RE: Careers For People Who Don't Like People

Subject: RE: Careers For People Who Don't Like People
From: Dana Worley <dana -at- campbellsci -dot- com>
To: Techwr-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2012 15:17:42 +0000

We are currently doing some sales training, though most of Marketing are participating, including managers, order entry, and tech repair. This is something that, going into, the company had to make a one-year commitment to one hour, weekly coaching sessions.

One of the things we did early on was take a cognitive processing inventory. The test identifies your tendency for processing information in four areas -- emotion, logic, vision, and order. The takeaway is that we all process information based on one of these areas, and you can communicate with someone more effectively if you are approaching them in a way that aligns with their area(s) of cognition.

I've seen variations on personality tests over the years. You might consider it a fad, though I would disagree given that Jung published his Personality Types book in 1921 (are radios, TVs, and cars with combustion engines fads? They also hit the scene in the 1920s). I know that some people are averse to being pigeon-holed and think they are unique ;) , but it makes sense if you consider it. If you communicate with someone from the "direction" in which they process information, you'll be much more likely to make your case with them, and less likely to have them shut down in a conversation.

An interesting note to this was that people who are considered great speech writers typically hit all four points when giving a speech. Open with emotion, move on to vision, logic, and order, and close with emotion. You do that, and you've appealed to the majority of your audience.

How does all this apply to tech writing? You'll get a lot more information out of an SME if you can understand how s/he processes information and approach your communication with the SME from that angle.

The CPI test was scored on a basis of 1 to 3 (you could get plusses & minuses). It comes as no surprise to me or anyone who knows me that I scored a 3+ on logic, 3+ on order, 2- on vision, and 1 on emotion. I guess that's why I balked during the initial training session when the trainer used the words, "you're gonna love this..." when suggesting how to convey product benefits to someone ;).


Dana Worley
Product Manager, Software Products
Campbell Scientific, Inc.

-----Original Message-----
I agree with Phil. There might be some personal benefit from pondering your personality type or preferences. But I've never come across an organization that used something like Myers-Briggs to influence promotion decisions or to 'assemble teams with complementary personality types' or anything like that. Mostly they just pay for the testing and then no-one ever speaks of it again.

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Re: Careers For People Who Don't Like People: From: Stuart Burnfield

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