What is Myers-Briggs?
The Myers-Briggs assessment, also known as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), is one of the most widely used and comprehensive personality tests. Businesses commonly use it as a career assessment tool that can help employees make and reach the right career goals and help companies learn more about their employees’ personalities to build stronger, more effective teams.
Basics of the Myers-Briggs chart
Here are the basics of the Myers-Briggs assessment:
Carl Jung’s personality types
The foundation of the MBTI is Jung’s personality types, which is a theory from the psychologist Carl Jung that hypothesizes there are eight personality types comprised of four preferences for how a person:
- Energizes (extroverted vs. introverted): Extroverted people get energy and stimulation from people and events. They learn by talking and like working in groups. Introverts prefer to energize themselves with self-reflection and self-discovery, learn best by watching and work well alone.
- Perceives information (sensing vs. intuition): Sensing people use the five senses to understand the world. They enjoy practicality and real-life examples. Intuitive people rely on their natural instincts and prefer to use their imagination.
- Makes decisions (thinking vs. feeling): Thinkers prefer to use logical and objective thinking and are more likely to enjoy debates, while feelers prefer using subjective ideas and personal values, and enjoy agreements.
- Lives life (judging vs. perceiving): Judging people prefer plans, organization and structure. Perceivers are more relaxed, take laid-back approaches to challenges and are more open to changing circumstances.
Jung’s personality types are:
- Se: Extraverted Sensing
- Si: Introverted Sensing
- Ne: Extraverted Intuiting
- Ni: Introverted Intuiting
- Te: Extraverted Thinking
- Ti: Introverted Thinking
- Fe: Extraverted Feeling
- Fi: Introverted Feeling
The 16 MBTI personality types
The MBTI expanded on Jung’s eight personalities to include an additional eight types. These 16 personality types are identified as an acronym consisting of the first letter of each preference, with a total of four letters as follows:
Each personality comes with a detailed description of characteristics that can provide useful self-discovery for employees and valuable information for you as an employer.
Taking the MBTI
The MBTI is a psychological questionnaire intended to be administered by an MBTI certified mental health professional, if you choose the personal feedback option. It contains a series of multiple choice questions that help determine what type of personality the participant has. The results then give the participant one of the 16 personality types, and offers general assumptions about how that type is best suited for personal and workplace success. There’s also an online option that doesn’t require the presence of a certified MBTI practitioner.
For example, a question on the test might be “Which response comes closer to describing how you usually feel or act?” and will list a series of situations, such as “When you go somewhere for the day, would you rather: A) plan what you will do and when, or B) just go?”
While there’s a fee to have your employees take the assessment through the Myers & Briggs Foundation, you can find free versions online that are similar. Find out more about taking the Myers-Briggs assessment here.
How to use Myers-Briggs results in your business
The information revealed by the MBTI can be valuable for you as an employer. Once you know an employee’s personality type, you have a greater understanding of the best ways for them to approach tasks, make decisions, manage time and handle difficult situations.
Myers-Briggs assessment results can benefit your business by helping you do the following:
Hire best-fit candidates
Personality tests like the Myers-Briggs assessment can help you find, attract and engage the right candidate for your open roles. For example, if you include a personality test in your job application experience, it can make your candidate experience fun and memorable. Not only that, but personality quizzes can help you look beyond the resume and get a more nuanced understanding of the whole person.
Assemble more effective teams
When you understand the strengths and weaknesses of each team member, such as how they prefer to work and what tasks they’re good at, you can put complimentary team members together to foster more efficient and productive work.
Encourage better communication
The MBTI will help your employees learn about their preferred way to communicate, as well as how to communicate better with other personality types. As an employer, you’ll know how to best deliver information to each employee so they can do their job well.
Motivate your employees
Individual personality types respond to different motivation methods. One employee may prefer a straightforward, logical reason for why they need to complete a task and enjoy working on their own. Another employee may need more team interaction and positive feedback to reassure them that they’re doing their job well.
Taking personality tests as a group can also be a great icebreaker or team-building activity.
Understanding personality types in the workplace helps you place your employees into the correct roles and give everyone tasks that fit their strengths. This reduces conflict and project setbacks. You can also facilitate deeper relationships between team members and integrate new employees easier.
Enhance leadership development
MBTI results are a great way to help develop leaders within your company. Employees looking to grow can use their personality type to help them focus on using their strengths and improve upon their weaknesses. You could even use Myers-Briggs results as part of your leadership development program if you have one.
Be a better manager
Myers-Briggs assessment results can also help you develop your skills as a manager. Knowing your personality and those of your team allows you to adjust your processes to positively impact and lead your team, resulting in a better manager-employee relationship.