Last year I took part in some research carried out by CPP into the way Myers Briggs preferences impact the way we influence and are influenced.  I’ve blogged before about various aspects of Myers Briggs, but until now never had anything concrete to offer on specifically how your profile relates to influencing.  Whenever I work with groups using MBTI, I find people are always particularly interested in what insights this gives them into influencing others (especially their boss and their partner, for some inexplicable reason!), so it’s great to have some recent research into this.

If you’ve never done your Myers Briggs profile, it’s about time you did if you’re reading Blogs like this!  You can contact CPP in the US, Myers Briggs in the UK, or your local Myers Briggs distributor.  Or comment on this article below and I’ll get someone to contact you.

CPP published the research results recently, and I thought I’d share a summary of the findings with you.  You can read the full report here, but here are my takeaways.  The report is called “MYERS-BRIGGS ® TYPE AND INFLUENCING: EFFECTS AND IMPACTS”

Your influencing style and the way you like to be influenced is driven by the middle two letters of your 4 letter profile.  So there are 4 styles which come out of the research.  Here they are:

ST (Sensing and Thinking): “Straightforward, direct and efficient” influencers, these are best handled by being clear, direct, honest and credible.  Apparently we mustn’t be overly emotional or too personal with these types.  ST’s need to work on making an emotional connection with others and their values to build their influence.  I work a lot with engineers, who often have an ISTJ profile.  I can certainly relate to all of the above.

SF (Sensing and Feeling):  “Practical, positive and collaborative” influencers who are best handled by showing you have listened and understood them.  Don’t use big words to try and impress, and don’t exclude important facts and  feelings.  SF’s can build their influence by not feeling so guilty about trying to influence.  Makes sense!

NF (Intuition and Feeling):  “Encouraging, inspiring and impactful” influencers, who like to form an emotional connection with the topic and motivate others to think differently. They like to see passion and authenticity and to have others engage with their values.  They don’t like detail and they detest lack of energy or belief. They have to work on keeping the facts relevant and not overwhleming with their big ideas if they want to influence more.  I used to work with a team of NF’s, and we used to dream up the craziest schemes about which we eulogized all day, without ever making them relevant to others.  I think everyone else used to think we were mad . Either that or on drugs.

Finally the NT’s (Intuition and Thinking):  “Confident, reasoned and convincing” influencers, who like people who acknowledge their expertise and listen to their ideas.  They don’t like fakes or people who get too emotional.  To influence them, prepare well and have plenty to back up your claims.  They have to work on their patience and acknowledging the feelings of others.  Talking with NT’s is a constant sparring match, in which argument is seen as a form of sport.  Exhausting, but great fun if you can keep up with the pace.

I can see plenty of meat on this bone.  A great topic for a coaching style conversation with someone who is trying to work out how to influence someone with a different profile.  Very useful for planning that big presentation to one or two key people.  An excellent discussion for a team working on improving its effectiveness.  Handy for relationship counselling, planning a sales strategy for a new client – you get the gist.

I’ve already thought of one or two people I can use this insight with to help build the relationship. What about you?  How about resolving to adapt your approach using this information?