I’ve no idea why, but I’ve been obsessed with the MYERS BRIGGS PERSONALITY TESTS OR MBTI TESTS for the past week!
Hehe, guess most of you would have heard about the Myers Briggs personality test which will tell you which of the 16 personality types you are.
Yea, like I am.
Over a decade ago, headhunting firms even made candidates do tests like this for the more senior roles. In fact, as many as 2 to 2.5 million people take the test every year! And it’s been said that over 80 of the Fortune 100 companies use this test.
No idea if it’s still so these days.
Now, the actual MBTI test is not free, you have to pay US49.95 to take the assessment ONLINE, or you can go try your luck at one of the bigger headhunting firms.
I first came across this test at a headhunting firm slightly more than a decade ago. Yup, I had done the original MBTI test, the paid one and back then I was INTJ.
Yes, doing the MBTI test will yield you a four-letter personality type, and there are a total of 16 different types.
Each of the four letters is supposed to tell us something since the MBTI assesses personal preferences on four dichotomies:
Extraversion (E) vs. Introversion (I)
(outward vs. inward focus)
This is talking about our fave worlds: Do we prefer to focus on the outer world, or on our own inner world?
Sensing (S) vs. Intuition (N)
(concrete vs. abstract information-gathering)
This is about how we process information: Do we prefer to focus on the basic information we take in and engage our five senses to check out and verify data, or do we prefer to use impressions and pattens to interpret things and to add meaning?
Thinking (T) vs. Feeling (F)
(objective vs. subjective decision-making)
The third letter looks at how we make decisions: When making decisions, do we prefer to first look at logic and consistency or first look at the people and special circumstances? In short, do we use our head or heart more when making decisions?
Judgement (J) vs. Perception (P)
(closed-endedness vs. open-endedness)
The last letter is about how we display our preference to the outside world. It deals with the structure: In dealing with the outside world, do we prefer to get things decided or do we prefer to stay open to new information and options? The J-type of people obviously needs clarity and closure, whilst the P-type of people can live with more fluidity, open-endedness and more shades of shade instead of just black or white.
I was saying I was an INTJ in the first test, ya? Guess what? I did 5-6 different variations of the free online tests over the last week and ended up being INTP in all my recent tests!
So yes, I’ve shifted from INTJ to INTP and I agree!
Guess one of the main reasons I am so obsessed about this is how accurate it is! Over the decade or so, I have felt the shift within myself that I’d be more surprised if I were still an INTJ.
I’ve mellowed a lot over the years.
The passage of time and my own life experiences have taught me that very few things in life have permanance and just as few things are really definite forever. And more importantly, there are many sides to a story, many different types of people, and hence, many roads to get to Rome. I may know the road to Rome, but my way may not be the only way to Rome.
I am now better able to live with more open-endedness and I also believe it’s better to remain fluid and flexible as things change all the time.
If we’re stuck in a rut, or insist on sticking to just one path once decision is made and won’t consider changing even if the tides or wind direction have changed, then I think that’s really quite tragic.
So yea, I’m INTP. Proudly so too.
Hehe, am also a teeny weeny proud that INTP is one of the less common types in the population, especially for women. Among women, INTP is the fourth rarest type (after INTJ, ENTJ, and INFJ).
INTPs make up:
3% of the general population
5% of men
2% of women
Yea, there’s nothing I dislike more than to be ordinary, nondescript and just like everyone else.
Here, let me share some key INTP traits:
– INTPs are Independent, abstract reasoners.
– INTPs are not so interested in everyday chitchat about barbecues, prices of eggs, shopping trips, etc. They would rather be discussing whether dolphins have language or the meaning of life.
– INTPs can and do prefer to work alone and uninterrupted for long stretches of time.
– INTPs and INFJs have the shortest mean time in their jobs – meaning they switch jobs a lot. They rank things like ‘Security‘ lower than ‘International opportunities‘ and ‘Advancement/pay‘ when it comes to work.
– INTPs love learning and have a tendency to ask many questions in their pursuit for knowledge. But this does not mean they score high grades, as their interest is really only in learning.
– INTPs are likely to pick one favorite style of clothing and wear it for every occasion. They tend not to care that much for outward appearance
– INTPs dislike being limited by bureaucracy and rules, and prefer to focus on creating the idea, and to leave the tedious details of implementation to someone else.
– INTPs work best independently or with a small team of colleagues that they perceive as smart, competent, and logical.
– INTPs quickly tire of colleagues who are aggressive or overbearing, and can be dismissive of people who aren’t as clever as themselves.
– An ideal organization for an INTP is flexible and non-traditional, and values ingenuity over conformity.
– INTPs have little appetite for the mundane aspects of life, and may disregard rituals and rotes. They are tolerant of individual preferences but will rarely do something because they are told they ‘should‘.
– INTPs may find others difficult to deal with when they cannot understand the logic behind their behavior. When things get too emotional, they may retreat to their own world of thoughts and ideas.
– INTPs want plenty of space to explore their own thoughts, ideas, and interests.
On INTP and Leadership
Contrary to public belief, INTPs do have leadership abilities.
When INTPs do lead, their strategic planning abilities, knowledge and unconventionality provide advantages to the team which are typically made up of members who are more rational.
Since INTPs dislike control and rules, they tend to be casual, ‘hands off’ leaders who set goals and tasks but leave the details of the implementation to their subordinates. INTPs also tend to be democratic leaders, encouraging discussion and speaking with a team-oriented ‘we‘.
INTPs do not fancy barking out orders, so you will not hear stuff like ‘Do this‘, ‘Go there‘, or ‘Do not do this‘. Instead, INTPs prefer to give suggestions or advice people under their charge.
INTPs don’t get high on power or control, and it isn’t about the status either. They’re just not very interested in the ‘people‘ aspect of management, and they dislike having to deal with daily nitty-gritty or minute operational details.
The thing that INTPs will enjoy about being in a leadership position is not being controlled by anyone.
This reminds of something an ex-boss-turned-dear-friend, P, once said to me. He had described me as 不想管別人，也不想被人管 and I remember thinking ya, that’s right.
That’s exactly me!
Generally speaking, INTPs tend to view leadership as being more trouble than it’s worth.
Perhaps what will interest INTPs and also be something that they excel in might be to lead virtual teams. INTPs can be expected to be highly capable virtual team leaders as they have above-average written communication skills. The fact that the distance offered by the internet mitigates the interpersonal factors that might otherwise cause trouble for them in real-life interactions.
INTPs will also be weary of the social demand of leadership if they have to manage a real team offline.
Soooooo blardy true I am so shocked that my mouth’s still hanging open!