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Bringing Myers-Briggs® Back!

Myers Briggs outline

What’s your type? Or your profile? Or your true colors?

I obtained my certification to administer the Myers-Briggs® Type Indicator (MBTI®) in 1999. Since then I have completed several assessments – Team Management Profile, Herrmann Brain Dominance, Thomas Kilmann Conflict Style, Birkman, DISC, Strengths Finder, Insights, True Colors, Emotional Intelligence, and more. I recently laid them all out and compared the results. The consensus across all these assessments is that I’m:

  • Organized
  • Extroverted
  • Practical
  • Dictatorial when under stress
  • Results-oriented
  • A promoter
  • A synthesizer

I would agree with the assessments. And I would also say that I don’t let those assessments define me and hold me back from changing my perspective or my actions. Want to know your Myers-Briggs type? 

'One of the most important of all leadership skills is self-awareness' ~ Robin Sharma

Assessments are a conduit to self-reflection and self-awareness.  They are a lens through which to learn about yourself – your strengths, your preferences, your reactions, and your style. Self-awareness is a must-have for effective leaders. If you are not aware of your blind spots – your impact on others, or the reasons why you react the way you do – you cannot change. Once you are self-aware, you can decide whether or not to change. And that decision to do something differently, based on your-self awareness, will unlock your potential as a leader.

Back to Myers-Briggs®. Over the last couple of years as I’ve met with new clients, I’ve noticed less enthusiasm for the MBTI© assessment. They’ve done it before, they want to do something new and different. As we have further discussions about what they want to focus on in their leadership development journey they often highlight topics such as; communication, dealing with conflict, difficult conversations, managing through change, motivating others, decision making, and being resilient under stress.

I too had migrated away from using Myers-Briggs®, however, after looking at all my personal assessments and taking into consideration the commonly-requested leadership topics, it turns out that the four sets of preferences in the MBTI® (where you get your energy, how you gather information, how you make decisions, and your approach to work and life) link to all of these key leadership topics.

So, I’m bringing Myers-Briggs® back into my coaching and leadership training programs. The MBTI® reports have evolved over the years – I think one of the missing pieces is still the lack of personalization, for example, the reports don’t speak specifically to me, ‘Jennifer is a very organized and results-oriented person’, they only speak to the type. However, the wide range of reports available provide great insights and a foundation for learning across the following leadership skills:

  • Work preferences
  • Communication style
  • Team interactions and dynamics
  • Decision-making
  • Leadership style
  • How stress impacts you
  • Your approach to change 

Understanding your typical approach in these areas is the starting point for improving your skills as a leader. 
And understanding not only your own style and preference, but those of others, is a key building block for becoming a more effective leader of people and teams. For example, when you learn about the different communication preferences you will come to realize that the way you like to be communicated with is different than how others like to receive communication. Knowing this, you can adapt your communication style to suit your audience – the goal being that your audience is more receptive to whatever it is that you are communicating. This is just one example of how self-awareness and awareness of others' styles and approaches, as presented by Myers Briggs, will make you a more effective leader. 

Self-awareness is the foundation. Learning and applying new skills are the building blocks to becoming a successful leader.

I leverage Myers-Briggs® type in my book – Talking Change: Must-Have Conversations for Successful Leaders – as a way to understand your approach to leading change, yet another opportunity to leverage the knowledge you gain from completing self-awareness assessments.

Want to know your Myers Briggs type? Reach out and I can set up the online assessment for you and debrief your report to help you on your leadership journey.