The #1 Isssue At Every Organization

(I just returned from the 2013 HR Technology Conference where I got to see all the latest and greatest HR technology, and speak to some wickedly smart people.  So, for the next week or so, my plan is to share some of the products and insights I gained from this experience. So we are clear, no companies I write about have paid me to write about them. Enjoy…)

There are a few things we just come to know as fact in organizations.  If you were to ask anyone, at any level of your organization to come up with just one issue they have at their organization, hands down, without a doubt, across all organizations, the number one issue would always be communication!

Before I traveled to the HR Technology Conference, Halogen Software asked me to complete a Myers-Briggs Assessment (MBTI).  It had been many years since I did one, and they wanted to show off some upcoming additions to their talent suite and how they are utilizing MBTI to address the communication gap found in all organizations.  Halogen didn’t tell me anything about what to expect, so my guess was they were going down some lame path of using my Myers-Briggs in some sort of new selection functionality, but what I found was really something completely different and awesome!

By the way, my MBTI was ENTJ (What the what!? Don’t you love acronyms!) Basically, ENTJ, is one of 16 possible Myers-Briggs profiles of an individual and one of the most rare.  ENTJ is an executive profile, they get things done, they make decisions quickly and move forward.  Yep, that’s me.  My good friend, Kris Dunn, also took the assessment and was profiled as an ENTP.  Only one letter difference separates us, so basically we are the same in many ways: quick thinking, extroverted, creative, well read, etc. The one letter difference means I like to get things done and KD likes to talk about getting things done! 😉

Why do I bring Kris into the mix of this communication tool that Halogen added to their product?  Because communication happens between two or more people.  The reason all organizations have communication problems somewhere in their organization is because we try and solve communication individually.  “It’s Tim’s problem, he’s just a bad communicator.”  “Our managers don’t know how to communicate.”  “Our executives don’t know how to communicate.”  Halogen found out a way to put a tool in the face of every single person in your organization that helps them become better communicators, with every other single person they work with!

What Myers-Briggs does is not only show us how we are from a personality standpoint.  It also shows us how we like to receive and give information.  Halogen has integrated the assessment within their product, but took it a few steps further from a development standpoint and it allows you as an individual to compare your type to a co-worker’s type.  So, I’m having trouble getting along with Kris.  I go in, compare my MBTI type with Kris’s type, and the software gives me ideas and examples of how I can better communicate with Kris. Simple and effective. As a manager this is awesome, because I can now see how do I communicate with my team on an individual basis.  It was really powerful, and I didn’t see anything else like this being done from any other company.  It was one of the cooler advancements into an existing product I saw at HR Tech this year.

I can’t tell you how many times I meet with company executives who are looking to try and make their organizations better, or their leaders better, and it always comes back to communication and them wanting me to help them make individuals (or their organization as a whole) better at communicating.  The problem is, and which MBTI points out, this isn’t a one-way problem.  It’s two-way!  Want to solve your communications issues?  Find out how you get both sides to communicate like the other wants.




8 thoughts on “The #1 Isssue At Every Organization

  1. This is kind of neat. It’s like automating managing or making no fail managers (at least no excuse to fail), but I do agree with the earlier comment about it becoming a crutch. Where I work now they did the personality tests with everyone where you determine if you are a lion, camel, monkey, turtle or what mix you are and I HATE IT! I hear people say “well I’m a lion thats just what I do” or “I don’t think like that because I’m a turtle-and y’all know that so deal with it”… oy vey!

  2. Tim, great post! It was great fun working with you and Kris and having some fun with your similarities and differences. I’m ENFP so I’m all about the fun. 🙂

    HD – Certainly coaching around tools like Myers-Briggs helps a ton. I met quite a few certified Myers-Briggs practitioners at the show, so some organizations will have that expertise in-house.
    Internally I have noticed very quickly that the MBTI information has become part of the culture – to the point where as a group our understanding has increased to the point where those misunderstandings get corrected quickly by other members of the group. To be fair we did have a 1 hour session with a Myers-Briggs practitioner from CPP, but still I’ve found the aggregate level of understanding jumped far more than I expected and very quickly.

  3. Mel! I totally stole that off your Instagram and didn’t give you credit! Is that a copyright violation!?

    HD – Someone is being cynical today! 😉 But I totally know how it is to work with KD, so I understand.

  4. Connie – I would like to take full credit for the awesome photo used in Tim’s post. 😉

    Tim – thanks for sharing your thoughts on the new Halogen Myers-Briggs module. Communication is indeed a two-way process.

  5. We also do DNA profiling as part of our hiring process at the shop I work for. While I love your suggestion of manager’s leveraging results/profiles to aid in communicating with employees, I’ve also seen the flip. Some people who take assessments may also use their results as a crutch. Well I’m “X” and Mr/Mrs. Manager knows that so they will work around it in their communication style. I think in order or it to work, sometimes there needs to be communication about the communication.

  6. Tim this was such a great pic of you and Kris. Thanks so much for meeting with us and for sharing with your readers. The ability to better understand each other at work is definitely one important way to improve team performance.

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