Have you ever received differing results when you have taken the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) multiple times? It’s actually quite common.
We often hear that the MBTI isn’t accurate as I take it once and then again and I get different types. So does type change. First we need to address it in terms of is the MBTI a behavioural analysis tool or is it a type and core personality tool and the answer is it about your core type. You shouldn’t be taking the tool a number of times through the year and getting different results. If this is the case then you are likely answering situationally, may be thinking about a certain work situation or maybe you are wearing the hat of a boss or the hat of a colleague. Other factors that can impact your results, just like with any psychological self-assessment, could be your current mood, stress levels, tiredness, and focus. It’s crucial to use instruments like the MBTI when you are not stressed, tired, distracted, or dealing with overwhelming negative emotions. Many people will answer self-assessment questions based on how they believe they SHOULD act or think. This will definitely skew the results.
Generally, what we find is that type doesn’t actually change but you have to connect with who you really are – it’s very difficult when growing up and being in a particular environment to be ourselves – environmental pressures from family, work, colleagues, even culture can make us feel that we have to be a certain way; we have to do a little bit of digging to find out who we are.
When you enter mid-life and later you become more balanced. Throughout your life you will have been leading with your preferred ‘muscle’ and then you start to say there may be some other side – the way that other personality’s do it and so you begin to develop parts of you that you haven’t been working on for the first few decades of your life so you then begin to develop behaviours that are indicative or similar to other types and so it may seem that your type has changed but your true type doesn’t change.
We all know that the MBTI is made up of 4 dichotomous pairs of preferences (Extroversion/Introversion, Sensing/iNtuition, Thinking/Feeling and Judging/Perceiving) but what most people don’t know is that it’s much more complicated than this, because each of the four pairs contain five subscales with more elaborate, defining facets for each of those – these are discovered with Step II of the MBTI (there are 3 steps to the MBTI). Knowing this and the additional facets can explain your type so much more - it's much more than 4 letters!
Each of the subscales is a pair of tendencies that gives more depth and understanding to the dichotomies. So while you may have a general natural leaning toward extroversion or introversion, you also have more intricate preferences within these areas.
If you’re interested in exploring your type more deeply, there is a more comprehensive option; the MBTI Step II. I would recommend taking this, or any version, with a certified MBTI practitioner to get the fully informed experience.
Read more about the MBTI or contact us to discuss further.
This blog forms part of the Myers-Briggs myth busting series I am doing with Tamsin Regnes.