Appreciating the fact that human behavior falls into certain personality types and groups makes us less judgmental when observing someone's behaviour (Renee 1998). We see behavior that's quite in contrast to our own actually follows a pattern exhibited by many people of that type. Understanding these differences enables us to communicate in more efficient ways when we know another's personality type. Two important personality indicators in widespread use are the Meyer-Briggs Type Index and the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory.
The Meyers-Briggs Type Index or MBTI is a personality test indicating an individual's personality preferences or type of personality he or she is, for example whether the person is largely extroverted or introverted, whether thought or intuition dominates the mental processes. The results of this test offers indications as to which work situations an employee might be best suited, and if they are in conflict or in harmony.
The MBTI was developed by Katherine Briggs and her daughter Isabel Myers in the 1920's and published in 1975 having undergone stringent testing for validity and reliability. The method is based on Swiss psychologist Carl Jung, who talked of personality types in his book Psychological Types (Quenk 1999) Although the MBTI has been around since 1956, it wasn't until 1975 that it became available to all qualified professionals who could administer the test and since then over 30 million people have taken part in it. It is now one of the most widely used personality test tools with an annual use of about 2 million people (Quenk 1999).
The MBTI gives individuals a greater understanding of themselves. The different indicators of personality show that people communicate and decide upon things differently. The various personality type preferences can sway experiences, learning, life choices and the things that motivate people. It is a framework for gaining insights into the personality of others and also our own. Since the tool of use is a self-report questionnaire, it is not actually a test since there are no right or wrong answers, but acts as an indicator looking at normal behavior. Rather than identifying skills, abilities, competencies, the indicator scrutinizes preferences. The indicator does not favor some personality traits over others and each is considered to have its own merits. The MBTI is a useful tool to build teams in a workplace, act as a career guidance for students or job seekers and provide a gauge for leadership qualities. The MBTI consists of 4 scales of opposite preferences or dichotomies (Quenk 1999).
1) The manner in which we channel personal energy can be either through Extraversion or Introversion. E or I. Extroverts channel their energies outwards. They show a keen interest in the people and things and receive energy from communicating and interacting with others. Introverts channel their energies inwardly and show greater interests in thoughts and reflective ideas.
2) The manner in which we absorb external information can be through Sensing or iNtution. S or N. Individuals who show tendencies towards sensing, favor absorbing information from the five senses of sight, sound, smell, touch and taste. They