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Kilmanns Personality Style Instrument
At the bottom of this page, you can order Kilmanns Personality Style Instrument directly from amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com. Click here to see this assessment's Sample Results and Interpretive Materials. Just below is some background information about how personality styles affect the way in which people address problems and conflicts in organizations.
NOTE: As a supplement to the MBTI, participants can make use of the Personality Style Instrument for our recorded online course: ADVANCED Training in Conflict Management.
ASSESSING INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES INSIDE ORGANIZATIONS
People respond differently to what goes on in their organization: They have different styles of interacting with others and different ways of getting their work done. It is not as if one approach is necessarily better than another, but rather that one person’s style is simply different from another's. Nevertheless, regularly using only one or two personality styles while ignoring the other available styles will surely limit the potential for individual and organizational success.
This instrument makes use of the four basic personality styles that were first defined by C.G. Jung in his famous work on Psychological Types (1923). Briefly, there are two different ways that people prefer to take in information—either through the five senses (Sensation or S, for short) or through general impressions (Intuition or N). There also are two different ways that people prefer to make decisions—either through a logical, linear analysis (Thinking or T) or by what seems right, just, or appropriate (Feeling or F). Combining a single preference for information taking with a single preference for decision making results in four personality styles:
- STs enjoy the well-structured aspects of problem solving. Such people choose a certain alternative on the basis of a logical, impersonal analysis. ST people seek single answers to most questions and prefer the answers to be clearly right or wrong according to some quantitative assessment. It is not surprising, then, that ST persons are most confident dealing with details, facts, and well-established rules.
- NTs enjoy looking at a complex situation from many different—global—perspectives. Such people are attracted to abstract discussions; they get bored with well-structured and routine problems, and they abhor details. NTs are specially good at creating theories, diagrams, and classification schemes to intellectually structure their world—which largely consists of ideas, possibilities, and conceptual frameworks.
- SFs enjoy socializing. This activity satisfies their focus on the immediate experience as well as their need for being with friends. SF people are primarily concerned with the special needs of their fellow associates in the organization—rather than the technical or analytical aspects of the work. Their personal style and sensitivity enable them to feel how any decision might affect the quality of life for the organization's members.
- NFs enjoy uncertainty and ambiguity. Such people prefer looking into the future and use their personal criteria for deciding what is important to consider. Such people thrive on dynamic complexity; they function best when there is a minimum of structure and when problems have not been defined yet. They are especially concerned about meaning, impact, and the future welfare of their organization and society.
The ultimate challenge for individuals and their organizations is to recognize all differences in style and to use them explicitly for addressing complex problems. If any organization were to see its problems and opportunities from only a single vantage point (applying just one or two personality styles), most efforts at solving key organizational problems would likely fail. If the ST style were not appreciated and utilized, some important technical details would probably be neglected. If the NT style were not available for the analysis of a crucial problem, alternative possibilities and novel approaches might be excluded from consideration. If the SF style were ignored, the very people affected by some proposed solution might not contribute the necessary commitment and support to make it work. And if the NF style were put aside (or, worse yet, put down), the future success of the organization might inadvertently be exchanged for an ill-fated, quick-fix solution today.
The Personality Style Instrument takes only fifteen minutes to complete and another ten minutes or so to graph the Personality Profile of a work group of five to fifteen members. Graphs are also provided to show the Personality Profiles of larger departments and the entire organization.