Do you love finding out more about yourself? Are you one of the first to complete free quizzes in magazines and online free assessments.
They can be useful, helping us to understand more about who we are. But there is a difference between free versions and the far more detailed psychometric assessments you can get if you pay for an assessment.
Today I’d like to talk about the MBTI assessment. I regularly talk with people who tell me that they are e.g. an ENFP but either they misunderstand what this means or they use it as a reason why they do and don’t do certain things.
The Myers Briggs Type Indicator is an indicator of type. And it doesn’t measure, it sorts. The focus is on preferences. We can do most things such as use our left and right hand, or be very outgoing or less sociable, but something’s come much easier to us than others. Sometimes we have to really try hard and whilst e.g. we can be outgoing and shine at a party, or focus on the detail as we check documentation if it isn’t our natural preference it.
Myers was quite concerned about labelling people and giving the impression that people of one type were all alike. The MBTI gives people a framework to understand human behaviour, but types are not carbon copies of each other. There is a great deal of variation within each type, the MBTI and Jungian theory do not account for all the differences in human behaviour!
If you’ve taken a version of the MBTI you should have had a full feedback discussion, ideally on a one to one basis, but if not a longer session within a group. They should tell you more about the indicators of both e.g. Extrovert and Introvert to allow you to check out your Best-Fit type.
But it can be hard and people often tell me that they feel a bit of both. That could be true, and Carl Jung spoke about how as we age we should find that our preferences are less extreme as we learn to adapt to new situations.
You may find the following helpful.
My preference is very slight for Extraversion or Introversion
Monitor your behaviour for at least a week to see how you are energized. Note which activities take more energy; those, which are Introverted, or those which are Extraverted. Also, discuss with another person how much time you spend in the Introverted, inner world as opposed to the Extraverted, external world.
My preference is very slight for Sensing or Intuition
Think about what information you pay attention to and how you “know” about something. Also note what escapes your awareness. Are you more likely to forget facts and details or more likely to overlook the big picture?
My preference is very slight for Thinking or Feeling
How do you go about making decisions? Do you find it easier to look at the underlying principle, analyze the pros and cons of an issue, and be objective? Or, do you find it more natural to consider others’ feelings, weigh the impact of the decision on people, and see how the decision affects your own and their values? Do you decide more logically, thinking about costs and benefits, or do you decide more personally in response to your values? Myers stated that the Thinking-Feeling preference might be subject to slight preference scores because individuals may have more trouble developing conscious, rational judgment, either Thinking or Feeling, than developing perception.
My preference is very slight for Judgment or Perception
Think about what would be most troublesome: a day, which has been scheduled and planned, or a day in which the events are allowed to unfold. Because Judgment and Perception often describe our work habits and because most large businesses and organizations are more likely to run according to the Judgment preference for timeliness, planning, and scheduling, Perceptives may find themselves responding in a more “business like” Judgment way.
If you are still confused ask others who know and care about you to observe you over time. Monitor how you prefer to take in information, make decisions, and live your life. For example, which world, the Extraverted or Introverted, gives you energy?
Want to know more?
I’ve written masses of blog posts about this assessment and you can find them all here
Want to take the assessment?
Read about your options on my site.