Understanding your team with the Myers Briggs (MBTI) Personality Test
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is designed to identify an individual’s personality type through a series of questions. Based on the answers provided, the test attempts to assign people into four categories:
I/E: Introversion or Extraversion
S/N: Sensing or Intuition
T/F: Thinking or Feeling
J/P: Judging or Perceiving
There are 16 MBTI personality types in total (if you’ve heard someone refer to themselves as INTJ or ESTP, this is probably why) and each one determines how an individual within that category likely interacts with others, processes information, solves problems, deals with stress, and generally operates in the world. Taking an MBTI assessment can provide a huge amount of insight into your personality, which is likely why it’s become such a popular instrument for testing amongst both individuals and within businesses.
Important to remember: All MBTI personality types are equal, and every type has value!
How the MBTI test can help build stronger companies
The most valuable asset in any company is its people. Understanding your colleagues to ensure that the right people are working in the right team (and working harmoniously), is critical for growing a strong business. Managers, for example, can use the information from an MBTI assessment to ensure personality types don’t clash and that skill-sets complement one another.
Workshops around MBTI aim to equip teams with a self-understanding of their behavioral traits, as well as a better understanding of their colleagues. If you leave the workshop with a better sense of how each person works best and what they to do well in their job, then ultimately you’ll have much easier and positive communication.
Our experience at an MBTI workshop
With a growing team of 33 people from 17 different countries, diversity is certainly one of our strengths. Our eclectic bunch come from all over the world and bring with them an amazing mix of languages, cultures, backgrounds — and personalities. Two years ago, we decided to enroll in an MBTI workshop so that we could delve a little deeper into our different personalities, learn about our team members and build stronger relationships through improved communication habits.
How it worked:
A week prior to the workshop every team member was asked to complete a questionnaire with 80 behavioral and psychological questions that aimed to gauge our individual preferences. Many of the questions were asked multiple times but phrased slightly differently. This was done on purpose — by asking multiple times, the test tries to get the dominant natural preference you have.
Our MBTI dedicated trainer then assessed each colleague's responses and a week later, as we gathered at Hotel Amano’s Conference space (just a stone’s throw away from our office in Berlin), we were presented with the results.
“I really enjoyed doing the MBTI workshop - it was a very fun bonding experience! We would make fun guesses about what we each thought we were and actually were incredibly surprised about some of them.” - Nathalie, Senior Designer (ENFP)
Before revealing our results, each team member was asked to guess their personality type and that of two colleagues. We then compared our perceptions of both ourselves and our colleagues with that of the result. While some people felt a little unsure about their result, for the most part we were amazed at how spot on the personality types were.
What we learned:
The results and discussions that followed at the workshop were incredibly insightful and valuable to us as a company. By learning about our colleagues personality types, we gained a better understanding of what motivates them and how they prefer to process information. It was revealed, for example, that while some people work best on their own with minimum feedback, others wanted frequent feedback and positive appreciation for their work, with lots of interaction. The workshop provided a platform for our colleagues to recognize these preferences where they may not have felt comfortable voicing them before.
“I was really surprised that just after filling in the survey, they were able to precisely indicate my personality type! Also the tasks and activities during workshop helped me to learn about other personality types and how it affects perception of things.” - Anna, Marketing Manager (ISTJ)
Since the workshop, team members began to recognize and understand the differences in their colleagues and apply this knowledge of both their own and other’s personality types when communicating and collaborating.
There is, of course, always room for improvement and growth when it comes to understanding your colleagues, but the MBTI workshop was certainly a great instrument in helping us to build a stronger foundation as a team.
Don’t have the time to commit to a full MBTI assessment or workshop? No problem! Why not take our Free Online Personality test to get a quick estimate of your type, gain insights into your strengths and weaknesses, and to learn more about how your personality interacts with the world.