Saturday, 29 November 2008

Business Jargon now called "Buffling"

All those jargon terms that we love to hate are now being referred to as buffling. An interesting article about the most hated ones appeared in today's press, with few surprises. I have to admit I do use some of these and wonder if the survey spoke to the wrong people. Most of these terms are, in my view quite reasonable in the right context and with the right audience.

Like any jargon or abbreviations, they can be useful common language as long as everybody understands them. However beware of using to impress or baffle....

Thursday, 27 November 2008

What Type (MBTI) is Barrack Obama

I have been fascinated by debates on American websites to answer this question. I have not heard enough from him to be sure myself, but the thoughts of the respondents may provide some useful tips and insights for your own type-watching and predicting.

If you don't know much about MBTI and Type, read the brief explanations on my website.

What's Obama's Type?
A selection of responses:
Ø I'll start off by saying that I think he's a big NT. I've really appreciated his 'big picture' orientation and the logical approach he seems to bring to his decision-making.

Ø Recent email newsletters I have received from venture to guess he's an INFP. Their guess for John McCain was ESTP. Before seeing this newsletter my own guess for Obama was ENFP and my guess for McCain was ISTJ. For whatever its worth since we don't have much unguarded information: Obama has a clear preference for N.
As one who is an attorney, has consulted with the profession for some 25 years, and studied the (very clear) legal profession data, the odds are very strong that he prefers T. One really has to start with that assumption until proven wrong. [Editor of the Law Review at Harvard would tend to confirm NT, though could not rule out NF.] He shows very few signs of preferring E, though not enough data to be really sure...too much focus, unlike Clinton who obviously strongly prefers E). Have not read his books which almost surely would settle the issues---so have to be reserved about my thoughts without that fairly comprehensive source of information. [My wife who has been a practicing trial attorney for more than 30 years and an INTP (very close to the middle on T/F) says he is most likely INTP and perhaps close on J.] ENFP almost surely not. An INTP with good training in community organizing, political advocacy and trial work often appear on the surface to be INFP, but he appears too cool and analytical for an F preference, even compensating for the effect of a preference for I (which often confuses the surface appearance). Again, his books would probably settle the T/F question quite easily. Finally, we have seen people confuse an NT who is a strong advocate for particular values with an NF because of the way some of the MBTI literature misinterprets the nature and role of empathy, sympathy, etc. and subjective valuing (especially negative valuing).

Ø I don't think we can guess (unless his books reveal) his I/E preference. He has to extravert often, and excels at it, but he may prefer taking it all in. N seems fairly clear, T seems almost as clear. So NT Temp is likely. Guess is J although the other comments make P possible.
I would agree with all those that said his type included the NT. I think he's ENTP or INTP. He clearly prefers Introverted Thinking which would lead to the P at the end of the type code. He's very intentional and deliberate about what he says and at times you can see him thinking. I think the campaign would have been very difficult to maintain if he wasn't extroverted. He has a natural charisma and engagement with others. I think he's close in the I/E preference however.

Ø I think that Barack Obama is an ENFP. He gets his energy from people. He uses his intuition and focuses on future possibilities. He cares about how other people feel and listens to both sides when making a decision. The NF makes him an idealist/inspirer. Finally, he admitted that his desk is very disorganized. John McCain and George W. Bush are probably ESTP’s.

Ø I too would go for definite N, with probable T and a Perceiving preference also. With the strong N that would push me toward E giving his Dominant function as Extraverted Intuition. My own type is ENFP but with tough-minded and methodical clusters from T and J and I often get confused for an ENTP (by MBTI professionals). He doesn't need to be NF to be an idealist. He clearly has strong values from his upbringing and I think people misinterpret this as NF. So...ENTP

Ø I know of an INFP who entered Law because of wanting to work in ethics and human rights... far from typical of the profession, but he felt it was worth the 'pain' for what he wanted to achieve. Obama comes across as strongly idealistic to me, with a well developed T as well. Americans often seem Extravert to the British as they are taught from childhood to express themselves, but Obama comes across to me as very self-contained and self-controlled as one would expect from an I. Something drives every politician... Obama “seems” more driven by his ideals or a vision for humanity than by a desire for power or need to be right, and also seems very natural at working with other people in a consensus manner. So I'm opting for INFP (or maybe INFJ) with a well-developed use of T as the 3rd or 4th function.

Hmmm - I am leaning towards agreeing with the last prediction, INFP. What do you think?

Steve (ENFP)

Train Your Way out of Recession

Well I would say that wouldn't I? Of course - I am in this business because I believe in the value of developing people, but in these hard times a lot of organisations are cutting back on training and it is encouraging that articles like this appear to fuel the debate and hopefully encourage people to think carefully before making potentially counter productive cutbacks.
The full article can be accessed by clicking on the blog title, but highlights follow:
Investing in your staff will improve productivity and save you money
Britain’s employers are being urged to “grow their own” after researchers at Cranfield School of Management discovered that investing in training not only saves money but is more effective than shopping around for talent.
The report, Nurturing Talent, is the first to compare the impact of recruiting externally with that of developing employees. Three quarters of the 1,189 companies involved in the study felt that training their own staff was more beneficial to their business than recruiting people from outside.
Half the companies discovered that training staff made them more likely to stay. One-third found it increased staff motivation, and almost half actually saved money in the process.
Much of this may be obvious, but useful to have some hard facts to go with the strong feelings!

Poor Managers Bad For Your Heart!

The latest thing to blame your boss for - now Swedish researchers are claiming that poor management, or more specifically leadership increases the risk of serious heart disease and heart attacks among employees. How long before we see the first lawsuit?

Health and Safety, Stress, Performance, and Productivity are all areas that have been part of a manager's responsibility for some time. Some managers will throw their hands up in despair that they now have to look after the health of their workers, but the better ones will know this has always been the case implicitly, if not explicitly. Stress is a good example of how awareness has increased in recent years and most leaders now realise that they need to understand its causes, symptoms and how to reduce it - for themselves and their teams. Unfortunately a large part of this increased awareness is due to the ever more litigous society we live in, not because managers have become more sensitive!

General health is just an extension of this - healthy workers are more productive and motivated, so we should be concerned about it. There is a business case as well as a humanistic one. There are many ways we can help people to be more healthy and wise. We can bring in life coaches, personal trainers and work-place massage therapists, all of whom are becoming more common in many organisations. Or we can learn to be better leaders and role models ourselves.

As with so much of leadership, this starts with how you manage yourself. As my old school motto put it - "Mens Sana in Corpore Sano" or a healthy mind in a healthy body. Look after yourself and then look after others. Or as Stephen Covey puts it in the "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" - "Sharpen Your Saw".....

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Living and Learning and Leading.

Hello, I am Steve Goodwill, founder and Managing Director of Goodwill Training. I formed my training company in 1989 and incorporated in 2004. We design and deliver learning and development events to help people to become more effective, confident, liberated, and motivated so that they can contribute more to the organisations they serve.
A key aspect of our training is the title of this blog - "Learning Through Experience". Training can be, and I believe should be enjoyable and memorable, but the key is applying the learning in our lives. On our programmes we use a lot of experiential activities to make this happen - but we encourage participants to consider, analyse and learn from all of their experiences, not just those on the programme.
There is an old saying that "We live and learn." If only this was true! Too often we fail to recognise the lessons or apply them to our lives. We try to address this on our events, but recognise that only the individual can do that, all we can do is try to show and model the way.
It has often been said that you cannot manage others until you can manage yourself. This is just as true for Leadership. While not wanting to debate here the difference between Managing and Leading, I am trying to make a point about learning. An update of that old saying might be:
"We Live and Learn and Lead."
.... but only if we work at it consciously and deliberately.