Working with the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI™)
The MBTI provides information to individuals about aspects of their preferred style and approaches to life and how these are similar to or different from other people. Feedback is given directly to the individual and it is the individual who decides what is their Type and whether to share that information with their organisation and with colleagues. There are advantages to be gained in sharing Type and its implications with other people who know and work with the individual – but it is that person’s absolute right to disclose or not disclose what they have learned.
2. The Indicator gives useful information about our preferences – whether we prefer, for example, to collect information in a Sensing (using the five senses) or an Intuitive (using the “sixth sense”) way. Preference scores show the relative strength of the preference not the relative ability to work in a Sensing or Intuitive way. We can all decide try to use and develop different preferences from our reported or best-fit Type. We may be naturally inclined to a preference in the same way that we may be naturally left-handed. We can also use our right hand or other preferences; it just takes more conscious effort and thought.
3. MBTI provides individuals with a reported Type – based on how they responded to the questionnaire. That reported Type may or may not be the ‘best fit'; it may have been affected by how people felt when the completed the questionnaire; or it may reflect how they feel they should be at work, rather than how they really are. It is for the individual to decide – based on the information they have and the feedback they have been given about the Indicator.
4. There are no “good” or “bad” Types only different Types (sixteen in total) and there is no right or wrong career depending on Type. All Types are capable of doing all jobs. We need to value all Types and preferences because of the different and useful perspectives they bring. The MBTI tries to help people maximise their potential by having a better awareness of themselves and using this knowledge effectively. It can also be useful in helping individuals think about and decide on their future career direction by thinking about their preferred ways of working.
5. Knowing our Type and understanding something about the MBTI helps us communicate and work with other people. We can learn why some communications work and others do not. We can also learn to adjust our preferences to aid communication and understanding.
Copyright: Peter Lewis Jones, October 96