Task focus versus People focus is one of those dichotomies that have been identified and linked to for many years. With the MBTI® instrument a link is often made to the Thinking-Feeling dichotomy and sometimes to the Judging-Perceiving dichotomy.
A challenge is that the Task vs People dichotomy is only a part of a much bigger whole so it is hard to tease out by itself. My approach would be to use the Interaction Styles framework to help identify the deeper underlying ‘rules’ that are met by a focus on task vs a focus on people. Each Interaction Style pattern identifies a different Drive and Aim of that Drive as well as Talents to get that drive met.
Two of the styles are time and task oriented and tend to communicate with a Directing style:
Chart-the-Course: Anticipate to get a desired result and talented at ‘Thinking Ahead.’
In-Charge: Accomplish to get an achievable result and talented at ‘Steering.’
The other two styles are more people and motivation oriented and tend to communicate with an Informing style.
Get-Things-Going: Involve and be involved to get an embraced result and talented at ‘Motivating.’
Behind-the-Scenes: Integrate to get the best result possible and talented at ‘Synthesizing.’
I don’t use an instrument, but use some videos and graphics to explain these different styles. Sometimes, just an explanation of Directing and Informing communications is enough and could even be the basis for a half-day workshop, especially with intact groups.
If you want to learn more in-depth about the Interaction Style lens, you might consider participating in our Interaction Styles Certification where we dig deep and experience Interaction Styles in a learning-lab environment.
In my many years of working with the 16 personality types, I have found that it helps to have different lenses that help us see these different dimensions of the personality patterns, but to always keep in mind that the task orientation of one type is not the same as the task orientation of another. There are those with a Thinking preference who are also somewhat people oriented (ENTP and INTP) and use Informing communications most often. They are not as interested in tasks as much as frameworks and ideas, often in the interest of helping people. Those with INFJ and ENFJ preferences are both people and task oriented. The task orientation shows up in the context of getting things done, but is often expressed with non-verbally directing communication. Those with ESFP and ISFP preferences may look task oriented due to a drive to action from their Improviser Essential Motivators (temperament), but they will most likely communicate with an Informing style.
Complex, but not complicated if you know the ‘rules.’ Not the rules of the MBTI® type table, but the ‘rules’ of the lenses that give us information about key aspects of what it means to be complex human systems.