Suzanna Rangi is the Learning & Capability Manager at the Warehouse Group, New Zealand's largest retail group and consists of The Warehouse, Warehouse Stationery, Noel Leeming, The Torpedo 7 Group and The Warehouse Group Financial Services. The Group has been using the Myers Briggs Type Indicator Instrument and the language of Jungian Personality Type for a few years now to bridge communication across the organisation. Recently they also began using the Pocket Personality Cards as part of their suite of Learning Tools. I recently interviewed Suzanna to find out how they use the Cards and what benefits it has afforded them. Listen to Suzanna talk about how she uses the cards:
(Q): What prompted you to purchase the Pocket Personality Cards?
(A): One reason was, we've done the Myers Briggs (Type Indicator) Introduction and that usually takes a couple of hours with our new teams or our new individuals and we wanted to build on this. We quite easily identified some opportunities that we could build on using the cards so the good thing is the flexibility around the cards - Leadership, Teams and Communication - allowed me to have a starting point to be able to utilise them. And then if it didn't fit with the group, I was able to mix and change or add things or explore a bit more to set a good benchmark.
(Q): What was it about the content of the cards that helped you in what you do?
(A): The Consistency of the Format. The first 16 cards in the pack have the sixteen types, then the dominant functions lens and the other lenses and also the structure of the activities also allow for that consistency. Once you use them and get confident in how you're using them, because of that consistency, you can use them in that manner and when you're training other members of your team to utilise the cards, its in an easy format as well. So, depending on whether you need to focus on leadership, team building or communication, here are some activities that we can do. This is how I've used it and you may want to change it or adjust it to your audience depending on what your needs are and go from there.
I think, also, the cards; standing up, having something to talk about, mixing and mingling and pulling them out on where the focus area is, whether its the dominant or functions or attitude lenses. You can move in and out of those lenses quiet easily and that works really well.
(Q): How are you currently using them?
(A): The last time I used them, we identified an opportunity around communication. I went through the seven activities and then sat down with my RMs (Regional Manager) and worked out what their challenges were. We went through the activities and said 'Hey we could do this, put a bit of a spin on this 'and utilised it that way.They had a call to action when they went back to their region and then when we brought them back again, we went through the same activitiy so it was a good reset or review for them.
(Q): What results have you observed from having used the cards?
(A): We used them in 2 ways. One was around Communicating as a leader and two, as a peer, because we've had a lot of change, so understanding that and breaking down the barriers and the concerns and also the overwhelming component that we've got in change and how you have to connect quite quickly with people. I think that's been great especially with the language across our business. We have the four brands so that consistency across all of the brands has been helpful with us from a learning standpoint now across all of the Centres of Excellence. It just helps with consistency , for easy reference and accessibility.
(Q): What other benefits have you experienced from using the cards?
(A): You can get people to stand up, move around, It can trigger something. It might not be an activity because there are some activities that are quite specific to an issue. I think also some of the cards in the Communication pack could be used in Leadership to mix and match a little so you don't just use them in isolation and everyone loves a deck of cards. I always have someone at the end saying ' Can i take these home?' so I think utilising this with the RMs is good. If we got everyone MBTI certified, it would be good. To bring me in run workshops is quite tough operationally and time consuming but when an RM is doing a regional meeting, they can reference the Pocket Cards quite quickly and it doesn't need to be a big planned workshop session. It can be a bit off the cuff. They're walking around in stores; if they want to focus on something, they can utilise the cards quite easily.
(Q): Would you recommend the Pocket Personality Cards to business friends and colleagues?
(A): Yeah, I use them all the time. I think I'm probably one of a few people in the group using them because of the ease of it. Definitely my NFP preferences coming out there! "I've got an issue, I need an answer. I need to be able to figure it out really quickly. Also if someone comes to me with an issue (around communication) and I can't immediately think of an answer, the cards are there to help. Its a great tool. Also if people do want to buy the cards, its easy for them to access the cards and buy them.