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Posted Wednesday, December 5, 2012 8:56 AM


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I once saw a comic (newpaper comics page type thing), titled "Before Astrology was a Science". Had a horoscope on it that went like this:

Taurus: You will interpret vague generalities about life and work as applying specifically to you.
Pisces: You will interpret vague generalities about life and work as applying specifically to you.
Gemini: You will interpret vague generalities about life and work as applying specifically to you.
Ares: You will interpret vague generalities about life and work as applying specifically to you.

and so on.

Myers-Briggs comes largely under that heading in my experience. Same for DISC. There's just enough truth and just enough flattery in most "personality types", and they're general enough, that most people will go, "Yeah, that's so me!"

The tests claim extremely high levels of accuracy. I see it more as "a sawed off shotgun in a crowded elevator" kind of situation.

I've actually tested the DISC analysis for accuracy. The whole company I worked for a few years back took the tests. Afterwards, I went around to most of the people who'd taken it, and picked a random personality out of the back of the scoring book, and told each person, "Turns out there was a mistake in scoring your DISC test. This is what the score should have been." Random personality description. Every single one of them read "their correct personality", and responded that, "You're right. That's even more accurate. Thanks." or words to that effect. Not ONE person disagreed with "their correct score", despite totally random choices.

Myers-Briggs works the same way. It will pick up a few things, like very strong crowd avoidance, but outside of extreme cases, it's just "You will interpret vague generalities about human behavior as applying specifically to you".


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Post #1393061
Posted Wednesday, December 5, 2012 9:51 AM
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Did I read the article right? If you have an employee who does a good job, is somewhat driven to get the job done but sees value in his life and family then that person is not worthy of a promotion? I might have tossed a little opinion or yellow journalism into that but it just sounded that if an employee loves his family more than hiss job then they are cannon fodder.

If that is what is intended, please show me the exit, I would need to go find a good job in a good company. If a company sees my willingness to sell out my life and family then they are garbage!



M.



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Post #1393097
Posted Wednesday, December 5, 2012 10:09 AM


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Miles Neale (12/5/2012)
Did I read the article right? If you have an employee who does a good job, is somewhat driven to get the job done but sees value in his life and family then that person is not worthy of a promotion? I might have tossed a little opinion or yellow journalism into that but it just sounded that if an employee loves his family more than hiss job then they are cannon fodder.


I think the promote part was indicating that the employee in question doesn't have the "drive" to move into management, but wanted to instead stay a technical worker.

Some of that comes down to personality, some people can handle switching from the "get your hands dirty" technical worker to the "get someone elses' hands dirty" of management, others can't. I fall into the can't. I don't like being "in charge," and promoting me into a management position would result in an unhappy employee (me) and an unhappy staff (those I'm managing) Could I gain the skills to manage? Likely yes, but I've always been the quiet guy. The one who rarely speaks during a meeting, the one who never tried to be the one to pick teams in school, the one who rarely picks what to do in a group.

Does that make me "un-promotable" or someone who's going to just keep getting more and more "senior" tacked onto my job title?
It really comes down to, do the person want to climb the corporate ladder, or do they want to keep improving their skills (and pay) while staying in the same "title."

Jason
Post #1393111
Posted Wednesday, December 5, 2012 10:54 AM


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Miles Neale (12/5/2012)
Did I read the article right? If you have an employee who does a good job, is somewhat driven to get the job done but sees value in his life and family then that person is not worthy of a promotion? I might have tossed a little opinion or yellow journalism into that but it just sounded that if an employee loves his family more than hiss job then they are cannon fodder.

If that is what is intended, please show me the exit, I would need to go find a good job in a good company. If a company sees my willingness to sell out my life and family then they are garbage!



M.



Miles you are spot on. When I worked at Kennedy Space Center years ago there was a lady that was basically given this reason that she was not promotable because she wasn't driven enough. When she asked what "driven" meant in real terms the manager told her she was basically a "9-to-5" gal. She then explained "You are penalizing me because I have children and family obligations. I have to pick my kids up at a certain time and put dinner on the table for them. I can't be here until midnight like others in this department can and it is unfair for you to expect me to." The manager stood by his appraisal and her promotion to the next level was denied. She then filed a complaint not only with HR, but also with the EOE board and that manager was ultimately terminated for discrimination. She also went to file an EOE suit and was eventually given the promotion with retroactive pay as well. Managers have to be very careful today about using silly "one fits all" guidelines like this in a real world today where everyone's situation is different. it could get your company sued big time.


"Technology is a weird thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ..."
Post #1393134
Posted Wednesday, December 5, 2012 11:02 AM


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DavidL (12/5/2012)
...According to Myers-Briggs, INTJ and their ilk are relatively uncommon, something like about 5% of the population. It strikes me as significant that quite a number of posters have said that they are INTJ or something similar. There are clearly a smaller group of temperaments that are attracted to the work we do...

I'm another INTJ, and once I finish fixing all the systems here at my company, I'll have to investigate this hypothesis
Post #1393136
Posted Wednesday, December 5, 2012 11:23 AM
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GSquared (12/5/2012)
I once saw a comic (newpaper comics page type thing), titled "Before Astrology was a Science". Had a horoscope on it that went like this:

Taurus: You will interpret vague generalities about life and work as applying specifically to you.
Pisces: You will interpret vague generalities about life and work as applying specifically to you.
Gemini: You will interpret vague generalities about life and work as applying specifically to you.
Ares: You will interpret vague generalities about life and work as applying specifically to you.

and so on.

Myers-Briggs comes largely under that heading in my experience. Same for DISC. There's just enough truth and just enough flattery in most "personality types", and they're general enough, that most people will go, "Yeah, that's so me!"

The tests claim extremely high levels of accuracy. I see it more as "a sawed off shotgun in a crowded elevator" kind of situation.

I've actually tested the DISC analysis for accuracy. The whole company I worked for a few years back took the tests. Afterwards, I went around to most of the people who'd taken it, and picked a random personality out of the back of the scoring book, and told each person, "Turns out there was a mistake in scoring your DISC test. This is what the score should have been." Random personality description. Every single one of them read "their correct personality", and responded that, "You're right. That's even more accurate. Thanks." or words to that effect. Not ONE person disagreed with "their correct score", despite totally random choices.

Myers-Briggs works the same way. It will pick up a few things, like very strong crowd avoidance, but outside of extreme cases, it's just "You will interpret vague generalities about human behavior as applying specifically to you".


I don't know anything about DISC, so I can't comment on that.
However I do have some experience with myers-briggs, and as you imply that your 'validity test' would also pierce this balloon, consider this:
If we were to run your test with 100 people, it would mean that 93 would be told that at least one of their introvert/extrovert, thinking/feeling etc. tendencies was in fact wrong. 7 of those 100 (if you randomly select a type from the bag of 15 -- 1 fewer than the total) would be told that they were in fact wrong in all four areas; 27 in three areas, another 27 (note rounding errors) in one area and 40 in two areas.
I don't see people being that fundamentally wrong about themselves.
Call me a skeptic, but I do not think you were in fact testing the validity of the test. I think it more likely your 'experiment' points to something about how people respond when faced with what they perceive to be an outside authority contradicting their opinion. It also likely involves suggestibility, and probably a host of other very complex psychological/emotional/cultural issues.



Post #1393142
Posted Wednesday, December 5, 2012 2:24 PM
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The Meyers-Briggs 16 "type" approach is mirrored by David Keirsey in his book "Please Understand Me II: Temperament, Character, Intelligence", which is an excellent guide and very reasonably priced (MSRP of $20 in paperback). There's a questionnaire in the back to help determine type; it's nowhere near as good as the long form Meyers-Briggs, but it's still fairly reasonable at about 70 questions, as I recall.

From memory, INTJ is often correlated with contingency planning, which may be related to why so many of us are showing up in that category. If everything is fine, I'll read SSC. If this happens, that, unless the other, in which case .... drop unnecessary... rebuild... indexes... backups.... restore.... failover... offsite.... tape library.... DBCC CHECKDB... update resume.

Post #1393216
Posted Wednesday, December 5, 2012 5:45 PM


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Years ago I set up a questionaire on this website for anyone who wants to take the Myers-Briggs test. Note that for a more accurate result you should pay for the official test but this is good enough.
See the links on the left, there's also good descriptions of the types.

http://strategicaction.com.au/UNSWUnder.html


I find that these tests are essentially mirrors. You tell it what you think and it summarises it back at you. It's not the same as horoscopes which are clearly bogus, it's merely reflection on yourself which is always a valuable excercise (or 360 reflection from your colleagues which is also useful).

As for most people here being INTJ, most DBA's I've worked with are exactly this type. I think it goes hand in hand with pedantic OCD tendencies, which is a good thing when you are working with data accuracy. I'm INTP though, which is not as suited to daily DBA tasks. The difference between J and P (the last pair) is amusing. Basically P is late all the time and a day dreamer pondering decisions, where J is planned, punctual and decisive - even if the decision is wrong!

INTJ
independent
logical
critical
original
systems-minded
firm
visionary
theoretical
demanding
private
global
autonomous

INTP
logical
sceptical
cognitive
detached
theoretical
reserved
precise
independent
speculative
original
autonomous
self-sufficient
Post #1393284
Posted Thursday, December 6, 2012 2:51 AM


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Hmm, another INTJ here. I recall that I was the only one in my company (not development oriented) when we did the tests. Where do they all come from?

I'd agree not being a 9 to 5 type probably means you
a) are being taken advantage of
b) are a bit slow or don't plan adequately
c) are too keen

Any ways that would not be the way to get promotion from me
Post #1393389
Posted Thursday, December 6, 2012 12:12 PM
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The main difficulty I am seeing (and directly impacting my job) is people neglect to use these sorts of tools as a way to relate to others. The secondary one, becomes when someone in management comes to the conclusion that there is a "correct" personality for their staff.
A staff made uniform of personality, problem solving style and interests creates a false sense of "our work is excellent". It is excellent, as long as it is not looked at with a different perception, or when looking outside of the box created by a group of very similar perceptions and roles.

Ie, a group which focuses on the get it done, off the desk, and checked off, idea of "we are doing good" which has no other counter views find themselves quickly heading toward endless mini-patches, and supporting roles. Building (without intervention) into something unmanageable with remarkable speed. Yet, if that same group had a few other views or problem solving types in it, there is the chance for someone to say, "Hey wait, is this not the 25th time we have added a "quick fix" to this thing? Maybe we should actually redesign it's inner workings to actually handle these things in the first place?"
Post #1393693
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