If you’ve taken the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, then seeing the letters INTJ means something to you. Per Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myers-Briggs_Type_Indicator, the MBTI is is a psychometric questionnaire designed to measure psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions. It’s one of the most famous and widely used developmental theory assessments used across a variety of industries and professions. I’ve taken it dozens of times and I almost always come back with the same results; introverted, intuitive, thinking and judging. Each of these 4 attributes has a mirror image (extroverted, sensing, feeling and perceiving) given a total of 16 possible combinations. I’ve found that through the years of being and educator, manager and leaders, the MBTI is the most useful tool in understanding how to challenge, motivate and empower people.
For those that know me, they may recognize a lot these traits when they think of me, again borrowing from Wikipedia, “INTJs are analytical. Like INTPs, they are most comfortable working alone and tend to be less sociable than other types. Nevertheless, INTJs are prepared to lead if no one else seems up to the task, or if they see a major weakness in the current leadership. They tend to be pragmatic, logical, and creative. They have a low tolerance for spin or rampant emotionalism. They are not generally susceptible to catchphrases and do not readily accept authority based on tradition, rank, or title.”
A lot of people are surprised when I say I am introverted by nature, because the above traits tend to propel me into leadership roles and put me in front of people. As an introvert, I’ve learned how to channel my energy and can turn on my extrovert self and at times be very social, engaging and witty. However, I am much productive when I am working alone, on a process or doing research that has a purpose.
Understanding my MBTI profile gives me a huge edge when it comes to knowing my strengths and weaknesses and using both to my advantage. And understanding other’s MBTI profiles allows me to determine the best way to get them to do things I want them to do. Challenging someone only works if you know what kind of challenges excite them. Empowering people only works if you know what it is that they need to feel satisfied and productive. Knowing the MBTI types and being able to identify them in others, is a skill that I highly recommend to anyone and everyone.