Which personality answered the phone at your desk today? Perhaps it was Natalie Portman being dependable and loyal (ISTJ). Or was it Steven Spielberg trying to get a sense of how the person on the other end felt (ISFP). Or maybe it was the dreamy, no wait, dreamer Secretary of State John Kerry looking through his rose colored glasses (INFP).
The letters in parenthesis might have tipped you off that I was referring to the result monikers of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) or more commonly referred to as a personality types test. The MBTI is “is a psychometric questionnaire designed to measure psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions.”
The MBTI is often administered by a qualified HR professional to a team of people seeking to understand how to work together or as personal development tool to help an individual create a development plan based on personalty types.
Are you a ESFP or are you just happy to see me?
So, who are you? Who are you when it comes to how you work, how you interact, and how you lead?
Personality testing is one way to find out who you, how you interact and what situation might best suit your personality. Understanding your core traits can help you decide the type of work you want to do and the environment you are most comfortable in. You can decide to lead or follow. You can decide you are better off painting pictures with spreadsheets instead of canvas.
There are several resources you can utilize to the the test online. Here is the official MBTI administer search site. Please understand that I do not endorse any of these services nor do I have any working knowledge of the people administering the tests. I simply did a search to provide you the options.
George Clooney, Margaret Thatcher, Bill Gates and Me (ENTJ)
A gentleman named Boris Benko added a bit if fun to all the personality testing stuff. He created the Infograph below to help you gauge your results to those of famous people. If you know your four-letter MBTI then let the fun begin. If not, just bookmark this page and come back later. You might also forward this to a few friends that have taken the personality types indicator.
About 12 years ago, I was administered the test by an HR professional from our company. The results showed that I am an ENTJ. Below you can see I share this type with Charlize Theron, George Clooney, Bill Gate, Margaret Thatcher and Dick Cheney (now that is a cocktail party!)
The ENJT is defined as: Frank, decisive, assume leadership readily. Quickly see illogical and inefficient procedures and policies, develop and implement comprehensive systems to solve organizational problems. Enjoy long-term planning and goal setting. Usually well informed, well read, enjoy expanding their knowledge and passing it on to others. Forceful in presenting their ideas.
The MBTI Toolkit
The HR executive helped me interpret the results of the MBTI in a way that was extremely helpful in understanding how I interacted with my peers, my boss, and the folks on my team. I learned that I needed to slow down at times when it came to working with others. My personality type tends to process concepts quickly and then fail to understand why others did not see the same things. ENTJ’s tend to be the take-charge people. And that is a great trait unless you are supposed to be following.
Over the years, I have referred back to the results to understand my actions and reactions in certain situation. With the MBTI and a little self examination, I was able to avoid painting myself in a corner when it came to working in some situations. I also used the MBTI to help me understand who the best people are to have on my team to complement my shortcomings.
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is not the only tool out there to help you in developing yourself and your team. Ask an HR professional or a psychology professional in your circles. You might be surprised there is someone nearby that can help you get a deeper understanding of who you are and how you work in the world around you.
Now, enjoy Infograph and envision some of these folks renting a beach house together. Ashton Kutchner and Vladamir Putin; now that is a pair of personality types!