Ten years ago, one of the greatest sources of inspiration that moved me to be a coach was the opportunity to help others live their best version. I wanted to help others discover their inner world, envision their future, and shift their life towards their dreams.
The foundation to help people transform is to understand that we are all different. And in order to help other people know more about themselves, we have to understand more about different personality types.
Which is where the Myers-Briggs Personality Assessment (MBTI), or the 16 personalities test, comes in. This tool was developed by Isabel Myers and Katharine Briggs, based on 4 different dichotomies that, as a result, give you 16 personalities.
Our personality is one of the many factors that drives our behavior. That’s why the 16 personalities test is so relevant in coaching.
Your clients are going to have different personalities, which means different ways to be motivated, to be influenced, and to learn better. By understanding people’s personalities, you will understand and communicate with them easier, help them get better insights, and shift the way they approach their life.
The 16 personalities test talks about 5 different personality aspects: Mind, Energy, Nature, Tactics and Identity.
1. Mind: How We Interact With Our Surroundings
You will have Introverts who prefer solitary activities, because they are sensitive to external stimulation.
And you will have Extroverts, who get energized by social interactions. They also tend to be more enthusiastic and are easily excited.
2. Energy: How We See The World And Process Information
You will find Sensing individuals, who are very practical and down-to-earth. They have strong habits and rely on data to predict future events.
And you will have Intuitives, who are very imaginative, open-minded and curious. They prefer novelty over stability.
3. Nature: How We Make Decisions And Manage Our Emotions
You will find Thinking individuals who focus on objectivity and rationality, prioritizing logic over emotions.
And on the other hand you will see Feelers, who are very sensitive and open about expressing their emotions. They are more empathic and less competitive than Thinking types. They focus on social harmony and cooperation.
4. Tactics: Reflects Our Approach To Work, Planning And Decision-Making
You will have Judging individuals, who are decisive, thorough and highly organized. They value clarity, predictability and closure. They also prefer structure and planning, to spontaneity.
Then you have Perceiving personalities, who are very good at improvising and spotting opportunities. They tend to be flexible relaxed nonconformists who prefer keeping their options open.
5. Identity: How Confident We Are In Our Abilities And Decisions
These are variants that apply to all the other personality aspects.
On one side you have the Assertive, who are self-assured, even-tempered and resistant to stress. They refuse to worry too much and do not push themselves too hard when it comes to achieving goals.
And then you will see the Turbulent, who are self-conscious and sensitive to stress. They are likely to experience a wide range of emotions. They are success-driven, perfectionistic, and eager to improve.
Another important element in the 16 personalities test is type groups. The system has two layers for type groups: the first (inner) one defines our Roles, and the second (outer) one – our Strategies.
We will be briefly discussing both of these layers below:
They determine our goals, interests, and preferred activities. There are four roles:
1. Analysts: Intuitive And Thinking [NT] Type
They embrace rationality and impartiality. They excel in the scientific or technological fields.
Extremely independent, open-minded and strong-willed, they question everything and never settle for what other people say is right.
They are also amazing strategic thinkers, but struggle with social or romantic relationships.
2. Diplomats: Intuitive And Feeling [NF] Type
They focus on empathy and cooperation. And are great for diplomatic or counseling roles.
They bring harmony, warmth and empathy to all their relationships.
They may face trouble when having to make a difficult decision, especially if it affects someone else.
3. Sentinels: Sensing And Judging [SJ] Type
Sentinels are highly cooperative and practical.
They embrace and create order, security and stability in everything they do.
Meticulous, hard-working and excelling in logistical or administrative fields, they always stick to their plan and don’t shy away from difficult tasks.
The challenge they face is they tend to be inflexible and have a hard time accepting different opinions.
4. Explorers: Sensing And Perceiving [SP] Type
The most spontaneous role of all. Explorers easily connect with their surroundings.
They are practical and great at responding to situations that require a quick reaction. They excel at using tools and techniques in different ways to resolve any challenge.
They are also prone to taking risks.
This shows our preferred ways of doing things and achieving goals. There are four strategies talked about in the 16 personalities test:
1. Confident Individualism: Introverted And Assertive [I-A] Type
They prefer doing things alone without asking for help. They have high self-confidence and trust in themselves.
One of their biggest values is personal responsibility. They don’t pay much attention to what other people think or say.
2. People Mastery: Extroverted And Assertive [E-A] Type
They love social contact and tend to have very good communication skills. They easily rely on others for help and thrive on social events.
They are self-confident and don’t hesitate in sharing their worldview. They actively seek roles to assist in their communities.
3. Constant Improvement: Introverted And Turbulent [I-T] Type
Quiet, individualistic people. They tend to be perfectionistic and success-driven, often spending a lot of time and effort making sure that the result of their work is the best it can be.
Known as high-achievers in their field, they tend to worry too much about their performance.
4. Social Engagement: Extraverted And Turbulent [E-T] Type
The last strategy is adopted by sociable, energetic and success-driven types.
They tend to be restless, perfectionistic individuals, prone to experiencing both very positive and very negative emotions.
Usually high-achieving, even if they’re quiet and sensitive. They tend to place a lot of importance on other people’s opinions; they value their social status and are eager to succeed in everything they do.
Now you have an overall view of the different personality types. I hope you now understand a little bit more about why people say, think and do the things they do.