Using the Myers Briggs Test as a Business Resource

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Using the Myers Briggs Test as a Business Resource

As a business owner, hiring the right employees and making the best use of their talents and skills is key to your success. Hiring the wrong candidate for the job costs you money, negatively impacts your work environment, and wastes time; so does selecting the wrong current employee to head a project or join a team. 

One tool available to help you assess someone's potential is the Myers-Briggs personality test. This questionnaire, which was developed based on the theories of psychologist Carl Gustav Jung, provides the test taker with insight about how he or she likes to communicate and interact with others. 

The test consists of 93 questions with only two possible answer choices. There are no correct or incorrect responses, and the choices given to you reflect opposite preferences. The test uses this information to better understand your personal preferences in four different categories:

Extraversion (E) vs. Introversion (I)

These terms as used by the Myers Briggs test vary slightly from the definition you may be used to.
Those who are categorized as extraverts are action-oriented and draw energy from action and being around in groups. However, introverts tend to be thought-oriented and draw energy from being alone.

Sensing (S) vs. Intuition (N)

Those who sense tend to rely on information that is concrete, distrust "hunches," and look for facts, and data. People who are inclined towards intuition tend to be theoretical or abstract, rely more on insight from their unconscious, and are more interested in upcoming opportunities.

Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F)

The test also looks at how people make decisions. Both "thinking" and also the "feeling" individuals make logical decisions, but those who incline towards thinking make decisions independently, while those who feel about it decides empathizing with a situation. 

Judging (J) vs. Perception (P)

The final dimension that the test assesses is whether the test taker has a particular preference for their judging function. Those that lean toward judging like to settle matters whereas perceptive types like to keep decisions open. 

The Final Results

In the end, each test taker is categorized as one of 16 types, which are combinations of the above variables. For instance, you can be an ESTJ - (extraversion, sensing, thinking, judgment) or an INFP - (introversion, intuition, feeling, and perception).

In some cases, the participant will not agree with the assessment that is given, so the test allows for him or her to learn about each personality type to find the best-fit type. 

Each combination is unique, and participants are given a detailed explanation about their Reported Type, which will help them to better understand themselves and others and make them aware of their strengths and weaknesses. 

People are naturally attracted to jobs that make use of their preferences, so the information provided by the test can help ensure that someone is in a position that is best suited for their personality. The middle two letters (ST, SF, NF, or NT) are considered particularly important in this regard.

Additionally, the Myers Briggs test information can be used to prevent conflict in the workplace. Having a diversity of personality types can be a very positive thing for an organization, but it can also lead to misunderstandings. By arming people with a better knowledge of how they interact with others and view the world can make them able to communicate better, work together as a team, and build a positive work environment.

About the Author: 

When he’s not researching and looking for ways to improve cognitive ability tests, Steven Burrell is out enjoying life with his family.

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