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   MBTI Personality Profiling

Contact us for details of MBTI profiling for individuals and team events

The Myers Briggs Type Indicator (known as the MBTI) is the most widely used personality profile.  It provides information about four aspects of personality:

  • how and where we focus and get our energy
  • how we prefer to take in information
  • how we make decisions
  • our lifestyle/orientation to the world

The MBTI can help individuals understand why some behaviours come easily and naturally to them, while others require more of an effort. MBTI profiling can provide insights into managing stress, avoiding and dealing with conflict, how people work best in organisations and career development.

Understanding the differences between the types can explain to people why they find others irritating or difficult to work with.  It can help managers to understand their preferred management style and how to manage people with different preferences. 

The combinations of preference in the four dimensions indicate 16 different personality types. However, this does not mean that the type is a “label”.  The MBTI is an indicator of personality preference and not skill.  It is possible to become skilful at using aspects of personality which are not our preference.  This is why it is most appropriately used for personal and team development, but not suitable for recruitment. 

MBTI and team building

Diverse teams make the most informed decisions based on different kinds of information…as long as they are talking to each other and listening. Teams with members who are similar will reach decisions quicker and get on well together, but are more likely to be miss options and be unaware of their limitations. The personality of the team leader is another factor in team process.

Both kinds of team benefit from MBTI profiling events (based on the Myers Briggs Personality Profile). The day can be tailored to focus on the particular needs of the team and we can include work on a real team issue and/or an analysis of team strengths as part of the day.

When your team is problem-solving, they need to ensure two main elements of problem-solving are catered for:

Getting all the information we need – different personality preferences can affect what information people notice or look for. People with different preferences will look at the same issue and see different things.

Assessing criteria and values affecting the decision – preference will determine process for decision-making. The best decision will come from considering different criteria and values, as long as everyone has a chance to be heard and realises that others’ ways of looking at the decision-making process have their strengths as well.

MBTI gives useful information about how teams can communicate and work together more effectively.   See also "Frequently answered questions" below.

The MBTI was developed in the 1940s by Katherine Briggs and Isabel Myers.  Their aim was to turn the personality research of psychiatrist, Carl Jung, into a practical tool which would help people understand their personality.  The MBTI was developed over many years and continues to be very thoroughly researched.  It scores highly on tests for the validity of what it indicates and for consistency of reporting over time.

Frequently answered questions:


“What’s the point of knowing about my personality if I can’t change it?”

The basis of the MBTI is that we have personality preferences.  However, whilst these may come more easily to us, we can become very adept in skills and approaches which do not necessarily reflect our preferences.  If you have followed your preferences fairly exclusively, you may benefit from consciously practising other ways of gathering information or making decisions.  Jung believes that we explore these anyway in the second halves of our lives, which could be why so many of us have a desire to change tack at mid-life.

“Will learning about my MBTI profile help my colleagues to accept me the way I am?”

Yes, to some extent that is the value of team profiling.  However, finding out your MBTI type is not an excuse for behaving in ways which are unhelpful to others, or which dismiss the value of other people’s preferences.  Where a team has a mixture of profiles, it is more likely to have richness of approach.  Where a team is very similar in profile, it is likely that either some people have learnt to work in ways which are not necessarily their preference, or they may need to do so!

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