The Myers-Briggs Type Inventory is one of the most common assessments used by counsellors and psychologists for a deeper insight into a person’s personality. The MBTI® developed out of Carl Jung’s psychological research. He described “psychological types” to better understand individuals behaviour and personality in a way that was understandable and useful to them. He argued the “much seemingly random variation in the behavior is actually quite orderly and consistent, being due to basic differences in the ways individuals prefer to use their perception and judgment,” (Myers-Briggs Foundation, 2016).
Perception & Judgement
Perception involves all the ways people become aware of things, people, their surroundings, and ideas. While judgement involves the conclusions people come to from their perception. Because people differ in their perception and judgement, it is fair to assume they will differ correspondingly to their motivations, interests, and values (Myers-Briggs Foundation, 2016).
This is where the MBTI® comes in. Mother and daughter duo Isabel Briggs Meyers and Katherine Briggs developed four dichotomies and their basic preferences from Jung’s psychological types. The MBTI has resulted in 16 distinctive personality types describing how an individual relates to the outer world (Extraversion vs. Intraversion), how you take in information (Sensing vs. Intuition), how you make decisions (Thinking or Feelings), and how you cope with structure (Judging vs. Perceiving) (Myers-Briggs Foundation, 2016). Overall, the MBTI® provides insight into a person’s personality.
What’s my personality type you ask?
My profile is INFJ. Individuals with a profile of INFJ are: “insightful, creative, visionary, sensitive, compassionate, deeply committed to personal values, loyal to people and intuitions that exemplify their personal values, guided by personal values in decision making, motivated to seek meaning and purpose in work and relationships, likely to value harmony and cooperation, and usually seen by others as private, intense, and individualistic,” (Myers & Myers, 2004).
How can the MBTI® be helpful in career counselling?
The Myers & Briggs Foundation (2014) suggest individuals are attracted to careers that allow them to make use of their natural type preferences. They suggest the two middle letters (ST, SF, NF, or NT) have a particular importance for an individual’s career choice. These letters represent how a person takes in information and the way a person makes decisions (Myers & Myers, 2004). These types will be instrumental in determining what career and work environments best suit a person’s personality.
It also helps a person understand the differences in relationships and how a person relates to others in the workplace, at home , or even in a romantic relationship (Myers & Briggs Foundation, 2014). This may be useful information in terms of helping a person understand how to cope with a myriad of future situations arising in the workplace by providing a greater self-awareness.
My profile analyzed and how it fits with my career
So I am an introvert. Individuals with these scores tend to work best by themselves first and then can come back to the group to share their ideas (Myers & Myers, 2004). I have memories when I would be called upon in class to answer a question and I would freeze up. I can think on my feet, but that is not where I get my best ideas. My best ideas come from when I have time to reflect and then I can come back to the group or teacher. When I did my master’s degree, one of my professors tried to incorporate both types of learning with asking questions outloud and the extraverts hands shooting up “Pick me! Pick me! I know the answer!” and then also giving everyone a few minutes to sit quietly and reflect to ourselves then discussing in a group. I was amazed I never realized I am this type of learner! Also, introverts tend to be good listeners as they focus their attention on the inner world of ideas (Myers & Myers, 2004). Hence, why I have chosen the career path of counselling! Furthermore, a big difference between extraversion and introversion is where they get their energy. So for me I get my energy from my inner-world so being quiet and taking time for myself. At the end of the day, I am drained from being social (my job involves talking to people and working with others). So if I don’t get some time to listen to music or read a book while I’m on transit home, I am cranky. Whereas extroverts get their energy from being in the outer-wold and being surrounded by people. This doesn’t mean extroverts do not like silence and quiet. This is a generalization of where you most often get your energy.
My second type of feeling shows my inclination to make decisions based on person centered values (Myers &Myers, 2004). Based on this, I value cooperation and harmony in my environment. So in the workplace to have the greatest workplace satisfaction, I would benefit from working at an organization that aligns with my personal values and is collaborative and supportive. Also, people with a clear preference for Feeling tend to make decisions based on how they feel about something and how others will be affected by their choices (Grutter & Kummerow, 2003).
For the intution type, this one I am the most on the fence about with myself. I think sometimes I am a sensor and a inutitor. Sensors tend to be more realistic (which I think I am) while intuitors are able to see all the possibilities in a situation (Myers & Myers, 2004). However, intuitors are better at making future plans (which I think fits me) while sensors are more in the here and now. I am also imagining where I am going next, I have a hard time being in the present moment (maybe that’s from my anxiety haha). Sensors make observations using their five senses. They often notice and remember details in both past and present situations (me!). Intuitors tend to focus on possibilities and meanings (Myers & Myers, 2004). They are future-oriented and are often theoretical and imaginative. So hard to say when I did the MBTI® I was given N so I guess I fit more in that category, but I definitely have moments of being a sensor. Also, my profession of counselling fits well with the N type.
Now for my judging type. Judging and Perceiving describe how we organize our environment. Judging types prefer decisiveness and closure, and they tend to be planners and organizers (me!) (Myers & Myers, 2004). Judging types typically use their Thinking or Feeling preference when they deal with the outer world (me me me!). Perceiving types prefer flexibility and spontaneity (if you know me this is definetly not me!) and they tend to be adaptable and open. Perceiving types typically use their Sensing or Intuition preference when they deal with the outer world. In the workplace and even in my home life, I value structure and organization. Judgers typically follow the rules and have difficulty with change (totally me, I hate change!). If you make lists like I do? Then you are definetly a Judger. Who likes to pull all nighters to write papers the night before they are due? Then you are a Perceiver.
So there you go, that’s my profile INFJ. I believe the MBTI doesn’t just apply a career counselling tool, it also helps with understanding your behaviours, values, home life, romantic relationships, and friendships!
Want to take the MBTI?
There are some online questionnaires that say they tell you your MBTI profile. This can be a good starting place. However, the MBTI is a psychological assessment that is best administered by someone who is trained in MBTI. These are usually trained counsellors.
Image Source: http://www.brainchildmag.com/2015/11/why-i-gave-my-kids-a-myers-briggs-personality-test/