Conflict and Complementarity MBTI® Step I Exercise 2 minute read Written by Shawn Bakker, Psychologist Conflict in teams often occurs between people with different processes for information-gathering (Sensing or Intuition) and decision-making (Thinking or Feeling). This exercise helps team members uncover hidden type biases, and also recognize the value of opposites. While this exercise works especially well for the S-N and T-F preferences, it can also be used with any preference pair. Instructions: Draw the table below on a flipchart and get some answers from the group. Be aware of S-N or T-F preferences within the group but there is no need to divide the group. How does S see N? How does N see S? How does S need N? How does N need S? Allow hidden type biases to be revealed in the ‘see’ sections. For example, ask Sensing types “On a day when you were feeling uncharitable, how would you describe people with a preference for Intuition?” and vice versa. Help draw out the value of the opposites in the ‘need’ sections. Do the same for T-F and, if you want, for E-I and J-P preferences. Debrief – You may get the following types of responses: Conflictual View Complementary View S sees N: vague and impractical; difficult to follow S needs N: to envision the future; to offer radical ideas N sees S: nit-picking; pessimistic N needs S: to remind them of the facts; to be realistic T sees F: illogical; overly emotional T needs F: to be in touch with feelings; to persuade and reconcile F sees T: critical, cold and insensitive F needs T: to be tough; to weigh costs and benefits E sees I: withdrawn; inaccessible E needs I: for reflection; to build depth of understanding I sees E: superficial; intrusive I needs E: to make contacts; to take action J sees P: disorganized; irresponsible J needs P: for adaptability; for information gathering P sees J: rigid and inflexible; overly serious P needs J: for organization; for completion Conclusion While we prefer to use one of the processes, both are important and accessible to us. Conclude by asking team members the following questions: What will you do differently in the future to work more effectively your colleagues? How can this team make sure it is covering all the bases of S-N-T-F? What new behaviours will you use to address the gaps in your preferred approach?