By Jamuna Rangachari November 2008 Though primarily used in the corporate world, MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator) can be equally powerful in understanding oneself, self-improvement, nurturing self-esteem, and creating harmonious relationships Which are you?ISTJ Serious and quiet, interested in security and peaceful living. Extremely thorough, responsible, and dependable. Well-developed powers of concentration. Usually interested in supporting and promoting traditions and establishments. ISTP Quiet and reserved, interested in how and why things work. Excellent skills with mechanical things. Risk-takers who live for the moment. Detached and analytical, they excel at finding solutions to practical problems. ISFJ Quiet, kind, and conscientious. Usually puts the needs of others above their own needs. Stable and practical, they value security and traditions. Extremely perceptive of others’ feelings. Interested in serving others. ISFP Quiet, serious, sensitive and kind. Do not like conflict, and not likely to do things which may generate conflict. Loyal and faithful. Not interested in leading or controlling others. Likely to be original and creative. Enjoy the present moment. INFJ Quietly forceful, original, and sensitive. Tend to stick to things until they are done. Extremely intuitive about people, and concerned for their feelings. Well-developed value systems, which they strictly adhere to. INFP Quiet, reflective, and idealistic. Interested in serving humanity. Well-developed value system, which they strive to live in accordance with. Usually talented writers. Mentally quick, and able to see possibilities. INTJ Independent, original, analytical, and determined. Have an exceptional ability to turn theories into solid plans of action. Highly value knowledge, competence, and structure. Have very high standards for their performance, and the performance of others. INTP Logical, original, creative thinkers. Can become very excited about theories and ideas. Exceptionally capable and driven to turn theories into clear understandings. ESTP Friendly, adaptable, action-oriented. Doers who are focused on immediate results. Live in the here-and-now. Risk-takers who live fast-paced lifestyles. Impatient with long explanations. ESTJ Practical, traditional, and organised. Likely to be athletic. Not interested in theory or abstraction unless they see the practical application. Have clear vision of the way things should be. ESFP People-oriented and fun loving, they make things more fun for others by their enjoyment. Living for the moment, they love new experiences. ESFJ Warm-hearted, popular, and conscientious. Tend to put the needs of others over their own needs. Feel strong sense of responsibility and duty. ENFP Enthusiastic, idealistic, and creative. Able to do almost anything that interests them. Great people skills. Need to live life in accordance with their inner values. Excited by new ideas, but bored with details. ENFJ Popular and sensitive, with outstanding people skills. Externally focused, with real concern for how others think and feel. Usually dislike being alone. They see everything from the human angle, and dislike impersonal analysis. ENTP Creative, resourceful, and intellectually quick. Good at a broad range of things. Enjoy debating issues, and may be into one-upmanship. They get excited about new ideas and projects, but may neglect the routine aspects of life. ENTJ These people have an excellent ability to understand difficult organisational problems and create solid solutions. Intelligent and well-informed, they usually excel at public speaking. To know your type, google MBTI for an online test Extrovert Introvert Acts first, thinks/reflects later Thinks/reflects first, then acts Feels deprived when cut off from interaction with the outside world Regularly requires an amount of ‘private time’ to recharge batteries Usually open to and motivated by outside world of people and things Motivated internally, mind is sometimes so active it is ‘closed’ to the outside world Enjoys wide variety and change in people relationships Prefers one-to-one communication and relationships Sensing Intuitive Mentally lives in the now, attending to present opportunities Mentally lives in the future, attending to future possibilities Using common sense and creating practical solutions is automatic-instinctual Using imagination and creating/inventing new possibilities is automatic-instinctual Memory recall is rich in detail of facts and past events Memory recall emphasises patterns, contexts, and connections Best at improvising from past experience. Likes clear and concrete information; dislikes guessing when facts are fuzzy Best at improvising from theoretical understanding Comfortable with ambiguous, fuzzy data and with guessing its meaning. Thinking Feeling Instinctively searches for facts and logic in a decision-making situation. Instinctively employs personal feelings and impact on people in decision-making situations Naturally notices tasks and work to be accomplished. Naturally sensitive to people’s needs and reactions. Easily able to provide an objective and critical analysis. Naturally seeks consensus and popular opinions. Accepts conflict as a natural, normal part of relationships with people. Unsettled by conflict; have almost a toxic reaction to disharmony. Judging Perceiving Plans many of the details in advance before moving into action. Comfortable moving into action without a plan; plans on the go. Focuses on task-related action; completes meaningful segments before moving on. Likes to multitask, have variety, mix work and play. Works best and avoids stress when keeping ahead of deadlines. Naturally tolerant of time pressure; works best close to the deadlines. Naturally uses targets, dates and standard routines to manage life. Instinctively avoids commitments, which interfere with flexibility, freedom and variety. I just could not understand my teammates’ unstructured approach to work. They felt that I was a structure freak. The Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test showed us that this was our way, the way we preferred to function. In the process, we understood each other better and became more effective together,” says Sunanda Shastri (name changed), a young HR consultant with a leading consultancy firm. “Quitting my accounting career was vindicated when I realised I needed to interact with people to feel complete,” says Ajay Kalra, who is now working in the HR department of an investment firm. “This is who I am,” exclaims Meena Tandon, who feels drained if social commitments leave her with no personal time. Where-are-you-coming-from We know that what works for one person does not work for another, and essentially, the MBTI model tells us why this is so. The model sorts some of these psychological differences into four opposite pairs, or dichotomies, with a resulting 16 possible psychological types (see box). None of these types is ‘better’ or ‘worse.’ It is a clear indicator of our style, with the result that some things are naturally easier for us to do, while some others require effort. Where are you coming from?“Come on, where are you coming from?” In the context of our discussion, I understood she meant she did not quite understand my point of view. The phrase was new to me. I smiled, and told her that I did not quite understand the new lingo. Most people have a preference towards energy from either the outer or the inner world. Thus one of their facets, either the extroverted (E) or the introverted (I), takes the lead in their personality and plays a dominant role in their behaviour. This is not to be confused with the English meaning of an ‘introvert’ or ‘extrovert’. One of my friends, for example, is an introverted person though she certainly is people friendly. Conversely, an ‘introvert’ in the commonly understood parlance, could have his/her energy-orientedness from the outer world. Essentially, the difference between the two is: How do we see the world?“This painting was definitely on the other side of the room,” said my four-year-old daughter Samyukta, when she visited her aunt after a gap of four months. Everyone was stunned at her observation and memory, more so as I am the sort who hardly notices such details. Now, I understand why this comes so naturally to her, while for me, it is not that simple. The sensing (S) side of our brain notices all the sensory details of the present. It categorises, organises, records and stores the specifics from the here and now. It is reality-based, dealing with ‘what is.’ It also provides the specific details of memory and recollections from events. The intuitive (N) side of our brain seeks to understand, interpret and form overall patterns of the information that is collected and records these patterns and relationships. It speculates on possibilities, including looking into and forecasting the future. It is imaginative and conceptual. While both kinds of perceiving are necessary and used by all people, each of us instinctively tends to favour one over the other. Specifically, the differences between the two are: How do we make choices?Says Susan Varughese, a certified MBTI professional, “As a ‘T’ type, I always use logic to arrive at decisions, while my sister, as an ‘F’ analyses it always from an emotional perspective.” With the understanding that MBTI has given her, there is better synergy in their relationship. The thinking (T) side of our brain analyses information in a detached, objective fashion. It operates fr
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