Monday, August 29, 2016

Adizes + Briggs & Myers


Several months ago I stumbled across the work of Dr. Ichak Adizes and was intrigued by his proposition that creativity is born out of conflict resolution. He has a method of categorizing management styles which was reminiscent of the Myers-Briggs personality assessment, but frames things a bit differently.

Rather than using Introversion, Extroversion, Thinking and Feeling Adizes uses Approach, Focus, Pace and Perspective as his axes. I was interested in the correlation between how the human mind tolerates and responds to ambiguity and complexity and the temporal and spatial effects of stress, which we've discussed in other postings. Adize's model also correlates well to the me-you, past-present-future (storytelling) and optimist-pessimist pairings of Design Thinking and Imagineering's philosophical frameworks. It also lines up nicely with the four basic human responses to threat; Fight, Flight, Faint and Fawn.

I spent some time shuffling the Myers-Briggs framework around until the Extroverts were along the top edge and the Thinkers were along the right edge which revealed a good match-up with Adzies Administrator, Entrepreneur, Integrator, Producer styles.

This is very interesting in the context of a posting on Adzies' personal web site, which I'll quote parts of below. As usual, I've edited the text and blended in some of my own insights into the narrative;

There are many psychological tests to identify someone's personality. The Myers-Briggs is the most recognized that Ichak says he knows. His method is called the MSI (Management Style Indicator).

Watch when people get angry and you can tell their personality style very quickly.

Ichak has been searching for a short cut to identifying a particular style for some time and thinks he has found it in the Jewish Book of the Sages, which says you know a person by kiso, koso and kaaso; the way they spend money, the way they drink (alcohol) and the way they behave when they are angry.

Each of the Adzies MSI styles has a typical back-up behavior which comes into play when someone gets angry. Watch angry people and you will see their basic style. This will enable you to predict how they will behave under calmer conditions.

The Producer (INTP) becomes a little dictator. They become short tempered and won't waste time. They'll just order you around and give you no chance to argue back or explain.  They want you to just do as you're told.

The Administrator (ISFP) will freeze, lock their jaw and say nothing. They may gaze at you with semi closed-eyes and refuse to interact, at least until later when they calm down.

Entrepreneurs (ENTJ) are the most dangerous. They will attack, demean and tear you down, then forget all about the next day, even though they have not apologized, and relate to you as though nothing happened.  (Administrators never forget and will remind you of your "bad" behavior for years to come.

Integrators (ESFJ) yield and try to avoid confrontation. They will say something like “Oh, never mind – it is ok,” but don't really mean it.

Remember that people are not purely one style. They act out a mixture of responses until they find something that gets them what they want. The most frequent responses Adzies has encountered are combinations of the PE and AI styles.

The Productive Entrepreneur will attack AND order you around.

The Administrative Integrator will retreat, freeze and give you the impression that he or she is ok with what happened. But in reality they are recording everything in their “diary” and will never forget whatever it is you did that offended them.

The Administrative Entrepreneur retreats and freezes when confrontation occurs. But later on angrily lashes back and attacks. It is a postponed reaction and the person attacked often does not understand why they are suddenly being criticized.

The Productive Integrator orders you around in a manipulative way. They act nice, but you can feel their aggression, usually in their tone of voice and body language.

To know people well, you have to be present and conscious and have no agenda of your own. That way you can see and evaluate others clearly. Relying on your intuition forces you to feel the person you are evaluating.
Under stress, you aren't able to feel anything but your own response to the attacker and you simply label them. Under those circumstances you don't really know them.

Tests give precise results. But they may be precisely wrong. Intuition is usually "approximately right" because it draws on years of integrated experiences and speaks instantly in an effort to help you survive.

No comments:

Post a Comment