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    May 15, 2015    |

Beyond Four Letters: Functions, Quadrants and Temperaments

When working with teams it is not always possible (due to time constraints, for example) to examine team issues from the perspective of individuals’ whole types. To help simplify and speed up team-building activities, every four-letter type can be divided into various two-letter combinations that can be used as lenses to view his/her interactions with team members. Various discussions can arise from applying different lenses as letters in combination have a multitude of implications for communication, conflict, leadership and change management to name a few. Three of the basic lenses are: functions, quadrants, and temperaments.

Function Lens
This approach focuses on the preferences for gathering information (S and N) and making decisions (T and F). This lens can provide important information when helping teams examine communication issues and make decisions. For example:
ST’s prefer to use proven methods of communication.
SF’s like to share their experience to help others.
NF’s prefer to communicate in creative ways.
NT’s like to debate challenging questions.
A great activity I like to run in conflict workshops is to create these groups then ask “What are the best and worst things someone can do when in conflict with you”. The function pairs impact not only what we DO during conflict, but what we NEED as well!

Quadrants Lens
Each type also falls into one of four Quadrants. These are useful to examine when dealing with change or culture issues. For example:
IS’s want to be careful and mindful of details when involved in change.
ES’s want to see and discuss the practical results of change.
IN’s want to reflect and digest ideas and concepts around the change.
EN’s want to maximize variety and discuss avenues and implications of change long-term.

Temperaments Lens
The temperaments lens is useful when teams are working with leadership issues or engagement levels. For example:
SJ’s value responsibility and loyalty.
SP’s value cleverness and timeliness.
NF’s value inspiration and a personal approach.
NT’s value ingenuity and logic.

This is simply a brief overview of how examining individual’s preferences through different lenses can help in the exploration of team issues. It also makes for a nice way of enhancing your ‘type toolbelt’ beyond treating preferences in isolation in a simple yet potent way for individuals and teams. If you would like more information on these type of activities a good book to read is “Introduction to Type and Teams®,”.

Introduction to Type and Teams 2nd Edition. Elizabeth Hirsh, Katherine Hirsh, and Sandra Krebs Hirsh.