I just finished commenting on someone's opinion on the MBTI personality type in a Linked In status update.
As you might have read in my previous post regarding "The secret sauce of great leadership - IMO ;)" I am an avid fan of determining your own personality type in order to improve yourself.
Because this person had seen a presentation by Patrick Vermeren on the myth of MBTI, he re-tweeted the following:
I wish there was a test to take to find out how much you hate Meyers-Briggs (MBTI). I'd score off the charts.
Since I most certainly do not agree, I commented some things on the Linked In thread. As I think the comment might have some value for my blog readers as well, I decided to post it here.
Here Is My Opinion
I believe your personality can change during puberty, but afterwards, it is pretty much fixed.
MBTI made me aware of my personality, and how to bridge to other types of personalities, by making the differences explicit.
While the test might not be spot on for some (e.g., my sister), it was spot on for me; the description matched me in both positive and negative ways. Since then I have learned to accept my personality, and being aware of your shortcomings and strengths helps you to improve yourself (i.e., self-awareness is key here). Once you master handling yourself, you can attempt to guess your discussion partner's MBTI type, which is quite obvious for the first letters, but harder for the next:
- Introvert or Extravert? (easy)
- Sensing or intuitive (i.e., perception by facts or intuition)
- Feeling or thinking (i.e., subjective vs objective)
- Judging or percepting (i.e., judge and get done with it vs. constantly looking for alternative options/possibilities)
Once you realize the type of your conversation partner, you should know how to talk to him/her...
While the MBTI test is certainly not a solution to everything, it can increase your self-awareness, and in the next phase, the awareness on how to interact with your discussion partner. You could compare this to level 3 and level 4 thinking in poker.
In my opinion, anything that builds your self-awareness can be a good tool to expand your personal horizon.