I’ve taken a number of personality tests over the years. The Myers-Briggs was a standard test for the military. It seems that 95% of all Naval Officers are ESTJ. I am not one – as an ISTJ, I understand why I do things that I do and why I prefer things I do. I also understand why others operate the way they do.
The Myers-Briggs has determined that a person is either an extrovert or an introvert (E or I). The second measure is sensing or intuitive (S or N). The third is thinking or feeling (T or F). The last major grouping is judging or perceiving (J or P). Interestingly enough, one of the most effective Naval officers I every meant was an ENFP – almost a total reversal of myself and everyone else that I know. He knew who he was and how to best use that information. The key is using it properly. Being one or another is not good or bad – it is what it is.
In business, I’ve taken, the Myers-Briggs and some team building color personality tests (Red, Yellow, Blue, Green). There seems to be a very wide diversity of ‘color’ personality traits mixed in the working place. If I know that someone has a predominate Red or Blue (for example) personality trait, then I have an advantage by orienting my presentation or simple request to that person’s strengths. By the way, I’m predominately Blue.
I was doing some research and found that there are time management types. I never knew this. Nevertheless, it makes sense. The classifications listed were Fireman, Over-Committer, Aquarian, Chatty Kathy and Perfectionist. The author described each and then summarized the article by saying that each one of us has a little of each of these traits in us – just like every other personality trait – no one is 100% introverted or sensing or Red or Green.
The Fireman (FM) is always putting out a fire. The FM lives in the crisis mode. The FM has no time to work on what needs to be addressed. The FM always has a pile of stuff to do and doesn’t make a lot of progress. The FM doesn’t know how to manage time.
The Over-Committer (OC) commits to everything. The OC cannot say NO to anyone. The OC is busy all the time working on other people’s projects. The OC doesn’t have time for time management.
The Aquarian (AQ) is the opposite of the OC. The AQ is laid back. The AQ doesn’t finish assignments and usually doesn’t return phone calls. The AQ avoids everything – no volunteers come from this group.
The Chatty Kathy (CK) is a natural born socializer. The CK has great communication skills and will talk to anyone. The CK never has a short conversation. The CK will delay starting unpleasant assignments. The CK is constantly on the phone.
The Perfectionist (PF) has a compulsion to be perfect. The PF is exact. The PF plans and plans, researches and researches and delays starting until everything is perfect. The PF never rushes a job. The PF never has enough time to complete an assignment.
Time is better managed when we know ourselves. We can manage our own behavior far better than we can manage our time. Our behavior sabotages our best efforts. Knowing that ahead of time can make us better. I am an introvert – I don’t like to mix with people – I prefer to sit in a corner and read a book. However, in the business I’m in, I must interface with others and be effective. I’ve learned who I am, and learned how to wear a different hat when I need to. I work constantly at ‘feeling’ more comfortable talking to strangers – something that under normal conditions I would never do. But, I understand the need to do those things that I don’t like to do, and I do them with a smile and be as genuine as I can.
This same philosophy can be used to address time management issues and help us become more effective.