18th FMC uses Abilene Paradox, Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator training to strengthen as a team
March 15, 2013
FORT BRAGG, N.C. -- Members of the 18th Financial Management Center spent the afternoon of Feb. 19 working on a unique team building experience.
The team building was focused on the "The Abilene Paradox" and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. The Abilene Paradox was first introduced by Jerry B. Harvey. He describes the, paradox as a breakdown in communication within a group that occurs when people take in the "Don't Rock the Boat" mentality. The purpose of the first activity "The Abilene Paradox" targeted the concepts of group development and focused on the cognitive part of learning where the Soldiers were introduced to the impact of, "mismanagement of agreements" within a group.
The instruction was interactive and allowed participants an opportunity to intelligently discuss what a group is, and how different groups work, said the leader of the training and 1st TSC equal opportunity noncommissioned officer in charge Sgt. 1st Class John Singletary.
Maj. Earline Wooden, 18th FMC, chief of internal controls, led the Soldiers into the Myers Briggs assessment and facilitated discussion on individual personality assessment.
"Once each individual identified their personality, Major Wooden and I administered numerous activities that allowed the 18th to see how similar and different everyone is," said Singletary.
The training not only helped the Soldiers recognize their traits, but how each Soldier plays a role within a group and their unit dynamics.
"It was interesting to see what everyone's personality type was," said 2nd Lt. Devin L. Redding, 18th FMC deputy of operations and policies. "I just think it makes things easier having base-line knowledge of where they are coming from and how they think about things."
Redding, like many others, often finds herself expecting others to live up to her personality type. Through this training she learned to take a step back and appreciate that others may not do things the same exact way as she does, but they can still accomplish the mission.
The Soldiers learned that who they are may carry over into their group or section and have an effect on their organization -- for better or worse.
"This was an eye opening experience that showed that everyone does not think alike and the perception of one may differ from the other," said Singletary.
Overall, participants found the training useful in their day-to-day work environment as well as their personal lives.
As a result, instructors and participants alike encourage others to incorporate the training if given an opportunity to do so.
Sgt. Maj. Deniece C. Williams, 18th FMC sergeant major, noted that the training was worthwhile. She recommends the training as a part of team building and group dynamics for everyone who participates in groups, particularly those in the Army who continually engage in group activities.