Ever heard of Myers-Briggs personality type indicators? Well, they are very popular tools to assess what your preferences are in terms of how you express yourself.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) instrument was developed by Isabel Myers and Katharina Briggs as an application of Carl Jung’s theory of psychological types.

This theory suggests that we have opposite ways of
– gaining energy (Extraversion and Introversion),
– gathering or becoming aware of information (Sensing or Intuition)
– deciding or coming to a conclusion about information (Thinking or Feeling) and
– dealing with the world around us (Judging or Perceiving).

If you prefer Extraversion you focus on the outside world to get energy through interacting with other people. You are gregarious, expressive, active…
If you prefer Introversion, you focus on the inner world and get energy through reflecting on information, ideas, concepts. You may like spending time alone, to reflect, decompress, there is so much of the external environment you can take in at once.
If you prefer Sensing, you notice and trust facts, details, and present realities. You are realistic, practical…

If you prefer Intuition, you trust interrelationships, theories and future possibilities. You are abstract, conceptual, original..
If you prefer Thinking, you make decisions using logical, objective analysis. You are reasonable, critical…

If you prefer Feeling, you make decisions to create harmony by applying person-centered values. You are empathetic, accommodating, accepting…
If you prefer Judging, you tend to be organized and orderly and to make decisions quickly. You are systematic, planful, methodical….and probably you can tell by looking at your closet or your desk at work! A typical Judging type will look for the 5 basic steps to becoming more flexible 

If you prefer Perceiving you tend to be flexible and adaptable and to keep your options open as long as possible. You are spontaneous, open-ended…. You do not need to plan a holiday in advance…. You just go with the flow!

It is assumed that each of us has, in one measure or another, all 8 types, but we have a natural preference for 4 of them, just like we have a natural preference to use the right or the left hand. There is no right or wrong…this is not an instrument to measure your skills, but rather a way to help you identify your style and to appreciate other people’s style so you may better understand why they act in a certain way.

I first took the MBTI about 10 years ago I was in a very different job, very different circumstances (not last I was 10 years younger!)…but was really surprised to see my preferences had changed quite dramatically. I will not dwell on what type I am now, all I will say is that the trait “Original” is the most dominant among my sub-traits, the typical trait of someone who looks for what could be better, new or different. Who always strives to improve, who likes being original, often seen as both creative and practical and may occasionally surprise others by going off in a new direction.

My type was summarized with the following adjectives: Original, Reasonable, Questioning, Critical, Tough, Early Starting….Yes, I can see myself there.

Fun bit: ‘TJs” types seem to be over-represented in the management ranks.
The only ‘preference’ that has a gender bias: Feeling (well – we kind of suspected that!)
Remember: While preferences stay the same Behaviours CAN change! No excuses!
Try out http://www.keirsey.com – they offer a similar test you can do for free on the web.