I often hear feedback from clients who share their Myers-Briggs results with friends or colleagues. The most common responses are:
~“I did that once a while back and I forget what my type is.”
~“I’m an (insert type here)”
~“What is the Myers-Briggs?” (one person asked if the Myers-Briggs was those false labor contractions…those are Braxton-Hicks)
~“I hear the Myers-Briggs is bunk!”
Most people can respond to the first three above. However, I wanted to provide some important facts that will impress your friends about the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI) that can be used for debunking the bunk.
1. The Assessment is Based on the Work of Swedish psychologist, Carl Jung.
If you’ve studied psychology or even dabbled in it you’ll most likely have heard of Carl Jung, especially because most of us first pronounced his last name incorrectly (it’s pronounced “yuu-ng”). Jung was a friend of Sigmund Freud, until their friendship ended due to a disagreement in theory.
Nevertheless in 1921, Carl Jung developed a theory of psychological types, where behavior is actually more consistent and methodical than we think whereas many today may still believe that behaviors are arbitrary and random. His theory teaches that the consistency comes from basic differences in the way people prefer using perception and judgement; basically, the way they take in information and how they draw conclusions from that information.
Having a personality assessment rooted in researched psychology is a true benefit to the end user, especially if the assessment will be the basis of personal development and improvement. Without it, you may be creating more confusion than learning.
2. Mother and Daughter Duo
So who are these Myers and Briggs guys who have penned their name on this personality assessment? Surprisingly, especially back in that era in the 1930’s, those Myers and Briggs guys are actually two women. To make it even more interesting Myers and Briggs were a mother and daughter team!
Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers, built upon the behavioral theories of Carl Jung and later developed the first version of the Myers Briggs Type Indicator® assessment in 1943. They were fueled by the wish that individuals could have the benefit of knowing about personality type and how it could improve their lives and personal satisfaction (sounds like me!) Today it is the most widely used personality assessment available.
3. The Assessment is Valid and Reliable
For those friends that jumped for joy thinking about spending time in a quantitative analysis class (unfortunately I’m not one of them) this one is for them. Ask them about validity and reliability and see their eyes light up. Validity and reliability are methods of which you can measure distortion and bias in things such as an assessment. As an individual who values and acts on personal development, you would hope that the assessment you are taking will prove to be measure what it’s supposed to measure, have the relationship outcomes it states it would have, and would have the same results every time you took it.
The MBTI manual boasts 60 full pages of information, statistics, test results, charts, and lots of numbers to demonstrate the validity and reliability of the MBTI instrument. The MBTI has proven to be both valid and reliable over years of testing. Isn’t that a source of comfort?
4. 89 of Fortune 100 Companies Use the Myers Briggs
This fact is one of the most compelling reasons I chose to root my professional coaching activities in the Myers Briggs Type Indicator®. I’ve worked in human resources for a Fortune 100 company and most successful organizations in this elite group have tons of employees and a department dedicated to organizational development and training. Vetting any type of assessment to use in developing employees is a complex process and not just a simple choice. If 89 top human resources and development professionals in very successful organization have put their stamp of approval on it, isn’t that a solid testimonial?
The Myers-Briggs is used from top executive management for coaching to entry level employees doing team understanding exercises and career planning. The MBTI flexible enough to work for large team environments which include specialty groups such as sales, marketing, human resources, manufacturing, etc. as well as my individual client dedicated to their small business or side hustle.
5. The MBTI Assessment Is Almost 75 Years Old
As mentioned before, the first MBTI assessment was developed in 1943. It has gone through a few revisions since then but having an assessment this old has given the Myers-Briggs Foundation the ability to not just test the results over time (reliability and validity) but it’ given them the opportunity to collect demographic data of those taking the assessment. There is a slew of information including statistics and charts regarding the distribution of the 16 personality types related to (but not limited to) gender, occupation, learning style, and even those most susceptible to substance abuse.
Since the inception of the MBTI assessment it has also been translated into over 30 languages so it can be used around the world and there is data on that as well!
If you or your friends and colleagues have questions about the Myers-Briggs, use the contact form to get in touch with me. I have lots more information to share!