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Do you struggle with using the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) as an assessment tool for figuring out your personality type? Do you think it’s a bunch of hype, or that it will box you into a role or persona, or that it will predict your success in life?
Here are some benefits of the MBTI assessment to consider:
1. When it’s used correctly, you get a description of all the types – not just your own
When you take a free quiz online or from a book, you are alone in assessing your own results and interpreting how others might score. When you take an MBTI assessment from a certified Myers Briggs professional, a key element of the assessment is an explanation of each preference spectrum. This explanation provides many “Aha!” moments – not only in understanding yourself, but in recognizing how the preferences might explain the behaviors of other people in your life.
2. You get confirmation that you aren’t alone in how you act and react
If you grew up in a family with types very different from yours, you might feel as if every behavior that feels natural to you is wrong. This often happens with children who have strong Perceiving (flexible) preferences growing up in a family with strong Judging (organized) preferences. If you are strong on the Perceiving scale, you might have received messages that you’re a complete flake, or that people can’t take you seriously, or that you are too scattered. If nothing else, the type report assures you that you are completely normal and, what’s more, there are millions of people in the world who share your flexible nature!
3. You get an objective framework for viewing people in your life
Do you have a co-worker who nitpicks every new idea or whose first reaction is to say why it won’t work? “We’ve tried that before, and it didn’t work because …” or “That isn’t the way we do things around here” or “You can’t just …” might be phrases that appear often in meetings with your team.
Instead of reacting personally, with type knowledge you can recognize the traditional, conservative tendency of a teammate with strong Sensing (focused on what is or was, and what can be proven real through the senses) and Judging (organized and structured) traits. Once you recognize the pattern of a Gold, you can begin to understand that they aren’t trying to squash your ideas. They merely want reassurance that the direction you’re suggesting has a rock-solid foundation and can be trusted. This makes working with those who have opposite personality traits much easier.
4. You begin to understand why some activities drain you and some energize you
You might be very confused at your tendency to get depressed or come home drained when you’ve been working at your desk all day. Why would that be? Don’t most people around you talk about getting more energy after coming in on a Saturday because they can get so much more done and get energized again? Does it make you feel like there’s something wrong with you?
There isn’t anything wrong. You are likely an Extravert who gets energized by interacting with people or situations in the outside world. They are likely Introverts who gather energy from time spent reflecting and thinking. Neither is better, it’s just that the types differ in how they refuel.
5. You can use your personality preferences as a guide to finding your strengths
As you read through your assessment results and discuss them with your certified Myers Briggs consultant, jot down those sentences that spark a realization of “Yes! People are always saying that about me” or “Oh, that’s funny. My boss just congratulated me last week on that trait.” Go through each trait that your assessment suggests, and list them along with examples from your life that relate to that natural talent or trait.
Maybe you prefer iNtuition (looking toward the future and what could be) and Feeling (making decisions based on your own idea of what’s “right” and how others will be affected). You notice during the assessment that some of the other traits of your reported type are the ability to constantly produce new ideas and the ability to motivate others. Suddenly you remember how your coworker vented to you yesterday. Today she said that having you listen, be encouraging, and offer several alternatives really helped her break through a challenge.
With a little thought, you can work that into a strength statement that you can weave into job interviews and talks with your boss. Suddenly, you find that you are earning a reputation for doing those things well. Best of all, they are activities that you love and that come to you naturally. Eureka! Suddenly, your life feels much more enjoyable.
Learning about type, your own and others, can be of enormous benefit in helping you build a life you love. If you want to take the Myers Briggs assessment and find your strengths, I am certified to offer and interpret the assessment. Just contact me to get started.
Have you taken the MBTI? If not, why not? If so, how did it help you?