Understanding Personality Assessments

Article by Belinda Fuller

Understanding Personality Assessments - MBTI AssessmentAs one of the most widely used personality assessments in the world, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) assessment tool is based on more than 50 years research. Through a series of questions, the MBTI tool assesses individual personality preferences and assigns one of 16 different personality types based on four scales which can be helpful in guiding training, personal development and career choices.

Just how can the knowledge of your personality type help with your career development? By taking the MBTI assessment, your personality preferences are assessed based on the theory that everyone has a primary mode of operation within four major categories:

1. Energy Flow – where you are either Extraverted (energised by the outside world of people, activity and things) or Introverted (energised by the inner world of thoughts, feelings and reflections).

2. How we gather information – where you are either Sensing (focused on information gathered through the five senses) or Intuitive (you look for patterns, meanings and possibilities in the information you receive).

3. Decision Making – where you either have a preference for Thinking (making decisions based on objective facts and principles) or Feeling (making decisions based on personal values and feelings).

4. Basic day-to-day lifestyle preferences – where you are either Judging (preferring a more planned and structured lifestyle) or Perceiving (preferring a more flexible and spontaneous lifestyle).

We all use one mode of operation within each category more easily, naturally and frequently than the other so we are categorised as “preferring” that function. The combination of our four preferences then defines our personality type. Through these combinations, there are 16 different personality categories.

Armed with the information, you can learn a lot about your natural strengths and weaknesses; as well as understanding your personality type’s preferred work tasks, ideal work environment, leadership style, learning style, communication method, and problem solving approach. Through identifying the areas that you value, you can start to develop strategies that may lead to improving your overall job satisfaction. By understanding your defined personality type, you can also start to analyse the most and least popular career choices for that type and hopefully pick a career that will reward and fulfil you well into the future.

While personality profiling via the MBTI tool or other assessment tools should not be used as the only guide to your perfect job, it can help. However, as with all theories, there are exceptions! Some people don’t fall strictly into one specific category; and as we develop, grow and have exposure to a range of situations, we learn to function outside of our ‘natural’ tendencies.

By taking the MBTI assessment, you can gain an insight into the careers that your personality type is most suited to, as well as looking at your current skills, qualifications and areas of expertise and matching those to some potential areas of interest. If nothing else, a better understanding of your personality may just contribute to helping you increase your job satisfaction in your current role.

Are you interested in understanding your personality type? If so, please see our Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Assessment service.