What Is Your Personality Type?

In 1943, Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers created the famous Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality test. Inspired by renowned Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung, they devised a questionnaire that would help identify a person’s psychological type. The questionnaire gives you four letters that make up your personality. Learning your MBTI profile is very helpful in understanding yourself, how you deal with others, ideal careers, and your strengths and weaknesses. Some organizations go as far as using the MBTI to assess compatibility with a spouse! To take the test and learn more about your personality characteristics, please visit the SMART Living Tab at artofthinkingsmart.com. The MBTI sorts people into 16 different personality types broken down by two pairs of cognitive functions.

• The “rational” (judging) functions: Thinking and Feeling

• The “irrational” (perceiving) functions: Sensation and Intuition

The cognitive functions are then broken down into 16 different personality types based on how the functions are paired with each other. For example, based on the questionnaire, I am an ESTJ with ENTJ close behind.

• The orientation of your focus and how you are energized: Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I)

o Extraverted Characteristics (E) – Outgoing, action oriented, seeks breadth of knowledge, frequent interaction and gets energy from spending time with people.

o Introverted Characteristics (I) – Reflective, thought oriented, seeks depth of knowledge, substantial interaction and gets energy from spending time alone.

• The way you take in information and what you pay attention to: Sensing (S) or INtuition (N)

o Sensing Characteristics (S) – Lives in the present, uses the five senses for practical and real solutions, memory recall is rich in detail, improvises from past experiences, comfortable with clear and concrete information.

o INtuition Characteristics (N) – Lives in the future, looks beyond the five senses for imagination and new solutions, memory recall emphasizes patterns and contexts, improvises from theoretical understanding, comfortable with ambiguous and fuzzy information.

• How you make decisions and form judgments: Thinking (T) or Feeling (F)

o Thinking Characteristics (T) – Instinctively search for facts and logic, naturally drawn to accomplishing tasks, able to provide objective analysis, accepts conflict as natural.

o Feeling Characteristics (F) – Instinctively look at personal feelings and empathy, naturally sensitive to people’s needs and reactions, able to seek consensus, unsettled by conflict.

• How you deal with the world and the lifestyle you prefer: Judging (J) or Perceiving (P)

o Judging Characteristics (J) – Plan details in advance, focus on task-related action, keeps ahead of deadlines, naturally use standard procedures and organization to manage life.

o Perceiving Characteristics (P) – Comfortable without details to act, likes to multitask and have variety, tolerant to deadlines and time pressure, naturally avoid commitments which interfere with flexibility and freedom.

In taking the questionnaire, there is no right answer since everyone comes in different shapes and sizes. It is important to know that there are other personality tests and different versions of the MBTI. No test is completely comprehensive, and you may find your personality changes over time. Keep in mind these tests do not measure character, abilities or traits. The important thing to glean from the test is to understand and appreciate the differences in people. It also helps in self-awareness.