The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) personality inventory has been around for a number of decades and is one of the most popular personal assessments used. It helps individuals to understand their behavior by seeing how they prefer to use their perception and judgment.
Perception is how we become aware of things, people, happenings, or ideas. Judgment is how we coming to conclusions about what has been perceived. If people perceive things differently they come to different conclusions, showing how they are different in their interests, reactions, values, motivations, and skills.
The MBTI is broken into 16 distinctive personality types that combines eight different categories into four groups;
- Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I): Do you prefer to focus on the outer world or on your own inner world?
- Sensing (S) or Intuition (N): Do you prefer to focus on the basic information you take in or do you prefer to interpret and add meaning?
- Thinking (T) or Feeling (F): When making decisions, do you prefer to first look at logic and consistency or first look at the people and special circumstances?
- Judging (J) or Perceiving (P): In dealing with the outside world, do you prefer to get things decided or do you prefer to stay open to new information and options?
Your preference in each category gives you your own personality type, which is expressed with four letters in 16 different personality types: ISTJ, ISFJ, INFJ, INTJ, ISTP, ISFP, INFP, INTP, ESTP, ESFP, ENFP, ENTP, ESTJ, ESFJ, ENFJ, ENTJ. You can go to the official MBTI website to check out all of the definitions and pay for a self-assessment, or you can go to a number of sites that you can take a quick MBTI assessment for free to give you a good indication on what your MBTI is.
I won’t go into each one of the 16 type indicators except to briefly outline the Intuitive, Nurturing, Feeling, Judging (INFJ) one, because that’s what I am.
My MBTI is Introverted, iNtuiting, Feeling, Judging (INFJ). In an article by Marina Margaret Heiss, INFJs are distinguished by both their complexity of character and the unusual range and depth of their talents. INFJs tend to be idealists, and because of their J preference for closure and completion, they are generally “doers” as well as dreamers. This rare combination of vision and practicality often results in INFJs taking a disproportionate amount of responsibility in the various causes their drawn to.
INFJs are sometimes mistaken for extroverts because they appear so outgoing and are genuinely interested in people, but INFJs are true introverts, who can only be emotionally intimate and fulfilled with a chosen few long-term friends, family, or “soul mates.” Occasionally INFJs will withdraw into themselves, shutting out even their mates. This provides them with both time to rebuild their depleted resources and a filter to prevent the emotional overload to which they are susceptible to as inherent “givers.” INFJs need to be able to express their creativity and insight and need to know that what they are doing has meaning, helps people, leads to personal growth and is in line with their values, principles and beliefs.
Since I’m into studying leadership, I always like to see how my personality type relates to how I lead. INFJs are often reluctant in exercising their authority who prefer to see subordinates as equals. They leave the technical systems and factual details to more capable hands, and work hard to inspire and motivate, not crack the whip. INFJs’ also expect their subordinates to be as competent, motivated and reliable as they themselves are. Basically, they lead by example.
Some of the famous INFJs, or determined to be INFJs are; Plato, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Thomas Jefferson and Jimmy Carter (U.S. Presidents), Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Jr., Carl Jung, George Harrison from the Beatles, and Mark Harmon from the television series NCIS. Some of the INFJ’s that I’m afraid to say that I have the same personality type are two of the most evil men from the past century, Adolf Hitler and Osama bin Laden.
Take the free MBTI assessment to see what type you are, if you’ve never done it before I’m sure you’ll be surprised that what you do is normal for you, it’s alright to be different from others. Once you understand why you do what you do, you’ll become more comfortable with who you are.
After you take the assessment post what your type is.
“When people differ, a knowledge of type lessens friction and eases strain. In addition it reveals the value of differences. No one has to be good at everything.” ~ Isabel Briggs Myers
The Myers & Briggs Foundation
The Myers & Briggs Foundation assessment
16 Personality Types (free personality test)
Jung Typology Test™ (free)