Author: Binte Ahmad

Home / Articles posted by Binte Ahmad
Conflict Management: Using the MBTI ®

Conflict Management: Using the MBTI ®

Through their thirty-plus years of working with the MBTI ® instrument, Damian Killen and Danica Murphy have developed a model for applying type to how people respond to conflict situations. Their theory is that the interplay of the last two letters of an individual’s type code has the most significant bearing on that person’s conflict behavior.

Killen and Murphy believe that the dichotomy in which people have the greatest difficulty using their non-preferred function is Judging-Perceiving. Conflict caused by this tension is accentuated when coupled with a difference in the decision-making process (Thinking-Feeling). By understanding the interplay of the last two preferences one can see their way through conflict more effectively.

T-F Dichotomy: Where we focus in conflict
Since our T-F preferences relate to the decision making process, they often determine what our attention is focused on during conflict. Those with a preference for Thinking focus most strongly on:

  • What the conflict is about
  • Opinions and principles
  • Analyzing and tolerating differences
  • Maintaining a firm stance

Those with a preference for Feeling focus most strongly on:

  • Who is involved
  • Needs and values
  • Accepting and appreciating differences
  • Ensuring give and take

J-P Dichotomy: How we respond to conflict
The J-P preferences relate to our way of dealing with the outer world and influence our responses to conflict. Those with a preference for Judging tend to:

  • Seek resolution
  • Focus on the past and future
  • Be concerned primarily with the outcome of the situation
  • Experience satisfaction once the conflict is over

Those with a preference for Perceiving tend to:

  • Seek clarification
  • Focus on the present
  • Be concerned primarily with the input of participants
  • Experience satisfaction once the conflict is being addressed

The interaction between these different preferences leads to four conflict pair types. In conflict situations these pairs may look like:

TJ’s decisive, planned, and organized; at times critical and blunt

TP’s objective; searches for what is right; at times stubborn

FJ’s warm; seeks harmony; at times wants to smother with kindness

FP’s sensitive; attuned to people’s needs; at times worry for everyone


_____ by Shawn Bakker



Shaping the culture of the organization is one of the most important and critical responsibilities of senior executive leadership. In meeting this responsibility, executives face many challenges, but among the most perplexing are: one, what kind of organizational culture to shape; and two, how to plan and implement a cultural transformation.

Here are key learning /discovery/ action elements executive coaches should employ in helping executives transform their organization’s culture:

  • Understand what organizational culture is, and how and why it impacts the performance of their organization.
  • Use a transformational change model and strategy that demonstrates desired results.
  • Learn and understand why an unbalanced organizational culture can actually disengage employees and diminish organizational performance.
  • Implement a culture change plan that engages others, gains ownership, and guarantees successful implementation.
  • Integrate a change model process that overcomes resistance to change.
  • Review and change value statements that reflect the positive elements to integrate into the organization to shape the desired culture.
  • Assess personal Type (MBTI) preferences to determine the unbalanced culture the leader will tend to create for his/her organization.

One of the most powerful approaches available in leadership coaching is self awareness because self awareness is the first important step in the personal change process. I have used 360 instruments, along with the MBTI to help leaders understand how their personal preferences tend to influence them in shaping unbalanced organizational cultures.

Organizational culture change must begin at the top. This is not something that can be delegated. The top leader, and other associated top leaders should complete the awareness process to learn and understand how each leader individually and collectively are influencing the shape of the organization’s culture.

Upon the completion of this process, the executive coach gives fed back to each executive individually, and then to the group as a whole. If the top leadership team is not willing to complete the self awareness process, then, in all likelihood, they are not sincere in transforming the culture of the organization.

The MBTI and Executive Leadership Coaching: Use the MBTI to Help Leaders Shape an Optimally Balanced Organizational Culture
All leaders have preferences according to Jung’s Theory. The MBTI can be an excellent tool in coaching leaders and helping them understand the unbalanced culture they will tend to shape based on their MBTI preference. For example, an over- stated preference on say the Sensing/Feeling (SF) dimension will influence the leader to over emphasize the Cooperation culture pattern which includes elements such as warm, friendly, empathetic, caring, and sharing. This overstated culture pattern can create a “country club” type of organizational culture that lacks important elements from the other three culture patterns that are necessary for high organizational performance. The goal should be to integrate the positive elements from all four culture patterns to create an optimally balance organizational culture.

Coaching Leaders on What Really Matters
Most leaders really struggle with creating the right culture within their organization, whether it is a unit, team, department, division, or company. Now there is a research-based model that can be easily used in conjunction with the MBTI to help leaders know and understand the importance of organizational culture, and the powerful impact they can have on building a performance enhancing culture that will attain superior results.

The Model
The Model is called the L4 Strategy. I have successfully used in coaching thousands of leaders from  companies, businesses, hospitals, and non-profit organizations.

Practical and Useful
The L4 model has been widely endorsed by executives, managers, and supervisors who have applied the model and have reported amazing results. These leaders were introduced to the model by using the MBTI, supplemented with information contained in the book. The L4 model contains four culture patterns that have been correlated with successful organizational performance. These four culture patterns include:

Cooperative Pattern: This pattern based on the family/team concept includes such positive elements as cooperation, team work, sharing, diversity, and collaborative problem solving.

Inspiration Pattern: This pattern emphasizes the importance on treating people as individuals who desire meaning in their jobs and in their lives. Positive elements include job challenge, engagement, recognition, career planning, and training and development which enhance worker motivation and inspiration.

Achievement Pattern: This pattern places importance on the need to achieve excellent organizational performance. It includes positive elements of discovery, innovation, competition, being the best, and striving for excellence.

Consistent Pattern: This pattern emphasizes the need for discipline throughout the organization in order to obtain consistent results. The positive elements include order, rules, standardization, planning, follow-through, and measurement.

Shaping the Right Culture
Research shows that leaders of highly successful organizations strive to shape and maintain an optimally balanced culture. In other words, high performing organizations have cultures that include the positive elements from all four culture patterns. The problem is that most leaders have a tendency, or preference, to shape one or two patterns at the expense of others thus creating an unbalanced organizational culture which under-performs when compared to an optimally balanced one.

For example, using the two middle letters of the MBTI, which represents one’s preference for thinking and judging, a strong ST would have a tendency for creating an unbalanced Consistent Pattern utilizing a top-down management approach which emphasizes rules, regulations, autocratic decision making, and tight controls. This type of unbalanced culture stifles team work, worker engagement, and innovation.

Self-discovery using the MBTI helps the leader identify his or her thinking/judging preference and tendency to shape a particular unbalanced culture. Once this is accomplished, the leader is then coached on how to become more adaptive by incorporating leadership practices that represent the positive elements of the less preferred cultural patterns. In addition, the leader is coached on how to implement organizational mechanisms such as policies and practices to shape an optimally balanced organizational culture.

® MBTI, Myers-Briggs, Meyers Briggs, and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator are registered trademarks or trademarks of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Trust in the United States and other countries (aka meyers briggs or myers briggs).

____ By Stanley D. Truskie, Ph.D. (ENFJ)

Dr. Abd-ul-Qadeer

Dr. Abd-ul-Qadeer


ENFP are enthusiastic, insightful, innovative, versatile and tireless in pursuit of new possibilities. They enjoy working on teams to bring about change related to making things better for people.


  • Lead with energy and enthusiasm
  • Prefer to take charge of the start-up phase
  • Communication and often become spokespersons for worthy causes
  • Work to include and support people while allowing for their own and others’ autonomy
  • Pay attention to what motivates others and encourage them to act

Read More


Imran Khan

Imran Khan


ENFJs are interpersonally focused, understanding, tolerant, appreciative and facilitators of good communication. They enjoy working with others on a variety of tasks focused on the development of people.


  • Lead through personal enthusiasm and praise
  • Take a participative stance in managing people and projects
  • Respond to followers’ need while trying to put everyone at ease
  • Challenge the organization to make actions congruent with values
  • Inspire change that is beneficial to people.
Read More


Nawaz Shareef

Nawaz Shareef


ISTJ are thorough, exacting, systematic, hardworking and careful with detail. They enjoy working within organizations to improve procedures and processes, remaining loyal through both good and bad times.


  • Use experience and knowledge of the facts to make decisions
  • Build on reliable, stable and consistent performance
  • Respect traditional, hierarchical approaches
  • Reward those who follow the rules while getting the job done
  • Pay attention to immediate and practical organizational needs.
Read More


Bill Gates

Bill Gates


ENTJ are logical, organize, structured, objective and decisive about what they view as conceptually valid. They enjoy working with others, especially when they can take charge and add a strategic plan.


  • Initiate an action-oriented, energetic approach
  • Provide long-range plans to the organization
  • Manage directly-tough when necessary
  • Enjoy complex problems and are resourceful in managing them
  • Run as much of the organization as possible
Read More


Perwaiz Musharaf

Perwaiz Musharaf


ESTJ are logical, analytical, decisive and tough-minded, using concrete facts in systematic ways. They enjoy working with others well in advance to organize the details and operations to get the job done.


  • Seek leadership directly and take charge quickly
  • Apply and adapt past experiences to solve problems
  • Get to the core of the situation crisply and directly
  • Decide and implement quickly
  • Act as traditional leaders who respect the hierarchy, achieving within system
Read More


Asif Zardari

Asif Zardari


INTJ are independent, individualistic, single-minded and determined individuals who trust their vision of possibilities regardless of universal skepticism. They enjoy working by themselves on projects that are complex.


  • Drive themselves and others to attain the organizational goals
  • Act strongly and forcefully in the field of ideas
  • Can be tough-minded with self and others
  • Conceptualize, create and build new models
  • Are willing to relentlessly reorganize whole systems when necessary
Read More


Umer Sharif

Umer Sharif


ESFP are friendly, outgoing, fun-loving, likable and naturally drawn toward others. they enjoy working in groups with other lively, fast-paced people, as well as offering alternatives based on common sense.


  • Lead through the promotion of goodwill and teamwork
  • Prefer managing initial steps of a project
  • Defuse tense situations by putting people at ease
  • Make things happen by focusing on immediate problems
  • Facilitate effective interactions among people
Read More


Philip Morris

Philip Morris

We engaged Dr. Qamar as part of an overall team building exercise for the top management team, and found the MBTI services to be extremely valuable and insightful in building enhanced preserves and understanding of our personality types both as individuals and as an overall team.

— David Lawrie
Director Human Resources
Philip Morris (Pakistan) Limited