Practical ideas for facilitating workshops & people development

Archive for October, 2012

Personality J’s and P’s

In NZ with Sara Heard

Welcome to the fourth blog about the Myers Briggs  Type Indicator (MBTI) and a few tips about how I relate this to facilitation.

Judging Types (J) like to get things settled and finished, work best when they can plan their work and follow the plan. Are self-regimented, purposeful and exacting. So yes you guessed it; J’s like to have the agenda and stick to it. They like workshops to run to time and finish on time. J’s can find it stressful if the workshop runs over time as they probably have something else in their schedule.

Perceiving Types (P) adapt well to changing situations, they are happy to leave things open for alterations as time progresses. They live according to the situation or moment and adjust themselves easily. P’s love a constant flow of new experiences -they are curious, flexible, adaptable and tolerant.

From a facilitator perspective (as a J myself) I always have breaks on time and finish on time. I have learnt over the years to take a flexible approach to the material or process in the workshop and not provide a “too exacting” or detailed agenda. (remembering to provide enough detail for the “S” Types) This approach enables to J’s to feel we are on time and a sense of control but enables to P’s to explore the material in the workshop and satisfy their curiosity.

One of the challenges for me is co-facilitating with a P who may not have the same “importance of time” I apply to my sessions. As a J something I find the most challenging is when we have agreed on a timeframe for topics and the P I’m working with runs overtime – reducing the time for my section of the agenda.

You have probably worked out the MBTI is a passion of mine – I love to observe personality and behaviour – link to frameworks and consider how this might apply to my work and life. I’m currently developing a workshop on adoption of technology which I’m finding really engaging – working in flow with the time disappearing as I become more creative! Typical behaviour for an INTJ 🙂

More of this in later blogs.

I would love to hear your thoughts or comments on my personality blogs areas for more discussion. 

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Personality Types again

This blog brings us back to the discussion about personality types in facilitation and workshops. We are up to discussing the Feeling/Thinking dichotomy in Myers Briggs which is how we make decisions.

Thinking (T) types make decisions more logically and analytical, focusing on facts – they can appear critical. Feeling (F) types take into consideration their values and beliefs and the impacts on people in their decisions.

As a T, it wasn’t until I co-facilitated with an F several years ago that I realised I didn’t do a very good job of catering for F types. This wonderful woman looked after the comforts in the workshop, she focused on lollies, food, water on the tables, making the environment as comfortable as possible – all common sense I know but what I noticed was the way she went about it.

She also was fantastic at hosting people as they arrived, ensuring they were introduced to someone and felt welcomed into the training room. I watched and learnt from her warm friendly approach.Years later we were complimented by a workshop attendee about how comfortable she felt when arriving at one of our training events, something she told us, wasn’t wasn’t common for her.

The theory of MBTI refers to F children who don’t like the teacher having trouble learning and how T types look for competence in the teacher. In adult education this reminds us of the importance of establishing competence with our group as well as making them feel comfortable.

T’s like to know the person in front has the skills, qualifications, experience and credibility to be facilitating or delivering on a topic. Once you have established competence they are more open to learning and enjoy debating and analysing information.

Finally I have found F types are very good at “picking up on” emotions in others including myself as the facilitator.  Be careful about your own projections – leave your emotional baggage at the door and be there 100% for the participants.

Next week I will focus on the final dichotomy – Judging and Perceiving.

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Extension Adoption Program

The GRDC Extension, Adoption, Training and Support project is open for expressions of interest until October 30th. This project builds the skills of experienced advisers and researchers in adoption, extension, evaluation and communication processes. It aims to reduce the time frame from from research to farmer practice change.

In it’s third year 8 advisers will be selected to participate in the program which includes

  • A three day workshop in Canberra where participants develop a comprehensive understanding of GRDC and build skills and knowledge in personality types, adoption, evaluation and extension theory and frameworks.
  • A three day field tour providing exposure to new technology and research as well as an opportunity to apply the theory discussed in Canberra.
  • Webinars to further develop skills and discuss learning and outcomes.
  • Mentoring and coaching with the project team

Participants will develop an action plan and apply their learnings in the field as well as mentoring a younger member of the industry. An ongoing network will provide the opportunity to continue sharing skills and knowledge amongst the group post training.

Applications are open for the 2013 group, expressions of interest close on the 30th October. To download the EOI form

http://www.agconsulting.com.au/innovation/current-projects/GRDC-Extension-Adoption-Training-and-Support-Program-July-1-2011/

Or watch the You-Tube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFunkEFvucM&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Personality type cont…

In my last blog I began unpacking the Myers Briggs Personality Type Indicator (MBTI) and impacts for the facilitator. We looked at Introvert and Extravert – this blog will focus on Senate ( S – detail) and Intuition (N – Big Picture).

The S and N dichotomy in MBTI refers to the way we take in information and learn. I am an N – so big picture person. I go along to a workshop wanting to know “What will I get out of this?” “What will be the outcome?”, I’m not so concerned about the detail until I understand the big picture. This is the opposite to the S Type who requires the detail to clearly understand the big picture.

In simple terms an N builds understanding from the top down, an S builds understanding from the bottom up.

So what are the considerations for the facilitator?

  • We need to cater for both types – provide the big picture of the workshop and then give the detailed agenda. Be careful about going into masses of detail early in the workshop as the N types will switch off – find a balance between the two.
  • When presenting information give the overall model first to capture the N and then break into the detail – review the model at the end to satisfy both types learning.
  • In strategic planning recognise that while N’s love this type of activity, particularly the visioning stage, the S’s are looking forward to getting their teeth into the action planning. Ensure that participants understand the process so they know their needs will be met.

On a personal level I ensure that I plan for the S types – as I’m not one! I ensure I provide a detailed agenda and run through it with the group, I focus on the detail required for learning and think about how to structure my content.

I enjoy facilitating the MBTI as it provides me with the unique opportunity of discussing with the different types what they prefer in a workshop and how they like the process to work.

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