I moved from Amsterdam to New York 7 years ago. My career got onto an accelerated track. A new friend recommended me to hire an executive coach to provide external perspective. My first reaction: “I’m not sure, I’m working effectively already, it feels this executive coaching is a New York shrink thing which is going to take forever and will be expensive”.
My friend convinced me and the executive coach guidance proved to be very impactful. In the first session, we got right to business by filling out a personality test called Myers-Briggs (MBTI) based on the work by Carl Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst.
I’ve done these type of tests in Dutch companies before, for instance DISC. It was interesting and fun to discuss the results with team members, but I felt a lack of personal relevance since the results focused mostly on how you would act in certain situations.
Fast forward, I took the MBTI assessment to learn how I perceive the world and make decisions. MBTI is used often for:
- Leadership development
- Job candidate selection
- Team building
- Career selection
- Personal development
The assessment points you to one of the 16 different MBTI personalities. Each provides general assumptions on how your personality type is best suited for success in terms of careers, communications, relationships and collaboration.
OMG, I’m an ENTJ
The survey results in a four letter acronym, in my case: ENTJ (Extroverted Intuitive Thinking Judging). Fellow ENTJ’s are Steve Jobs, Aung San Suu Kyi, George Clooney, Sheryl Sandberg. All people I look up to.
This is what a quick Google search told me:
The ENTJ is the master of change, the big picture conceptualist who loves the new and the challenging, who devise the long range plan then relentlessly drive it towards conclusion. Confident and authoritative the ENTJ will take the lead rarely hesitating and with a directness that can often leave others reeling in their wake having no time for anything seen as woolly or obstructive.
Yup, that is about 99% accurate. I also learned that only 0.9% of women have an ENTJ profile vs. 2.7% of men. I found this post by a fellow female ENTJ on Reddit:
We are pretty rare. And if you met me in real life, just by chance, you might not realize I was NT, since I tend to chameleon a lot. Life as an NT woman can generally be summed up like this. People want you to be softer, less opinionated, less sarcastic, more supportive and maternal. They want you to care less about concepts and more about social activities. They want you to spend your whole life dreaming of marriage and children, and pity you if you don’t.
The test result and insights gleaned online sparked a useful, and at times confrontational, coaching trajectory. I left the well-paid, well regarded corporate world career and moved into more entrepreneurial roles, leading to founding and running a startup today. Throughout the years I’ve built teams and always inquired about the MBTI type of peers, partners, members and consultants. This helped me to learn more about myself and identify opportunities for better connections. The test result itself is not the panacea, it’s the acknowledgment and discussion between team members that drives positive change.
MBTI and the Future of Work
At HelloMaaS, we’d like to connect people in marketing more effectively. Marketing is a creative profession. Today data, tools and A.I. are used when hiring people. Not necessarily a bad thing. Yet, with the rapid rise of freelance working, online matchmaking can become too task and output focused without considering the personality of the person.
We like to make sure brands, agencies and freelancers connecting on our platform are not only a good skill and experience match but also good personality matches. That’s why we’ve added the option to list your MBTI type on your profile.
If we invest more time at the start of a project in understanding each other’s personalities, and communicate about the potential challenges, we feel more engaged and appreciated as a human being which usually leads to better work experiences. It’s clear some types might be more natural leaders, deep thinkers or out-of-the-box creators, all 16 types can find a way to work and play well together.
We’d love to learn from your experiences with MBTI or other personality tests so we can design HelloMaaS to connect people better. Comment on this post or send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.