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Myers Briggs – Help or Hinder? – Part 2

Myers Briggs – Help or Hinder? – Part 2


Time to Read: It’s not for me to decide!

Last week Jules Peck, Naked Leader Coach says helps!
This week I say Hinder!
Who do you agree with? The poll is above

Myers Briggs – Help or Hinder? – Part 2
ballot_boxA Hindrance – By David Taylor, founder Naked Leader

Have you ever found yourself confused when someone else doesn’t ‘get ‘your idea or plan of action when it seems so clear to you?

Have you ever wondered why we seem to relate better to some people than others?
Have you ever wondered why some colleagues understand you whereas others have very different styles and ways of doing things?

Wonder no more.

It’s because you have chosen to make these things happen – or to be exact, because you choose, and have chosen, to make these things happen, based on those choices you believe that you have, based on your self – perception – how you see yourself.

And therein lies the reason, the danger and most of all, the scientific evidence that MBTI is more a hinder than a help.

MBTI labels you with a perception of yourself that is a placebo – if someone from a position of authority suggests something is true (MBTI) and it is in your perceived self-interest (it is, because it gives you an “insight” into your favourite subject – yourself) you will believe and do (live) it.

By answering a series of questions, we may discover that we are an Introvert, not an Extrovert, and perhaps that we are Logical, more than Emotional.

And, please don’t believe me on this, conduct your own experiment:

Next time you do a personality test of any kind that involves the dreaded extremes of “introvert” or “extrovert” – and someone comes out as an “introvert”, tell them they have come out as an “extrovert”.

And watch what happens – the person will contribute a lot more, the company will get more from them and everyone will have a lot more fun.

I hear you cry – “isn’t that unethical”?

Not half as unethical as the constant ‘what’s wrong with you’ labels.

Personality tools like Myers Briggs provide an insight into one thing and one thing alone – our chosen style of behaviour. Nothing more, nothing less.

And that will vary according to our environment, our age and how we feel at any one point in time.

Mind you, when I did Myers Briggs, according to Jules, I came out as an ARSE – so what do I know?

If you missed last weeks – It’s here

With my love and best wishes


15 Responses to Myers Briggs – Help or Hinder? – Part 2

  1. David,
    I agree that it is more of a hindrance. I coached someone last year who had convinced himself he would never get his views heard in the boardroom because MBTI had labelled him an ‘Introvert’. It took 2 or 3 sessions for him to ditch that limiting belief. These labels are interesting and may help get the balance right in teams, but ultimately they describe our past, not our potential. You are not the role you have played to survive so far, you are not your psychometric profile, you are not your job description, you are who you choose to become.


    PS. Having said all that, I have enjoyed discussing my ‘ENFP-ness’ with my fellow ENFPs…

  2. Hindrance – I have spent too many years ‘fighting’ against perceptions to be then labelled again – I am unique and also able to change dependent on mood, circumstance and stimulation. However, I do also like discussing my Thomas International Profile (DISC) but usually in a D I S C O stylie!

  3. Yes, the potential side is all important.
    What is done is done, it doesn’t appreciate what it is you have inside you to drive you on to a better future.

  4. Last week the poll vote was so in favour of help, now it’s hinder.
    Amazing turnaround in fortunes.

  5. A truly inspiring NK Week, to go from one angle to another and to show that something can be vastly different depending on the opinion given.
    The powers of persuasion can be great, ashas been proved here in stunning fashion.

  6. Ditto on potential. As a coach, believing in the potential of others embedded in my DNA. How such a belief could change things for the better if it became universal.

    The boardroom bias as described by David Hare, where introversion is viewed as weakness (as is femininity for that matter) is part of the alpha-male, stereotypical, self-serving leadership thinking that sees high D (DISC) and ESTJ as the ‘best’ behavioural styles.

    But hey, who cares as long as we’re being paid loads of dosh for running these workshops…

  7. I was once labelled an introvert and yet I am nothing of the sort, not that being one is a bad thing, nor extrovert either.
    It’s just that labelling someone as such can have a detremental effect on them when actually, they might be both, or neither!
    Allow people to express themselves and be who they are without pigeon-holing them.

  8. Introvert, extrovert, submissive, assertive – everybody desrves a voice and can make a difference if they have the right skills and are motivated.
    The test is not such a great idea in my view and have listened to both sides of the debate.

    • Rock on Sally! “Everybody deserves a voice” is my quote of the week. (Not ‘quote of the weak’…)

      One of the benefits of MBTI is that it’s contribution towards self-awareness on an individual level enables one to better understand where your voice is coming from, and for example, that a preference for introversion does not mean that you are incapabable of moments of sublime extroversion…

      I remain in the hinder camp but want to mention this benefit as part of a balanced argument

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