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The HaBO Village Podcast

The Secret to Speed Reading People: What Every Business Leader Should Know [Podcast]

Episode 31: In this episode, Michael and Kathryn discuss a useful method for speed reading a person's personality type based on the psychology of the Myers Briggs personality inventory. You will discover how to quickly ascertain someone's temperament by asking them specific questions. If you've ever wondered if knowing personality types makes a difference in the success of your business, give this podcast a listen.

Man holding up a question mark

In This Episode You Will Learn:

  • What it means to speed read people when it comes to personality types.

  • The differences between the temperaments' preferences (Introverts vs. Extroverts, Sensing vs. Intuition, Thinking vs. Feeling, and Judging vs. Perceiving).

  • How knowing someone's personality type can improve interactions with your staff, customers, and clients.

  • Why speed reading people helps your emotional intelligence, improving your Passion and Provision Company

 

"You speed read people so you can understand yourself better, you can understand others better, you have more effective communication, so that you can create more success opportunities."

– Michael Redman

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References:

Myers Briggs (Personality Type Indicator)

 

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Michael:
              Hello, and welcome back to HaBO Village. I'm Michael Redmond and I'm Kathryn Redman. I hope you're doing well today. And today we're going to talk about personality testing and Myers Briggs. We've talked about it a little bit before, but we thought it would be actually helpful to kind of bring some current stories that we have to the table and some examples and stuff like that. This last week, we've actually had some fun experiences. We worked with an actual elementary school and we worked with over fifty teachers, maybe closer to fifty seven teachers. And then did an in-service day, a three hour workshop with them. So we got to test all of them, which was really fun because I always enjoy seeing Myers Briggs in a different industry.


Michael:
              What does an industry look like and how does that compare to a grouping of people in normal, in the culture? Because we saw some shifts in percentages of groupings of different temperaments and things like that. The other thing that we did this last week was we actually tested, or a week and a half ago, we tested our staff because we've got a few new people in the staff and it's been a while since we actually did this ourselves inside.


Kathryn:
               Yes, went through an in-depth... I mean, we do a lot of, we'll talk about it, but we do a lot of speed reading when we're interviewing. But, the reality is, sometimes we haven't taken the time to actually purchase test and have someone go through it. So it was time. And as a team, we all got to do that, which was really fun.


Michael:
              It was really fun. And then this last week we sat down for about an hour and a half and actually started going over it. It's amazing when you do this with your staff, how interested they are. Our experience is, most people are very intrigued with understanding more about themselves and understanding more about their coworkers, the people around them. It always makes people laugh a little bit.


Kathryn:
               Mm-hmm (affirmative).


Michael:
              It always gives people some insight. And one of the things we wanted to do is, out of those two experiences this last couple of weeks, we wanted to just share a few stories. And one you thought was pretty valuable, is speed reading.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. So we had.... When you're giving fifty seven tests invariably, something goes wrong with the technology somewhere. So we had a couple of people in that group of teachers that were not successful completing their test or something got jacked up on the back end or whatever. So rather than not have them be able to participate, which was really, really critical for this workshop. You got to know where to stand and who your people are. So we ended up speed reading them. And so if you think about the Myers Briggs and you think about the different pieces and parts of it, so you can have sixteen possible combinations.


Michael:
              But you have four major categories.


Kathryn:
               But you have four major categories. And so we thought it would be just kind of fun to share with you what some good speed reading questions are for just each of those four major categories, as you're just trying to wrap your brain. You could be wrong. It's not necessarily a perfect science, but if you're just trying to understand how someone functions quickly, there's just great ways to do that.


Michael:
              So let jump in there.


Kathryn:
               Yeah.


Michael:
              Really quickly, if you haven't figured it out, from what Kathryn is saying, speed reading is figuring out and ball parking what somebody's temperament is, what somebody's personality is based on the Myers Briggs or anything else so that you can understand them better without having to give them the test.


Kathryn:
               Right.


Michael:
              And for us, we will sit there and speed reading means I'm either watching and asking you questions that you don't realize I'm asking and I'm just watching over time. Or if I'm doing it even faster, you're aware of it. And we're asking questions and trying to do an informal test.


Kathryn:
               Yep.


Michael:
              And how accurate were we?


Kathryn:
               You were right both times, it was really fun.


Michael:
              I've never done it in front of a large crowd.


Kathryn:
               It was amazing how much input all of them had to their coworker when that person was being speed read. It was a very, very entertaining.


Michael:
              You have fifty plus people in a room doing exercises. And all of a sudden you realize when you're doing an exercise, if somebody doesn't have a score, you have to give them something.


Kathryn:
               Mm-hmm (affirmative).


Michael:
              To help them participate and for it to be valuable. We just decided we would speed read and then they could interact. But because we did this in front of everybody, it was amazing how often the person answering the questions was having difficulty answering them. But then everybody else in the room, the majority of the room had an answer. And when you tested that, they went, yeah, that's right. And once we got the tests back, it was accurate.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. So if you haven't listened to the original podcast we did on Myers Briggs where we really explain kind of all the different pieces and parts of it, you might want to go back and listen to that. But just as a refresher, our main categories are you test either extrovert or introvert.


Michael:
              And that means what?


Kathryn:
               And that is about where you get your energy. So do you get your energy from being with people or do you get your energy by being alone? So it's not necessarily whether you're outgoing or not. There are very expressive introverts that are quite outgoing, but it really is where do you get your energy? So that's the first category is extrovert versus introvert. The second category is sensing versus judging.


Michael:
              Nope. Sensory versus intuition.


Kathryn:
               Sorry. God.


Michael:
              It's tough when it's not in front of you.


Kathryn:
               I know. Sensory versus intuition.


Michael:
              People are going, why aren't you prepared on this podcast?


Kathryn:
               Because I'm an SP and that's spontaneous-


Michael:
              She's very spontaneous.


Kathryn:
               ... and I just decided to do it.


Michael:
              Sensory versus intuition. And this category is all about how you take in information, whether you take it in internally, like thoughts and ideas percolate and work themselves. Or you're paying attention to your five senses and the environment you're in.


Kathryn:
               Right. Yes. That's exactly what it is. The next one I think I can do is thinking versus feeling.


Michael:
              Way to go.


Kathryn:
               Right?


Michael:
              Good job you.


Kathryn:
               Thank you. So this is how you make... process-


Michael:
              You process the information.


Kathryn:
               ... process the information.


Michael:
              Yes.


Kathryn:
               Wow. I think I need more sleep.


Michael:
              And we've been doing this for a very long time.


Kathryn:
               I know. Right? I should have it in front of me.


Michael:
              Do not be deceived by the way she's answering these questions. She's very shrewd at it.


Kathryn:
               Yes. How you process the information. So do you process primarily the facts, the figures, the data first? Is that what you process?


Michael:
              That's the T. The facts and the figures.


Kathryn:
               That's the T. Or are you processing kind of the impact on people, the emotions-


Michael:
              The values.


Kathryn:
               .... the values? All of those things that go into whatever it is that you're processing. So are you about the data, the facts and the figures or the emotions, the values, that kind of thing? So that's thinking versus feeling.


Michael:
              And the fourth category is?


Kathryn:
               The fourth category is...


Michael:
              Drum roll, please.


Kathryn:
               I know. Is judging versus perceiving. So that's J and P. So the judging and perceiving has to do with how you make decisions. Right?


Michael:
              So these are all very high level, but then there's a lot of detail that goes into it and a lot of study and a lot of research. But really what you're getting is in that final one, the J represents people who make decisions earlier. They are more structured and prefer more structure and order. They believe that you can make a decision and make an informed decision ahead of time. And they feel more comfortable. Their preference is to make those decisions ahead of time and not last minute, so they can be prepared. They can feed into their structure and order of what a J, especially in SJ loves lists.


Michael:
              The P on the other side, the P is much more flexible. The P actually waits to the last minute to make decisions because they are still accumulating information, resources, options. Because they're waiting to make sure that as much time as they have between now and the deadline that they're giving ample opportunity to find a better solution, they want the best solution.


Michael:
              A J who decides early can believe that P's procrastinate. They wait until the last minute. But part of what is happening is their whole mindset is they're looking for the best options because they believe that's important. And they actually do find options. It's amazing how a P mindset can really bring out and discover things where, because they're not stressed waiting to the end.


Kathryn:
               Right.


Michael:
              A J is stressed, waiting longer. But the beauty of a J is that they can make decisions earlier and plan and structure better. They leave more time for some of that structure. And the P doesn't always do that. But the P gets stressed out trying to make decisions-


Kathryn:
               Early.


Michael:
              ... early.


Kathryn:
               And the P is one of those people that probably you would look at them and go, you do really well under pressure. You think you're best when the deadline is close. And that is pretty typical P behavior.


Michael:
              Yeah. Now it's important to remember as we're given the high level on this, is that these four categories with their pairs that happen in with them, E versus I, intuition versus sensory, thinking versus feeling, judging versus perceiving. They are first of all, preferences. So they're not black and white. They're not like you are a judger. You are a perceiver. You are an extrovert. You are an introvert. It is, first of all, your initial preference. It's where you feel most comfortable, but people who are extroverts actually do okay being alone too.


Kathryn:
               Yeah.


Michael:
              And they actually want to be alone.


Kathryn:
               It's kind of like right and left hand. Right? It's your preference. So it's not that you can't use your left hand if you're right handed. Your left hand actually does work really, really well and you can probably catch a ball with it. But if someone chucks a ball at you, you're going to react with your right hand because that's your preference if you're right handed.


Michael:
              If you're right handed you prefer to do it that way.


Kathryn:
               Right.


Michael:
              Now, the other thing we have that's important is not only preference, but these letters have scores to them. Most people don't talk about it. So what you can have, it's really zero to thirty on either letter, but basically what you would think of is there, a slight preference or it's a strong preference. And so what you do is you realize that you have these preferences and people can operate in all these areas and should think through all the areas. As we mature, we actually learn to think through our weaker side and strengthen that.


Michael:
              Also we have to realize that there's severities or extremes from slight to strong. And so when we're doing that, we're speed reading people and we're asking questions really quick. So here's how it goes. Kathryn, when you are thinking about recharging your batteries, you're just tired, exhausted. Do you prefer to go to a party or do you prefer to be alone?


Kathryn:
               I prefer to be alone in a coffee shop.


Michael:
              You prefer to be in a coffee shop. And why would you say you want to be alone in a coffee?


Kathryn:
               Because I like the noise of the people, but I want to be alone.


Michael:
              Okay. So when Kathryn's trying to recharge and she's depleted, she's going to be alone in an environment where there's a lot of people, a lot of noise and a lot of energy. Kathryn is actually an extrovert, but she's not an extreme extrovert. And the strong... And what we do is we start to look at people when we're speed reading them in their extremes first. I'm looking for somebody who... Here's the next question I ask. Kathryn, how often do you like to be alone?


Kathryn:
               Hmm. Like sometimes.


Michael:
              Percentage of times.


Kathryn:
               Maybe 25% of the time.


Michael:
              When you're alone, how long can you be alone for until your done being alone? And ready to be around at least one other person, if not more and go do stuff?


Kathryn:
               Probably a day.


Michael:
              Okay. So some of you may be thinking right now, I'm like Kathryn, I like to be alone 25% of the time, maybe 10% of the time. But you're saying, oh, no, I wouldn't want to be alone a whole day. I'd want to be alone. Yes, I want to be alone, but after a couple of hours, I'm good. And I'm ready to go back and be around people again. If that's the case and I make you be alone for a whole day, you will be starving and craving for other people's attention.


Kathryn:
               So in our office, we have a red line, thirty point E extrovert. And the idea of being alone is terrifying to her. Doesn't like it at all. And we have a red line-


Michael:
              Terrifying in a joking way.


Kathryn:
               ... Yeah. Like, no, don't make me be alone. Sending her to her room as a punishment as a child would be a bad thing. That was truly punishment.


Michael:
              Right.


Kathryn:
               Then we have a red line introvert and you send her to her room as punishment and she is delighted.


Michael:
              You've just rewarded her.


Kathryn:
               You've just rewarded her for bad behavior.


Michael:
              And she snookered you.


Kathryn:
               Super happy. So we have both extremes, which is really kind of humorous, but that's one of the ways you would know if somebody is extroverted or introverted.


Michael:
              So knowing, how often percentage wise, where they get their energy around people or not, how often they like to be alone versus around people? And how long could they be alone together? Three questions that are easy for me to grasp, but kind of get an idea of which way do you lean, extrovert or introvert for your energy restoration? That means that the opposite can deplete your battery and then you need your battery recharged.


Michael:
              Then from there, I also evaluate how strong that is. And that is how building meetings in your office and realizing if you have a lot of extroverts, you're going to have a lot of meetings because they're going to spontaneously happen. If you have a lot of extroverts, but you have some introverts, they're going to have a really difficult time giving you their best when you don't consider what it's like and how much energy it takes in those meetings. So that's the extrovert introvert and why you would speed read and how it influences your business. Now, the second category is sensory or intuitive.


Kathryn:
               Just keeping my mouth shut. Sensory versus intuitive.


Michael:
              Yes. Sensory versus intuitive. And so quick speed reading is when you're learning or are taking in information around your world or anything like that. When you're thinking, do you spend more time paying attention to what's real and tangible things you can see, smell, touch? Or do you just spontaneously have ideas that start generating in your head and you lose track of what's going on around you? Which one is more like you, better describes you?


Kathryn:
               I am definitely a touch, taste, feel, smell, got to be in front of me, got to be able to see it. Don't visualize well. Don't do abstract well.


Michael:
              So you want things to be, you'll say-


Kathryn:
               Tangible.


Michael:
              ... things like tangible, concrete. Can you give me a concrete example?


Kathryn:
               Yep.


Michael:
              Tangible example? Do you get confused or lost or frustrated when it's too much theory?


Kathryn:
               Absolutely drives me nuts.


Michael:
              All right.


Kathryn:
               Tell me why it matters.


Michael:
              Are you the type of person that implements something better or originates the idea of better?


Kathryn:
               Implements.


Michael:
              Okay. So what we just did there with Kathryn is we verified there some things that are very tangible and tactile for the S versus the N. The intuitive is thinking of ideas are generating inside. The S, they're interacting and creating ideas that deal with things that are very concrete around them, problem solving and stuff like that. Those types of people, really how abstract the information is, or how concrete things are, if you have a lot of S's in your office, then you need things to be more concrete. The more intuitive people are, the more they're willing to play with ideas, but they're more capable of taking abstract ideas and applying them to concrete, unless they're extreme. The farther out an N's they are the more they need S's around them because they can come up with great ideas. They think of these wonderful things, but they don't know how to get crap done. And they definitely don't know how to show it to the implication of concrete.


Kathryn:
               And my motto is, get crap done.


Michael:
              Now, the T or the F, that's how we're going to speed read that. Once you take a new information, are you thinking about the facts and the figures and the details of it more or less than... And we're talking about the first step, the initial response. Or do you first think about, oh my gosh, when change is happening, how's this going to affect people and how's this going to affect their values and how are their emotions going to be?


Kathryn:
               Facts and figures, baby.


Michael:
              Facts and figures. So it's more T.


Kathryn:
               Yep.


Michael:
              And do you do that a lot more or?


Kathryn:
               I think it depends on the situation. So I tend towards being a T unless the situation is so clearly impacting people that I'm forced automatically to go there.


Michael:
              Yeah.


Kathryn:
               Or if people are already emotional about it around me, then I might bend a little bit. I'm tend to be pretty solid on my T.


Michael:
              In your meetings, what you need to realize is that you need to be able to address how do these decisions impact people and what are the facts and figures. And you need to make sure you're dealing with both. Both are actually really important, especially in a passion provision company. What happens a lot of times, is you get a lot of NT's, intuitive thinkers who are really abstract, but they think about the details. They love to think about strategy. And they forget to think about the implications on people and how any of it's going to influence their people. Whether it's an emotional issue, a training issue, an equipping issue or anything else, they forget the people. They're too high T.


Kathryn:
               Yeah.


Michael:
              And you've got to think about both. Let's moving on to the fourth category real quick, is J or P, how are you making a decision?


Michael:
              The J's want to make lists. They want to be making those decisions early. Waiting to the last minute stresses them out. Not giving the P's enough opportunity to change, stresses them out. One of the things that's important and I think works well, and we're continuing to work on this, is making sure that the overall model that everybody has is plan, organize, then execute. And then what we're going to do is we're always going to come back and optimize. We're going to revisit.


Michael:
              So we're learning to plan more and structure our planning and our whole entire model so that people who like to plan well, know that there are way points they can make decisions and plan for. But the P, in optimization, the P is allowed opportunities to see another thing and come back and make changes. How do we improve it? If there's something worth valuable to the whole process of your manufacturing or your marketing or your finances, and you realize, well, we finished that last week. Yeah. But we found a new way to improve it. Then dealing with that actually gives both people an opportunity to take advantage of the newest and best thing while evaluating it within the system and planning ahead. Create a model that has both. That's a really high level.


Michael:
              Today's going to be a little short, but I wanted you to understand and just kind of have an idea. You can take personality stuff. Today we've talked about Myers Briggs, you might know DISC. You might know something else. And if you understand it well enough, and you understand the questions to be asked, and then you understand the implications and how that relates. You can actually start to speed read people in your business meetings, in your staff meetings with customers and you can start to ask and understand. And the whole goal of this really is so that you can understand yourself better, and you can understand others better. So you have more effective communication. So that you can create more success opportunities in relationships, whether it's a business relationship, whether it's a working relationship or whether it's a personal relationship.


Kathryn:
               Yeah. And let me just give one really quick example as we wrap up.


Michael:
              Please do.


Kathryn:
               Because one of the things that happens when you understand how the Myers Briggs functions and kind of who it is that you're working with, is it allows you to be less frustrated when somebody acts in their preference, really strongly.


Michael:
              Especially when it's different than you.


Kathryn:
               When it's different than you. So, for example, you guys already know that Michael and I are married. So this isn't as weird as it sounds. But the morning that we were doing the Myers Briggs workshop, we had tried two days earlier to get him to come up with different things he wanted to make sure he had on hand for this workshop. Morning of, he's in the shower. We're supposed to be there at 7:45, and he is drawing things in the mist on the glass that he needs me to create in order for us to be successful at this workshop that we have to be at in an hour.


Michael:
              We didn't need them to be successful, but-


Kathryn:
               But he wanted them.


Michael:
              ... we're going improve our success.


Kathryn:
               Right. So if I didn't know who he is and how he actually didn't have that idea two days ago, probably couldn't have accessed that idea, it actually is something that happens in that last little bit right before, I would get really angry and be like, bite me, do it yourself. I'm not doing it. This is stupid. But instead I just laughed. And I came to the office and was like, all right, I'll be a couple of minutes later and I'll draw these pictures for you.


Michael:
              Yeah.


Kathryn:
               So that's just... It's an example of it. It allows my stress to be lower because I know he's not doing it to irritate me. He's not just being difficult. It's just the way he works.


Michael:
              Well, and she evaluated the ideas and they were good ideas.


Kathryn:
               Well and then there's that. He wasn't being stupid. So that helps.


Michael:
              I wasn't just being stupid. So, again, we are looking for tools and Myers Briggs is one of our tools of choice. We are looking for tools to better understand ourselves and others because emotional intelligence is critical. Factors are knowing who you are in your emotions, and then knowing how to manage those. And then knowing how to interpersonally interact with others. Having a tool that gives you ability to codify stuff more and understanding how people are interacting, where their emotions are and how they're motivated to behave is incredibly powerful. And hopefully you've seen some of that today. And some of the speed reading has worked, and maybe you've listening to this once or twice.


Michael:
              If you ever need any help, here we are. We're the Redmond's at Half a Bubble Out. Our company is based on helping you as leaders and your organization become more passionate, provision driven. Having more success financially and having more success relationally so that you're getting the most out of the life and life is more abundant for you. If you ever need any help, especially in this area of leadership development or organizational coaching, we're available. Please reach out to us. So I'm Michael Redmond.


Kathryn:
               And I'm Kathryn Redmond.


Michael:
              And this is HaBO Village podcast. Thanks for joining us. Take care. Bye bye.