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Thread: INTP & management

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    just dont think about it mhc's Avatar
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    INTP & management

    OK, there is a few reasons for me posting this thread. I know that INTPs might generally shun managing others, especially when it involves having to interact with them, so I want to know if anyone else here is involved in management. I manage a 'site' which obviously includes the people in it, and i would love to hear of challenges from others that might do something similar.

    i will start with that one of my most challenging parts of management is that it I find it takes me huge amounts of energy to have to deal with people. don't get me wrong, I do it well and my approach to it is well respected from my superiors, never the less i find dealing with ppl draining and i find myself having to 'act' in response to their own personal takes on what is actually happening in the workplace, while trying to direct them on a path inline with the business.

    The most frustrating part i find is that most people, men in particular, don't really like being told what to do, even when the path forward is obvious. I put this down to something along the lines of ppl need to feel like they are in control of what they are doing.
    Just look at the blue sky

  2. #2
    Faster. Than. Ever. Sloth's Avatar
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    I'm usually a department head on the projects that I work on, and have to manage a small team under me. I've been doing this for about 5 years.

    In the beginning it felt impossible at times, and that I'd never get any better at it because I too felt drained dealing with others and trying to convince them that the most logical way is the best way and so on.

    It gets better with practice and time, leaders are made not born, as they say.

    Some things that have worked for me:

    Completely let go of ego - empower people, put people "in charge" of things rather than "telling them" to do stuff. The language you use when delegating is really crucial. Instead of starting sentences with "I want" try "We need to ... can I put you in charge of that?" basically share your power (but always be mindful not to give off the sense that you don't think you should be in charge, that takes practice).

    Avoid micro managing as much as possible, and that will also help ease having to deal with people (as they will be more pro-active and not need to check in with you as much, if this doesn't always work it's because some people are just terrible workers and are stupid, as I progress in my career the people who work beneath me are much more on top of things). Always try to share the larger goals with the team (but be careful to not overwhelm them), pay attention to how the people on your team react, and try to assign things according to who is interested in doing what first (and always be paying attention to what people's skills and weaknesses are so that you can factor that in when delegating tasks). If you assign someone to something that they're terrible at, they're going to get burnt out faster than when they do something they're good at (sometimes you have no choice, so keep that in mind when you're forced to do that, and pay attention to when they might need a break from something).

    In short, a happy team is a productive team. Your team feeds off your "vibe" so much more than you realize, so when you start to feel a bit overwhelmed from all the people interacting, try to find something that can pull you back into a good mood.

    I also found this book to be very helpful (though some of it is dry and applies only to certain types of business leadership so I skipped through some of it). The most useful part of it I felt was a chapter about the importance "emotional environment" of my team, and how ignoring it (as an INTP I tended to heavily in the beginning) can be extremely destructive to the team. It lays some concrete tips on how to maintain it in a professional manner (it's business after all, it isn't like you need to hug them or anything, but forgetting to remind them that they're appreciated can be very detrimental).



    Hope that helps.

  3. #3
    just dont think about it mhc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sloth View Post
    Completely let go of ego - empower people, put people "in charge" of things rather than "telling them" to do stuff. The language you use when delegating is really crucial.
    Totally agree. I found an effective way to put this into practice, and in fact its something that i do quite naturally really, is to keep ideas/objectives in focus and at the forefront of all motifs. And as long as you 'feel' as part of the team working on the ideas or objectives, 'I want' naturally turns to 'we need' without conscious effort.

    being an intp, obviously time management is high on my agenda of keeping in check! (also, i think it infuriates some of my colleagues that not only do i show up to work sporadically inconsistently, and consistently late, but that it is accepted )
    Last edited by mhc; 08-14-2015 at 10:14 AM.
    Just look at the blue sky

  4. #4
    Faster. Than. Ever. Sloth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mhc View Post
    (also, i think it infuriates some of my colleagues that not only do i show up to work sporadically inconsistently, and consistently late, but that it is accepted )
    eek!

    I'm atypical to the INTP stereotype about laziness and hours put in (at least in the sense that I almost always put in more hours than people on my team, but I'm "lazy" in the sense that I take a lot of short cuts, anyway). Our weakness is our ability to emotionally engage, but I can't stress enough how helpful it is when you take the time to put yourself in your team's shoes, and look at a situation from their standpoint. A resentful team can sabotage your work. So be careful out there!

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    Faster. Than. Ever. Sloth's Avatar
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    Last night I was reminded of this thread because of an exchange @Sinny and I had where I brought up leadership.

    I remember the first time this thread went around, I replied and that was about it lol. As many of us know, the INTP has the deck stacked against them temperament wise for leadership. This doesn’t mean it’s impossible, it just means we have to approach our leadership development differently from the other types.

    So I thought about making a useful list of tips for INTPs that want to develop leadership skills, as an INTP who deals with these challenges:


    1. You’re working with humans, not computer programs. As INTPs it’s natural for us to want to find some universal logic that applies to everything, but it just doesn’t work with humans (I wish it did). People have different abilities and tolerances. What one person might be fine with will be demoralizing for someone else. Don’t allow yourself to get frustrated when you see someone isn’t as good at something as you want them to be, make the best of it, they’re a human. You’ll also find that people will improve over time if you’re patient with them.

    2. Be their “friend” as much as you can stomach it. I put that in quotes because I don’t mean to literally try to be their friend, or give them an impression that you’re actually trying to be their friend. As INTPs we can’t be fake, and we hate disingenuousness, so never “be fake”. Instead capitalize on the small things you genuinely feel. For instance when someone on your team makes a joke, if you find it even remotely funny or clever, give them a “Ha!” and a smile. Never fake anything, your team will see right through it, we just aren’t built to be fake so don’t try. If you find yourself with a real asshole on your team, and really dislike them, keep things light and use your sense of humor to keep the work flow going. You’re there to do a job, not get into a stupid arguments about nothing with someone you don't like

    3. HIRE THE RIGHT PEOPLE. I can’t stress that enough. There are certain personalities that just aren’t going to respond to your personality. When you interview people it’s important to be constantly assessing the benefit/disadvantage ratio that each person brings to your team. For instance: you may get a better product out of someone with less experience but has a lot of passion, as opposed to someone with a lot of experience but has a terrible attitude. The former can be taught to be better, the latter is stuck that way. If someone is pushing you around in an interview, regardless of their experience, don’t hire them, they already think they’re too good for you and you’ll never gain their respect (no matter what you achieve). Hire people you get along with (and are qualified enough, obviously).

    4. Smile. Your team is so much more sensitive to your emotional state than you could ever imagine (or that they're even consciously aware of) remember, you're working with humans. Us INTPs can sometimes come across a little too serious and heady for a lot of people’s liking. We know that we’re just nerdy goofballs on the inside (it’s those damn INTJs that are the real serious pants’), but it can be hard for people to pick up on that when they first meet us (especially since we’re often a little shy). The best way to signal to your team you’re in a normal emotional state is to smile at them as much as makes sense to (when shit gets serious or someone royally fucks up, you have to play that by ear).



    That’s all for now, I also partially wrote this just for myself to look back on when I want to punch someone in the brain :P

    There’s a lot more to be said, especially about when things get difficult. Maybe I’ll add more at a later time.

  6. #6
    Faster. Than. Ever. Sloth's Avatar
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    Welp, seems about right that this would have just sunk to the bottom again without replies. Lols.

    I thought of 2 more things (and think that’ll be it for a while unless for some reason something happens that makes me think of something else). I wanted to say something about the positives the the INTP brings to leadership:


    5. Your strengths are epic when channelled properly. So don’t forget to continue to develop them. You very well may be the best problem solver in the room, but no matter how you slice it, it’s just going to take time to improve these weaknesses. Don’t accidentally lose the edge of your natural strengths in that process though. I’ve found at the end of the day, if shit really hits the fan, people find it comforting to hear their boss talking logically instead of emotionally (I think because they’re probably freaking out on the inside themselves and don’t need any more emotions thrown at them) so it helps that we comfort ourselves with logic naturally all the time anyway. A lot of other types have to develop this, but we already have it.


    6. Be patient with yourself. It’s going to feel impossible at first (which is why I think a lot of INTPs give up on it). If you’re really patient with yourself, patience for your team will necessarily follow too (it can be a challenge to be patient with the humans at times). We’re so much better at picking up on all kinds of other things, so why bother developing this? Well, because of #5, we have some great strengths. Plus it’s very spiritually enriching to go outside your personality comfort zone. It’s worth powering through so you can achieve some really cool things. Like everything in life, it takes practice, but you will eventually get better at it if you keep trying. I promise!



    ****Also to add on to #4: as I said in #2 it's impossible for us to be fake, so how are we supposed to smile Sloth? Well, use your creativity. Dig deep, there is always something to smile about if you think about it enough, even if that thing is simply "Hey I'm employed, good for me!"

  7. #7
    TJ TeresaJ's Avatar
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    Already sent a rep, but I just want to add that I really do appreciate this thread. Part of working as a nurse, even as an entry level nurse, is delegating tasks/managing others. This is one of the most intimidating aspects of nursing to me (next to the whole patients-lives-in-your-hand thing). Then as I progress in my career, having to take on more and more of a management role is likely.

    I find it very heartening to read these tips.
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    Faster. Than. Ever. Sloth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeresaJ View Post
    Already sent a rep, but I just want to add that I really do appreciate this thread. Part of working as a nurse, even as an entry level nurse, is delegating tasks/managing others. This is one of the most intimidating aspects of nursing to me (next to the whole patients-lives-in-your-hand thing). Then as I progress in my career, having to take on more and more of a management role is likely.

    I find it very heartening to read these tips.
    Ah yes! And thanks for that rep!

    The hope was that some people would find my advice useful. I tried to keep it general since I know certain things are more applicable in some industries than others. Glad you've enjoyed! I'll add more at some point I think.

    It's integral to my job too, to quote just about every seasoned Production Designer I've ever met "I'm only as good as my team."

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    Faster. Than. Ever. Sloth's Avatar
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    Ok 1 more. I actually think this one is super important, and I sort of talked about it when this post came around the first time.


    In an ideal world, everyone you have the ability to hire will be just as smart and talented as you. If you think this will ever happen, I have some news for you….

    Spoiler:





    As INTPs I think we’re extra sensitive to stupidity. The first few years of doing this I had to battle the inner urge to yell out “WHY ARE YOU SO DUMB?!” many times. It took me years to shift my natural gears to stop getting instantly frustrated with stupidity and start viewing it as another boring logistic to consider:


    7. Give dumb people simple tasks, and give smart people complicated tasks. If you mix those two up, you’re in for a lot of trouble and here’s why:

    -If you give a dumb person a task that is beyond their cognitive abilities both of you are going to get very frustrated, very quickly. No one enjoys the feeling of failure, so don’t assign someone to something they can't do. In the beginning I was naive about the limits of other people's abilities. Some people are just dumb, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have value or can’t help you in a meaningful way. For instance, with what I do, I may say “This person won’t be so useful in determining a budget strategy, but they’re a good fit for making sure the truck is packed and secured.” I also think one of life’s best kept secrets is that dumb people don’t mind doing simple things, what they do mind is when smart people belittle them for it. Be humble about your intelligence, these people are sensitive to your intellect in a way not dissimilar to how you are sensitive to their dumbness.


    -If you give a smart person too simple of a task, they are likely to get bored, feel under appreciated, and start developing some destructive habits (either consciously or unconsciously depending on their temperament). Smart people are harder to find than dumb people, so utilize their minds to the fullest when you’re lucky enough to land one. If you find yourself in a situation where you *have* to assign a smart person to a simple task (particularly a time consuming one) I’ve found it’s useful to explain to them why you had to make that choice and express you’d rather have them on something more complicated. They will not only feel valued, but occasionally, because they’re smart, they will help you figure out a different way to accomplish a task that doesn’t involve them doing the simple thing.


    The big take away should really be: Learn to appreciate dumb people, because I know that's really hard for INTPs.

    Ok that’s all for now, again.

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    I'd think the emotional feedback would be quite difficult.

    Personally I don't need to be told I'm doing a good job. And if it comes too much I get annoyed.

    The fact others need this would grate on me. Like grow the fuck up. Do your job.

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