The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality instrument provides a framework for increased understanding of personality traits, preferences and differences in people and teams.
MBTI was developed by Isabel Myers and Katherine Briggs in the 1950s and is grounded in the work of well- known psychologist Carl Jung. The tool has been used for over 65 years and around 2 million administrations of the tool are undertaken each year world-wide.
The MBTI tool identifies our preferences in terms of:
- How we focus our attention and get energy;
- The way we take in information and the kind of information we like and trust;
- Our decision making style; and
- How we like to live our outer lives i.e. a more structured and decided lifestyle, or a more flexible and adaptable lifestyle.
The MBTI highlights what personality traits each individual team member brings to their team and allows a process where team members are able to learn about their own personality traits as well as other people’s traits.
The MBTI is a useful tool for teams as it assists with:
- Increasing productivity by aligning individual MBTI preferences to particular individuals and team tasks;
- Showing team members how to approach and work effectively with others to add value;
- Identifying team skillsets and blind spots in the way work is being done and people are interacting;
- Fostering openness and trust within and between teams; and
- Reinforcing the value and power of diversity, providing practical strategies on how team members can communicate and work effectively with other types.
We have used the MBTI with many organisations and teams assisting them to understand their own team composition, preferences and how they can work together more effectively. Using the MBTI as a development tool will assist your team in leveraging their strengths, becoming more aware of their blind spots as individuals, and as a team, as well as potential areas for conflict.