Knowing yourself will allow you to understand more how you can show up and operate as an entrepreneur. In this episode, James and Phoebe explain what the Myers Briggs Personality Test is all about, while allowing the listener to answer the question “what type am I?” Personality types aren’t meant to limit you. You can learn much about yourself, and along the way, discover a lot about the people around you.
At a business function in 2008, someone “read” James, based on his personality type, which fascinated him.
“What it did for me was open a door to discover this on my own”
He says he was an introvert growing up, referring to himself as shy and not knowing how to relate to others.
“I lived the first 25 years of my life thinking there was something drastically wrong with me because everywhere I looked, I found evidence that people were the exact opposite”
James discovered his Myers Briggs Personality Type is “INTJ”, which is one of the rarest of the 16 personality types in the framework. Myers Briggs allowed him to look at what he had as strengths, as opposed to weaknesses.
“I accepted who I was and really fell in love with that”
He created a journal that he kept for about 18 months, tracking and analyzing the personality types of people that he knew. He discovered a lot of similarities between them in terms of behaviors, mannerisms and even physical attributes. This has resulted in him being able to read people with great accuracy.
“It has allowed me to be more effective in communication. The moment you work with one more person in your life, communication becomes the number one most important thing”
He believes that the one breakdown we have in communication is not being able to understand where the other person is coming from and what’s going on with them.
Knowing people’s personality types can help in terms of hiring for new positions, as well as determining who the ideal client is for your business. The Myers Briggs system can even point you in the right direction for finding your purpose, or reaffirming the path that you are on.
“I believe that everyone has a purpose, and your purpose needs to be aligned with the things that come natural to you”
It’s important to note that no personality type is right or wrong, or better or worse, than another.
Myers Briggs is based on asking yourself a number of questions:
1. Are you an Extrovert (E) or Introvert (I)?
This question examines where you get your energy. If it’s from internal sources, such as thoughts, ideas and imagination, those are introvert qualities. Extroverts tend to get their energy from being around people.
Extroverts outnumber introverts about three to one, and it’s common for introverts to live their life feeling pressured to feel they need more friends and have to go out more often in groups.
Introverts often think first and speak second, enjoy peace and quiet and are great listeners. They love small gatherings and they believe that “talk is cheap.”
Extroverts talk first and think later, often have more friends and value that as something that’s important to them. They are not as affected by external stimuli and find listening more difficult than talking. Often, they require more affirmation from others.
2. Are you a Sensor (S) or Intuitive (N)?
This question revolves around how we see the world and take in information, which can be challenging to describe but can have the biggest impact on who we are and how we communicate.
About 60 to 70% of the population are sensors. Sensors prefer specific answers to specific questions, and are very detail oriented. They prefer jobs and tasks that yield a tangible result.
Sensors want to master things, and identify with being “the best” at something. These types of people would rather work with facts and figures than ideas and theories. They are very literally and tend to be more athletic than Intuitives.
Intuitives can be seen as being absent-minded and can get frustrated with details. They are future-oriented, looking at the “big picture.” They are able to draw a connection between people, things or ideas, and often are the type that will question authority.
3. Are you a Thinker (T) or Feeler (F)?
This question looks at how we make decisions, whether in a logical way or from the heart.
Thinkers are calm and collected, looking for what is fair and truthful rather than what will make people happy. To be a good manager of people, you most likely need to be a Thinker to make the tough decisions that are necessary. They are mathematical, scientific and left-brained in general.
Feelers take other peoples’ feelings in to account, and are more empathetic.
4. Are you a Perceiver (P) or a Judger (J)?
This question looks at how you structure your day and life.
Perceivers are creative and spontaneous, as well as good at starting projects. However, they can be easily distracted and are not big planners. They can be slightly disheveled in their appearance (males with longer hair and females wearing clothes that flow).
Perceivers experience time in abundance, which is why they’re always late.
Judgers are very linear with their time, and structured in that they are probably the type that has to have “to-do” lists. As well, they are tasks finishers, taking a project from start to finish.
Which type are you? Next week, in Part 2, we’ll take a deeper look at the Myers Briggs Personality Types and how you can relate that to your business. Are you working on the things that you’re naturally inclined to be working on? When you are doing what you are good at, you’ll be using your strengths and attracting people who will work well with you, as well as communicating more effectively!