The Myers & Briggs Foundation

"It is up to each person to recognize his or her true preferences."
Isabel Briggs Myers
Guidelines for Hiring an Outside Consultant

If you are considering using a consultant external to your organization to introduce type, consider the following guidelines. (In addition, you may wish to read the detailed ethical guidelines for administering the MBTI® instrument.)

  1. There is only one Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® personality assessment tool. Before using an assessment, inquire about its origins and ask if reliability and validity studies have been done so that you know it has been proven to measure what it says it does.
  2. All those who use the Indicator with either individuals or groups must be eligible or certified to purchase and use the instrument. Although some practitioners are eligible through their graduate education, the MBTI® Certification Program offers in-depth knowledge and understanding of the use of the instrument.
  3. The core concept behind the MBTI instrument is the value of all types and the importance of a diversity of types in any group endeavor. One of the payoffs of learning about type is realizing that we are often surrounded by people similar to ourselves and thus miss the perspectives offered by others. Any personality type resource you use should clearly respect the value of diversity.
  4. It is not ethical to use the MBTI instrument for hiring or for deciding job assignments. However, knowledge of type theory may help people recognize why they may be satisfied or dissatisfied with their jobs, and knowledge of type almost always helps teams and co-workers communicate better.
  5. All MBTI administrators should be very clear that taking the Indicator is voluntary and that regardless of scored results, respondents are free to choose their own best-fit type. If someone in your organization does not want to take the Indicator, he or she should still be encouraged to attend the program. Often a person will decide to take the assessment once he or she understands its applications and is assured of ethical use in their current environment.
  6. A core ethic of the MBTI assessment is that results are given only to the respondent. It is up to each individual to share his or her results. The issue of confidentiality is tricky because organizations may feel they are not getting full value if they cannot use the results. Often a consultant can respect confidentiality but still give group profiles or information in other forms that are helpful to the organization. If individual results are not kept confidential, people may not be honest and the benefits of using the assessment will not be effective.
  7. Regardless of the pressure to keep training sessions short, personality type is most beneficial when the practitioner can introduce the concepts and give participants meaningful feedback within a minimum of four hours. If practitioners do not have enough time, they may offer to limit the session to a discussion of type theory, saving the feedback for another time. Remember that feedback is a requirement of ethically administering the MBTI instrument.

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What are the guidelines for ethical use of the Myers Briggs® assessment?
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