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  1. #1
    Senior Member Misty_Mountain_Rose's Avatar
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    Default The SJ/NT conundrum...

    I've been running a little experiment at work (outlined in the two blog posts below) and have decided that my tactics are doomed to failure:

    INTJ Analysis: Influencing Group Behavior

    INTJ Analysis: Influencing Group Behavior - Part 2

    Now that I've reached my conclusion I have this nagging feeling like I'm still missing something. What exactly happened here? Why the rapid, heated responses? The change I made was very small (swapping paper towels that catch dripping water with a container that catches the dripping water) but the response was quick and decisive.

    I'm becoming convinced that NT and SJ personalities are fundamentally at odds with one another in their goals, behaviors and expectations... much more so than I would have thought.

    This is my new work environment and there is a LOT of change planned in the next few years. I have had concerns about how I could work in this type of environment for a long period of time... but if I could understand a little better how to rally them for change perhaps it would make our communications easier?

    Any feedback or advise on how to best work as an NT in a workplace heavily dominated by SJ personalities would be greatly appreciated.

    Embrace the possibilities.

  2. #2
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    The issue isn't NT vs SJ. It's NJ vs SJ I think. NP's and SJ's seem to end up with a strange appreciation for each other, if not respect. NT's and ST's don't have any earthly idea what the other is thinking, but at least they can talk about their confusion with a common language. NJ and SJ are both dumbfounded by what's coming out of the other's mouth, AND completely certain that whatever they currently think is right and if the other person would *just listen* they'd seem I'm right.

    My read on the possible dynamics:

    1) Why is this changing? I don't like it. (inflexibility)
    2) Someone is making changes I didn't agree to. I don't like it. (power/status)
    3) Someone is making changes, and it wasn't submitted on the proper form to be discussed by the proper committee, nor announced through the proper channels. I don't like it. (institutional loyalty/bureaucratic inflexibility)
    4) This thing has been changed, and it's not immediately apparent to me what I should do because I'm unfamiliar with this situation from past experience. I don't like it. (laziness/stress/lack of intelligence)
    5) Someone thinks they're being cute. I see what's going on here, and I don't appreciate their lack of respect. (loyalty/power/institutionalism)
    6) Someone thinks they're being cute instead of focusing on their work OR someone's fucking around in the break room instead of doing their work, and their teammates are having to pick up their slack. I don't appreciate it. (loyalty/principle/duty)

    Some are more likely than others, but I've known some pretty sharp and insightful SJ's who know exactly what's happening and do not appreciate the tone you know it all NTJ's are taking. Not one bit.

  3. #3
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    I see I completely neglected your final question.

    I think you rally a sensing heavy workplace by getting buy in. I don't think this is a terribly new management concept, but it's especially important with a sensor heavy team. If they're change resistent, perhaps start by identifying a few folks who seem to be both competent and influential with the group.

    Present the intent you're working with and the end you need to achieve to this small group. If you have a specific way you need it done, present that method but invite feedback "in order to fill in the blank spaces I may have missed". If you don't need something specific, task the team with figuring out how to do it, and have them brief you prior to you signing off on it.

    Send the members of the small team out to discuss with the team members what changes are coming, and why. They should be your ambassadors, since it's essentially "their plan".

    Have one last large, whole team meeting to address any concerns and make sure the team hasn't fallen prey to the "telephone game" effect.

    Execute the plan, and if you still get resistance, deal with it swiftly and decisively, but fairly.

    Be careful not mistake this with getting emotional buy in. No one has to actually agree to anything or support the plan. You're the boss, and the sensor doesn't want to talk everything to death. The sensor wants to feel respected, so a balance for communication needs to be met, but don't let it go too long. You need the small team to believe in the plan - everyone else needs to get in line or go home once the plan is put in place. You're just giving enough time and information to give the team time to absorb the change coming

  4. #4
    Senior Member Misty_Mountain_Rose's Avatar
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    Thank you for the response Olias, I appreciate the input. Sensors are still a bit of an enigma to me... Partly because they don't typically engage in such theoretical playgrounds as personality typing (so I can't really interact with them in this type of forum), but also because, as you said, we seem to speak a totally different language. I definitely feel like the oddball in this environment... They know I'm different, I know I'm different, and I feel like I must walk lightly or else risk the wrath of ... Everyone in the office.

    There are a few NFs here, maybe, just maybe one or two other NT personalities. I would prefer to learn to "speak the native language" rather than try to steamroll through things. I try to offer up ideas as if they are being inspired by those around me ... "... Well, I like that idea. How about if we blah blah blah..." As a suggestion rather than the hard-stance tactics I had to use around an office full of NTs. It takes a LOT of listening (to completely irrelevant things if you ask me) before I can make my suggestion but it typically seems to work. I am not sure though if they really agree with me... Or if they just don't want to speak up in a group setting.
    Embrace the possibilities.

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