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IT Management Staffing Tip: Knowing Your Personality Types

The Myers & Briggs Foundation's personality tests helped one IT team strengthen its relationship with the business side.

Transwestern IT team leader Christopher Saah had a typical IT management problem when he discovered the power of personality testing. At the time, Saah's IT team at the Houston-based commercial real estate company with offices in 23 cities wasn't communicating well with the various business units at the growing and geographically diverse company. "There were turf wars and ownership issues" says Saah, which were fueled by a lack of communication. Even a customer relationship management (CRM) project was stalled by what Saah viewed as IT's inability to communicate benefits to call takers.

That's when Saah brought in The Myers & Briggs Foundation experts who helped him administer the well-known personality test, which categorizes personality types according to combinations of traits such as introverted (I) or extroverted (E); sensing (S) or intuitive (N); thinking (T) or feeling (F); judging (J) or perceiving (P). Each IT staff member was assigned a four-letter personality type, then trained to work with opposing types. Saah says his CRM project ultimately changed course (some teams now use Microsoft Dyamics CRM 3.0; others use ACT) for the better.

These days, says Saah, "we stay aligned with corporate objectives, and it takes all the personality preferences to accomplish that."

Stefanie McCann was formerly editor at large at CIO Decisions magazine. To comment on this article, write

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