(Mike W. is always talking about the Myers Briggs, because he finds it so helpful. This month at the Midday Meeting, he will be our guest speaker, and get us talking about it too. P.S. If you have a laptop or iPad, bring it and you can take the instrument on-line!)
The Myers Briggs Type Indicator, MBTI, is a personality inventory focused on making the theory of psychological types described by psychologist Carl Jung both understandable and useful in people’s lives. Jung did his work during the 1920’s.
Where then does the term Myers Briggs come from if the instrument (NOT a test) people take is derived from Jung’s work? Isabel Briggs Myers and her daughter Katharine Briggs formatted Jung’s work to make the insights of type theory accessible to individuals and groups with work they did during the 1940’s and 1950’s. The instrument was introduced in 1962.
On May 13th we will explore the MBTI, get our profile, and talk about not only what the profiles mean but also how to utilize the profile to make life more meaningful and a whole lot more fun. We will explore a person’s favorite world where they direct their energy, their information preference/process, their decision making style, and their focus on structure or organizing their life.
Oh wow, sounds like a lot to cover and get comfortable with in a couple of hours! Answer is yes; it is exciting and only a beginning to understand your life and interface with the world around you.
For those of you who can’t wait, we’ll come up with a individual profile utilizing the letters E/I, N/S, F/T, and J/P. Some of you are going whoa – you’re going to put me in a box and label me. On the contrary, we are going to do nothing of the sort. First of all, remember that all types are equal. We will allow you to get a better picture of who you are and why you behave as you do.
What makes the process of taking the instrument and learning about your type valuable is that it is fun and meaningful, not a waste of time. What makes the process so much fun is that we find out our differences and learn how to utilize those differences to make a stronger team (Old First) and to be a happier person, knowing who we are.
Even though it is common to develop both a primary and a backup type, we will focus on the primary type for our first time together.
I would like to again state as I did earlier that Myers Briggs is NOT a test; it is an instrument that people can use for themselves. A test would be a vehicle where there are right and wrong answers vs. with the Myers Briggs where there are no right or wrong answers. I prefer to say that all of the answers are right since they further define and support who each individual is.
There are those who may think the MBTI is foolish, even childish attempting to “box people” into a type, attempting to “get people”, and focused on attempting to pit people against each other. I would suggest that these are not goals of the instrument and should not be attempted. Overall, the MBTI celebrates and supports our differences. A great resource for those who want to do some pre work is to refer to the book that Myers and Briggs penned, “Please Understand Me.”
The MBTI can be utilized in various settings. Two areas where it can be quite effective are in team building and career development.
In reflecting on Myers Briggs, it’s important to understand that it does not measure trait, ability, or character. For those who ask why they should take the Myers Briggs and put any faith in it is that hundreds of studies over the last 40 years have proven the instrument is both valid and reliable. That is, it measures what is says it does (validity) and produces the same results when given more than once (reliability).