1 Jan 2010

What is MBTI?

If you google MBTI types you will be presented with an endless list of literature and tests that should help you understand yourself better and resolve difficulties when dealing with others.

You would benefit most if you use your understanding of MBTI for your personal growth and development.

If you want to do this than you would need to take a personal inventory test and ask a registered practitioner to interpret it with you.

What is MBTI?

MBTI is a test and a systematisation of human preferences when dealing with incoming information. It is based on C. Jung works in the late 19th century.

The theory both approaches share is as follows:

We all have different ways to process information that comes from the outer world; we also make decisions based on a different algorithm and we prefer to make those decisions in different ways. Well, that is hopefully nothing that you didn't know without MBTI.

What keeps us going?

E (extraversion) - to get energy back we need to go amongst people, talk to them and become part of their activities. We may sometimes say that we "only can think when we hear ourselves talk"

I (introversion) - when we are tired we want to be alone, our ideal holiday is spent with one or two closest friends or alone. We'd rather think first and then talk.

What information do we trust more?

S (sensing) - Facts, something that we know exists, the more details are available the better informed we feel , "if I can't touch it then it's not there".

N (intuitive) - Gut feeling is enough, a hunch is as good as a fact, just a couple of facts are enough to build a much more complex picture and trust it without particular proof

How do we make decisions?

F (feeling) - When I need to decide something I feel better when I can place myself inside the situation, when I can look at all aspects as if I was in the middle of it. Feelings and emotions are real things and should be considered alongside other facts.

T (thinking) - Decisions are best when they are based on logical considerations, involving emotions and feelings stops you from making a truly good, sustainable decision. You can make an objective decision if you distance yourself from the situation and consider facts only.

How do we implement decisions?

J (judging) - the world is at its best when we can plan our activities and next steps, when we can than also execute our plan in exactly the same way we've just agreed. There is also place for flexibility and unexpected development, and we probably planned for this as well.

P (perceiving) - we will make a decision when we feel that the time is right for it. We will wait until that particular moment in time even if it is five minutes before the deadline. The most important thing for us is to make the optimal decision that fits the moment and the situation as it has unfolded.

What next?

MBTI becomes really complicated when the four dimensions presented above are combines into profiles providing us with 16 different types. And as if it is not enough each type has two different ways of expressing each of their dimensions.
If you are interested in understanding more about how it works "behind the scene" I would strongly recommend booking a course or at least read come academic literature about this topic.

Image: Simon Howden / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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