MBTI® – What is it?

The letters stand for Myers Briggs Type Indicator®

The MBTI® instrument is widely recognised around the world as a foundation for personal development and improved self-awareness. It’s positive approach to understanding differences between people has made it the world’s most popular personality assessment with an estimated 2 million assessments completed each year, worldwide.

The MBTI® assessment is a self report questionnaire developed over 50 years by mother and daughter team, Katherine Briggs and Isabel Briggs-Myers. It is designed to make the typological theories of Carl Jung understandable and useful for people in their everyday lives.

The results of the MBTI® questionnaire can give valuable insights into the differences between normal healthy people and indentify reasons for misunderstandings and miscommunication.

Poor communication is documented as being one of the biggest issues on many company satisfaction surveys and yet very few people would admit that they could improve their communication skills. Using the MBTI® instrument enables individuals to quickly and dramatically improve the way they communicate with others.

Taking the Myers Briggs® assessment and receiving the important feedback from a certified and qualified practitioner, gives individuals a greater understanding of themselves and what motivates them. It also gives valuable information about their natural strengths and identifies possible areas for growth.

The MBTI® assessment provides a useful method for understanding people by looking at eight personality preferences that everyone uses at different times. These eight preferences are organised into four categories or dichotomies, each made up of a pair of opposite preferences.

When you take the assessment, the four preferences you identify as being “most like” you are combined into what is called a type.

Please note that in understanding your MBTI® results, the MBTI® assessment tool is designed to:

· Describe rather than prescribe and is used to open possibilities rather than limit options

· Identify natural preferences rather than skills, abilities or competencies

· Assume that all preferences are of equal importance and can be used by every person

The MBTI is well documented and supported by thousands of scientific studies over a period of 50 years and continues to be supported by ongoing research.

Where you focus your attention and gain energy



Draws energy from the outside world of people, activities and things



Focus inwardly on ideas, memories and emotions
The way you take in information



Prefer to take in information through the 5 sensesTangible – what is actually happening. 



Prefer to see the big picture and focus on the relationships and connections between the facts, focusing on future possibilities.
The way you make decisions



Prefer to look at the logical consequences of a choice or action and look at the pros and cons objectively.



Consider what is important to themselves and to others based on personal values when making decisions.
How you deal with the outer world



Prefer to live life in a planned and orderly way. They make decisions quickly and gain closure then move on, in a structured and
organised way. They gain energy from getting things done.



Prefer a flexible and more spontaneous approach, seeking to experience and understand life rather than control it. Being resourceful
and being able to adapt to situations is how they gain energy.

NB. The MBTI ® should never be used for recruitment purposes; it is a tool to indicate personality preferences rather than personality traits.

There is no right or wrong type. The preferences identified reflect normal and valuable human behaviour.

Once you have determined your “best fit” type with a qualified MBTI® practitioner, you can then begin to understand more about your natural preferences, where your strengths lie and where the blind spots are in terms of development opportunities.

To take the MBTI assessment or to find out more please contact IMS Coaching for a free initial consultation.

Using MBTI ® with teams

The Myers Briggs Type Instrument® can also be used effectively with teams. It is an extremely resourceful tool which can provide individuals and teams with a powerful understanding of their own and others personality styles and preferences. By understanding the differences between personality types, individuals and teams are able to work together more effectively, improve their overall communication and consequently reduce conflict.

Other areas that the MBTI® instrument can be useful for in the workplace are:

· Help to identify a team’s strengths and resources, as well as its potential weaknesses

· Maximise the potential advantages that can result from having similarities and differences within a team

· Help to identify and minimise a team or group’s potential weak spots

· To form an action plan with specific behaviours to improve effectiveness within the team.

To take the online MBTI® assessment or for further information about how your organisation can benefit from taking the assessment contact IMS Coaching for a free initial consultation.

At IMS Coaching we offer Bespoke MBTI ® Leadership and Performance Workshops

At IMS Coaching Our certified MBTI® Practitioners are available to travel anywhere in the UK to facilitate a one or two day MBTI ® Leadership and Performance Workshop from between 10 to 20 people.

All of our bespoke workshops are tailored to meet your unique business needs. Along with the initial MBTI ® feedback and “best fit” verification after taking the assessment, you may wish to incorporate one or more additional team related packages as part of your workshop:

  • MBTI ® and Effective Communication
  • MBTI ® and Conflict Management
  • MBTI ® and Leadership
  • MBTI ® and Coaching
  • MBTI ® and Emotional Intelligence
  • MBTI ® and Project Management
  • MBTI ® and Career Development
  • MBTI ® and Change

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