Myers Briggs: how to get the most out of it

“Religion is about reassurance; spirituality is about enquiry.” Tatiana Bachkirova, 2010

I first had my personality psychometrically assessed using the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTi) about fifteen years ago. As for many people, especially those with my personality type ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, this was a revelatory experience. It presented a way to put order onto what had previously been pure chaos. Suddenly there were reasons for things that had confused and frustrated me in dealing with others and luminous solutions shone through where before there had been only darkness. Pretty hot stuff.

Nevertheless, MBTi is considered by many psychologists to have fundamental flaws. In particular as it’s derived from theoretical assumptions (albeit from Carl Jung) rather than evidence-based research. (The latter approach is the basis of the main alternative system of Personality Type, the Big Five personality traits, which literally began with a long list of adjectives that were whittled down to a final list based on observed behaviours).

But MBTi has grown in popularity, stretching out via its use in businesses since the 1980s, pioneered by McKinsey and now an almost ubiquitous shorthand for at last half of the millennials that I seem to meet.

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