I am a complete geek when it comes to personality quizzes. I’m a sucker for ticking boxes, which probably says a fair bit about me to start with.
So I was delighted when a little while ago, as part of a leadership training programme, I had the opportunity to do a Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) assessment to find out my ‘type’.
In order to get our result we each had to complete a long questionnaire that consisted of some very cryptic either/or options (do you like going out, or hate staying in?!) that was then posted off to be analysed. We came together as a group with a fantastic facilitator and coach called Lynne Howells to find out the results in a group workshop.
It was fascinating to discover very quickly that there were two types to start with – those who liked being put in a box, and those who didn’t! Some really struggled with the idea of a label that defined them, whereas others really saw a fit. I personally think that it can be a little like horoscopes – you tend to agree with the bits you like, but want to ignore the rest.
As it turns out, from the 16 potential types I am an ‘INTJ’ – known as ‘The Strategist’. Which makes me just a little smug, I have to say, as I do like that title. Maybe I’ll put it on a business card one day. Apparently this makes me knowledgable and adaptable, and talented in bringing ideas from conception to reality; all of which I’d like to agree with of course.
I’ve since been obsessively trying to mentally calculate friends, clients and colleagues ‘type’ to see if it gives my any further insight into how we communicate, and it has been useful and a bit of an eye-opener. As an introvert, I’d prefer to sit and mull over an idea before I give you my response – whereas a typical extrovert will want to talk it through, mentally processing as they go. Just this one example illustrates what an impact that might have in the workplace, and you can easily spot the extroverts – they are the ones that stop by your desk to talk through an issue, unlike the introverts who will send you an email with fully formed thoughts carefully typed out.
MBTI assessors are accredited, and it’s something I’m keen to add to my skillset soon. You can find out how to get accredited here.