The Myers-Brigg Type Indicator is one of the most popular personality tests in the world. Almost 3.5 million people take the MBTI annually. According to Forbes Magazine, 80 percent of Fortune 100 businesses use personality tests, like the MBTI, to help them build effective work teams and stronger organizations.
The MBTI personality inventory helps supervisors identify their employees' strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, they discover how employees process information, solve problems and make decisions. In this article, you'll learn why MBTI is an exceptional tool to help your company build a dynamic workforce.
What Benefits Can the MBTI Provide to Your Company?
Learning how each personality type gets along can provide these benefits for your business.
- Play to each person's individual strengths
- Identify and develop every employees' strengths and weaknesses
- Learn how to make your teams work together better
- improve career development for your employees
- Identify skill gaps in teams
- Find out your team's style and how they work best with customers
- Improve communication between employees
- Help employees create personal development plans
- Enhance critical thinking and emotional intelligence skills
- Enable employees to relate to one another through greater understanding
- Help managers to develop effective managers, leaders, teams, and HR expertise
- Improve or change the work environment
The MBTI's Background
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is the most popular personality inventory in the world. Researchers Isabel Briggs-Myers and her mother, Katharine Cook Briggs created the test. The pair developed the MBTI using Carl G. Jung's theories.
Jung was the founder of analytical psychology. The scholar argued random variations in human behavior were explainable. He claimed these distinctions occurred because people used their perception and judgment differently.
Jung said "perception" is how an individual becomes aware of items, people, events, and ideas. He defined "judgment" as the way someone develops conclusions about what they've perceived.
Most individuals differ in the ways they perceive the world, and how they reach conclusions. Their differences correspond to their interests, reactions, values, motivations, and skills.
MBTI's Eight Personality Preferences
The MBTI test recognizes eight personality preferences that have equal value. They are Extraversion (E) versus Introversion (I), Sensing (S) versus Intuition (N), Thinking (T) versus Feeling (F), and Perceiving (P) versus Judgment (J).
Each person spends their time using all of these faculties, yet they are comfortable using one preference over another. Every one causes people to approach the world from a unique perspective.
The MBTI has 16 personality combinations. Every personality type brings a unique perspective when they interact with others.
These personality insights help employees and supervisors understand one another. Once people learn what motivates other people, they can relate to others who think or act differently.
Preference Pair 1: World Views
Individuals see the world in different ways. People who prefer to focus on the outer world them are called extroverts. Introverts focus on their inner thoughts and perceptions.
Extraversion (E): Individuals feel energetic spending time around other people are extroverts. They share several common traits.
- They can understand problems better when they talk out loud or speak to others.
- Extroverts see themselves as outgoing, people persons with a wide-range of friends.
- They feel comfortable working within groups and have a wide range of friends.
- They jump quickly into activities before thinking them over.
Introversion (I): People who feel energetic dealing with ideas, memories, reactions, or pictures are introverts. Introverts share these behavioral traits.
- Their peers see them as being reserved or reflective.
- Introverts prefer doing things alone, or with one or two people.
- They like to have a clear picture about what they're doing before they act.
- Sometimes, they spend too much time reflecting and fail to take action quickly enough.
Preference Pair 2: Gathering Information
The next personality pair examines how people collect information from the environment. People who focus on details are sensors. Individuals that add meaning to the world are intuitive people.
Sensing (S): Sensors people pay attention to physical reality, facts, and data. They are concerned about what they see, touch, taste, smell, or hear. Sensors want to put their experience and education to practical use. They share several common traits.
- These persons work through facts until they understand problems.
- Sensors are pragmatic: they use facts to form the big picture.
- They trust their own experiences rather than symbols or words.
- Sensors miss new possibilities because they pay so much attention to facts.
Intuition (N): Intuitive people pay attention to their impressions, meanings, or patterns rather than hands-on experience. They have several traits.
- These individuals enjoy the new and different.
- They think about future events, symbols, and abstract theories.
- These persons remember impressions more than facts.
- Intuitive people solve problems by examining ideas and possibilities.
- They focus on ideas so intently that they don't turn them into reality.
Preference Pair 3: Decision Making
People make decisions in different ways. Individuals that prefer consistency and logic are thinkers. Others who examine how their decisions will impact people and their circumstances are feelers.
Thinking (T): Thinkers make decisions using their brains. These people search for truth, regardless of the situation. Thinkers share several unique traits.
- Thinkers are task-oriented: they use logic to make decisions.
- They analyze the pros and cons of situations.
- These individuals prefer to be impersonal and fair. They don't allow their desires or other opinions to influence them.
- Thinkers like scientific fields where logic is essential.
- These persons search for logical explanations or solutions.
- They notice inconsistencies.
Feeling (F): These individuals appear warm, caring, and tactful. Feelers make better decisions when they consider other people's viewpoints. They try to establish harmonious relationships.
- These individuals are concerned with values and what's good for others.
- Feelers are people or communications oriented.
- They are nervous when harmony isn't present.
- These people search for what's important to others.
- Feelers make heart-based, compassionate decisions.
- They won't communicate hard truths to spare other people's feeling.
- Feelers appear idealistic, indirect, and emotional.
Preference Pair 4: Structuring Meaning
The fourth preference pair describes how people behave in the outer world. It describes behaviors that other people notice.
People who use the Judging (J) function prefer structure and finite decisions. Individuals that use the Perceiving (P) function are flexible, adaptable, and gather new information.
Judging (J): These individuals are decisive and use a decision-based preference (whether Thinking or Feeling) in the outer world. They appear to have a planned, orderly life. They are comfortable after they finalize matters. Judgers are flexible: they stay open to new information.
- These individuals judge, but they aren't judgmental of other people. The two terms aren't related.
- Judgers are task-oriented and make lists of things to do.
- They prefer to work before playing to avoid rushing before deadlines.
- Judgers focus so much on goals they can miss new information.
Perceiving (P): Perceivers (whether Sensing or Intuitive) prefer a flexible, spontaneous way of life. These people try to understand the world and adapt to it.
They don't organize their environments. Instead, they remain open to new information. These individuals appear loose and casual and keep plans to a minimum.
- Perceivers prefer to take in information, but it doesn't mean they have quick perceptions of people or events.
- These individuals prefer to stay open to respond to events.
- They mix work with play and complete tasks in bursts of energy.
- Approaching deadlines stimulate Perceivers to finish their work.
- These individuals stay open to new information, so they don't miss out on making important decisions.
MBTI Personality Types
There are four classes of personality groups in the MBTI: Guardians, Rationals, Artisans, and Idealists. In the following section, you'll learn the leadership strengths of each personality group.
According to personality expert David Keirsey, Guardians are the cornerstones of most societies. These individuals are among the most-effective organizational leaders. They know how to have fun with their friends but take their duties seriously. Guardians want to serve and preserve societal institutions and their workplaces. Guardians also believe in law and order.
Guardians make up 40 to 45 percent of the population. Most work the thankless jobs that others take for granted. These individuals are meticulous about schedules and make sure they follow the proper procedures. They are cautious but realize change can be healthy for any institution. There are four types of Guardians: Supervisors (ESTJ), Inspectors (ISTJ), Providers (ESFJ), and Protectors (ISFJ).
- Supervisors (ESTJ) are highly social and community-minded people. They are outspoken leaders who love issuing orders. These individuals are generous with their time. Many hold leadership positions in churches, schools, and civic organizations. They belong to service clubs, associations, and lodges.
- Inspectors (ISTJ) are dutiful leaders who guard institutions. These hard-working people take responsibility for the workers and services they supervise. Inspectors uphold regulations, laws, and standards. These leaders enforce institutional procedures. They don't like employees who don't follow the rules.
- Providers (ESFJ) are the most sociable Guardians. They only make up ten percent of the population. These leaders supervise the welfare of their communities. Providers are extraordinary nurturers who oversee social institutions, schools, and civic groups. They provide friendly service to meet others' needs.
- Protectors (ISFJ) seem fulfilled when they shield others from danger. These loyal and responsible people comprise ten percent of the population. Protectors guard the safety and security of friends, relatives, students, coworkers, and bosses.
Rationals comprise five to ten percent of the population. They are pragmatic, skeptical, self-contained, and focused on problem solving and systems. They pride themselves on being ingenious, independent and strong-willed. These individuals are strategic leaders. Most are even-tempered, logical, and desire to learn how the world works.
Their drive has helped humanity develop new technologies that shape our world. There are four types of rationals: Fieldmarshals (ENTJ), Masterminds (INTJ), Inventors (ENTP) and Architects (INTP).
- Fieldmarshals (ENTJ) generally rise to positions of responsibility and leadership in workplaces. These individuals enjoy being executives. They compartmentalize their lives so they can work. Fieldmarshals organize units into smooth-functioning systems. They make excellent administrators in all law, the military, business, and medicine. They are capable of planning strategically for short and long-term objectives.
- Masterminds (INTJ) are contingency planning experts. They know how one step progresses to the next one. They prepare alternative plans in case they encounter difficulties. They never start projects without having fall-back plans.
- Inventors (ENTP) start building gadgets at a young age. When they become older, they continue to invent new things. They usually turn their ingenuity toward social or mechanical organizations. Most inventors search for challenging enterprises, projects, and processes.
- Architects (INTP) are master designers of theoretical systems. They create new technologies, academic curricula, and strategies. These ingenious people analyze the world to understand, explain and redesign it. INTPs prefer to structure and organize new systems.
Artisan leaders are fun-loving, realistic, optimistic and focused. These bold individuals pride themselves on being unconventional and spontaneous. They are creative, excitable leaders who troubleshoot problems.
Artisans prize freedom and master action skills. Individuals with this personality type are impulsive, adaptable, and generous. They bring grace and beauty to their professions. This group makes up 30 to 35 percent of the population. There are four types of Artisans: Promoters (ESTP), Crafters (ISTP), Performers (ESFP), and Composers (ISFP).
- Promoters (ESTP) bring a flourish to everything project they oversee. These dynamic leaders are bold and daring. ESTPs are always optimistic events will go their way. They are edgy, risk-takers who love flirting with danger.
- Crafters (ISTP) are masters of machinery. They only make up ten percent of the population. Crafters start learning their profession while they are young. They operate tools, equipment, and machinery of all kinds. It is difficult to get to know them.
- Performers (ESFP) have a unique ability among Artisans to engage others with their warmth and good humor. These leaders have extraordinary skills in music, comedy, and drama. Performers are exciting an fun. They help stimulate employees by lightening them up when they're worried.
- Composers (ISFP) are in touch with their senses. They know what belongs and what doesn't in artworks. ISFPs have excellent people skills. They also work well with tools. Composers can tell the subtle differences in tone, texture, aroma, and color. They work long hours on their art. These individuals are just as impulsive as other Artisans.
Idealists are giving, spiritual, and trusting individuals. They make up 15 to 20 percent of the population. Idealists have an extraordinary ability to influence, inspire, and motivate others. They focus their energy on other people's potential and journeys. These inspirational people motivate others with their authenticity.
Idealists trust their intuition. They prize harmonious relationships. These leaders have a talent for helping people get along and work together. Idealists are relatively rare. There are four types of Idealists: Teachers (ENFJ), Counselor (INFJ), Champions (ENFP), and Healers (INFP).
- Teachers (ENFJ) have a talent to help students or train employees. ENFJs encourage people to grow into their potential. Their biggest strength is their belief in others. They think every person has untapped potential.
- Counselors (INFJ) contribute to other people's welfare. Personal interactions fulfill them. INFJs nurture others' development to help them achieve their potential. They enjoy jobs that require detailed attention and solitude. These people also do well with other people provided their interactions isn't superficial. Counselors need quiet time and privacy to recharge their batteries.
- Champions (ENFP) are rare. They make up three to four percent of the population. Intense experiences are vital to ENFPs who see life as a drama with good and bad possibilities. They crave meaningful events.
- Healers (INFP) present a serene, calm face to the world. They appear shy, yet they are not serene. INFPs have a capacity for compassion rarely found in other MBTI types. They care deeply about the inner lives of a few special people. These individuals are passionate about healing conflicts that divide others. They seek wholeness and health for themselves, others, and the world.
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