Business owners know their organization’s biggest line item expense—and most valuable asset—is its people.
Even if you have a sophisticated system in place for recruitment and hiring, making sure your team (or teams) are aligned and that you’ve got the right people in the right positions is critically important for growing your business. This is where the MBTI comes in.
MBTI is the Myers-Briggs type indicator; the most widely used personality inventory in the world, with more than 3.5 million assessments administered each year. Personality, for the purpose of the test, includes the behavior, traits and character of an individual based on the theories developed by the psychologist Carl Jung. One of the principles of Jung’s model, “Psychological Types,” is that each of us has an innate urge to grow and part of our growth comes from understanding, individually, how we operate in the world.
About 80 percent of Fortune 100 companies rely on these types of tests to build stronger, more effective teams and healthier organizations.
Information from personality tests help companies better understand their employees’ strengths, weaknesses and the way they perceive and process information. There are 16 Myers Briggs personality types and once that is determined, an employee usually has a better understanding of the best way to approach work, manage their time, problem solve, make decisions and deal with stress. Here’s how businesses can use MBTI data to build stronger more successful organizations:
MBTI results tell you a lot about how each member of your team likes to work and with whom they will collaborate most effectively and efficiently. Managers putting together a team can use MBTI information to make sure personality types don’t clash, and strengths and weaknesses complement one another.
Anyone who has ever been a project manager knows that their biggest challenges aren’t necessarily technical or budgetary but personalities. If your team members know their own personality type, and that of the other team members, they will understand the best ways to communicate with one another. And as a manager, you will have an easier time communicating with team members because you will understand how each person works best and what they need to do their job well.
Seasoned managers knows you can’t motivate all employees the same way–an approach that works with one person can just as easily backfire with someone else. But information about an employees’ personality type can inform how you manage and motivate them. One team member, for example, might be a person that needs logical, straightforward reasons for what you ask them to do, they may work best on their own with a minimum of feedback. An employee with a different personality type might need to hear positive feedback and appreciation frequently, and have lots of interaction with other team members.
Less conflict, greater efficiency:
Each of us perceives and processes information differently and those differences show up in our work habits. As a business owner or leader you want to place your employees in roles that take into account those differences, play to each person’s strengths and minimize the impact of weaknesses. A greater understanding of your employees will help you integrate new team members quickly and enable them to build strong relationships—and good communication habits–with other team members.
As companies look to develop their leaders data from the MBTI can be an important tool, enabling them to understand themselves–where they focus attention and draw energy, how they process information, how they make decisions and handle stress. The airline JetBlue, for example, implemented MBTI assessments as part of its leadership development program a decade ago. It required current and future leaders to develop self-reflection, self-understanding, and a recognition and understanding of others’ differences and then apply those skills to their actions and communications.
A foundational strength of every leader is self-awareness, so understanding how your individual preferences influence the culture in which everyone operates is a key to good leadership.