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I had a training this morning about managing others during Covid-19. The instructor kept saying things like we should check in on our team individually via conference calls, talk to them more and such. As an ISTJ, this kept making me a bit unbelieving, because it's not really how I approach teamwork. I do think even during a work from home situation, we can still effectively communicate over the phone, instant message and emails. I don't really see the reason to need to see somebody's face in order to do the work. My industry is accounting/finance by the way, so that's also another reason I didn't really agree with the instructor. Of course, I could not say things like "well we are all introverts in my team, so we're fine the way we are". I can already tell the instructor would think that I felt superior or that I didn't grasp the point of the training. So there really was no point in voicing that specific opinion in an hour and a half training. Also, I find American culture to be very Extrovert focused. It even felt like Introversion was some sort of mental illness or a flaw that needed to be improved on via these trainings. However, the senior managers agreed to provide all managers with this training for a reason, so it's obvious they think of it as important. Is it an Extrovert thing? Are most senior managers Extroverts? How do you go about this/go around this as an Introvert and still succeed in your role?
 

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The best supervisors/managers I've had, and some of the best teachers as well, were hands-off types who let me do my job but were easy to get ahold of and gave useful answers if I had to ask them something.

ENTP I know was recently complaining about all the emails that she was getting from people from work "reaching out" to her.
 

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I don't have experience as a manager, but all workplaces have some degree of flexibility. I would just keep the training in mind and do what works with your specific team, offering more interaction if some of them want it.
 

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Eternal E/I struggle

Bunniculla said:
I could not say things like "well we are all introverts in my team, so we're fine the way we are"
You really should. Because it is true. But as an Enneagram Six you are not cut out for this.

I asked the HR manger of an IT company what they expect from their introverts. “Exactly the same as from our extraverts,” the extravert said. But not only extraverts throw introverts under the bus; introverted instructors often only let extraverts answer because they don’t allow the introverts the extra time needed for the production of an answer. “Now let’s listen what the introverts have to say!” is a face-saving way of diluting the nonsense offered by hasty extraverts. You see, I do my best to support the introverts, leaving aside the fact that, in my capacity as the resident extravert, I often happen to be the very person who asks & answers most of the question as it is the easiest way for me not to stray in my thoughts to more interesting topics.
 

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As an introvert, I side with you. My wife is an ISTJ, she'd agree with you too having to now coach other teachers in the adoption of this new home-school teaching model (one of her new roles), and all the redundant and seemingly countless zoom meetings she has to have now. Stuff that could easily be done with email.

Having watched my 2 extroverted kids try to adapt to online school, I can see it's not the best fit for them. Extroverts don't excel with this format.

Since extroverts outnumbers us, I think it's reasonable to teach as a method. Not so sure it should be taught as the "only" method.
 

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@Bunniculla, I'm a mild-to-moderate Introvert who has managed teams of 6-10. Despite my introversion, I still am a person who appreciates a high level of interpersonal contact, and face-to-face contact. What I would say is that even though I understand your points on both a personal and professional level, and agree that constant conference calling isn't necessary, I think that face-to-face contact does offer value in being a different type of communication, where - introversion aside - some people may be more communicative and/or may be inclined to share different things.

My first thought is that maybe you could just set up a small block of time once in the week to contact your team members face-to-face, have a quick set of check-in questions, and adjust moving forward based on how your team responds. If it seems to work poorly for your team, hopefully you can minimize it to make it as painless as possible. Our external parameters continue rapidly evolving and it seems likely there will be more changes to come, so I doubt that there is much utility in spending a lot of time or energy refining this in-depth until it appears we are on a fairly consistent course for a longer period of time.

As for work being extravert-focused in America, yes, I would agree. IME it can be particularly challenging when extraverts want high-quality answers right now and/or question one's ability to yield high-quality work/products/services because of our relatively quieter, slower style. I feel like it usually takes me a little longer and a little more self-assertion to shine than my extraverted counterparts, though I have a knack for written communication, illustration, and analytics that I wouldn't trade in. I lean heavily on my perseverance and perfectionism at work. I do find that most senior managers seem to be extraverted, and seemingly a preponderance of ExTJ in business; ExFJ in education/human services/allied health. I really appreciate when I can score a position on a leadership team, which is where I am very happy and comfortable, because then I do not need to be the primary mover and shaker but I can still get my voice heard and advocate for other voices that I feel sometimes get lost in the sauce.

Neetee said:
You really should. Because it is true. But as an Enneagram Six you are not cut out for this.
Hm... I don't really prefer to use typing to limit. I don't think it's outside anyone's scope of ability to do anything because of type. It may be out of preference, and in this case @Bunniculla gave two reasons she doesn't believe that confronting would be productive. E6s generally prefer to be compliant, but it's not like we can't jump ship when we decide that something is important enough to stick up for.
 

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I don't know what your workplace looks like and I kinda skimmed the thread, but these are things I tend to do in my workplace that have found success.

I don't think Jungian typing has a terrible impact on a particular function-attitude, frankly, nor would I say introverts vs. extraverts has any leg up one way or the other. I'm an ISFP 4w5, which probably isn't "supposed" to be manager material, but the function-attitude, at most, impacts certain stylizations. Fi-dominants can be very fastidious and I like to run a tight ship with high standards... this means you will have to do things you don't like to do and bite the bullet. Just deal with it.

Probably not the best quality, but I am very "hands on" in the sense that I do a lot of frontline work as well... not to substitute subordinates, but rather to fill in gaps when it is simply a high workload.

You shouldn't do your employees job for them, but IMO you should be willing and able to do so when pain points are met (high volume for instance).

Turnover is Satan, so building a strong team is a perpetual goal, esp when it's a large team. Difficult times are going to put pressure on you to breaking points so you need to smooth that out so ppl are able to ride out the bad times.

IMO, managing is always a balance between jumping in the frontlines when pain points are hit vs. delegation. You have to do both. If you jump in too much, people will take advantage and it weakens your team. You need to build a strong team so delegation is important. But if you are too hands off and can't do all the basics, then your team will lack confidence in your skill.

I tend to be *very* hands on and love getting my hands dirty so to speak, but the benefit is this means I can design systems of workflow how I want to maximize efficiency AND make it a lot easier to teach/delegate those tasks (which is the ultimate goal... you need your team to be functional even when you are not there).l

I've missed my share of conference calls, but I like my results to speak for themselves. That probably doesn't bode greatly w/ higher ups, but if you are producing strong results, that matters more IMO.

You have to pick your battles, too, and trust your team (and correct where necessary). Some things are just not worth the time/energy to either waste time on or dispute, so triage what is actually worth pursuing and what is not, otherwise you will drown.

I tend to do 1-on-1 communication more, partly b/c it's more conducive for my workplace but also it's just more thorough. I'm not too structured in setting specific time frames for feedback to happen. I did, for a little while, do 3 weekly "pearls" of the week that I wanted people to focus on... I picked 3 b/c it covers more ground, but reducing it to only 3 things max helped make it easier to remember.

Since my area of work has a lot of components to workflow, I tend to focus on simplifying workflow and working in the background on improving the systems side of the things. Our job is difficult enough, so streamlining workflows and engaging employees on why you are making these changes (to make their lives easier) I've found is the best buy-in when you are mixing things up.

Discipline is important and you can't be too lax (but I reward my people a lot for good work; I've spent a loooottt of $ on food LOL). If you are gonna manage, you have to be prepared for that side of things. There are going to be times where you'll need to discipline and it often won't feel "right." Trust your instincts and act accordingly.

I jokingly like to refer myself as a janitor of my workplace (because I will vacuum clean myself often, partly b/c I enjoy it) that occasionally manages things.
 

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I also feel like American culture is extrovert-biased. Fortunately, there are advancements in technology that, for the most part, are inherently introvert-friendly.

I've been working from home and we have a daily conference call, but I wouldn't want to talk via video chat. Seems intrusive. I'm usually all dressed by the time we have our morning conference call, but what if I was still in pajamas? Wouldn't just a voice call suffice?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I also feel like American culture is extrovert-biased. Fortunately, there are advancements in technology that, for the most part, are inherently introvert-friendly.

I've been working from home and we have a daily conference call, but I wouldn't want to talk via video chat. Seems intrusive. I'm usually all dressed by the time we have our morning conference call, but what if I was still in pajamas? Wouldn't just a voice call suffice?
Right, like they know we’re at home and we just rolled out of bed a little while ago. Why do we have to pretend otherwise by throwing on a blazer at home? Does it up our IQ by some points or does it increase our efficiency? Well for me personally, it doesn’t motivate me to do any better of a job compared to if I was in my pajamas on the phone instead of dressed up in a video call, but that’s how I am - no nonsense.
 

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I guess it is a little silly but I do feel in more of a work headspace when I am dressed at least somewhat professionally. Given that set has changed from [nice dress, slacks, blouse, flats, jacket] to [actually wearing pants, maybe socks, basically anything besides my PJs]. (Not saying this is why anyone should video chat. I was just amused by the reflection.)

It occurs to me that this is probably really different depending on the industry. @Bunniculla, it sounds like your team is pretty used to working on their own and self-monitoring. The teams I led were in-person, hands-on so working from home without constant shared resources/monitoring would be an enormous shift for them (I left that particular area before the pandemic but it is considered essential and they are still working on-site).

Do you mind me asking how you ended up in that instruction group? Does your work involve a lot of people in a lot of different types of areas? Is it a directive that is particularly ill-suited to your group particularly, or do you think it is a miss across the board?
 

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I guess it is a little silly but I do feel in more of a work headspace when I am dressed at least somewhat professionally. Given that set has changed from [nice dress, slacks, blouse, flats, jacket] to [actually wearing pants, maybe socks, basically anything besides my PJs]. (Not saying this is why anyone should video chat. I was just amused by the reflection.)

It occurs to me that this is probably really different depending on the industry. @Bunniculla, it sounds like your team is pretty used to working on their own and self-monitoring. The teams I led were in-person, hands-on so working from home without constant shared resources/monitoring would be an enormous shift for them (I left that particular area before the pandemic but it is considered essential and they are still working on-site).

Do you mind me asking how you ended up in that instruction group? Does your work involve a lot of people in a lot of different types of areas? Is it a directive that is particularly ill-suited to your group particularly, or do you think it is a miss across the board?
I think it works for some people to dress up to make them feel more motivated, just not my thing.

I work in accounting/private equity fund administration and the way our team works is that the tasks are delegated from the top, and it streams down to each layer of people, based on their role. You have your directors, associate directors, senior accountants and staff accountants. The process starts with delegating the tasks to the staff accountants, who then submit their work for review to the senior accountant/associate director, who then independently review for detail level/conceptual correctness. Then, the work is further submitted to a higher level director for review to check for big picture/high level correctness and any other loose ends missed. With that being said, if one of the people in each level needed help, they would be provided 1 on 1 training via in person (if at the office) and phone/share screen (if at home). After the training, we are just expected to independently problem solve and just get the work done, bringing up any issues/questions along the way of course. If given a deadline, we are supposed to be the one to follow up with our managers if any timing issues, not the other way around. If our managers have to follow up with us, it's frowned upon and seen as not able to manage our own time (which I do believe to be true and agree with). Hand holding is not seen as a good thing once somebody has already been here for months.

So anyway, I guess the company just sent all the manager level people to this instructional group to give them some pointers/advice on how to be more empathetic/understanding and to engage more while we're all stuck at home. Personally, I didn't find it very helpful for my particular team build, but that's because that's how we are, generally. I'm not completely knocking it and saying it's useless, and I can see how there are some basics involved that would help in the future. I have learned over some years that a good leader is motivational and inspirational, leading by example and empathy. I'm still working on it. My natural inclination is not very "warm", but I try to be more empathetic and open to criticism from the staff.
 

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So anyway, I guess the company just sent all the manager level people to this instructional group to give them some pointers/advice on how to be more empathetic/understanding and to engage more while we're all stuck at home. Personally, I didn't find it very helpful for my particular team build, but that's because that's how we are, generally. I'm not completely knocking it and saying it's useless, and I can see how there are some basics involved that would help in the future. I have learned over some years that a good leader is motivational and inspirational, leading by example and empathy. I'm still working on it. My natural inclination is not very "warm", but I try to be more empathetic and open to criticism from the staff.
Ha yeah those empathy pointers are pretty useless unless you have zero social quotient or people skills. Just use common sense. The cornerstone of any functioning work environment is open communication. You don't have to be everyone's friend (and frankly it's better to not fraternize too much anyways), but being direct, succinct and precise goes a long way.

I'm a frontline healthcare worker/manager, so I don't have to deal w the tele-conferencing as much, but I would think the same principles apply.

The thing I struggle with is whether I'm too strict or lax on attendance policy. I tend to be on the lax side, frankly, but I try to at least appear strict.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Ha yeah those empathy pointers are pretty useless unless you have zero social quotient or people skills. Just use common sense. The cornerstone of any functioning work environment is open communication. You don't have to be everyone's friend (and frankly it's better to not fraternize too much anyways), but being direct, succinct and precise goes a long way.

I'm a frontline healthcare worker/manager, so I don't have to deal w the tele-conferencing as much, but I would think the same principles apply.

The thing I struggle with is whether I'm too strict or lax on attendance policy. I tend to be on the lax side, frankly, but I try to at least appear strict.
That the way to do it, imo. I loathe strict attendance policies. I believe in a merit based attendance policy - if you work faster, you leave earlier. That’s mainly because I think hard work can help most people improve so in that way, it’s fair. Then again, I think that’s also one of my weaknesses since good management strengthens all of the team members, not only the efficient ones. Then again, it’s competitive out there and sometimes, people only really learn once they experience staying late on their own (tough love). So somewhere in the middle is best I suppose: full business hours attendance but if they do all their work and don’t make it blatantly obvious they didn’t do all the hours, I wouldn’t say anything. Why should I ask them to sit in front of their computer doing nothing or worse, taking on another person’s responsibility? Not fair to anyone, really.
 

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Whatsapp group chat is the only way to go for me and my co-workers with the occasional posting of memes when we are on break. Whatever is posted there, everyone gets an update . As an introvert, it's already tedious to get people's attention so this app does half the work for us and if one doesn't get the message, the others can help to relay it.
 

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That the way to do it, imo. I loathe strict attendance policies. I believe in a merit based attendance policy - if you work faster, you leave earlier. That’s mainly because I think hard work can help most people improve so in that way, it’s fair. Then again, I think that’s also one of my weaknesses since good management strengthens all of the team members, not only the efficient ones. Then again, it’s competitive out there and sometimes, people only really learn once they experience staying late on their own (tough love). So somewhere in the middle is best I suppose: full business hours attendance but if they do all their work and don’t make it blatantly obvious they didn’t do all the hours, I wouldn’t say anything. Why should I ask them to sit in front of their computer doing nothing or worse, taking on another person’s responsibility? Not fair to anyone, really.
More lax attendance is probably fine in your line of work.

In mine, simply being there is extremely important otherwise we'll drown, so call-outs can be very harmful (and frankly dangerous to be understaffed, since we can kill ppl w errors). In retail pharmacy we have zero control over when people come in and they have this magical ability of all coming in at the same time. I sometimes have 5 people call the store all at the same time, so having those hands on deck is very important.

Doctors can schedule appointments and limit how many patients they can see. I cannot limit how many Rx's I am sent so I need to be in constant state of "ready mode" for an avalanche of prescriptions. I cannot stop patients from requesting vaccines at the worst timing possible (although we def let them know it will be a long wait). I cannot stop doctors from being too much of a sissy to do the vaccine themselves and say "oh pharmacy will do it for you" like I'm just got nothing but free time.

My workload is too volatile to afford to be too lax on attendance, unfortunately, and I run one of the busiest stores in the city.
 
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More lax attendance is probably fine in your line of work.

In mine, simply being there is extremely important otherwise we'll drown, so call-outs can be very harmful (and frankly dangerous to be understaffed, since we can kill ppl w errors). In retail pharmacy we have zero control over when people come in and they have this magical ability of all coming in at the same time. I sometimes have 5 people call the store all at the same time, so having those hands on deck is very important.

Doctors can schedule appointments and limit how many patients they can see. I cannot limit how many Rx's I am sent so I need to be in constant state of "ready mode" for an avalanche of prescriptions. I cannot stop patients from requesting vaccines at the worst timing possible (although we def let them know it will be a long wait). I cannot stop doctors from being too much of a sissy to do the vaccine themselves and say "oh pharmacy will do it for you" like I'm just got nothing but free time.

My workload is too volatile to afford to be too lax on attendance, unfortunately, and I run one of the busiest stores in the city.
Ah..yeah. Your line of work is different. Attendance would definitely matter when it's all hands on deck any at any given time. That is tough. I guess the money is worth it?
 

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Remember that scene from 1989's 'Leviathan' where introverted geologist, Beck (played by Peter Weller), is reading 'The One-Minute Manger' by Kenneth Blanchard?

 

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Ah..yeah. Your line of work is different. Attendance would definitely matter when it's all hands on deck any at any given time. That is tough. I guess the money is worth it?
I'm very well compensated but I actually live like a poor person. Partly due to upbringing I try to save as much income as possible (I am sort of leaning towards FIRE but who knows, since I'm a lazy workaholic, if that makes sense). I pretty much catch any leftovers that coworkers are going to throw away (partly b/c my mom grew up dirt poor and I was punished as a kid for wasting food).

I'm actually earning more than my sister who's a physician with more years of training, so it's kinda fun to give her a hard time about it. That said, I put in a lot of off the clock hours because I'm pretty competitive and want to make my store the strongest store in the city... mine is a "Problem" store and historically it's been on the bad list (bottom performers) for years. I don't really have a life right now outside of work, so I'm at the stage of my life where I can do that, though, so your mileage may vary.

Last month we got in the top 10 stores in the area sooo... a total 180.

The store i manage in particular has always been a puzzle for me to solve with high turnover and difficult patronage, and so to have ownership and treat it like my canvas and have a lot of creative freedom to operate how I see fit is really nice. I joke that I'm a very lazy person (which I am) but it is the lazy people that figure out the best ways of getting things done with the least amount of work. I am a proponent of working smarter, not harder.

I used to tutor chemistry in undergrad, so it helps that I like to teach, but I'm very big on "teach a man to fish." While it's tempting (and at times necessary) to do things yourself, teaching your staff how to do things and being able to delegate those tasks will pay dividends in the long run (unless you have a dud employee). It's a 2 way street though... I believe anyone can teach you something and my goal is to learn 1 thing a day... I've hit the point where some of my employees will be teaching me things or tricks they've picked up to optimize their work. So each trick to save time becomes another tool for your toolbox that you can impart to others as well.

To me, work is like a video game and the metrics are very much a scorecard. Obviously, patient care comes first, but this helps me triage where to focus my energy.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I haven't really thought about JCF for like 5 years, but I was thinking a bit about the introverted attitude. If you read Psychological Types, the introverted attitude has a perfectionist tendency. Personally, as a Fi-dominant, that tendency I find present as valued standards. I like things run a certain way but my tendency is to lead by example. I like creating a competitive atmosphere in my workplace because it makes people hungry, and hungry people tend to improve more quickly.

Fi-Te is an interesting dynamic, because I find myself operating best when the emphasis of the dominant function-attitude is complemented by the inferior, rather than the other way around. In other words, if I try to focus too much on the Te system of operation or defining things, the ultimate value that is supported by that (Fi) tends to suffer. Rather, if I emphasize the value I wish to uphold (quality of work) and have the framework in the background supporting the value, things tend to run smoother. So when I converse w/ my staff, I usually focus on the value I want to uphold.

I'm not sure since you are a Irrational-dominant (Pi) rather than myself as a Rational-dominant (Ji). So I'm sure there are differences there. I'm curious what your thoughts are on Ji vs Pi management styles?
 
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