I can’t quite pin down the first time I heard about the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or personality tests in general, but I fully remember my response. Bull Crap! Actually, it was probably a little stronger than that, but this is a family friendly blog. I thought it was laughable, and no doubt insulting, that you could answer a series of questions and voila! out popped a pre-packaged personality type that could describe you in great detail.
Well, I was wrong. At least for me. At my previous employer, I had the privilege of getting some great training on personal and team performance based around the MBTI and look back at that training as invaluable to me now. Not only do I understand myself better and how I function best but have the tools to see how teams and other individuals function best (or not) through the lenses of the MBTI. If you’ve never had the same privilege ask your employer to consider providing it for you. And if you’re self-employed its worth the time and money investment. And if you are an HR professional and don’t use MBTI you should be. You’ll love yourself for making the decision to do so.
My MBTI is ENTP. That’s Extraverted, iNtuative, Thinking, and Perceiving for the uninitiated. And I’m a perfect example. Here’s the Myers-Briggs description:
ENTPs are quick to see complex interrelationships between people, things, and ideas. These interrelationships are analyzed in profound detail through the ENTPs auxiliary function, introverted thinking. The result is an in-depth understanding of the way things and relationships work, and how they can be improved. To the ENTP, competence and intelligence are particularly prized, both in themselves and in other people.
ENTPs are frequently described as clever, cerebrally and verbally quick, enthusiastic, outgoing, innovative, flexible, loyal and resourceful. ENTPs are motivated by a desire to understand and improve the world they live in. They are usually accurate in sizing up a situation. They may have a perverse sense of humor and sometimes play devil’s advocate, which can create misunderstandings with friends, coworkers, and family. ENTPs are ingenious and adept at directing relationships between means and ends. ENTPs “think outside the box,” devising fresh, unexpected solutions to difficult problems. However, they are less interested in generating and following through with detailed plans than in generating ideas and possibilities. When ENTPs are used correctly on a team, they offer deep understanding and a high degree of flexibility and problem solving ability. The ENTP regards a comment like “it can’t be done” as a personal challenge, and, if properly motivated, will spare no expense to discover a solution.
If you’ve made it this far into this post then congratulations! Your voyeuristic tendancies are as developed as my narcissistic ones are! OK, lets just pretend that’s not true.