Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

April 2, 2014

Leaders look at personality importance

By Leeann Akers - Editor
Journal-Times

April 2, 2014 — The Carter County Leadership Academy met Friday for a session on leadership assets that come from certain personality traits.

The assessment of each individual is based on the Myers-Briggs personality test, which explores four aspects of personality, and 16 possible combinations that encompass most people.

Utilization of the test has long been incorporated into the business world in order to maintain harmony and productivity in the workplace.

In very simplified terms, there are four dimensions of personal style: energy sources, data bases, decision modes, and action approaches.

The first looks at how a person focuses attention and maintains their energy. An extrovert focuses outwardly and gets energized by being around others. Introverts are more reflective and recharge with quiet time alone.

The second dimension looks at how one relates to the outside world. Those who are sensing tend to focus on the facts of a situation by looking and listening. Sensors tend to be practical and realistic. Others utilize intuition, looking at the big picture and using imagination to look for meaning, relationships and possibilities.

The third dimension determines how one makes decisions. Thinkers rely on analysis of facts and think very logically while feelers base decisions on values. Feelers tend to look at how decisions will affect others.

The final dimension looks at how one orients to the world. Judgment people prefer structure and organization and have a strong work ethic. Perception people are flexible and spontaneous, and prefer to enjoy their work.

The group was surprised by some of the results, as leaders come from all the possible different categories and combinations.

“I wish this would have been the first session of the class,” said FIVCO Community Development Planner Lora Bryant. “This is really helpful. I'm evaluating the people I work with, and knowing their personality type will help things go much smoother.”

“Sometimes NT's (intuitive thinkers) are considered cold and unfeeling,” Facilitator Deborah Meenach-Combs said of two of her own personality traits. “But that really isn't the case. We just have more tendencies to look at things in a logical way than feelers.”

A lot was learned in the session but most importantly that all personality styles are valuable and important parts of making the world go around.

For more information on the Myers-Briggs personality test, go to www.myersbriggs.org.

Leeann Akers can be reached at lakers@journal-times.com or by phone at 474-5101.