Myers-Briggs at Work: How to Value Your Coworkers Even More
At Dixon Schwabl, we’ve used the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) for decades to help enhance communication with each other and our clients. We call this program Companies Are People, Too—and every employee is offered a chance to complete an MBTI assessment when they’re hired and again every two years before our all-staff retreats, where we review the strengths of each personality type and how to best work together.
For our new hires, we go a step further, setting up a meeting with our certified reader on staff. Lots of people complete an MBTI assessment at some point in their academic, work or personal life, but sitting down with someone who can dive deeper into their results helps them understand even more about their innate preferences and gives them a chance to talk about how they feel about their results. Do they represent their natural communications preferences?
As an agency, we share our MBTI results several ways, with the goal of enhancing communication. Every Dixon Schwabl employee has a nameplate with their picture, MBTI personality type, and a list of speed-reaching techniques that help others understand how each of their coworkers communicates best.
Explore the personalities that make up Dixon Schwabl!
Click here to check out our interactive Tableau dashboard and see how clicking on different things changes your view.
The explicit goal is simple: Anybody approaching a coworker, supervisor or team can easily learn a little about them before they knock on the door and interrupt their flow.
It’s a pretty powerful communications tool.
When we pause to understand others’ preferences, we have a chance to learn how our teammates are energized, the kind of information they notice, how they make decisions and how they organize their world. Maybe a person isn’t comfortable responding on the spot. Another might prefer bullet points before a meeting so they have time to process information and prepare a response. And still another might be fact-based or need to see the big picture first.
Those are the insights that help us all collaborate and get to the best outcome—for us and for our clients.
You’ll also find all of our team members’ MBTIs on our agency phone list and other internal documents, so you can set the stage for a great conversation before they even pick up the phone. Again, the goal is to press pause for just a moment and think about how to best reach someone so you can collaborate most effectively.
But at Dixon Schwabl, we weren’t content just to understand each other. We wanted to understand our agency as a whole, too. So we did just that, using a version of the traditional MBTI assessment that allows us to think of Dixon Schwabl as a person, assigning similar traits and preferences to our organization. With that, we learn more than just how to communicate with our teams—we can see how each of our personalities fits into the agency as a whole and how our agency itself changes over the years.
And we love this program.
It allows us to take an honest look at ourselves, celebrate and embrace our differences, and create more effective teams. It literally helps us be our best every single day.
We’re so pleased with how Companies Are People, Too works for us, we’ve turned it into a service. If you’re interested in learning more, you can find out more here.
Britton Lui is DS+CO’s vice president of people and development with a passion for making our agency a great place to work.