How to Get More Value Out of Your MBTI

By PeopleLeaders | People Leaders Podcast

Jan and Michelle MBTI

The Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) has been our favourite personality profiling tool since we first became accredited facilitators more than 20 years ago.

Other profiling tools have come and gone as ‘flavour of the month’ over the years, many of which are simplified versions of the MBTI, but the MBTI itself is the tool we are most often asked to use, and with very good reason,

The wisdom behind it is timeless and the applications endless, and no matter how many times we deliver our MBTI workshops, they never fail to deliver life-changing insights to course participants.

But how many organisations or participants get value from their MBTI profiles on an ongoing basis? How many people or teams review their profile regularly for insights as their career or organisation progresses?

Most people give their MBTI profile consideration based on their circumstances at the time they took their test, but as circumstances change, e.g. a promotion happens, new team members arrive, the demands on the team change, etc, they might only give a fleeting thought to their MBTI profile (if at all), and how that might be relevant to the change,

In this episode, we explore ways in which you can squeeze more value out of your team’s MBTI profiles in the months and years after first having the profiles done. With very little effort, and with big rewards, the MBTI can be the ‘gift that keeps on giving’ to you and your team. 

Episode Highlights:
  • [02:00] Exploring the Value of MBTI in Teams
  • [05:01] Utilizing MBTI for Individual and Team Development
  • [09:14] MBTI's Role in Organisational Dynamics
  • [11:50] Diving Deeper with Myers Briggs Step Two
  • [16:51] Leveraging the Myers Briggs Team Report
  • [18:29] The Universality and Practicality of Myers Briggs
  • [19:16] Encouragement to Engage with MBTI
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NB: This transcript has been AI generated and may contain some slight errors. Please judge our efforts accordingly 🙂

Jan Terkelsen: Well, welcome Michelle to another podcast.

Michelle Terkelsen: Hello, hello.

Jan Terkelsen: So this podcast and interview is really about the MBTI because it's one of the tools that we have used for over 20 years now and we still use it across teams, industries and from the, you know, frontline leaders all the way through to executives and it's interesting that even executives who have done their Myers Briggs years ago, when you revisit it through a different lens or perspective, there is just so much richness that comes from it because remember it's based on Carl Jung's Psychological type and Carl Jung was an incredible um, thinker and had a really high level of consciousness and you can actually start to see that when you dig a little bit deeper into the MBTI And so this episode is all about, so you've done your MBTI what now? What next? And we're going to share with you five things that you can do if your team has already done the Myers Briggs Type Indicator.

Michelle Terkelsen: Yeah, so let's have a look. So I've been taking some notes. What's so interesting about this, Jan, also is the fact that there are some people that, you know, uh, consider the Myers Briggs to be, you know, pop psychology and what I think we tend to take a very utilitarian approach to this and that's interesting.

And ask the question, does it work? Does it, is it beneficial? Can it help and support you? Yes, yes, yes, and I think that's, that's something to keep in mind, and one way to, um, to use the Myers Briggs, I've done it before, you know, what else is there, is to revisit, because from a Professional development point of view there, we change over time.

We, our life experiences cause us to change. We've also undergone professional development, so has the team for example. And so one way to revisit is to pull out your Myers Briggs report or if you've got new team members to um, to get them to do the Myers Briggs and then have a look at, so what things have Uh, over time in relation to the way that I approach, um, my work, um, my colleagues, my relationships, and then you can all ask the questions, so what have been some constants?

And then within that, what have been the changes and constants that have worked for me and what have been some changes and some constants that perhaps aren't working for me right now. And that can lead you to, you know, myriad ways that you can, you know, develop your, you know, the next steps in your professional development.

Jan Terkelsen: And this is something that you do that it's not urgent, but it very much is important and to, you know, be able to just, I don't know, carve out. 30 minutes to go through your emails, find your report and then read through it because then that gives you, like you were saying Michelle, more insight into where am I on track, where am I off track, what could I be doing differently, what do I need to enhance and leverage.

And, you know, if you need to have a conversation, you know, if you're going for a job interview or thinking about a role, um, to be able to communicate those strengths in a way that has a really good language around it.

Michelle Terkelsen: Yeah, that's such a great point, Jan. People are still like, people come to me all the time. They, oh, I have to rewrite my resume and I have to think about what are my strengths and I have to think about my resume in the context of this job that I'm going for. Like, one of the first things you do is rip out your Myers Briggs report, you know, to, to highlight what are my communication strengths and what are, because everybody wants to know, so where are your potential downfalls?

Just look at your report. There is gold in there.

Jan Terkelsen: Mm. Yeah. All right. So, from a practical point of view, the one thing that you could do is just get it out yourself individually. Now, if we're thinking about a team, a team could, you know, Uh, use that. So people individually go through their reports and then they share. So what's the strength that's been identified?

Even if you've only done it three months ago, people, um, you know, sometimes forget what it is that they've done three months ago. Like, I can't even remember what I did Two days ago, let alone my team members strengths and potential pitfalls, so I think it really is important to revisit it because you get another level of understanding and perspective.

And I think that's a really good thing that you can carve out, even if it's like an hour or 45 minutes in the team, to then revisit what your strengths are that have been identified that you use, and then what is a potential pitfall. Um, obstacle or blind spot and you just listen. You just listen to every individual in the team.

Michelle Terkelsen: I love that. And the other thing to consider is that your relationship with your colleagues has changed over time, like within three months, maybe you've worked on a project together, or maybe there are new people coming into the team. So from a team dynamics point of view, what I love about bringing out the Myers Briggs in a team context is that it can help people.

Keep you ahead of this difficult conversation wave, but it's not quite the potential within a team. And, and what tends to happen is people wait until, oh, okay, well, you have to have that difficult conversation. But if you can, this is one way to keep ahead of curve is by bringing out the Myers Briggs, looking at where are the potentials for conflict in our team, given our personality type.

And, and if there are no, you know, if there are no conflicts yet, then it's a Perfect way to actually say, so if we were, what would they look like and how might we deal with them? And, you know, totally recommend doing that absolutely every year, without a doubt, as a team, to keep ahead of difficult conversation wave.

Jan Terkelsen: Yeah. And the other thing that you could actually do with the team is to have a look at the team modal type. So that's a combination of all those four preferences to see If that dynamic of the team and their strengths and potential blind spots, especially if you have a team that is outward facing to stakeholders, but also even supporting internal stakeholders.

Again, it just layers or focuses the conversation in a, in a different way, in a really richer way. So individually, you can use it and also, you know, as a team, you can actually use the, Myers Briggs.

Michelle Terkelsen: That's a really good point in terms of the modal type that we might just sort of expand for people is that if you get new members, um, you know, coming into the team you might have before had an equal split of people who have a preference for introversion versus extroversion. But with some new team members, you might look and go, oh my goodness, we have 80% people who have a preference for extroverts.

Or vice versa. What does that mean for us as a team? Um, and just looking at that, and modal type. How many within the team have, you know, sensing versus intuition, et cetera, judging versus perceiving, et cetera. That is a very, very rich conversation to have and spend at least an hour or so. You could spend half a day on that, looking at the modal type of the team and the implications that that has, um, from an organizational point of view.

Jan Terkelsen: So, So the implications could also be, are our processes supporting, you know, what we do as a team, like, are we leveraging our strengths? So, um, and really important processes are team meetings. So, are our team meetings allowing that diversity of, uh, preferences? So, if we have more, People with that preference for introversion.

Do we have time for people to reflect before they ask a question? Do we have it written down? Is there a pre paving of thinking that we can afford in the, you know, like in the lead up to a team meeting or a question and things like that. So I think they're really important. So individual and team. The next one is organization from an organizational perspective.

Michelle Terkelsen: I know so often we tend to focus, rightly so, either on ourselves individually or us collectively within a team, but every team, every individual sits within the context of a broader organisation. And so, some, you know, this is a team. I suppose it's more of a strategic look at the Myers Briggs, how is our organization changing culturally, um, or, you know, even structurally or strategically, that's right, how is our organization changing and are there implications for us as a team?

For example, an organization might be becoming more outwardly focused. So we expect more of our people to be in contact with clients, etc. That could have implications for your Myers Briggs type, you know, and your team, for example. So how can we be more outwardly facing, given that we have a preference for introversion?

It doesn't mean that you have to, you know, have lots of team meetings and get your clients in. There are other ways to communicate and be outwardly facing that doesn't necessarily You know, require you to be sociable, per se.

And then you can also look at so what are the different roles that we have within our team and how does that fit into the new organizational structure or the way that the organization is moving. So it's just another lens that you can overlay on what is already happening in the organization that you should be looking at anyway.

How do we And our roles within our team fit into the broader organization and how it's changing.

Jan Terkelsen: Yeah. And I think just as a question to pose, you know, like what is happening in our organization and how are we contributing to that? And do we have the right mix and skill set and mindset in order to execute that? And then, you know, you bring in that, the lens of the Myers Briggs. So again, I think there is some, um, really rich conversations that you can have.

And again, they do not You don't have to spend any more money on the Myers Briggs, you know, like, this is the gift that keeps on giving, because you've already done the Myers Briggs, you've had it, uh, professionally, um, you know, like, facilitated, so you know your four letter type, you've got your report, and for those who have done it with people leaders, if you can't find your report, there is, you know, like, uh, reach out to us and contact us, because we'll be able to, to research it, because it'll be logged in for you.

The Myers Briggs type, um, you know, the portal that we have. So, those are the three. The next one that we wanted to talk to you is about that if you have done the Myers Briggs step one, there is a step two. And a step two is a another layer of the dynamics of the Myers Briggs. So when we go through the debrief of the Myers Briggs, we really just do that, um, I suppose that top layer of preferences where we each look at each preference and what that looks like, whereas step two is more of a deep dive into your individual dynamics of the, the Myers Briggs.

Michelle Terkelsen: That's right. It's detailed and it's more nuanced and it gives you, uh, it gives you insight into how those preferences show up in your daily life and your motivation. So it really does give you a lot of information. What I

Jan Terkelsen: So I've just shared my screen, so for those who are going to see this on YouTube or one of our visual platforms, what we have here is the Myers Briggs Interpretive Report, and this is the Step 2 report, and it is a very comprehensive, like it's a 17 page report, and it talks about, so it actually looks, the first couple of pages are very similar to your Step 1, um, however, You will then also have a look at your preference strengths or the clarity of your preference, whether it's slight, moderate, clear, or very clear.

And then it starts to talk about your facet results. Now, I know that sounds a little bit more, uh, you know, technical, but there are different facets within each preference. And it will then uncover why someone who is an ENTJ inthe team are still quite different, like same, same, but different, which is, you know, like one of my favorite quotes, you know, same, same, but different.

And then in the report, it actually shows you. So for example, in the extraversion, introversion, there are different facets within just the introversion and extraversion. And so for, I'll just step through them, um, briefly. So ways to connect with people. People, are you more initiating or do you like to receive?

Communicating feelings and thoughts and interests, are you more expressive or are you more contained? The breadth and depth of relationships, are you more intimate or are you um, less intimate? Ways to communicate or socialize and learn. Are you an active socializer or learner or are you more reflective?

And then the last facets is your level and kind of energy. You know, are you enthusiastic or are you a little bit more quiet? Now, these are five facets within the introversion and extroversion. And then as you go through your interpretive report, you'll see every other facet of the sensing and intuition. And then you go through the thinking and feeling and I'll just give you one in the thinking and feeling and one is the last facet is that how do you carry out your decisions? Are you, uh, firm, tough minded and you're orientated towards the actual end result or are you more tender, gentle, um, and the means to the end is more, um, Uh, important to you.

So again, that's just one facet in the thinking and feeling, uh, preference. And then of course, you have the last one, which is the judging and perceiving. And again, five different facets within each one.

Michelle Terkelsen: What I like about the Myers Briggs Step two also is that there is a mid zone as opposed to you are the EE the one or the other. You could be in the mid zone for some of those, um, facets, which is interesting because that, that, that's why it's so nuanced and, uh, detailed

Jan Terkelsen: Oh, so yeah.

Michelle Terkelsen: rarely, almost never have, you know, uh, somebody that has exactly the same, um, uh, subscales as you and

Jan Terkelsen: Absolutely. Yeah, yeah. And then even, even in your report, you have a look at your results, you have a look at your, your communication style within those facets, and then how can you enhance your style in each area. So, there is just so much, uh, detailed information that you can start to look at. And then, Then it looks at how parts of your personality actually work together, depending on what your preference strength is.

And we really, I would really encourage, uh, someone who is interested in taking their level of self awareness to the next level. You know, level is perhaps having a look at the Step 2 interpretive report.

Michelle Terkelsen: Yeah. Great for people. Or new to leadership roles, want to enhance their leadership development.

Jan Terkelsen: Yeah.

And then the last one is the team report. So the Myers Briggs has a team report. And again, I've put up an example of a sample team report, and this report identifies your strengths and potential challenges. Uh, your workarounds, like what can you minimize or your potential blind spot as a team? How to improve your individual capacities and then how to maximize the natural advantages and then how to develop individual action plans and also team action plans.

And it, Is so comprehensive as well. This isn't a 16 page report, so it has a look at your team type, your strengths, and also what's needed. So for example, if your team has that team modal type like we were. Mentioning before, Michelle, and it might be an ESFJ. And one of the strengths is, is using consensus as a springboard for a united action.

Now, is that needed in this team? And you can tick it off. And so you go through all of those strengths and you go, is this needed in this team right now or in the last, you know, because we've had a structural change. And then it goes through your blind spots and suggested, um, Um, you know, interventions for the blind spots in the team.

It's a very comprehensive, I get so excited about the, the reports because it really does look at a team from a different perspective, you know, like it goes broad but then it goes quite deep.

So there are some examples of how you can use your, your Myers Briggs, you know, like it really is a, uh, a report that has so much depth to it and Michelle we've been doing the Myers 20 years now and we have come across and we still do we do a lot of other psychometric assessments however what I've noticed is a lot of them come down to Carl Jung's psychological type of preferences based on that.

Michelle Terkelsen: That's right. And, and the beauty of the Myers Briggs, I think, is that it is universal. It's easy to apply. It makes sense. It's very logical. And you can do something with it from the get go.

Jan Terkelsen: Yeah.

Michelle Terkelsen: Ground running.

Jan Terkelsen: Yeah, so if you have done your Myers Briggs before, the first thing you could do is just get your reports out, you know, like spend, you know, 35 minutes where people can just again share their strengths, potential blind spots, and as a team, do we want to have make an individual commitment or a team commitment based on what it is that we're going through as a team and revisit it, you know, every quarter, because again, it's just the richness of the conversations that we want, it's not just the Myers Briggs.

It's the conversations that come from it and have that common language.

Michelle Terkelsen: Couldn't agree more, Jan.

Jan Terkelsen: Yeah. Okay. So we really encourage you to do that. And if you would like to reach out to us to perhaps you're interested in the interpretive or the step two, you know, where you can find us on, um, you know, People Leaders or info at peopleleaders. com. au. And we would be happy to, you know, kick off the process for you. Okay. Ciao everyone.

Michelle Terkelsen: Bye.

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