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Staying connected in stressful times

Jul 30th

Many people are familiar with the Myers Briggs Type Indicator test for whether you draw your energy from within yourself (in Jung’s term, Introversion), or from people and outside things (Extroversion). 

What may be less widely known are the ways that personality types shape responses to stress. When the share price is tumbling, the groups of employees seeking refuge in the pub are likely to be E types; the I types may become withdrawn and stop connecting with others. Neither response positively contributes to leading the business through tough times.

 So how to find the constructive middle way, whatever your natural inclination?

  • Walking and talking – more than ever, when the business and its people are under stress, touching base with people and showing interest in them helps teams to stay connected
  • Listening and responding, not reacting – when people want to download, give them a hearing before you join in or suggest a different view.
  • Notice your own behaviour – in tough times, the signals sent by leaders’ behaviour are louder than ever. Make sure yours are calm and consistent.
  • Stay cheerful but grounded in reality – spin makes people suspicious, but good humour helps people pull together, even when times are tough.

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