Myers Briggs Type Indicator
The Swiss Psychiatrist and psychotherapist Carl Jung had a theory of ‘psychological types’, the heart of which states that what may seem like random variations in people’s behaviour are actually quite orderly and consistent depending upon the way people access aspects of their personalities. He was particularly interested in how people perceived things, (taking in information) and how they made conclusions on what they have perceived (decision making) — and whether they did that in their internal world or the external world.
The mother and daughter team of Katherine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers wanted to make Jung’s theory accessible to ordinary functioning people — and something which could be used in practice. After extensive research they added a further dimension and built a tool which has become the number one personality tool in the world used for a variety of purposes including personal and leadership development, career counselling, team building, relationship building but not recruitment.
There are now three different tools, all of which we are accredited to use
MBTI Step 1
This uses a self report questionnaire to generate responses which enable the tool to ‘sort’ people into four ‘preferences’, covering how they gain energy, take in information, make decisions and approach their lives.
Extroversion – Introversion
Sensing – iNtuition
Thinking – Feeling
Judging – Perceiving
These groupings then break into sixteen ‘types’ based on the interactions between these four preferences — ESTJ, INFP, etc. Within each type people will have some things in common, however each will also be different in that they will not all behave in the same way all the time — these are broad catagories of type not clones!
MBTI Step 2
This too is a self report tool which groups people as in Step 1, however this now has a further five facets in each of the four preferences, showing where somebody may be quite different in some aspects from colleagues with an overall similar type preference. As one concrete example, people with an introvert preference have more of a tendency towards smaller circles of close friends and working in small groups than large groups. Jim, who I once attended a course with, has an introvert preference overall — but absolutely loves big groups where he makes lots of interactions, often starting things off. The Step 2 shows him as a gregarious introvert, with one of his facets being more typical of an extrovert preference. In this way the analogy sometimes used is that the MBTI Step 1 is like an off the peg piece of clothing, where overall it fits but some pieces of the ‘cut’ aren’t quite right, whilst the Step 2 is tailor made to you as an individual.
This tool, in our experience, helps avoid the mistaken impression that the tool is about ‘putting people into boxes’.
MBTI Step 3
Whilst the above two tools are geared towards identifying preferences this latest tool helps us review how well we are using our perceiving functions, sensing and intuition and our judging functions, thinking and feeling. Preferences are not about capabilities or competence and this tool helps to identify how well somebody is using these functions at this moment in time.
Unlike the other two reports this is done through a series of statements, questions and suggestions and the power of the tool is using it in conjunction with a trained and certified coach. It does not use MBTI language and so can be used with people both with and without experience of the other MBTI tools.
This tool is intended for one to one coaching rather than work in groups.
“Very useful. It has made me question the role I currently carry out and whether I enjoy it”
“Really helpful and a hugely insightful conversation”
Contact us if you require more information on any of these.