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Using Personality Tests in the Workplace

I love psychology. I love getting to know people – what interests them, what are their tendencies, and the like. One of the best ways to learn more about people (and yourself) is to go to a therapist. Or, like the rest of the world today, you can go online and take a test. Enter the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).
MBTI is a self-reported survey revealing the psychological tendencies of people – how they view and react to the world.
MBTI was first developed by Katharine Briggs and later refined by (and with) her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers. The original Briggs Myers Type Indicator Handbook was published in 1944 with several editions published since then, including the 3rd in 1998. 

The MBTI aligns people into 16 personalities along four dichotomies:
  • Extraversion (E) vs. Introversion (I) – where one draws energy (external sources or internal)
  • Sensing (S) vs. Intuition (N) – information-gathering functions
  • Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F) – decision-making functions
  • Judging (J) vs. Perception (P) – preference for using either the thinking or feeling functions vs. sensing or intuitive functions
Using something like MBTI can help in business in all sorts of ways. You can use MBTI internally with team members as a colleague and leader -- communication, work styles, etc. MBTI personality types can help salespeople communicate with prospects. MBTI can also help marketers better understand value points and spark emotional intrigue in customers.

You can find more about MBTI at 16personalities.com, and even take a personality test to discover yours – it’s an abbreviated version, but can be generally in the right direction.

How else can MBTI be used in the workplace? What are advantages to using a personality tests in the workplace? Disadvantages?

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