In my last blog I stated that “growing up” as an adult means going through stages of development. To do so one must become “conscious”. This means understanding yourself. Discovering that voice in your head and the unconscious patterns that drive you; learning more about your internal psychology. Using personality assessments can help.
I learned about the Myers Briggs Type Indicator in my late forties and gave feedback to hundreds of people on their type. Rather than explain it, see the above link to take the test for yourself.
Here is what I learned about myself from the MBTI.
I am an extrovert who gets energized by interacting with others and the environment. If I am by myself for long periods, I want to get out and be in social situations where I can be with people. I enjoy interacting with people. I learned to appreciate introverts who prefer to recharge by being with themselves. My son can have a great weekend by himself. My wife needs alone time in order to stay centered and not drained. I have learned to respect that people are different from me. .
I approach things conceptually and globally. Details are not my strong suit. I am anything but precise. I much prefer to talk about ideas than things. An example is finding myself at the Offshore Technology Conference and having absolutely no interest in the machinery. I learned to admire those who enjoy working with their hands on practical concrete problems. The same with those who do detailed work with numbers. I prefer to read a history or philosophy book than change the oil in my car or do my taxes. Others prefer these practical endeavors. In conversations I can get bored with the mundane and detailed. Others can see me as too pie in the sky in my thinking, always focused on the future rather than practical day to day stuff.
The filters I use in decision making are facts and logic and in doing so I tend to dismiss the values based decisions of others, when in fact values based decisions are rational as well. I delude myself into thinking that I don’t make decisions emotionally when at some level I do. I learn to appreciate that others have a different way of making decisions and having opinions and, just because of that, they are not wrong.
I am not particularly structured in my external world. Clothes seem to get disorganized in my closet all by themselves. My desk is cluttered. This is my natural tendency and I have to find systems to overcome this tendency. This is why technology has become so important to me for staying organized.
I prefer to keep my options open and I feel constrained when I have to commit to a decision. While I plan a lot, I prefer it to be my plan rather than someone else’s. Others prefer to have a tight schedule and stick to it. I am not inclined to do that. I tend to be “pressure prompted.”
One of the benefits I got from the MBTI is having concrete language to see how I differ from other people and to see the value from these differences. In addition, the simple act of truly exploring one’s inner psychology helps one relaxed patterns that have been unconscious. I will talk more about this later as I go into two more assessments.
Meantime think about taking this assessment. Do more than just read the report. Read it multiple times and think about it and correlate your daily inner states and behaviors to what the report reveals. Let it soak in. Let me know you have taken the MBTI and we can talk about it.