Personally, I’m a huge fan of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), and I know a lot of people who are too.  However, I’ve also encountered some people who are standoffish to it and I believe it’s because they don’t understand what it actually is. For those of you who don’t know what the MBTI is, it’s a personality assessment or personality type indicator.  You can learn a lot more about it at www.16personalities.com, and even take an abbreviated (but pretty accurate) version of the MBTI to learn your type.

My type is INTP… Introversion, Intuition, Feeling, Perceiving.
Everyone has four letters in their type.
They are as follows:

  • Introversion or Extraversion.

    This has to do with ‘your favorite world’ or how you ‘recharge’ – alone or with others, not to be confused with shy vs. outgoing.

  • Sensing or Intuition.

    This has to do with your primary way of taking in information – through your five senses or through patterns and possibilities and ‘reading between the lines’ in the the information you receive.

  • Thinking or Feeling.

    This has to do with the way you prefer to make decisions – whether it’s based on objective principles and impersonal facts (Thinking) or if it’s based more on personal concerns and other individuals involved (Feeling). This is not to be confused with intelligence or emotion.

  • Judging or Perceiving.

    This has to do with how you tend to live your outer life, the behaviors others tend to see – more structured and decided (Judging) or more adaptable and flexible (Perceiving).

As you can tell from above, these type indicators take on a meaning that many don’t understand at first.  (For more on these descriptions visit http://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/mbti-basics/)

Now that you understand a bit about the MBTI, here are a few reasons you should learn more about your type, and possibly the type of those close to you.

  1. You’ll discover you’re not “weird”, “crazy”, or “insane”.

    When I first began to learn about my type, and how rare it was, especially for women, it helped me to understand that it was okay for me to be different and that there were special characteristics and talents in my “uniqueness”.  That’s a good thing!

  1. You’ll learn how to better manage your inner and outer world.

    I learned that because I tested as such a strong “P”, rather than a “J”, my natural tendency of being so flexible and the “go with the flow” type of gal was actually costing me in the long run with the lack of structure in my business. Understanding this allowed me to create structures I could develop and work within to help me better reach my potential.

  2. You’ll learn about what energizes and drains you.

    I’m actually an extremely high introvert on the type indicator. Because of what I do for a living, and how much I interact with people on a relational level (something I’ve very much grown into), people are often surprised to hear that I’m an introvert.  I believe this is because it’s a common misconception that introverts are shy.  This isn’t the case.  My personal opinion is that shyness comes from lack of confidence and is not a personality trait.  That aside, once I realized that the reason I often craved alone time is because that’s how I recharged.  I enjoy being around people, but only in increments of time before I know that I need to be by myself to process and reflect.  Knowing what energizes you and what drains you will allow you to better manage your time, and ultimately keep you feeling happier and healthier!

  3. You’ll begin to learn how to better structure your routine.

    When learning about my type, I discovered that it was very difficult for me to spend a day going back and forth between client meetings and web development/design time.  I can get lost in development & design. So lost in it I’d often have to set an alarm to interrupt me when it was time to head to another meeting. It would take me some time to shift my brain away from one world to another, both of which were integral parts of my business.

    Once I understood this, I began to try to schedule entire days one way or the other.  If possible, I scheduled all my client meetings on one or two days out of the week, leaving the rest of the week to get lost in the design and development side.  This worked very well for me, made me much more efficient, and my productivity increased exponentially.

  1. You’ll learn that people are different – and that doesn’t mean they’re wrong.

    This one was HUGE for me.  I’m by nature a very high “T”, which means that logic trumps just about everything when it comes to decision making.  It used to frustrate me so much when others struggled making decisions based on things that seemed so illogical to me.  I began to understand the differences in how others process things and that we were all created so differently. This helped me to become more patient and understanding.  Really, it helped me bring more balance to how I interact with others as I gained insight into handling situations from their differing perspectives.

Lastly, while I strongly encourage everyone to learn about how they were created I also believe some people may use it as a crutch or an excuse to not grow beyond where they are.  Please don’t be one of these people.  The MBTI exists to be an indicator.  Learn about who you are, your strengths and weaknesses and use it to grow.  Do not us it as an excuse to stay stagnant, not challenging yourself.

If you’re intrigued by the MBTI and want to learn more, try reading Gifts Differing: Understanding Personality Type by Isabel Briggs Myers and Peter B. Myers, the creators of the MBTI.