Using Myers-Briggs Type Indicators
How well do you know your team? More specifically, what are their strengths or areas of opportunity? Understanding what makes your employees tick is part of being an emotionally intelligent leader. As we’ve discussed previously, EI leaders kill it at workplace culture because they make the investment in getting to know their team. But you don’t have to be a mind reader to get a sense of your employee climate. In fact, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator is a great place to start.
Know the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator basics
The Myer-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is a personality assessment that scores individuals, assigning them four letters. The Myers-Briggs Foundation explains the 4 functions as:
- Favorite world: Do you prefer to focus on the outer world or on your own inner world? This is called Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I).
- Information: Do you prefer to focus on the basic information you take in or do you prefer to interpret and add meaning? This is called Sensing (S) or Intuition (N).
- Decisions: When making decisions, do you prefer to first look at logic and consistency or first look at the people and special circumstances? This is called Thinking (T) or Feeling (F).
- Structure: In dealing with the outside world, do you prefer to get things decided or do you prefer to stay open to new information and options? This is called Judging (J) or Perceiving (P).
Benefits of using Myers-Briggs Type Indicator in your company
The team learns about themselves: Self-development is important in both personal and professional realms. The MBTI provides a glimpse in the mirror to its test takers, often revealing key information. For example, an employee may find that public speaking is not something they enjoy or excel at, but they discover they enjoy analytics and love creating technical documents. These discoveries empower employees to own their careers, taking steps in the workplace to make meaningful contributions. Not only will team members learn about what works best for themselves, but also they will gain valuable insights about each other.
Your team learns how to work together: Diversity is the key to innovation, though communication and working together in a varied landscape can be challenging initially, the best aspect of the MBTI is the camaraderie it creates between your people. In short, it’s fun getting to know your coworkers on a deeper level. Your team can excitedly share their results with one another, often having “aha” moments with each other’s profile. This is important because it provides a context on how your team can best work with each other. If Kate knows that Ben is great at face-to-face communication, she can rely on his strengths, in working with a client at the office. On the other hand, if Ben struggles with creating presentations, but Kate shines in that area, they can play to their strengths.
You become a better leader: To become an emotionally intelligent leader, you have to drop the “me” and adopt the “we.” The MBTI helps with that journey because it presents you with a guide on how to best communicate with your team. Through an employee’s results, you may find that they are sensitive to criticism or prefer to be praised privately. It’s attention to those small, but significant, details that turn managers into leaders.
Even though we live in a tech-driven world, human interaction is still a major component. In order to create a great place to work, leaders have to key into their employees. Using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator in your company, you’re creating a fun and thought-provoking assignment for your crew. They have the opportunity to learn about themselves and each other, while you learn what your employees need from you. Even better, take the test along with your team, so that they get a better sense for how you work. Ultimately, you will create a better organization when you proactively invest in influencing your culture with steps like this.