I'm sure you have firsthand experience of the impact that a manager’s style can have on a team's performance. It's crucial to ensure that the right manager is in the right role for maximum success.
There's no one-size-fits-all approach to management. Each style has its own strengths and weaknesses. The trick is to match the manager’s natural strengths with the needs and goals of the team or project.
By understanding the differences in management styles, you can place your managers in roles where they can thrive and achieve their full potential. Let's take a closer look at the 16 Myers and Briggs Personality types as managers to get a glimpse into the strengths and weaknesses of each.
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Sensor Thinkers as managers
Sensor Thinkers tend to be practical managers, focused on solving concrete problems with objective data, logical reasons that produce tangible and measurable results for the business.
ISTJ: Introvert, Sensor, Thinker, Judger
Dependable and conservative managers, ISTJ’s are at their best when they can manage teams that need to follow clear procedures that conserve or protect existing resources. They provide their team with clearly defined roles and responsibilities and expect them to follow the rules and procedures.
ISTJ’s lead by creating efficient business processes and resource management to the impact on the bottom line. They prefer to work with people who are experts in their field, or working towards a specific expertise.
They can overlook the value in questioning the rules and exploring new methodologies. They can also struggle with roles or situations that require a personal touch.
ISTP: Introvert, Sensor, Thinker, Perceiver
Independent and analytical, ISTP managers are at their best when looking for efficient, logical solutions to current problems. They lead by action rather than words and value team members who work independently as they provide minimal supervision.
ISTP’s influence others by having all the necessary information ready when it's called upon, although they may not offer it until asked. Quiet managers, they set an example for others by knowing how things work.
They can overlook the value of subjective, emotional or human centric data, especially if it's not grounded in concrete facts. They can struggle to manage people who require a more hands-on or sensitive approach.
ESTP: Extravert, Sensor, Thinker, Perceiver
Good-natured and easygoing, ESTP managers are at their best when they can solve immediate, concrete problems in their own way. They are action-oriented managers, good at negotiating and promoting new enterprises. With their adventurous and enthusiastic spirit, they bring people together to make things happen.
ESTP managers focus on the most efficient way for people to work together. They thrive on troubleshooting immediate issues and being supported by a team with the practical expertise to help them do so.
They can overlook the value in planning before taking action, and can create problems to solve if the environment becomes too stable or consistent. In their rush to address issues, they can sound blunt or tactless.
ESTJ: Extravert, Sensor, Thinker, Judger
Assertive and systematic, ESTJ managers are at their best when they can take charge of a project, keeping people focused and on track. They provide their team with clear direction and responsibilities and they model the standard they expect from others.
ESTJ managers are natural managers who make quick decisions, wanting to ensure systems and procedures continue to run smoothly and efficiently. They always have their eye on the end goal, making sure projects are completed on time and on budget.
They can overlook the value in reopening decisions when new information becomes available. They can undervalue the power of positive feedback or adhering to social niceties that help others do their best work.
Sensor-Feeler ManagersSensor-Feeler managers tend to focus on creating a harmonious working environment that meets all the practical needs of their employees. By doing so, they aim to ensure people and teams are free to consistently serve customers.
ISFJ: Introvert, Sensor, Feeler, Judger
Patient and caring, ISFJ managers are at their best when they can work behind the scenes to ensure employees are assigned tasks that best suit their skills and interests. They create value-led teams focused on being of service to others in tangible ways.
ISFJ managers are sympathetic managers who set priorities based on what people need. They are relationship focused and loyal to people rather than organizations. Patient, persistent and dependable, they ensure projects are delivered in an orderly way.
Not comfortable being in charge, they are not quick to step into management roles. They can overlook the value in data that does not serve the people impacted.
ISFP: Introvert, Sensor, Feeler, Perceiver
Gentle and empathic, ISFP managers provide patient direction and assistance to others. They are at their best when they can respond to the needs of others and encourage cooperation within the team and the organization.
ISFP managers have little need to control or lead others. They motivate others with personal loyalty and focus on living in accordance with their deeply held values. They create teams that share those values and deliver a tangible impact for others in accordance with those values.
They can overlook the value of healthy conflict and can struggle to give critical feedback to others. They can struggle to deliver projects that don’t align with their values.
ESFP: Extravert, Sensor, Feeler, Perceiver
Friendly and enthusiastic, ESFP managers are at their best when they can create inclusive working environments that are fun, sociable and enjoyable places to be. They focus on addressing practical, immediate problems, especially as they relate to people.
ESFPs lead by creating a lively atmosphere while encouraging people to fully contribute. Good at working with people’s feelings, they can bring competing groups together helping them see what they have in common and to work through their differences.
Preferring action to refection, they can overlook the value in planning and analysis. And can overvalue subjective, personable ignoring objective data that could bring clarity to a situation.
ESFJ: Extravert, Sensor, Feeler, Judger
Sociable and orderly, ESFJ managers are at their best when they can organize and accomplish tasks that matter while ensuring everyone is onboard. They lead by ensuring everyone on the team feels important and useful.
ESFJ managers are conscientious and hardworking, setting a standard for others to follow. Caring and compassionate, they develop good working relationships with others, listening carefully to create teams based on cooperation.
As they value tradition and following standard procedures, they may not dedicate as much time to developing a big picture or vision. They can struggle with conflict and giving critical feedback clearly and directly.
Intuitive Feeler managers focus on creating a meaningful working environment for all, with an emphasis on personal and professional development in some form. Idealistic managers, they want to release the potential within others, whether thats in the workplace or the world at large.
INFJ: Introvert, Intuitive, Feeler, Judger
Serious and inventive, INFJ managers are at their best when they are envisioning new ways to empower people to lead more meaningful lives. They create a vision for a better world and encourage others to work together to archive it.
Creative and dedicated, INFJ managers are quietly forceful, winning cooperation with their unique insights and strong values. Quick to appreciate others, they build teams that working harmoniously together to solve problems.
Given their focus on co-operation and harmony they may withhold critical feedback. As they invest a lot of time in research, imagining and writing, they can appear removed to others.
INFP: Introvert, Intuitive, Feeler, Perceiver
Imaginative and independent, INFP managers are at their best when working in unconventional roles that focus on sharing knowledge that adds to understanding of how humans work. They take a facilitative approach to management, focusing on group consensus and shared values.
Reflective, inquisitive and empathic, INFP managers influence others by emphasizing shared ideals and new possibilities. While they create harmonious working environment, they prefer people to work individually, following their individual creativity and utilizing their potential.
As they prefer to have ample time to reflect on decisions, they can overlook the value on acting decisively when it's called for. Given their adaptability, they might try and please too many people, which can also slow down taking meaningful action.
ENFP: Extravert, Intuitive, Feeler, Perceiver
Imaginative and enthusiastic, ENFP managers are at their best when working on a project that inspires their insights and creativity. They lead by creating a vision that helps people see their potential, then use their optimism and positive attitude to engage others.
Creative and original, ENFP managers want a team that will openly brainstorm new ways to solve problems and explore and test different possibilities. They prefer projects that focus on initiating and searching for solutions rather than supporting them through to the implementation stage.
As they prefer to follow insights where they lead, they can overlook the value in detailed plans or clear outcomes. They prefer to work free of limitations and constraints, which may not always be feasible.
ENFJ: Extravert, Intuitive, Feeler, Judger
Imaginative and conscientious, ENFJ managers are at their best when they can enthusiastically and cooperatively lead others to have a meaningful impact on the organization. They take a facilitative approach to encouraging others and building consensus.
Natural motivators, ENFJ managers clarify processes that support people to meet the stated objectives. They work hard to ensure the organization follows its own values, and will actively shape an organization to ensure it serves its employees and customers.
As they value tactfulness, they can avoid conflict and may take criticism personally. As they see the complexity in situations, they can overlook necessary concrete data or immediate problems.
Intuitive-Thinkers as Managers
Intuitive-Thinker managers are focused on solving complex problems. They invest time in understanding the operating principles systems are based on, and using that information to design adaptive solutions. They prefer to lead teams to help them design or implement those solutions.
INTJ: Introvert, Intuitive, Thinker, Judger
Innovative and independent, INTJ managers are at their best when they can develop new concepts and plans that improve human knowledge and systems. They influence their organization through their foresight, blueprint for a better system and their depth of knowledge.
Original and independent, INTJ managers insist their teams have freedom from interference when designing or implementing projects. They recruit highly competent team members who can critically debate the issues and work self-sufficiently.
As they focus on finding flaws, they may not appreciate when they are being overly critical or too tough-minded. Their determined drive for goals can become unyielding and rigid if they are not careful.
INTP: Introvert, Intuitive, Thinker, Perceiver
Curious and questioning, INTP managers are at their best when they can follow their intellectual curiosity to analyze complex systems to find underlying principles and inconsistencies. They bring clarity and intellectual understanding to an issue, convincing others through their in-depth knowledge and analysis.
Independent and conceptual, INTP managers prefer to organize ideas rather than people or projects. Their teams tend to be self-organizing and unstructured, focused on resolving complex mysteries with plenty of time for research, analysis and reflection.
As systems thinkers, INTP managers can be too abstract, conceptual or critical for others, and not provide the structure or detail that some projects require.
ENTP: Extravert, Intuitive, Thinker, Perceiver
Enthusiastic and inventive, ENTP managers are at their best when they are caught up in the enthusiasm of a new project and promoting its benefits. They set their sights on a challenging goal that will stretch themselves and their team. Once that project is underway, will shift their focus to the next activity.
A catalyst for change, ENTP managers reward risk-taking, creativity and novelty. They prefer team members who can work independently and are committed to creating change.
They bring a fresh perspective to their organizations, but get more excited about the possibility of the new rather than finishing the old. Given their ease of conceiving new ideas, their team can be overextended in the excitement to initiate change.
ENTJ: Extravert, Intuitive, Thinker, Judger
Visionary and commanding, ENTJ managers are at their best when they are able to use their competence to take charge, set bold goals and strive to achieve them. They lead by presenting a vision that puts theory into practice, then energizes and directs others to make it a reality.
Comfortable in command, ENTJ managers focus on objectively analyzing ideas and making decisions to keep people and projects moving. They create traction by delegating to competent people who, ideally, share their high standards.
Actions and results oriented, ENTJ managers can become impatient and make decisions too quickly. Focused on efficiency, they can overlook the need to consider the personal impact on others when leading change.
Instead of just seeing management as a series of skills, it is also useful to think of it in terms of characteristics, qualities and personality-based strengths. Knowing someone’s personality type, can help you ensure they thrive by placing them in roles that will help bring out their best.
Of course, personality isn’t the only piece of the puzzle to consider. People still need an opportunity to develop the strengths associated with their personality type, so it’s also useful to consider what kind of support they will need to reach their potential.
Our Talent Insights MAP™ gives provides you with an understanding of a person’s strengths, the situations they will thrive in, how to support them to be their best and signs to look out for that indicate they might be struggling so you can step into to help before things unravel.