Myers Briggs Type Indicator - MBTI
The MBTI was developed by Isabel Briggs-Myers (1897 - 1979) and her mother Katherine Cook-Briggs.
It is based on the work of Carl Jung and particularly his book Psychological Types.
Essentially within the MBTI there are 16 types and a survey will tell individuals which type they are most like.
In a team building setting the objective of experiencing the MBTI might be: 'to raise awareness and increase understanding of yourself and others in your team and to value the differences between you.
At the end of the workshop you will write a personal action plan which will contribute to you and your team's development.'
In MBTI there are four polar extremes with a description at each end. These are:-
- Extrovert to Introvert (E to I)
- Sensation to Intuition (S to N)
- Thinking to Feeling (T to F)
- Judging to Perceiving (J to P)
In completing the Myers Briggs Type Indicator a participant will end up with a score between the two polar extremes that will define their preference.
A person will have a tendency to be either an Extrovert or an Introvert but cannot be both.
At the end of the survey each participant will have a profile, for example ESTJ if the preferences are those on the left of the above list.
Thus there are a total of 16 different end profiles.
The following are pointers to the behaviours associated with the four Myers Briggs functions relevant to team building and communication.
There is much more to each of the functions than is covered here, indeed whole books have been written about the differences between introverts and extroverts.
However, these short descriptions are an overview fitting the theme of this website.
Extroverts & Introverts
Extroverts do not know what they are thinking until they say it.
As they speak things become clearer to them, so they may change direction as they speak.
Introverts, on the other hand, need to think things through.
If immediate discussion is thrust open them they become uncomfortable and confused, as they need to go away and consider.
Sensors & Intuititives
Sensors use specifics such as facts, dates and times.
Problem definition is important and they are irritated by vagueness.
Intuitives see specifics as limiting and look at the big picture.
They may agree with specific details presented by an 'S' but can only understand the 'whole'.
Thinkers & Feelers
Thinkers will set their emotions to one side so that their feelings will not enter into the logical analysis of a situation.
They will not make an immediate decision, preferring to step back from a situation to analyse facts and information.
Feelers are 'people people' and judge situations on a personal level taking into account personal values.
'Fs' are often torn because they are able to see both sides of any situation.
Judgers & Perceivers
Judgers favour exactness.
They want to know how long things will take, stay on track and they seek closure.
They will make an appointment for 4.30 and arrive at 4.29.
Perceivers will put off the final decision for as long as possible.
They favour tolerance and open time frames.
People polarise towards these preferences in varying degrees.
In some people the preference is so small as to barely influence their behaviour.
In others it is so strong that it is defines their approach to life.
The Myers Briggs Type Indicator shows this and helps people to understand themselves and the others within their team.
The interaction between the Myers Briggs types will shortly be covered on this website; for example how 'Es' see 'Is' and vice versa.
Descriptions of the 16 types will also be added; for example ESTJ, INFP, ESFP etc.
To subscribe to this and other free information on team building theories please follow this link.
We have facilitators who are qualified to deliver the Myers Briggs Type Indicator survey and make it useful to both individuals and the teams in which they work.
Please contact us for further information.
This useful tool can also be linked to team building activity programmes, so teams can learn about MBTI and then experience the types through activities.
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