How well can you describe your personality? You might start out by saying, “I’m really outgoing” or “I’m really shy,” but do you then revert to describing your likes and dislikes? “I like dogs and eating pizza.”
While this may give someone a good idea of who you are as a person, your personality has more to do with the manner in which you consider the world around you. Knowing the specifics of your personality could help you identify your strengths and weaknesses, and also just give you more insight into how you react in certain situations.
So how can you pinpoint your personality in a more scientific way?
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator was created by Isabel Briggs Myer and Katharine Briggs, in conjunction with research and materials by C.G. Jung. They wanted to take all the work that Jung had done to classify people into personalities and make it so that a simple test could be given to place you, accurately, within your personality type. Thus the Briggs Meyer Type Indicator was born.
Your personality, according to Jung, can be broken down into four parts. The first part deals with your exposure to people and how you tend to interact in social situations, making you either an Extrovert (E) or an Introvert (I). Someone with extroversion traits tends to be more outgoing, as you would expect, but they also tend to recharge and be more comfortable when in a group setting. Someone showing introversion traits will tend to shy away from the group, and tends to pull their energy from solitude.
The other personality types are Sensing(S) and Intuition(N), Thinking(T) and Feeling(F), and Judging(J) and Perceiving(P). Someone who would be an S generally makes lists when asked to describe things, while an N tends rely more on their emotions. Likewise, T’s tend to use reason to make decisions, while F’s tend to go off of their gut feeling.
Finally, a J strives for organization, even accounting for their procrastination, and tends to enjoy very neat and tidy work areas. A P, on the other hand, may appear disorganized, yet they thrive when put on the spot. They work in cluttered environments because the neatness distracts them.
After taking the test, you will be given a percentage for each of the four personality types. These percentages represent your willingness to adapt. For example, my MBTI is ESFP with the percentages being, in order, being 19, 9, 84 and 25. What this means is that on the low end, being my S (9) and my E (19), I am easily adaptable.
I tend to show the characteristics associated with Extroversion, but I also occasionally display introverted tendencies. When I am in a new surrounding, for example, I tend to shy up and wait to be spoken to, but when I am comfortable I am the life of the party. I will be the first to raise my hand in class, and the first to throw out ideas and opinions.
It also means I am very adaptable in regards to Sensing, and will actually rely on my intuition from time to time. However, the fact that my F score is so high indicates that I am less adaptable in this realm. I tend to think with my heart and let my feelings cloud my judgement. It’s something that I simply cannot change, or really have to work at.
With the MBTI available to everyone, for free, I believe workplaces should require their employees to take the test as part of the hiring process. Think how much easier it would be to support and teach someone if you know their specific personality traits.
Not only could you pair them with a manager who thinks in a similar manner, you could pair up opposites to increase productivity in the workplace. Someone may have great ideas, but are uncomfortable speaking up. Pair this I up with an E and let the games begin.
If you do not believe in this kind of test and think it is a waste of time, typically an INTJ move, then prove me wrong and take the test yourself. Make sure you read the descriptions at the end of the test and really think about whether or not it sounds like you.
I promise you will be pleasantly surprised.