Find out how the MBTI inspired senior management

Deichmann is one of central Europe’s leading shoe sellers, specialising in quality fashion products at highly competitive prices. Founded in Essen, Germany, in 1913, the company currently runs over 3,300 stores in 23 countries and employs more than 33,500 people worldwide. Its Czech daughter company Deichmann-Obuv s.r.o. was voted one of the Best Employers in the Czech Republic in 2012, based on direct feedback from employees as part of the Aon Hewitt´s Best Employers Study. Deichmann-Obuv s.r.o. was the only retail company to achieve this accolade.

woman and shoes

Since its inception, DEICHMANN has been a people-focused employer. In 2008, the company saw an opportunity to help its senior management team excel.

Deichmann’s HR Development  Manager for CZ and SK, Nina Holoušová, recommended a development programme based on the MBTI® instrument, a powerful tool able to improve communication and overall effectiveness across senior management.

Coaching Systems, a Myers-Briggs Company Alliance Partner and MBTI expert, was selected to deliver the MBTI-based senior development programme.

Coaching Systems combined initial diagnostic sessions with a series of training and development workshops for senior leaders. Following its success at senior management level, the development work was then extended across the sales network throughout the Czech Republic and Slovakia, introducing the MBTI assessment to over 140 employees.

The first phase of this company-wide programme involved eight senior managers who participated in a two-day training workshop based on developing individual self-awareness. They further embedded their new MBTI insights through a second workshop to confirm action plans and put MBTI learning into practice across communication, teamwork and people management.

Based on feedback from participants, trainers and managers, the project was customised to fit Deichmann’s corporate culture and complement existing development projects, all of which have been based on the principles of mutual cooperation.

In the second phase of the MBTI programme, more than 100 sales managers and store managers plus an additional 30 employees from the company headquarters were introduced to the MBTI through different introductory workshops for staff titled “Self-exploration using MBTI” and “Applying personality type at work.” The training sessions included activities such as: What can I offer for our teamwork? and What do I need from the others?

Feedback from participants shows that people finally realised why they communicate differently, and how each individual requires unique development tips to become an effective team player. Nina Holoušova is pleased with the results.

“MBTI terminology has become a dependable and reliable language, and it’s something people can have fun with, too!” she commented. “It has enabled better mutual understanding and respect within the team; it has established rules for communication and it has helped manage conflict much more effectively. As a result, communication has become less stressful and friction within and between teams has also greatly reduced.”

One of the project’s greatest ongoing benefits has been the increased interaction and collaboration across individual departments within the company headquarters. As a result of embedding MBTI skills across the organisation, there is an understanding of how different personality types within departments interact. This awareness has also strengthened collaboration among regional sales managers and their sales staff, and improved the speed and effectiveness of the team’s project delivery.

“A key factor for the project’s success was the fact that the participants were reassured from the beginning that the MBTI is an internationally recognised method for self-exploration, and not a test”, said Nina Holoušová. “The realisation that every preference is equally good, that each personality type and each person is unique, promoted open communication and intensive work in an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect.”

Teambuilding efforts have also been highly effective. Employees now feel they know each other better and understand interpersonal needs, based on knowledge of the MBTI process. This has improved motivation in teams and has resulted in improved team performance.

The use of the MBTI framework and its easily-understood and applied terminology has made participants feel secure, promoting openness in sharing and listening with ongoing organisational benefits.

MBTI terminology has become a dependable tool, and it’s something people can have fun with, too! It has enabled better mutual understanding, established rules for communication and helped us manage conflict much more effectively.

Nina HoloušováHR Development Manager for CZ and SK. Deichmann-Obuv