Personality Temperaments

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Updated: Jun 20, 2022
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There are unique qualities each person brings to their organization through differing personality types and temperaments. Knowing and understanding personal differences and personality diversity can unlock employee potential, increase performance and boost job satisfaction. Understanding one’s personality type can illuminate preferences, strengths, weaknesses and areas for continued improvement. Furthermore, personality differences are connected to distinct biblical truths that illuminate this world’s need for individuals with differing gifts and how to apply them. This paper explores the author’s Myers-Briggs personality test results and cites specific examples from the authors work life where weaknesses are identified.

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Then each trait’s strengths and weaknesses are discussed as they relate to job performance. Additionally, the author analyzes how each trait works together to reveal overall opportunities to use strengths and identify shortcomings. This knowledge is applied to target improvement areas related to information gathering, decision making, leadership behaviors, employee job selection, worker satisfaction and communication.

When reading the description found on “The Four Personality Temperaments” (n.d.) website, it struck me as highly accurate. However, to test the assessment’s accuracy, I also let my wife read the characteristics of an ISTJ. She amusingly confirmed the test’s accuracy that identified many of my tendencies and behaviors. These confirmations fueled my desire to learn more about the ISTJ personality type and its strengths and weaknesses. Learning about my personality and its unique characteristics will improve my performance as an employee, coworker and manager. Step 1 – Four Letter Type: ISTJ & Temperament: SJ I – Introverted (53%) My entire life, I have been branded an introvert. Earlier in my studies, I completed a Myers-Briggs personality test and scored a higher percentage toward introversion. This may indicate I am improving my auxiliary preference toward extraversion. As a Senior Non-commissioned Officer in the Air Force, I face situations that require extroverted behaviors. Often, I am expected to attend social events, such as graduations, mixers, and socials. The more I attend these events, the more comfortable I become in highly social settings. However, Kroeger, Thuesen, and Rutledge (2002) stated the introvert versus extravert preference is where and how one gets their energy. Therefore, even with increased comfort, I must accept these environments will always be draining and can cause mental and physical fatigue. S – Sensing (3%) Sensing indicates how I gather information (Kroeger et al., 2002). In this area I was only slightly inclined, three percent, toward sensing over intuitive. I utilize aspects of both sensing and intuitive preferences when gathering information. Kroeger et al. (2002) proposes people that prefer sensing favor the practical, tactile, hands-on, and facts. Conversely, intuitive people desire possibilities, meaning, relationships and theoretical frameworks. After self-reflecting, I see aspects of both sensing and intuitive tendencies in my personality. Recently, I faced a complex problem when reviewing how my organization evaluates training events. I gathered information using practical, fact-based methods that gathered data from automated training systems.

Additionally, I engaged in many conversations with experts exploring the theories behind training evaluation. In doing so, I gathered information that was both specific and conceptual making the final product more applicable and higher quality. T – Thinking (69%) I have a major preference for using the objective versus subjective when making decisions. When faced with decisions, I feel compelled to use what the Air Force calls Data Driven Decisions. This requires concrete facts to support claims and courses of action. The strength of this tendency is that I am logical and efficient. Unfortunately, this can be at the expense of my employees. When faced with a tough training decision, if I only consider the black and white data, employee’s feelings and morale can suffer. On the other hand, feelers prefer to make decisions that take into account the impact on individuals and the group (Kroeger et al., 2002). I must be cautious not to overly occupy myself with the facts, while overlooking the employee’s needs and feelings. J – Judging (47%) Lastly, the personality test indicates I prefer a structured and scheduled environment making me a judger. In contrast, perceivers prefer flexible, open and spontaneous environments (Kroeger et al., 2002). In the military, I fit in well with the structured and well-planned environment. My function, Education and Training, is highly directive. This means the Air Force provides many hard and fast rules and timelines. For example, monthly items are due by a certain calendar day and must contain the directed elements. Large projects, such as training inspections, are due every eighteen months. This type of structure and timeline complements my personality. However, I must be cautious to recognize the drawbacks of this preference and its effects on those around me. Specifically, I must counteract my tendencies toward over-controlling and fixed behaviors (Kroeger et al., 2002). How Each Aspect Works Together Each aspect of the Myers-Briggs personality types has their inherent strengths and weaknesses. However, the sum of my personality traits works together to produce a new set of considerations. On “The Four Personality Temperaments” (n.d) website, it publishes a portrait of the ISTJ, coining it the Duty Fulfiller.

The website continues by showing that I have a strong since of duty, loyalty, and faithfulness. This works together to provide me the ability to take a task and complete it by working hard and tackling obstacles. I can look back on examples in my career when this has proven true such as earning my bachelor’s degree while working full time and moving every few years. Analyzing Myers-Briggs personalities also leads to examining temperaments. In fact, Kroeger et al. (2002) illustrates that using a combination of preferences is more useful than each by itself. Temperaments are beneficial because they allow us to easily predict other’s behaviors if we know two of their preferences. For example, my temperament classification is SJ, the combination of Sensing and Judging. The “Keirsey Temperaments” (2017) website shows this temperament enjoys being a part of institutions and living by rules. This gives insight into why I joined the military, and why I have thrived in its environment. ISTJs make up 30 percent of the military, while only making up 6 percent of the general population (Kroeger et al., 2002). My experiences support this claim, as I see myself and others that prefer rules, structure and instructional support thrive in the Air Force. Step 2 General Applications Our week one presentation, Video Lecture: Fischer (n.d.) stressed that biblical truths overlap and complement Organizational Behavior. This proves true when exploring personality differences and personality traits. The Bible states: In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you…If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly (Romans 12: 6-8 New Living Translation). I have learned my personality preferences are different from my coworkers, which can cause conflict. Understanding that God has given different gifts and traits to those around me can give me a more positive worldview and decrease frustration and workplace conflict. ISTJs gravitate to service establishments and institutions such as the military.

However, learning that the military is comprised of a high number of ISTJs, I must remember that my environment lacks personality diversity. Recognizing this fact, I plan to identify and acknowledge my coworker’s temperaments and types. Knowing the traits and preferences of those around me can enhance my performance. For example, when faced with a decision, I can consult a coworker with a preference toward Feeling to counteract my Judging tendencies. This practice will increase the quality of my decisions by counteracting my preferences’ weaknesses. Furthermore, Kinicki and Fugate (2018) advise there is no ideal employee based on personality profiling. However, as a manager, I can get to know my subordinate’s personality traits, abilities and potential to assign jobs that will add to my employee’s job satisfaction (Kinicki & Fugate, 2018). In the past, I made job assignments based on technical ability and available time to complete the task. Using what I have learned in this project, I can expand the considerations I use to assign jobs. This can increase my employee’s job satisfaction by aligning their personality’s strengths to assignments. Kinicki and Fugate (2018) put it best when they state, “a contingency approach to managing people is best” (p. 95). I must remember that a one size fits all decision process regarding work assignments will decrease morale and productivity. Specific Applications Although there are endless general applications to studying personality types, there are also useful specific applications. Kroeger et al. (2002) explores the particular ways thinkers lead. Thinkers are driven to be correct, objective and competent. This leads me to be problem-oriented and critical toward subordinates and coworkers (Kroeger et al., 2002).

In my current position, I can see examples of times I have been overly critical of people’s performance. Case in point, monthly my subordinates must create and deliver a Status of Training briefing that outlines their unit’s performance. Every month these briefings contain errors that increase my criticism of people’s performance. However, applying what I have learned in this project, I must balance my need for precision and accountability with worker’s well-being and satisfaction. Coworker’s initial impression of ISTJs is that they are cold and aloof (“Jung Typology Test”, n.d.). Displaying warmth and expressing emotions requires considerable effort for me and proves physically and mentally draining. Furthermore, this weakness leads me towards a high need for privacy and a low need for self-expression. Consequently, others have a hard time reading me, which creates communication gaps in the work place (Kroeger et al., 2002). Knowing this aspect of my personality can enhance my performance as a manager by recognizing my need to improve in this area. “The Four Personality Temperaments” (n.d.) website offers growth suggestions for ISTJs. Specifically, the site suggests that I face this weakness and remember to consider other’s feelings. As a manager, I must sacrifice my preferences for the well-being of my coworkers and employees. Lastly, I will speak up more often to improve my performance. Kroeger et al. (2002) advises that introverts must see that they need to stop thinking internally and start talking. I attend many meetings and prefer not to speak up when I have an idea. This is natural for my personality type, ISTJ.

However, when I wait until later to bring up an idea, the momentum is sometimes lost. Re-engaging the group separately or through a follow-up e-mail is slower and less effective than speaking up during meetings. To become a more effective employee, coworker and leader I must be bold and bring up ideas by speaking my mind sooner and more often (Kroeger et al., 2002). Conclusion The Myers-Briggs personality test accurately classified me as an Introversion), Sensing, Thinking, and Judging (ISTJ). Using this information is beneficial in identifying my preferred environments, tendencies and leadership behaviors. Additionally, learning about my personality type has exposed some distinct weaknesses. To increase my performance and improve my relationships, I must continue to capitalize on my strengths and strive to mitigate and improve my weaknesses. God has made all people to be unique. Knowing and accepting the way God made me honors His plan for my life and the distinct gifts he has provided. 

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Personality Temperaments. (2022, Jun 20). Retrieved from