The underpinning theory Essay Assignment
Withdrawal Pausing to let things ‘sink in’ Reducing energy and interest in the issue Turning to other tasks or problems Ending the meeting.
STOP AND THINK! Q 1.9 Use the Gestalt curve to describe how a manager moves from a
concern about the team’s performance to launching and executing a change initiative.
Summary of humanistic psychology approach
For the manager, the world of humanistic psychology opens up some interesting possibilities and challenges. For years we have been told that the world of organizations is one that is ruled by the rational mind. Recent studies such as Daniel Goleman’s (1998) on emotional intelligence and management competence (see Chapter 4) suggest that what makes for more effective managers is their degree of emotional self-awareness and ability to engage with others on an emotional level. Humanistic psychology would not only agree, but would go one step further in stating that without being fully present emotionally in the situation you cannot be fully effective, and you will not be able to maximize your learning, or anyone else’s learning.
PERSONALITY AND CHANGE
We have looked at different approaches to change, and suggested that individuals do not always experience these changes in a consistent or uniform way. However, we have not asked whether people are different, and if so, whether their difference affects the way they experience change.
We have found in working with individuals and teams through change that it is useful to identify and openly discuss people’s personality types. This information helps people to understand their responses to change. It also helps people to see why other people are different from them, and to be aware of how that may lead to either harmony or conflict.
The most effective tool for identifying personality type is the Myers- Briggs Type Indicator™ (MBTI)™. This is a personality inventory developed by Katherine Briggs and her daughter Isabel Myers. The MBTI™ is based on the work of the Swiss analytical psychologist Carl Jung. The MBTI™ identifies eight different personality ‘preferences’ that we all use at different times – but each individual will have a preference for one partic- ular combination over the others.
These eight preferences can be paired as set out below.
Where individuals draw their energy
Extraversion is a preference for drawing energy from the external world, tasks and things, whereas Introversion is a preference for drawing energy from the internal world of one’s thoughts and feelings.
What individuals pay attention to and how they receive data and information
Sensing is concerned with the five senses and what is and has been whereas Intuition is concerned with possibilities and patterns and what might be.
How an individual makes decisions
Thinking is about making decisions in an objective, logical way based on concepts of right and wrong whereas Feeling is about making decisions in a more personal values-driven and empathic way.
What sort of lifestyle an individual enjoys
Judging is a preference for living in a more structured and organized world which is more orderly and predictable, whereas Perceiving is a preference for living in a more flexible or spontaneous world where options are kept open and decisions not made until absolutely necessary.
So for example, a person who has a preference for Introversion, Intuition, Thinking and Judging (an INTJ, in the jargon) will have certain character- istics. Likewise an individual with a preference for Extroversion, Sensing, Feeling and Perceiving (ESFP) will have quite different characteristics.
The MBTI™ has been researched and validated for over 50 years now, and people rarely move permanently from their preferred ‘home’ type. That is not to say that Extroverts cannot spend time reflecting and being on their own, nor Introverts spend time in large groups discussing a broad range of issues. What it means is that if you are a particular type you have particular preferences and are different from other people of different types. This means that when it comes to change, people with different preferences react differently to change, both when they initiate it and when they are on the receiving end of it.
Although there are 16 MBTI™ types, in our work with managers and leaders we have found that grouping them into four categories can generate significant understanding of the change process (see for example Green, 2007). One group of people will be cautious and careful about change – the Thoughtful Realists (those who are intro- verted sensing types). A second group will generate concepts that represent how things should be – the Thoughtful Innovators (intro- verted intuitives). A third group will have the energy and enthusiasm to get things done – the Action Oriented Realists (extraverted sensing). Meanwhile the fourth group – the Action Oriented Innovators (extraverted intuitives) – will be wanting to move into new areas and soon! (See Table 1.5.)
STOP AND THINK! Q 1.10 Use the Myers-Briggs quadrants to identify your reactions to
- In what ways do you fit the various profiles and in what ways do you differ?
- How would you deal with someone like this when going through a challenging change process?
- How do you like to be managed through change?
The underpinning theory
MANAGING CHANGE IN SELF AND OTHERS
We now look at some of the factors that arise when you as a manager are required to manage change within your organization. We will:
- discuss individual and group propensity for change;
- introduce the work of Edgar Schein and his suggestions for managing change;
- describe some of the ways that change can be thwarted;
- identify how managers or change agents can help others to change.
Table 1.5 Myers-Briggs Type Indicator™ types
MBTI™ type by IS Thoughtful Realist IN Thoughtful Quadrant Innovator
What they are most Practicalities Thoughts, ideas, concerned with concepts
How they learn Pragmatically and by Conceptually by reading and observing reading, listening and
Where they focus Deciding what should be Generating new ideas their change efforts kept and what needs and theories
Motto ‘If it isn’t broke don’t fix it’ ‘Let’s think ahead’
MBTI™ type by ES Action Oriented EN Action Oriented Quadrant Realist Innovator
What they are most Actions New ways of doing concerned with things
How they learn Actively and by Creatively and with experimentation others
Where they focus Making things better Putting new ideas into their change efforts practice
Motto ‘Let’s just do it’ ‘Let’s change it’
RESPONSES TO CHANGE
Those who let it happen. Those who make it happen. Those who wonder what happened.
Propensity for change
We have isolated five factors, as shown in Figure 1.12, that have an influ- ence on an individual’s response to change. As a manager of change you will need to pay attention to these five areas if you wish to achieve posi- tive responses to change:
- The nature of the change varies. Changes can be externally imposed or internally generated. They can be evolutionary or revolutionary in nature. They can be routine or one-off. They can be mundane or transformative. They can be about expansion or contraction. Different types of change can provoke different attitudes and different behaviours.
The underpinning theory