As a brief overview of the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), let’s take a look at 2 of the 4 type preferences that are explored when this assessment is taken. Please keep in mind that this is a very BRIEF overview – to really get the full benefit of this wonderful tool, you have to take the assessment yourself.
The first pair of preferences has to do with where you get your energy from – it is usually from the outer world of people, events and activity vs. the inner world of ideas, thoughts and impressions. Despite what many people think when they hear of the terms extravert and introvert, it has nothing to do with how good someone is with people. This is not something that is necessarily seen from the outside – especially since society, and perhaps our jobs in particular, require that we interact frequently with others. It really comes down to how we feel after we have had all this interaction – we either feel exhilarated, or tired – in need of a timeout.
The second pair of preferences is about how you gather information. People who prefer Sensing gather information mainly through the five senses – they focus on facts and detail, trust concrete experience, seek stability and need to see the parts to understand the whole. They like to use tried and true methods to solve problems. On the other hand, people who prefer Intuition focus more on possibilities and hunches. They tend to be more imaginative and like to approach problems with the thought of how they can be solved in an innovative way. They generally seek change and need to see the whole to understand the parts.
It is important to approach the use of type from the perspective that there is NO right or wrong – all the preferences are good. Knowing our type, and the type of those with whom we live and work, helps us really appreciate ourselves and the other people in our lives. This type of understanding can only make our lives richer.