I have had the following reply from a blog reader, Robyn, who has been in touch before:
“I can chime in for the MBTI as I am a certified trainer of the model.
This is the most important part to remember when you sit down to answer the questions. You MUST start from the premise ‘if you had the most ideal life which answer would you choose’?
If all the bills were paid, all your problems were resolved for yourself and your loved ones, you had all the money and health you require, money in the bank, on holiday at the place of your dreams etc etc.
The most ideal life you can imagine – HOW do you THEN answer the question? What is your most preferred way of living in the world?
Do the test again and then see what you get, it may be different.
Let’s know how you get on.”
so I felt I owed it to Robyn to go online and take the test again.
However, I found a much better website this time which appears to look at things in several different ways and is less dogmatic in its analysis, and if you are interested in this topic, I recommend it to you. It is www.teamtechnology.co.uk
Here follows the initial explanation as it appears on their page:-
The Myers Briggs model of personality is based on four preferences (E or I, S or N, T or F and J or P). You combine the preferences to give your Myers Briggs personality type. Eg: having preferences for E and S and T and J gives a personality type of ESTJ.
There are sixteen Myers Briggs personality types (listed in the table, above).
You have a preference for one hand but use them both. Similarly, you have many facets to your Myers Briggs personality, prefer some but use all of them.
The four preferences
Where, primarily, do you prefer to direct your energy?
If you prefer to direct your energy to deal with people, things, situations, or “the outer world”, then your preference is for Extraversion. This is denoted by the letter “E”.
If you prefer to direct your energy to deal with ideas, information, explanations or beliefs, or “the inner world”, then your preference is for Introversion. This is denoted by the letter “I”.
How do you prefer to process information?
If you prefer to deal with facts, what you know, to have clarity, or to describe what you see, then your preference is for Sensing. This is denoted by the letter “S”.
If you prefer to deal with ideas, look into the unknown, to generate new possibilities or to anticipate what isn’t obvious, then your preference is for Intuition. This is denoted by the letter “N” (the letter I has already been used for Introversion).
How do you prefer to make decisions?
If you prefer to decide on the basis of objective logic, using an analytic and detached approach, then your preference is for Thinking. This is denoted by the letter “T”.
If you prefer to decide using values and/or personal beliefs, on the basis of what you believe is important or what you or others care about, then your preference is for Feeling. This is denoted by the letter “F”.
How do you prefer to organise your life?
If you prefer your life to be planned, stable and organised then your preference is for Judging (not to be confused with ‘Judgmental’, which is quite different). This is denoted by the letter “J”.
If you prefer to go with the flow, to maintain flexibility and respond to things as they arise, then your preference is for Perception. This is denoted by the letter “P”.
When you put these four letters together, you get your personality type code, and, as mentioned, there are sixteen combinations. For example, INTJ indicates that you prefer Introversion, iNtuition, Thinking and Judging (remember, this indicates preferences only – an INTJ also uses Extraversion, Sensing, Feeling and Perception).”
I gather that “C.G. Jung (who created the theory of psychological type) apparently described this form of broad classification as a “parlour game” and said that “it means nothing, absolutely nothing”. Jung wanted his theory to be used more like a compass, to provide a means of orientation so that you can understand your uniqueness and individuality.
Another way of presenting your type dynamics is graphically, as in the radar report. This diagram is completely independent of any decision that you make over your personality type. That is, it shows your unique preferences even if you are unsure what your personality type is.
* Your areas of preference are identified by the darker patterns
* Sensation (dealing with facts) is on the top half of the radar, iNtuition (dealing with possibilities) is on the bottom half
* Thinking (deciding logically) is on the left side of the radar, Feeling (deciding using values) is on the right
* Extraversion (influencing people/things) is on the outer ring, Introversion (influencing your own ideas/information) is on the inner ring
In everyday life you move around the radar, doing different things and thinking in different ways. For example, if you are planning a project you are probably working in the top left corner, organising facts logically.
Your personality type identifies your ‘home base’, i.e.: where on the radar you feel most comfortable. However, you also have a need for balance so, for example, although you may be an introvert (preferring to operate on the inner wheel), you still need to have a degree of time on the outer wheel.
The darkest part of the radar shows where your home base is likely to be. The overall spread across the radar shows the degree of balance you need. Some people have strong contrasts of very dark and light areas, which suggests they need to spend a lot of time in their preferences. Other people have a fairly even spread, which suggests they need a more even use of the mental functions to achieve the right amount of balance in their life. The diagram above reflects the unique balance that you need.
This radar diagram can be used in many ways, for example to match your unique type dynamics against the demands that are made in various careers. This enables a much closer matching that most other career guides, which simply use the sixteen generic personality types. The MMDI approach is therefore much more tailored to your individual preferences.”
Personally I prefer the Radar approach as it seems to me to match the way one chops and changes during the day, the moment and the situation in hand.
I feel far less skeptical of the Myers/Briggs approach now, after having looked at this fuller website although I am still unsure of where I fit: my answers to the questions, even when they are more graduated as here, still do not seem to feel right. This is how I am perceived now:
“The MMDI thinks that your personality might be ISFP. However, as no personality questionnaire is 100% accurate, it also suggests that you consider whether your personality type might be INFP.”
The questions ask for an either/or when often both seem absolutely equally important to me: for example
|I enjoy getting things done/||I enjoy anticipating the future|
In fact I enjoy getting things done and thinking about how the task in hand will effect and bring forward the future, both at the same time. I honestly cannot see a divide between the two, they go hand in hand.
|I enjoy changing things to see what happens/||I enjoy thinking about what I know|
I enjoy thinking about what I know and at the same time changing what I know or parts of it, to see what happens, it is called scientific research!
And who could begin to choose between the two following questions, both parts of each are equally important:
|I feel satisfied when my explanations are correct/||I feel satisfied when others’ have good relationships|
|Thinking logically is what matters most/||Caring for others is what matters most|
I would prefer the questions themselves to be differently expressed!!
But perhaps that itself defines my personality type.