Personality Type and Organizations

The Myers Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) assessment is used by many organizations, large and small, throughout the world. Knowledge of personality type and how it is used to help people become more effective benefits both individuals and organizations.

Type provides a framework for understanding individual personality differences along with a dynamic model for individual self-growth that can be applied to career, leadership, and team development. Not only will people in organizations understand themselves better, but type awareness also helps them to appreciate others and make constructive use of individual differences. Type knowledge may help team members be more productive and approach problems in different yet healthy ways.

Type is widely used in the workplace and in organizational settings. Different types are clearly drawn to different careers. However, within any specific job or work setting many different types are represented. This diversity in types is healthy and stimulating, but it can also lead to misunderstandings and friction in the workplace. Understanding and applying type to the workplace can result in increased communication, more effective teams, and more satisfied employees and customers.

How Organizations Benefit from Type Awareness

Organizations can use type knowledge in a variety of ways. They can use type awareness to make the most of their talent, leverage individuals' natural strengths, improve teamwork, manage conflict, develop leadership skills, assist in career development, enhance communication effectiveness, provide executive coaching, manage change, and other more customized needs.

One thing MBTI personality type should not be used for is hiring or job selection. Type identifies preferences, not abilities, skills, or competencies. Although certain types are attracted to certain careers, we find all types in all careers. And we need this!

A diversity of types is best for any work group or team because many views and multiple perspectives are represented. All types have something to offer an organization because all types are valuable. A team is more effective when they understand and appreciate personality differences.

Personal Differences in Teams

Have you ever been in a meeting where one team member won't stop talking? Or asked a question that felt like forever before it was answered, if it was answered at all? This could be type related! Team members who prefer Extraversion tend to think out loud. In other words, to process their thoughts they talk it out, so what they start with may be very different from where they end up. A team member who prefers Introversion typically likes to take time to think things through, reflect, and consider ideas, before answering questions.

Type awareness provides a language for talking with co-workers, a way for understanding, and an opportunity to appreciate differences. These behaviors may still get on your nerves, but with type awareness, maybe not your last nerve!

Using type theory through the MBTI tool in organizations helps to optimize success at work, support a healthy work environment, and improve communication. With an understanding of personality type, members of an organization can better understand their preferred work style, work environment, leadership style, problem-solving approach, learning style, and potential pitfalls, which can support personal and professional development. When teams value personality differences, collaboration and understanding aids in the success of the team.

Interested in bringing type into your organization?

Find a type professional at the MBTI Master Practitioner Referral Network.

If you do not have access to an MBTI professional but are still interested in bringing personality type into your organization, there is a self-guided, virtual team building experience, MBTIonline Teams, available through The Myers-Briggs Company.