Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
The most well-known personality assessment instrument is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). While there are several versions of the MBTI, the format that we strongly recommend for our clients is the MBTI Type II. This version provides a great amount of insight. Even for those who have taken the basic MBTI in the past, taking the Type II version goes much deeper into why some people with the same four-letter type have distinctive variations in behavior patterns.
The MBTI has been around for decades and it was developed by Katherine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers. It is based on the prior work of Swiss psychologist C.G. Jung. The MBTI bases personality type on four scales that indicate preferences toward:
- Extroversion or Introversion (E or I)
- Sensing or Intuition (S or *N)
- Thinking or Feeling (T or F)
- Judging or Perceiving (J or P)
*N is used to represent Intuition so it is not confused with Introversion.
As a result of completing the basic MBTI, respondents learn that they identify most strongly with one of sixteen personality “types,” such as INTJ or ESFP. The MBTI Step II also identifies one of sixteen types, yet goes on to examine various sub-components (called “facets”) within each of the four types. Thus, an INTJ may find that he or she differs from other INTJs because one or more personality facets are “out of preference.”
While experts in psychometrics often question the validity and reliability of the MBTI, most people find the results to have what is known as face validity. That means that when people actually see their results, along with a description of how they probably behave, they tend to say, “Yes, that sounds like me.”
We have found the MBTI to be highly useful when we coach individuals or teams. For example, just knowing how to answer, “Are you an Extrovert (E) or an Introvert (I)?,” seems to create both self-insight and a heightened understanding of how other team members prefer to work.
Most coaching clients who complete the MBTI Step II see themselves in a different light, especially after meeting with us to verify their MBTI preferences. For example, if they learn that they have a strong preference toward Introversion, they often have a better understanding of why they can only interact with people for a certain amount of time before they need to find a way to “recharge their battery” in a more solitary setting. Many clients gain a better understanding of why they tend to clash with team members, spouses, and others whose preferences are considerably different than their own.
Dennis is a qualified MBTI practitioner, and Camille is certified in MBTI Step II. Please contact us to request an MBTI Step II assessment and verification session.