Myers Briggs Personality Types

Why understanding type differences is so important in change management


The Myers Briggs [personality or psychological] Type Indicators are based on the theories of Carl Jung, which he developed to attempt to explain the differences between normal healthy people.

Based on observations, Jung came to the view that differences in behaviour are the result of innate tendencies of people to use their minds in different ways.

This is a brief introduction and an overview of the Myers Briggs Type Indicators and their significance in relation to individual differences, and how this applies in change leadership and management.

myers briggs,myers briggs personality test,change management,change managers,change management training

This is a subtle, complex and dynamic method and needs to be applied and administered in practise with trained accredited support. I recommend the Myers Briggs Foundation for full information.







Less than 1 in 50 people think like you do


The Myers Briggs type of a business leader [ENTJ] is only shared by approximately 1.8% of the population.

As leader of a change initiative, you face the difficult challenge of getting your people to deliver your new change idea and achieve the organisational benefits that you anticipate.

A significant aspect of successfully guiding your people through the implementation process is to take full account of their individual differences. By doing this you will stand a far higher chance of integrating these processes as the new modus operandi.

This may seem like a lot of work – and the truth is yes it often is! But it will prove a good investment of your time as you will dramatically increase your chances of success.

Even more pertinently, you also save you an inestimable amount of time, hassle and money in the future.

In summary:


    As a leader you need to understand:

    • The drivers of individual motivation

    • The difference in individual motivational drivers

    • Individual differences in mental processing functions

    People have different motivational drivers and different thought processes, and as a leader, they are not the same as yours.




More blind to this than we realise


I know this may seem obvious, and it may be so, yet over the years I have heard so many CEOs and directors complaining that their managers "just dont get it".

In my experience, most of us are more blind to this than we realise. And that includes me!

I worked with a guy as a close colleague and friend for 17 years and I could not figure out why he didn't grasp and respond to some of my ideas and initiatives. He is a highly intelligent, gifted and experienced businessman with great people skills and yet this was a significant source of friction between us for years.

It was only when I became acquainted with the Myers Briggs Type Indicators, a few years ago, that I saw quite clearly - for the first time - that our types were very different and thus we functioned completely differently, our mental processes were very, very different. Have you ever had a similar experience [or insight] into a lack of communication with a key colleague ?




The components of the Jungian types


Myers Briggs types are based on 8 basic mental functions observed by Jung.

The start point is that when people's minds are active they are involved in one of two mental activities:

  • Taking information in = Perceiving

  • Processing information to reach to conclusions = Judging


He identified two ways in which people take in information, based on:

  • Real time tangible data = Sensing

  • Holistic,"big picture", pattern/connection data = Intuition


He identified two ways in which people process information, based on:

  • Analytical logical, objective, "tough" evaluation = Thinking

  • Empathic, subjective, "tender" assessment = Feeling




Jung also observed that people tend to be energised by one of two orientations:

  • People, experience, activity, external focus = Extraversion

  • Ideas, memories, emotions, inner focus = Introversion


Finally, Jung observed that people use these different functions in a form of hierarchy of preference, described by Jung as functions:

  • Dominant

  • Auxiliary

  • Tertiary

  • Inferior

The Myers Briggs model brings these components together into 16 types.

There are many caveats and qualifiers as how all this is applied and they do not describe fixed states but rather dynamic preferences that can change and develop in reponse to changing environment and personal development.

I repeat what I said above, this is a subtle, complex and dynamic method and needs to be applied and administered in practise with trained accredited support. I recommend the Myers Briggs Myers Briggs Foundation for full information.




Summary of Myers Briggs Type Indicators


Just click on any link in the table below to open a summary and brief description of the type.

ISTJ
Doing what should be done

ISFJ
A high sense of duty

INFJ
An inspiration to others

INTJ
Everything has room for improvement

ISTP
Ready to try anything once

ISFP
Sees much but shares little

INFP
Performs noble service to aid society

INTP
Loves problem solving

ESTP
The ultimate realists

ESFP
You only go round once in life

ENFP
Giving life and extra squeeze

ENTP
One exciting challenge after another

ESTJ
Life's administrators

ESFJ
Hosts and hostesses of the world

ENFJ
Smooth talking persuaders

ENTJ
Life's natural leaders




Books and Resources



All Books

Books - Myers Briggs




Additional motivation resources on this site:


Define Motivation - Understanding the inner drivers

Motivation Theories - Getting people to take action

Maslow's hierarchy of needs - A paradigm shift

ERG Theory - Practical application to leading change

Herzberg Motivation Theory - Satisfied and motivated

Acquired Needs Theory - Goal seeking achievers

Process theories of motivation - Personal needs drive behaviour

Employee motivation techniques - How to achieve peak performance

Inspirational motivation - How to inspire your people in tough times




Are you ready to move beyond simply being informed about how you think to learning how to think and how to stop thinking?

Find out more about how to change your life :


Zen Tools - For Tough Times




Return to top

Home page








Custom Site Search


    Site Updates

Subscribe in a reader


View Stephen Warrilow's profile on LinkedIn

change management,change managers,change management training



Is your organisation
overwhelmed by change?

practitioners masterclass,change management training,change managers,change management



practitioners masterclass,change management training,change managers,change management



practitioners masterclass,change management training,change managers,change management



practitioners masterclass,change management training,change managers,change management


practitioners masterclass,change management training,change managers,change management