What is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and how can we use it in the workplace?
With Information from "Type Talk at Work: How the 16 Personality Types Determine Your Success on the Job"
MBTI- An Introduction
What is it? :"an introspective self-report questionnaire with the purpose of indicating differing psychological preferences in how people perceive the world around them and make decisions"
What is it's purpose? :" To promote the constructive use of differences" & to understand and appreciate differences in people
How did it come about? : Katharine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Meyers created the test in 1943 using theories of Carl Jung "who had speculated that humans experience the world using four principal psychological functions – sensation, intuition, feeling, and thinking"
How should you use it? : There is a lot of discussion on its validity as it is self-reported and may be unreliable. In my opinion, this test is best used for self-reflection and understanding, and for the understanding others.
Extroverts vs. Introverts- The Characteristics
Speak, then think
Think, then speak
The first set of letters (E or I) "has to do with where you get your energy- from outside yourself (Extraversion) or from within yourself (Introversion)."
Sensors vs. Intuitives- The Characteristics
The second set of letters (S or N) "has to do with how you gather information about your world- in a literal, sequential way, (Sensing) or in a more figurative, random way (iNtuition)."
Feelers vs. Thinkers- The Characteristics
The third set of letters "relates to the way you prefer to make decisions- objectively and impersonally (Thinking) or subjectively and interpersonally (Feeling)."
Judgers vs. Perceivers- The Characteristics
Wait and See
The last set of letters "has to do with your day-to-day lifestyle- do you prefer to be decisive and planned (Judging) or flexible and spontaneous (Perceiving)."
How can we use personality types to understand our peers in the workplace?
From: "Type Talk at Work: How the 16 Personality Types Determine Your Success on the Job"
Workplace contribution: Establishes order dutifully and steadily and works within the system to manage and complete tasks on time and under budget.
Pathway to Professional Growth:Must learn that both organizational change and people issues- ideas that violate tradition - can play powerful and positive roles in organizational life.
Leadership Qualities:Brings tasks to completion efficiently and dutifully while maintaining respect and order throughout the group or organization.
Team Spirit:Teams, if well managed, are a good way to distribute tasks and complete projects, but the important work that is done is carried out by individuals when the team meetings are over.
Workplace contribution: Provides organizations and groups with objective clarity, vision, and strategic thinking while driving toward change and improvement.
Pathway to Professional Growth: Must learn that each idea for visionary change brings with it untold details to which someone will need to tend- the stresses brought on by visionary change are real and painful.
Leadership Qualities: Draws energy from the complexity of future possibilities and shepherds individuals and groups through uncertainty and change with decisiveness and fairness.
Team Spirit: Teams are powerful and complicated systems that, if well designed and managed, can play a pivotal role in bringing a group or organization's vision to fruition.
Workplace contribution: Uses cleverness and independent thinking to problem-solve and reinvent, and in an easygoing, unassuming manner prods organizational change improvement.
Pathway to Professional Growth: Must learn that connecting and communicating with other people is important- great solutions and ideas are adopted and enacted through personal relationships.
Leadership Qualities: Creates and works toward a vision and a better solution and allows others to follow at their own pace and ability.
Team Spirit:A team is okay if it allows members to enter on their own terms and to contribute in their own way- but the best visioning and problem solving is done in isolation.
Workplace contribution: Provides high-spirited energy that keeps a variety of people and actions moving in positive ways.
Pathway to Professional Growth: Must learn to stretch to face the negative, stressful, and even hostile moments of work. Life is not always a barrel of fun.
Leadership Qualities: Has a persona and often playful go-with-the-moment style that can be highly motivating to others.
Team Spirit: Teamwork is the best way to approach any endeavor; all the world's a team, and only good can come from such joined efforts.
Workplace contribution: Personally inspires and motivates all to work harmoniously for the common good.
Pathway to Professional Growth: Must learn that not all situations need rescue and that disagreements are not personal attacks.
Leadership Qualities: Empowers others to accomplish what needs to be done by nurturing relationships and making personal appeals.
Team Spirit: Teams are good, people are good, and work is good when the theme of togetherness drives the task.
Workplace contribution: Through hard-charging arguments and action, intellectually inspires and challenges everyone to experience a vision and to move toward its fulfillment with dispatch.
Pathway to Professional Growth: Must learn to allow time for others to develop at their own pace and level of commitment.
Leadership Qualities: Is task-driven and demanding, with a motivational spin for everyone to get on board and move toward achieving the goal.
Team Spirit:Teams can be good and do provide opportunities for more involvement- as long as the task is completed and the group's process does not slow or water down the vision.
Everyone has something to offer and their own skill set. For the best collaboration and most efficient teamwork in the workplace, it is best to be aware of these differences and embrace them.
Workplace contribution: Offers quiet support, a sense of order, and attention to detail from behind the scenes.
Pathway to Professional Growth: Must learn to be open to new possibilities and changing situations- this flexibility can often be the support someone needs.
Leadership Qualities: Produces results through one-on-one relationships and detail control and tends to perform tasks one-self rather than delegate.
Team Spirit: Teams are worthwhile work units, vital and important structures that are yet another arena in which to provide quiet, unassuming support to the organization and its people.
Workplace contribution: Turns work into cause and injects- with quiet, serious focus- inspiration and devotion throughout the organization
Pathway to Professional Growth: Must learn that his or her excitement about the future and the possibilities it holds for people is often overlooked, buried as it is beneath a serious exterior.
Leadership Qualities: Provides inspirational and visionary direction with a moralistic or values-related spin, working with focus toward change and development.
Team Spirit: Teams are complex, human systems that need understanding and are and that, if well managed, can produce inspirational, value work.
Workplace contribution: Solves problems practically and immediately with a calm, clear-thinking resolve.
Pathway to Professional Growth: Must learn that the complexity of people and relationships deserves consideration and offers no quick fix.
Leadership Qualities: Sets an example to act independently and to attend to the needs of the short term, unencumbered by tradition, procedure, or the demands of others.
Team Spirit:Teams are often irritation and a diversion from effective, practical work, work that is best done alone.
Workplace contribution: Supports people and their efforts with a gentle-almost anonymous- attention to detail and action in the moment.
Pathway to Professional Growth:Must learn to focus on the patterns and problems beyond immediate concern- to look for and confront the systemic or root issues and not to get lost in the foreground , solving only the problems of today.
Leadership Qualities: Leads by example- by tending to ask details and providing gentle, unassuming support.
Team Spirit: Teams are fine and can be fun, though they are personally draining and intrusive; quiet support and diligent work are what makes teams effective
Workplace contribution: Holds and protects the values within which are rooted individual, group, and organizational identities- often serving as moral ballast for organizations and teams.
Pathway to Professional Growth:Must learn to face conflict and confront it at the moment.
Leadership Qualities: Appeals to values though personal relationships- controlling tasks and people in such a way that those concerned do not notice they are being controlled at all.
Team Spirit: Though teamwork is difficult and draining, and collaborating and working together to pool resources and ideas is valuable and motivating.
Workplace contribution: Motivates and invigorates through inspiration, enthusiasm, and unyielding attention to personal relationships.
Pathway to Professional Growth: Must learn to follow projects and commitments through to completion and to be aware that one's wide mood swings can frustrate and confuse those which whom he or she works.
Leadership Qualities: Motivates, inspires, and cajoles people to accomplish tasks and to develop both personally and professionally.
Team Spirit: Teams are fun and energizing- especially when conflict, hierarchy, and tight time lines can be avoided.
Workplace contribution: Drives to take charge, to see the practical facilitation of a task, and to complete it with dispatch and skill.
Pathway to Professional Growth: Must learn to be less hard-charging by listening to and allowing alternative viewpoints.
Leadership Qualities: Takes charges, demands loyalty, pushes hard to accomplish a task, and tells it like it is.
Team Spirit:Teams are an effective tool for accomplishing tasks as long as they are well managed and people's roles and goals are defined.
Workplace contribution: Regards the workplace as a system to be moved, challenged, and reconfigured so that learning is a constant and worthwhile tasks are accomplished.
Pathway to Professional Growth: Must learn to focus energy on follow-through and completion- even when one deems them boring- and to remember that wide mood swings can send mixed signals.
Leadership Qualities: Empowers oneself and others by challenging, confronting, and even taking and opposing point of view to enhance each individual's contribution to the end result.
Team Spirit: Teams are one more important vehicle for learning- an area for testing ideas, discussing differences, and collaborating on results.
Workplace contribution: Builds a harmonious environment that supports personal achievement and task accomplishment.
Pathway to Professional Growth:Must learn to accept differences, allow them to be expressed, and recognize that conflict is not always destructive.
Leadership Qualities: Projects inspiration and graciousness with a constant yet gentle nudge toward task completion.
Team Spirit: Teams are good and can be productive; however arguments and disagreements should not be tolerated.
Workplace contribution: Goes with the flow, adapts to the unexpected, allows variables, and delivers what needs to be delivered.
Pathway to Professional Growth: Must learn to be patient with routines and to be aware that others may find comfort in structure, rules, and contemplation of future possibilities.
Leadership Qualities: Keeps oneself and others on their toes by being open and responsive to unexpected and abandoning rules of hierarchy and tradition in the name of expediency.
Team Spirit: Teams can be fun,; however, without constant action and variation, or in dull meetings, they can run aground.