work to your advantage, here are just a few:

1. Knowing your own personality type and the type of those you want or need to interact with, can make you a much stronger communicator. Nothing beats knowing exactly how someone else will likely interpret what you are saying.
2. Many people struggle to find the right fit in the workplace. Knowing your strengths (and weaknesses) allows you to better select opportunities that mesh well with your personality.
3. We all know this one - first impression. Do you know the exact words to sell yourself to others? Do you know the types of tasks that are going to make you shine?

The Myers & Briggs MBTI® is a test that measures how you perceive the world, make decisions, and interact with others. There are four main categories and each of them have two possible types. This results in 16 possible personality types.

  • Do you prefer to focus on the outer world or on your own inner world? This is called Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I).
  • Do you prefer to focus on the basic information you take in or do you prefer to interpret and add meaning? This is called Sensing (S) or Intuition (N).
  • When making decisions, do you prefer to first look at logic and consistency or look at the people and special circumstances first? This is called Thinking (T) or Feeling (F).
  • In dealing with the outside world, do you prefer to get things decided or do you prefer to stay open to new information and options? This is called Judging (J) or Perceiving (P).

Based upon your letters, you get assigned into one of the 16 types. I am an ISFJ, a Defender. I tend to focus on my own world, interpret things myself, consider the circumstances and get things done. Sounds like a project manager, doesn’t it? Certainly, many developers I’ve worked with over the years would describe me as defending their time, work, effort, etc. My husband is an ESFP, an Entertainer. He tried for a few years to work as a project manager and just wasn’t happy. Understanding his personality type, this makes perfect sense.

Many people use the Myers & Briggs MBTI® personality test, or something similar, to determine not only their own personality type but also members of their team, family and friends. What personality type are you?

[Exercise] Take the test

In the Project Insight webinar, How to Coach Other Project Managers, presenters Diane and Brenda give great insight into looking at your own triggers and thinking. Communicating is rarely successful because you change other’s thinking. Communicating is successful when you change your own thinking and emotional self-awareness, therefore giving yourself the advantage.


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Patti is a Project Management Consultant with over 15 years of experience managing complex website projects. She works with clients in many industries including software development, healthcare and professional organizations. Learn more about Patti on LinkedIn.

Online 11/21/2016
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