My second career has been in Human Resources, specifically, recruitment, development, retention, rewards and recognition and succession planning. As I research my profession and its transition from “personnel”, to “employment” to Human Resources to some variation of human capital management, additional changes have occurred within the industry in regards to the job duties, responsibilities, and skill sets required of HR professionals. The function of HR has moved from transaction and task-oriented work to a culmination of strategist and consultant with general HR expertise on a quest for a seat at the table or an invitation into the “C” suite.
As a functional area of an organization, Human Resources provides services, i.e. recruitment, compensation, benefits employee relations, performance management, retention programs and training. In some organizations HR may also provide wellness services. From a Type perspective, individuals in these functional areas may perform best if their personality preferences align with the functional area and the skills and competencies required of the position. Example, managing compensation plans requires attention to detail, managing concrete data and logical and critical thinking. There are most closely associated with the ST functional pair. An individual with an NT or NF functional pair preference with highly development Sensing and Thinking functions may be very successful in compensation, but a natural preference for Sensing and Thinking may assist an individual in naturally excelling in this functional area.
In many organizations, Human Resources has moved to a generalist organization comprised of some functional areas staying intact but the bulk of the HR services being managed closely through an HR Consultant partnering with client groups. This HR consulting role has the potential to call upon most of the eight mental functions – Introverted and Extroverted Sensing, Introverted and Extroverted Intuitive, Introverted and Extroverted Thinking and Introverted Feeling. In any given day, an HR Consultant may need to gather concrete data, consider past experiences (precedence), brainstorm ideas with colleagues, internally connect dots and have an ah-ha moment of understanding, create a process flow, consider the impact of actions/decisions on others, and take time to determine the exact or precise words to clearly express a thought or make a point. Tired yet?
Developing least natural preferences of personality type may assist individuals in positions that may call on more than an individual’s conscious functions. A dear friend of mine, a retired CEO, states “I have a preference for INFJ, but I had to learn to be an ESTJ to work my way up the corporate ladder.” Over time, he learned to flex his style based on the situation and use his mental functions as appropriate to be successful.
As Linda Berens proposes, we have our Core Self, our Developed Self that adapted and grown, and our Contextual Self, our current behavior. How is your Developed Self coming along?
Consider your personality type. In what order are your natural preferences?
Which mental functions does your job primarily use most frequently?
Which of these are mental functions are you most comfortable with?
Which are your least natural functions?
Which are least developed?
How can you develop those mental functions that you call on frequently but are least comfortable with?
Are you ready to stretch and develop?