Your Energy Score: What It Means for Your Leadership

nathan-mcbride-mokWXKenVoY-unsplashWhen you hear the word energy your first thoughts might be of gasoline, oil, or electricity. If you’re a physicist, you might think of different types such as potential energy (stored) versus kinetic energy (movement). A geologist might think of thermal energy and lava moving below the earth’s crust. But what about human energy? Have you ever met someone and come away saying, “What great energy. I’d love to work on her team.” Or perhaps you’ve thought, “If I only had his energy, I could get so much done.” Can people get more of what they see others have? The simple answer is yes.

What is Energy?

Energy is inherently neither good or bad. It is just a measure of what is. When you gravitate toward someone, you are likely attracted to his or her energy. Energy is life. The more energy you have, the more life you have. [1]

Energy Levels

People who score on the low end of the energy continuum are described by others with phrases such as always in a bad mood, has a victim mentality, creates a toxic environment, and possibly depressed. On the other end, people who score high in energy are described as passionate, enthusiastic, positive, supportive, and creative. No one stays at the highest energy levels all the time, but he or she can choose to stay on one side of the continuum versus the other.

Energy Levels

Schneider (2008) describes seven distinct levels of energy which are:

  1. Victim, lack of choice, fearful, I can’t, I have to
  2. Anger, combativeness, resistance, fighting energy
  3. Rationalizing, acceptance of what is
  4. Care, compassion, service to others
  5. Reconciliation, win-win
  6. Creative genius, visionary, intuitive
  7. Complete passion for all aspects of life, oneness

Your Energy Score

Which of the seven statements would you currently most identify with respect to your work environment?

  1. I’m upset. He just ignores me. It’s like I don’t even exist.
  2. I’m going to tell her off. I’m so mad at her.
  3. It’s okay. I guess I’ll just deal with it.
  4. I really want the best for my co-worker and company. I’ll support her in any way I can.
  5. Where’s the opportunity? How can we both win?
  6. We’re all connected, and everything here has value and purpose.
  7. I feel passion and joy here and in all situations.

Your Leadership

Your energy score impacts not only how you see the world but also influences your ability to lead. It reflects how people see you and will respond to your leadership. People with low energy scores rarely have sustainable influence except to the extent given to them by their positions of assigned power.

If you want to improve your leadership, check your energy score and see what adjustments you need to make in order to build a solid platform from which to lead. If you need help moving your energy score up, I can help. Reach out for a conversation.

 [1] Fun fact: Life as we know it ceases to exist at 0 Kelvin or -273 Celsius.

References

Schneider, B. (2008). Energy Leadership: Transforming Your Workplace and Your Life from the Core. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business consulting. She administers DISC® and Myers-Briggs/MBTI® testing, designs and facilitates workshops, and coaches both individuals and teams. Sandra has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about her by visiting her website: www.shinecrossings.com

 

How to Create Your 10-Year Vision

matt-noble-BpTMNN9JSmQ-unsplashWhat’s your thought when someone says, “I have a 10-year vision?” Would it be (1) Wow! (2) How do you do that? (3) Not for me, or perhaps (4) I wouldn’t know where to start. The truth is that if you don’t have a vision on where you’re headed, the current of daily life will take you wherever it meanders. Where will that be? Who knows? Yet, many people regret not being more intentional with their lives as evidenced by many deathbeds regrets.

Don’t let regret be a major theme of your later years. Set a vision toward where you want to go or what you want to do. Know that the daily pressures of life will at times push you off your path. That’s to be expected, but when you know the direction you’re headed, you can pivot and get back on the path. A vision doesn’t have to be accomplished in 1 year or even 5 years. Some visions can take 10 years or longer to achieve.

Below is my recipe for how to step forward into a 10-year vision. I give a name to each year which represents the focus for that year. Replace it with a word of your own if it has more meaning for you. The name is there to remind and motivate you until you reach your destination. Twenty-twenty is the perfect year to start your 10-year vision. Think of Vision 2020 as the decade challenge in achieving something bigger than you ever imagined.

Year 1: EXPERIMENT and say “yes” to the new

This is the year to say “yes” to meeting new people, trying new things, having different conversations, and creating new experiences. Be open to new world perspectives and thinking. Challenge your long-held beliefs and assumptions that might be holding you back from achieving more and walking in your purpose.

Year 2: Define and describe your VISION

With consideration of your last year of experiments and new experiences, write down a vision of where you want to be in 10 years. What are you doing? Describe the world around you. Write down a strategy, tactical plans, and a budget to get there. Break your vision into 3 big moves or steps. Each step may include one or multiple activities.

Year 3: Forge PARTNERSHIPS

Most people can’t reach their 10-year vision without some help from others. You may need expertise, financial backing, additional hands/feet on the ground, or emotional support. Identify and build relationships that will help you reach your vision.

Year 4: PREPARE yourself

What do you need to do to prepare yourself for a big move? Do you need to improve your health, land a certain job, reconcile certain relationships, or live within a budget? Get ready to move and press forward.

Year 5: Step FORWARD into your first big move

Big, big move! Press into the vision. Does that mean relocating, downsizing, or buying something? This is where fear and cold feet can enter the picture. Up until this point, visioning was more a paper exercise or fit into your daily life. Don’t stop now. You are making change toward something you’ve dreamed about.

Year 6: SOLIDIFY the foundation

Operate and settle into the new platform on which you are standing. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable, because there will be more of it. You’re building resilience.

Year 7: REST

Review all that has happened. Has anything changed with regards to your vision? What adjustments do you need to make? Recharge your batteries, because it’s time to press on.

Year 8: ONWARD

Take a second big step toward your vision. It’s getting real. This second step should feel uncomfortable again. You have the confidence from your first successful move to know that if you can dream it, you can achieve it.

Year 9: PUSH

Push forward. Take another step onward. By now putting one foot in front of the other is feeling more comfortable. You should have reached your vision.

Year 10: CELEBRATE

Take time to enjoy what you’ve accomplished, how you’ve grown, and start dreaming of your next big vision.

clark-tibbs-oqStl2L5oxI-unsplashSome might say that taking 10 years to reach a vision is too long. Others may think 10 years is too short. Work the steps at the pace you feel comfortable. These steps are just a way to take the concept of visioning and making it more manageable and less intimidating for those who become overwhelmed with the thought of visioning.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business consulting. She administers Myers-Briggs/MBTI® testing, designs and facilitates workshops, and coaches both individuals and teams. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at coach.sandra.dillon@gmail.com or by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com

The One Big Question Every Sales Person Needs to Answer

linkedin-sales-navigator-YDVdprpgHv4-unsplashDespite what you might have read, sales success isn’t a skill only a lucky few are born with, a science, or an art form. Anyone has the potential to sell, and to sell well. The truth be told, selling is less about skill, processes, and following a set of rules and more the natural outcome of the condition of your heart and ability to connect with people. If you want to improve the outcome of your selling efforts, you should first take inventory of who you are and your motivations. Selling starts with you, and all that follows flows from who you are.

Who are you?

A few questions to get you started:

  • What are you core values, strengths, and weaknesses?
  • What attitudes, motivations, feelings, thoughts, beliefs, and worldview do you hold?
  • What are your skills and competencies?
  • How do you show up to others?

You must get in touch with your authentic self. Why? Because you will either choose to drive on who you are or do some hard work to change. You can’t fool people. Humans have natural Geiger counters when it comes to assessing and judging people. They may or may not be able to explain why they feel the way they do about certain people, but they instinctively know whether they like or dislike a sales person or even perhaps even worse have no preference.

What’s the big question that every sales person should ask themselves? “How do I make people feel?” Sales is fundamentally one person saying yes to another.

  • Do they trust you?
  • Do they believe you are competent?
  • Do they believe you have their best interest at heart?
  • Do they believe you are searching for the win-win and not the salesperson take all?
  • Do they believe you are authentic in your interactions with them?

The answers to these questions can’t be faked, because they all stem from a salesperson’s heart. Successful selling starts with showing up authentically, so you can genuinely connect with the customer. If you need help exploring, working on, or connecting your authentic self with selling, reach out for a conversation.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business consulting. She administers DISC® and Myers-Briggs/MBTI® testing, designs and facilitates workshops, and coaches both individuals and teams. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at coach.sandra.dillon@gmail.com or visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com

The Power of Cognitive Diversity to Solve Problems

cognitive diversity

Inclusion & Diversity is a hot topic in today’s business environment that holds the underlying belief that diversity will result in better decisions and outcome. The inherent thinking is that diversity, as embraced in the components of age, gender, and ethnicity, will provide different perspectives, points of view, and approaches that will enhance a company’s ability to solve problems and grow. The concept sounds logical, but surprisingly, research doesn’t support that differences in age, gender, and ethnicity, by itself, contribute to higher team performance. Reynolds and Lewis (2017) found that demographic diversity had no correlation with team performance.

The research found that the highest performing teams had diversity in perspectives and methods of processing information when working with new, uncertain, and complex problems (Reynolds & Lewis, 2017). Referred to as Cognitive Diversity, what the best performing teams had in common were the: (1) ability to leverage existing and generate new knowledge and (2) preference to use their own expertise and put into effect the know-how and ideas of others.

There’s a high positive correlation of cognitive diversity with performance, which is independent of education, culture, and other social conditioning (Reynolds & Lewis, 2017). A person’s cognitive approach is an internal trait that’s hard to identify in the hiring process, so companies typically focus on other attributes. Unfortunately, people have a tendency to bring others aboard who think and express themselves the same way as they do. It’s also not uncommon for those who think and reason differently than the prevailing culture to suppress their different ways of looking at things in order to fit in and be part of the team.

Successful companies encourage cognitive diversity by making it safe for their employees to express their natural cognitive tendencies and authentic selves. With authenticity and leadership as two of my top five core values, I truly believe that servant leaders lead with authenticity and help others lead with theirs as well.

Reference

Reynolds, A., Lewis, D. (2017). Team Solves Problems Faster When They’re More Cognitively Diverse. Harvard Business Review


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business consulting. She administers DISC® and Myers-Briggs/MBTI® testing, designs and facilitates workshops, and coaches both individuals and teams. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at coach.sandra.dillon@gmail.com or by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com

 

Co-leadership: A Theory that Sounds Good but Doesn’t Deliver

coleadership1.jpg

Let me re-phrase: I’ve never seen co-leadership achieve its intended objective. Theoretically, if two is more than one, then co-leadership should deliver twice as much value as single leadership. In my experience, dual leadership sometimes produces less than one. Why does co-leadership not deliver when the theory sounds so attractive?

Why Co-Leadership Doesn’t Work

In many cases, co-leadership is set up for failure from its start. Co-leadership by its design means co-responsibility, and yet, co-leaders rarely take the time to discuss co-leadership objectives, boundaries, responsibilities, decision-making, accountability, and deliverables. These areas need to be defined, discussed, and decided between the co-leads; otherwise, one or both leaders will believe he or she is doing more than a fair share, which can then lead to feeling:

  • overwhelmed for having an increased workload
  • resentful for not getting fair credit or that the other is getting more credit than deserved
  • unproductive because of wasting time circling back to bring the other up-to-speed
  • stifled for not being able to make timely decisions
  • frustrated in the communication process and slowness in achieving goals

A co-leadership structure can make leaders feel less empowered

Ideally, co-leaders should have complementary, not similar gifts, so that leadership has a breadth of strengths to lead a team. What happens, more often than not, is that co-leads share similar talents, and tension results when each feels he or she cannot lead in their gifting without checking in with the other.

Resentment can easily build when one co-lead is pulled toward a priority outside of the team and leaves the other lead with the same accountability and more responsibility. Co-leads are more likely to become distracted, because they know they have a co-lead who can pick up the slack. The second co-lead may or may not have time to pick up the extra work. What happens next?

Over time the team notices a fraction in the co-leadership. Teams are emotionally and mentally attuned to the unity of their leadership. In some ways, teams are like families. When children sense their parents aren’t united, each aligns with one parent more than the other based on personality, similar views, and loyalty. The team naturally starts to split into subgroups in which energy is pulled away from the task and wasted on unhealthy team dynamics. When allowed to play out long enough, one co-lead typically emerges as the single leader, so why waste precious time and resources setting co-leadership up for failure.

When Co-Leadership Works

As mentioned, I’ve never seen co-leadership work, which then begs the question: how could co-leadership work well. In my opinion, co-leadership might be a viable choice when two very different teams or cultures need alignment and co-leadership serves as continuity. For co-leadership to work, the co-leaders should have complementary skills and clearly defined co-leadership responsibilities, boundaries, and decision-making power, which should then be communicated with the rest of the team so there is no confusion.

Co-leadership is a tall task even for the seasoned leader. Before considering co-leadership, define the compelling reason and payout.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business consulting. She administers DISC® and Myers-Briggs/MBTI® testing, designs and facilitates workshops, and coaches both individuals and teams. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at coach.sandra.dillon@gmail.com or by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com

What’s Your Definition of Success?

core values

In our success-stressed and driven world, there’s hot debate on what is success and what does it looks like. In my conversations I get a variety of answers, but most have a common theme that involves material status, possessions, wealth, or some form of recognized achievement. So, what’s your definition of success?

I’ve come to realize that I don’t share the same world view of success as most people. Although status, wealth, and fame can certainly be part of an equation for personal success, I believe they may be part of the reward but not the definition. I cross paths with many people living successful lives without those tangible results.

Each of us has an identity created by our faith, talents, strengths, and purpose. Some people take longer than others to figure out those areas of life and usually learn from mistakes made along the way. Pain can certainly become a platform for success. I believe people achieve life success when they remain true to themselves and continually live out their top five core values.

Your core values are the center of your being and define who you are and what you stand for. When you aren’t able to live out your core values, you may become frustrated, angry, depressed, and disillusioned, even if you have wealth, fame, or status. How many times have you heard someone who appears to have everything say:

  • Is this it? How come I don’t feel happy?
  • I thought I would feel happier.
  • That’s it? I still feel like something is still missing in my life.

When people are able to structure their lives around their core values, they tend to flourish and feel fulfilled.

My top five core values are leadership, authenticity, service, love, and obedience, which explains much of what and why I feel as I do. Although I love to lead, I don’t have to and can easily follow. However, I recently experienced how conflict with my leadership value created an overwhelming degree of frustration that most people wouldn’t have felt. Because of my gifts of administration, I gladly organize most mission trips. However, when I agreed to join another team, I became incredibly frustrated with its poor leadership throughout the entire process. I realized that if I wasn’t allowed to lead, I had to ensure that my core value of leadership was honored by only joining a team that was led well.

I propose that success has nothing to do with what you have but instead living a life that allows you to express your core values on a daily basis. Living out these values doesn’t necessarily mean you will have money or fame. My daughter is an animal advocate, dog foster, vet technician, and runs a non-profit dog rescue. I don’t know what her future holds, but I don’t imagine she will assess huge wealth. I consider her successful, because she’s living out her passion and core values. So, I ask again, how do you define personal success?


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business coaching. She administers DISC® and Myers-Briggs/MBTI® testing, designs and facilitates workshops, and coaches both individuals and teams. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at coach.sandra.dillon@gmail.com or by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com

 

Why Innovative Businesses Offer Coaching for All Professionals

Coaching Has Power

Competition drives businesses to innovative—but innovation isn’t just for the products and services they market. Innovation also includes how companies get the product to market. With “people operations” being a large cost to the bottom line, businesses are looking for ways to reduce pay or get more productivity from their employees. With change comes opportunities as well as challenges. With a changing mix of generational work preferences and soft skills, business leadership should be asking how the increase in remote working, competition for talent, and managerial coaching will affect their profitability in the future.

Remote Working

In more recent history, the open-floor plan with cubicles and few closed-door offices exploded throughout corporate America, touted by consultants as the next best thing to sliced bread as far as office design went. C-Suite took their bait on the selling points of innovation and productivity. How that concept passed any reasonableness test still baffles me today, but it’s easily explained as a cost reduction exercise in rent per employee under the disguise of collaboration. Open floors drove people to mediate their circumstances by either working from their home office or donning headphones to block noise and distracting hallway conversations. I would argue that employee collaboration took a step back, as technology allowed employees to work more remotely and independently.

Some employees who enjoy the freedom of working from a home office express feel less connected from their co-workers. Without face-to-face engagement, relationship bonds can weaken, and in many cases, remote employees never forge a relationship with new employees. Remote staff have limited opportunities for casual conversations in the break room while grabbing a cup of coffee or in the conference room before a meeting. Connection is built in small interactions over time and keeps the team accountable to each other.

Generational Work Preferences

Technology has enabled people to isolate themselves while working remotely. Even when a boss requires an employee to work in a cubicle, email and SharePoint allow one to communicate without a verbal conversation. Need to learn something new? YouTube probably has an instructional video.

Effective communication requires one to use all parts: words, tone of voice, and body language. Did you know that words comprised only 7% of the message? How much is lost in translation when one primarily uses email and other forms of word-based technology to convey messages.

A teacher recently shared that with every incoming 4th grade class, the students resist more and more when asked to work in groups. They beg to do the assignment by themselves. What happened to the days when the teacher announced a group project, and the kids responded by raising their hands and pleading who they could work with. Are soft skills under attack and underdeveloped based on the technology advances?

Managerial Coaching

Technology has also shifted the responsibilities of supervisors by pushing more administrative duties onto their plates. Managers had to make room for these tasks, and in some cases, even added work assignments to the mix for the sake of increased productivity. What would you think was prioritized out of their day? If you answered, “time coaching their team and helping their direct reports be successful,” you’d be correct. Managers would like to spend 25% of their time coaching, yet many have no time left over other than to make sure the work gets done.

A Professional Coach Is One Solution

How will businesses respond to the changing work climate? They can certainly restructure work and put coaching at the forefront of a manager’s responsibilities. Given the prolonged impact of technology, some managers have never developed the skill of coaching or perhaps need a refresher. A professional coach can help a manager learn to be a better coach for his or her team.

A second option is to make business and leadership coaching available as an investment for all professional employees. In the past, coaching has been reserved for top executives, but the benefits of coaching can be leveraged at any level so long as someone wants to be coached. Many employees like the confidentiality afforded in a coaching relationship and feel less vulnerable asking for help from a coach as opposed to their direct manager.

Coaching Can Be Justified

Companies offer tuition reimbursement, training, and other educational options as a benefit to attract talent. Many also budget for personnel development. How much does your company spend per person on employee education and training? Coaching can be a value-add to this portfolio. Personalized coaching is a win-win and can be a company differentiator in attracting top talent, because it sends the message that we value you and want to invest in you if you are willing to invest in yourself.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business coaching. She administers DISC® and Myers-Briggs/MBTI® testing, designs and facilitates workshops, and coaches both individuals and teams. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at coach.sandra.dillon@gmail.com or by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com

 

 

Assess Yourself on 13 Critical Selling Activities

Sales DialYou may have read or heard of the book Getting to Yes, Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In. Many people don’t appreciate the difference between negotiating and selling with some thinking that selling is telling customers why they should buy, highlighting the features, benefits, and great value, whereas negotiating is the fine art of coming to an agreement on terms. I propose that selling is a process that encompasses 13 activities that drive customers to say “yes” over and over again and is much bigger than negotiating.

All sales people have limitations in their selling abilities and strengths. Even if they’re strong in most areas, they only have 24 hours in a day like everyone else. What salespeople should understand are the critical factors for selling success, self-evaluating themselves across those parameters, and finding ways to cover weaknesses within the defined boundaries of work-life balance. Those 13 critical selling activities are:

  1. Defining the competitive landscape
  2. Prospecting
  3. Qualifying leads/customers
  4. Planning calls
  5. Building relationships
  6. Identifying customer needs
  7. Presenting value
  8. Managing customers objections
  9. Negotiating
  10. Closing the sale
  11. Managing accounts
  12. Managing sales portfolio
  13. Developing a customer pipeline

Sometimes a sales coach can provide perspective and tools to organize, prioritize, and help strengthen these selling areas. Sales coaches can be a resource in brainstorming techniques in specific sales situations and markets. They can help you self-assess your impact and work as a partner toward improving skills while providing a non-biased and safe relationship. Dial in your sales success by investing in a sales coach.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership, sales, and business coaching. She administers DISC® and Myers-Briggs/MBTI® testing, designs and facilitates workshops, and coaches both individuals and teams. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at coach.sandra.dillon@gmail.com or by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com

When to Choose Myers-Briggs vs. DISC

DISCMBTI

Perhaps you’re ready to learn more about what motivates you, how you naturally show up to others, and why you experience the emotions you do. Two of the most common preference tests available are the Myers-Briggs (MBTI) and DISC. Even if you’re familiar with what each measures, you may question which one is best for your situation.

Both tests measure specific innate preferences, while acknowledging that people can and do choose behaviors different to their preferences because of external pressures and factored outcomes. However, when people are free to choose without constraints, they act in predictable ways. Awareness of your personality attributes and behavioral preferences are useful for career and job selection, team-building, and leadership.

D-I-S-C

The DISC personality profile is a two-dimensional behavioral assessment best suited for those who are starting to learn more about themselves and how they naturally show up to others. As a logical first step, it measures how out-going (faster paced) versus reserved (slower paced) you prefer to be as well as whether your engagement is more task- versus people-oriented. Your survey answers report both your natural tendencies and how much you adjust those preferences based on your environment.

The advanced reports highlight useful strategies in working with and leading people who are not of similar types and the pitfalls of overusing your preferences. DISC gives you a framework on how to understand others and self-adjust your behaviors to maximize connection and ultimately results.

Myers-Briggs

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a more complex preference model with two levels of self-understanding. Step I focuses on the macro view of four personality types which are (1) introversion – extroversion, (2) sensing – intuitive, (3) thinking – feeling, and (4) judging – perceiving. With 16 possible personality type combinations, there is more to unpack and more depth analysis as compared to DISC.

Step II takes Step I to a deeper level by exploring 5 facets under each of the 4 trait combinations. For those looking for rich and complex insights into their personal preferences, Step II provides that insight. Myers-Briggs is a powerful resource for personal reflection and on how to collaborate with others of different types to drive results.

Why DISC or Myers-Briggs?

Today’s workplace is abuzz with Diversity & Inclusion (D&I). Although most people think of age, sex, and ethnicity as the areas to focus their D&I efforts, the more savvy work cultures realize that diversity and inclusion also capture differences in personality types. Inclusion integrates and celebrates the different contributions of those who prefer extroversion, introversion, sensing, intuition, thinking, feeling, etc. Step into inclusion by taking a DISC or Myers Briggs preference assessment.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business coaching. She administers DISC® and Myers-Briggs/MBTI® testing, designs and facilitates workshops, and coaches both individuals and teams. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra or engage her as your coach by reaching out to her at coach.sandra.dillon@gmail.com or by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com

Why You Should Take the Myers-Briggs Preference Test

Myers-BriggsYou may have heard people share their Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) 4-letter code and wondered (1) what would it measure about me and (2) how could I use the information. MBTI measures how a person prefers to (1) take in or gather information, (2) make decisions and come to conclusions, (3) direct and receive energy, and (4) organize and approach the world. Although people routinely choose behaviors opposite of their natural preferences, knowledge of preferences can explain the source of personal satisfaction and discord among colleagues and family. The power of preferences allows people to make more informed choices.

What Does MBTI Measure?

MBTI measures aspects of your core personality and how you are naturally wired, independent of your circumstances and environment. With four pairs of opposite dimensions, there are a total of 16 personality combinations. The four opposing personality traits are:

Extroversion (E) – Introversion (I)

[where you get your energy]

Sensing (S) – Intuition (N)

[how you take in information]

Thinking (T) – Feeling (F)

[how you make decisions]

Judging (J) – Perceiving (P)

[how you approach your world]

These four dimensions are used to create your 4-letter preference code. MBTI is a reliable and valid instrument where 2/3 of all people have the same letter designation when they retake it more than once. [Note: I have taken the MBTI in my 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s and self-validated as an ENTJ each time.]

How Would I Use My Results?

People use their MTBI results to improve individual performance as well as to work more collaboratively in teams. MBTI can be helpful in a variety of life situations:

  • Work Style
  • Decision-Making
  • Reaction to Stress
  • Communication Style
  • Leadership Style
  • Approach to Change
  • Team Style
  • Conflict Style
  • Career Preferences

With greater self-awareness and understanding of your personal preferences you can:

  • Improve communication and teamwork as you gain awareness of the personality differences you see in others
  • Work more effectively with those who may approach problems and decisions very differently than you
  • Navigate your work and personal relationships with more insight and effectiveness
  • Understand your preference for learning and work cultures and the activities and work you most enjoy
  • More successfully manage every day conflicts and stresses that work and life can bring
  • Achieve greater satisfaction by choosing a job or career that aligns with your preferences

How Can I Learn My Results?

A Certified Myers-Briggs® Administrator can send you a link to take an online survey after determining what report would be of most interest. After you take a 20- to 30-minute survey, the administrator will receive your results, schedule a coaching session to unpack your report, and help you determine how you might want to apply the knowledge.


About the Author: Sandra Dillon is a professional coach with an extensive background in leadership and business coaching. She administers DISC® and Myers-Briggs® testing, designs and facilitates workshops, and coaches both individuals and teams. She has a passion to help people be the best versions of themselves. You can learn more about Sandra by visiting her website at www.shinecrossings.com or by reaching out to her at coach.sandra.dillon@gmail.com