You’ve probably heard of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator even if you haven’t taken it yourself already. According to the test’s website, the MBTI is one of the most widely-used psychological instruments for describing and measuring personality characteristics, and is used in more than 80 of the Fortune 100 companies. Its goal is to encourage optimal communication and teamwork among different personalities, and the four main dimensions of characteristics within the MBTI are:
- Introversion OR Extroversion
- Sensing OR Intuition
- Thinking OR Feeling
- Judging OR Perceiving
A total of 16 personality types are possible. The MBTI is not meant to label the entirety of one’s personality, but to identify the unique ways in which an individual interprets information, communicates, and views the world and others. The purpose of the MBTI is not to pigeonhole people, but simply to identify which extreme we tend to lean toward.
Administering the MBTI to employees gives you, the manager, the opportunity to better understand your employees’ strengths, as well as identify their communication and working styles. It is also helpful in assisting both you and your employees in determining the “why” behind their behavior.
Benefits of the Myers-Briggs for Teams
One of my past employers had everyone post their Myers-Briggs type above their desks. The idea was that if you understood where your teammates were coming from, you would be more tolerant of their differences and could resolve conflicts more easily. It is known, for example, that introverted types who rely on data and facts to make decisions tend to butt heads with the extroverts, who view problems in the abstract and would rather seek the opinions of others. If you know upfront that someone has a different style than you, you can adjust your expectations and be better prepared to compromise.
Understanding Myers-Briggs personality profiles also goes a long way in enhancing team communication skills. The social extrovert and the more low key introvert must learn to meet in the middle in order to ensure that they can clearly express their own ideas. By regularly interacting and working with other types, employees are also able to hone their persuasion abilities.
For more where this came from, have a look at the full post at Intuit's Fast Track blog.