I’ve always been interested in understanding personality types ever since I first discovered the Myers-Briggs personality test by reading the book “Type Talk”.
As an introvert, the book helped me to understand my own personality by helping me understand how I make decisions and relate to others. These things are especially important if you’re a business owner or manage people in any way.
The strengths and weaknesses of various personality types is a recurring theme as I seek to help business owners maximize the results in their business. Just knowing your own personality type can help explain the struggles you may be having.
Let’s go through the main preference pairs of the Myers-Briggs framework and see if you can relate to any of the tendencies each pair describes.
There are 8 main letters which are used in four pairs to identify each of the 16 personality types
- (I)ntrovert vs. (E)xtrovert
- I(N)tuitive vs. (S)ensing
- (T)hinking vs. (F)eeling
- (J)udging vs. (P)erceiving
Like I mentioned earlier, I am an INTJ – Introvert, Intuitive, Thinking and Judging. Each of these letters reveals something about how that personality type interacts with the world and makes decisions.
So what does this have to do with running a company? Actually quite a bit. As we go through each pair, I’ll try to draw that out for you.
Remember that every person is unique, but there are broader patterns that can be seen as we look at these types. This is not a perfect test, but one that can really help describe certain tendencies each of us exhibit.
(I)ntrovert vs. (E)xtrovert
Introversion and extroversion have to do with how a person receives and processes energy.
An introvert is energized by being alone and interactions with people tend to drain an introvert.
Extroverts are just the opposite. Extroverts get energized by being around people and become drained by being alone.
Introversion and extroversion is a continuum and there is such a thing as being an ambivert (half-way between an introvert and extrovert).
One way to determine if you’re an introvert or extrovert is to ask the question, “If I were invited to a party with people I didn’t know, what would my initial reaction be “? If you hesitated in going (that’s me), you’re probably and introvert. If you’d jump at the chance, you’re probably an extrovert.
Are you an I or and E?
I(N)tuitive vs. (S)ensing
Mypersonality.info – describes the difference between “intuitive” and “sensing” really well.
“Sensing people focus on the present, they are “here and now” people, who are factual and process information through the five senses. They see things as they are, they are concrete thinkers. Intuitive people focus on the future and the possibilities”
Does planning seem like a huge waste of time for you? Do you struggle with articulating the vision of your business or feel like it doesn’t matter? You may have more of a “sensing” orientation.
I find that many business owners often fall into the sensing category which is why they tend to be better at seizing the moment and capitalizing on the opportunities. They think they can just “figure it out” later.
If you find that you’re more of one type than the other, you need to find people that are the type that you’re missing. You may need help with planning or you may need help taking action.
Are you an N or an S?
(T)hinking vs. (F)eeling
According to MyersBriggs.org, “this third preference pair describes how you like to make decisions. Do you like to put more weight on objective principles and impersonal facts (Thinking) or do you put more weight on personal concerns and the people involved (Feeling)?”
This was a big issue for me. My decision making style is really weighted toward the “thinking” side which can make me come across as uncaring and lacking emotion.
There is a balance here of course. If you’re weighted too far to the “feeling” side, it could cause you to make the wrong decisions for your business. For example, say you have an employee who is just not performing, your “feeling” orientation could prevent you from making a decision to let the employee go. You could also overreact to a situation, letting your feelings drive your behavior. In those situations, it’s probably a good idea to get the opinion of someone with the “thinking” orientation.
Are you a T or an F?
(J)udging vs. (P)erceiving
According to MyersBriggs.org, this final pair, “describes how you like to live your outer life–what are the behaviors others tend to see? Do you prefer a more structured and decided lifestyle (Judging) or a more flexible and adaptable lifestyle (Perceiving)? This preference may also be thought of as your orientation to the outer world.”
I like to think of this as how flexible you are to change. I like to plan and get things settled (Judging).
Again, entrepreneurs and small business owners can, at times, be too flexible, meaning that they are constantly changing plans (or have no plan at all). This can frustrate the team who is trying to execution on your vision and prevent you from being successful.
Are you a J or an P?
What’s the big take-away from all this?
Teachability is extremely important.
Much of our life is spent in non-teachable (if that’s such a word) mode. We think we know everything, or that everybody needs to be like us…and that thought pattern is an illusion, even a self-deception.
We must force ourselves to actively listen to those around us (especially those with different personality types). Pay attention to why certain situations frustrate us or get us angry. Often, it’s because we have a certain personality type which is different from the other person.
How Envisionable Can Help
You know how I mentioned that my personality type is an INTJ?
It turns out that I am really passionate about strategic planning, goal setting, picking the right KPIs for your business and helping you to get your team aligned around the same goals. If you find that these are areas your personality does not gravitate to, we can help. Click on the button below and let’s chat!
So, take the test and find out what your personality type is and surround yourself with people who have a different personality type. Your business will benefit from it!