3 Strategies to get the most from the MBTI

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Now that you’re a month into your new year’s resolutions, how are you doing on them? Some might have fallen off the list while others are gaining momentum.

As you look for ways to build on your success, consider setting aside several hours over the next few weeks to learn more about how you can continue motivating yourself to achieve your goals.

One tool that will help you in that learning process is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator — MBTI. The mother-daughter team of Katharine Briggs and Isabel Myers created the MBTI as a way to bring Carl Jung’s theory on personality type to the average person. By using this tool, you can unlock an unlimited number of doors to discover how you can improve your productivity and relationships at work and at home.

MBTI and type theory
Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist, based his type theory on the concept that each person is born with their own preferences for the two primary mental activities: (1) collecting information (2) making decisions.

The MBTI process includes completing a questionnaire that can be taken online or in written form, along with having a discussion with a certified MBTI instructor to explain the results and definitions of each personality type so that you can choose your best-fit type. However, the responses and discussions are only the beginning of the self-awareness process.

The best mindset for an MBTI session

Going into an MBTI session, have these three points in mind so that you will get the best results:

Before
1. View the MBTI as a mirror – We all have an image of who we want to become and we model ourselves after people with those qualities. When you respond to the questionnaire, answer as the individual you are now and not as the person you would like to become.

If you respond as your ideal person then you are not being fair to yourself because the instrument is designed to provide an objective reflection — not a subjective wish.

During
2. Listen to your inner voice - You will find yourself working hard at keeping the voices of other people throughout your life out of your mind when you are responding to the questions or discussing the meaning of the various personality types.

For example, co-workers might see you networking at parties or at conferences and have complimented you on those social skills. However, inside you might be the type of person who dreads going to those events but you force yourself to do it because your job requires that kind of interaction. While people may think your social and networking skills come naturally to you, maybe the truth is that you’ve worked hard at mastering those skills, which no one else but you would know.

Therefore, when responding to the questionnaire or when you are choosing your best-fit type, listen to your inner voice and not the image that people may have of you.

After

3. Look for everyday examples of all types – Answering the questionnaire, discussing the definitions of each type and choosing your best-fit type is only the start of your journey. You now have the knowledge to listen closer to the words that people use, to observe their gestures with more interest and to find better ways to form stronger relationships.

Good luck and enjoy the new insights that you will quickly gain about yourself and others.