In the first part of this series of blogs, I explained the Four Elements of Success from the Path Elements Profile™. That post can be found at http://charlottelawlibrary.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/who-are-you/. The second part of this series of three blogs focused on StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath. That blog posting can be found at http://charlottelawlibrary.wordpress.com/2013/01/15/who-are-you-part-two/.
The first time my husband took the Myers Briggs test and also gave the administrator my MBTI, she laughed. She imagined me sitting in the driveway with the car packed with small children and all their worldly belongings ready for a road trip to see the relatives. Meanwhile, my husband would just be starting to throw his stuff in a duffle bag in the bedroom upstairs. She could have taken a photograph. She was so right.
There is a good chance that you have taken the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or will sometime in the future. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI) is probably the oldest and most widely used method of assessing strengths. This assessment was developed in the 1940s by Isabel Briggs Myers and her mother, Katharine Briggs based on the psychological type theories of Carl Jung. There are four dichotomies or pairs of preferences. An individual’s personality type is the sum of the preferences.
Extraversion (E) – (I) Introversion
Sensing (S) – (N) Intuition
Thinking (T) – (F) Feeling
Judging (J) – (P) Perception
As with the other two systems of assessments, the usefulness of MBTI comes in understanding the definitions of the spectrums and knowing where you stand in each range.
Extravert or Introvert? Extraverts are energized by interacting with people and the outside world. Introverts are energized by spending time alone, reflecting on concepts and ideas.
Sensing or Intuiting? Sensing people tend to prefer concrete and tangible information and look for details and facts. Intuitive people tend to see the bigger picture and enjoy abstract or theoretical concepts.
Thinking or Feeling? Thinkers tend to make decisions based on what seems reasonable, logical, and objective. Feelers tend to make decisions based on personal feelings and consider the need of the people involved.
Judging or Perceiving? Judgers tend to be planned, organized and like closure. Perceivers tend to be spontaneous, adaptable and optimistic.
There are 16 combinations or personality types. No type is considered any better or worse than another. Each type has its positives and the idea is that knowing your personality type and those of others will help you be more effective in your interactions with other people and know yourself better.
My family, friends and coworkers would not be surprised to know that I am an ESTJ, even though I was an ENTJ when I graduated from college.
Interestingly, there has been some questioning of Myers-Briggs by the academic psychology community. Some insights into MBTI’s history, its administration and its legacy appeared in a recent Washington Post article entitled “Does it pay to know your type?”
All three of the assessment tools described in this three part blog emphasize building on strengths. They are also a lot more involved than these brief descriptions. In sum, they do help us to better understand ourselves and the people around us. So who are you?
- Cunningham, L. (2012, December 14). Does it pay to know your type? The Washington Post. Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-leadership/myers-briggs-does-it-pay-to-know-your-type/2012/12/14/eaed51ae-3fcc-11e2-bca3-aadc9b7e29c5_story.html
- The Myers & Briggs Foundation. (n.d.). The MBTI® Instrument for Life. Retrieved from http://www.myersbriggs.org/
- Wong, J. (2012, September 2). It pays to do what’s natural. The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved from NewsBank database.