I’m currently having my leadership skills developed at work. And as part of this process we’ve all been put through the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Basically a test that will spookily, accurately tell you what your personality type is. There are 16 different personality types according to the Myers and Briggs ladies and each and every one of you will fall into one of the 16 categories. Don’t like labels? Being put in a box? Tough because it’s happening.
The basic principle behind the theory is that each one of us is programmed, pretty much at birth, to prefer to react to a situation in a certain way. Your friend’s over the top reaction to you not having spoken to them in a few weeks. Someones incessant need to argue over everything. Leaving packing to the day of your flight, only to realise that you don’t actually know where your passport is. These may all seem like odd ways to behave to you, but actually, for that person, they are completely normal. Because we’re all different. Or different in 16 different ways. Whatever. There are basic differences in the way people prefer to use their perception or judgement.
So a month or so ago I sat at my computer at work and answered many an odd question. I can’t give you the exact test I did. You have to pay to do it properly, but this website is pretty close and gives a relatively accurate result.
And yesterday I had a telephone interview, as depending on the situation you’re in when you take the online test, this can skew your responses.
First is where we like to draw our energy from. You can either be on the extrovert (E) end of the scale or the introvert (I) end. And remember, because this always gets my back up, being an introvert does not equal shy. Either person can be shy. The MBTI doesn’t look at behaviour, it looks at born preference. Someone who is an E can behave the exact same way as an I would.
The second dichotomy is the type of information we prefer to pay attention to. Sensing (S) people prefer to base decision on tangible, concrete evidence. They trust their senses. Where as people on the Intuition (N) side of the scale are happy with the more theoretical side of things. They can be spontaneous and will often base decisions on a gut feeling.
The third looks at how we prefer to make decisions. Thinkers (T) prefer things to be black or white. They can be very logical and objective driven. Where as those who prefer to rely on feeling (F) make decisions using their heart and based on their values.
And finally the last dichotomy deals with how we prefer to live our lifestyle. Those that are judging (J) are very planned and organised about their daily life and those that are perceptive (P) often have no plan of action, are easy going and react well to change.
Now that online test I gave you spits me out as an ISTJ. I am in fact and ISTP. And the telephone interview I had was important in me realising this. My job means I have to be a J – organised, time bound, love deadlines. But I’ve learnt to be a J, for my job, because at home and in my every day life I am an off the scale P. I’m always late. I love an unplanned adventure. That time me and my sister were late boarding the Eurostar I found hilarious, she not so much.
So take your test results with a pinch of salt. Some results will be obvious. I show a strong preference of introversion over extraversion, so I know that is accurate. But my slight preference of thinking over feeling means I should look into it more. Have a look on this website and have a read of the different personality profiles. During my telephone interview I was told to have a look at ISFP as I showed traits of that profile. I’ve ultimately decided that I am an ISTP though. And it is up to you to decide. After all, no one knows you better than you know yourself.
To the fun part. Once you know what your profile is, head on over to Pinterest and search Myers Briggs. You’re welcome.