16 Myers Briggs Personality Types
By the end of this section you will understand:
- what Myers Briggs personality types are
- why they are useful to know
- how to discover your own personality type
- how to discover another persons type
- what the 16 specific Myers Briggs personality types mean
- how to use your new knowledge of personality types
- what else you need to know to get the whole picture
Don’t know your type? Discover your Myers Briggs personality type.
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Why is it useful to know my Myers Briggs personality type?
By understanding your own personality type you begin to understand how your mind works. This means understanding:
- how you like to spend your time
- your preferences in terms of finding solutions and making decisions (and decisions shape your life, don’t they?)
- how you like to work
- How you like to be treated at work
- what you like and dislike about other people
Therefore gaining an understanding of your personality type will help you in several fundamental areas of your life: Better relationships, better self awareness and understanding, a better working life. Sound useful? Excellent. Read on…
Why is it useful to understand another persons personality type?
One word. Relationships. Are your relationships important to you? I thought so.
If you understand how people around you are thinking, then you can get on with them better and better influence and motivate them. This can therefore be beneficial in personal relationships and also in work environments, managing others, selling and other customer engagement roles.
Where does Myers Briggs Type theory come from?
The 16 Myers Briggs personality types are derived from the work of Carl Jung. Jung wrote the definitive book Psychological Types in 1921 in which he observed that we all have three distinct parts to our personality:
- Where we focus our attention and energy (We are mainly Introverted or Extraverted)
- The way that we perceive the world and take in information (We are mainly Sensing or Intuiting)
- The way that we make decisions or judgements (We are mainly Thinking or Feeling)
Katharine Briggs and Isabel Myers spent over twenty years studying Jung’s work and expanded upon this to add a further part to our personality:
- How we deal with the outside world (We are mainly Judging or Perceiving)
Utilising these four personality parts, Myers Briggs psychological types are considered ways of describing and explaining certain consistent differences in the ways that people use their minds.
What do the Myers Briggs letters stand for?
I=Introvert, E=Extravert, S=Sensor, N=Intuitor, T=Thinker, F=Feeler, J=Judger, P=Perceiver
- ISTJ – Introvert, sensor, thinker, judger
- ISFJ – Introvert, sensor, feeler, judger
- ESTP – Extravert, sensor, thinker, perceiver
- ESFP – Extravert, sensor. feeler, perceiver
- INTJ – Introvert, intuitor (N), thinker, judger
- INFJ- Intr0vert, intuitor, feeler, judger
- ENTP – Extravert, intuitor, thinker, judger
- ENFP – Extravert, intuitor, feeler, perceiver
- ISTP – Introvert, sensor, thinker, perceiver
- INTP – Introvert, intuitor, thinker, perceiver
- ESTJ – Extravert, sensor, thinker, judger
- ENTJ – Extravert, intuitor, thinker, judger
- ISFP – Introvert, sensor, feeler, perceiver
- INFP – Introvert, intuitor, feeler, perceiver
- ESFJ – Extravert, sensor, feeler, judger
- ENFJ – Extravert, intuitor, feeler, judger
Identifying personality type
Each of the four “parts” to personality type is a continuum. You will recognise certain words associated with your own or another’s personality. As you identify with some of the words it will give you an indication as to where on the continuum your personality fits.
This is a predictor only and shouldn’t be viewed as definitive.
Part 1 – Introvert or Extravert (I or E)
(1) Introvert or Extravert (I or E)
(2) Sensor or Intuitor (S or N)
(3) Thinker or Feeler (T or F)
(4) Judger or Perceiver (J or P)
In terms of these specific words. when you are considering your own “traits” you may find that it is easier to think of how others describe you or may have described perceiving you. Often people are able to associate these words with other people more easily than they are able to associate them accurately with themselves. We are talking about the “essence” of you and this is not something that we are always consciously aware of. This is one of the reasons why this system and discovering your personality is useful.
Eg We may like to consider ourselves “Spontaneous” – however is this really us? Some people who like to consider themselves as spontaneous are in fact spontaneous, others are less so (more scheduled). We may consider ourselves “Compassionate” and would “Reasonable” be a better description?
The way that your mind works, you when you consider each word a picture of someone you know may pop into your mind. I have one in my mind associated with the word “Open-ended” and unfortunately it isn’t myself (I’m more of a planner)!
As you look at the lists of words you may find it useful to compare them in order to identify your type more easily. The words are laid out above in a sequence that allows you to do that.
- In terms of Introvert or Extravert, are you more Reflective or Gregarious? Are you more Active or Quiet?
- In terms of Thinker or Feeler, are you more Compassionate or Reasonable?
Don’t forget, you will have the capacity to be all of these things and so we are looking for your preference.
Your own personality preferences
As you begin to understand more about how the Myers Briggs types are made up and the four parts to them so you will begin to identify more and more with one side of the continuums over the other.
Have a read of the following to help you narrow down your choices:
(1) Introvert or Extravert (I or E)
(2) Sensor or Intuitor (S or N)
Few close relationships
Sit in the background
One thing at a time
Think then speak
Lots of friends
Speak first, think later
Task at hand
Don’t tend to fantasise much
In the now
Read magazine cover to cover
Relationship of ideas
How things relate/work
Ideas & theories
How does this all fit together?
(3) Thinker or Feeler (T or F)
(4) Judger or Perceiver (J or P)
Decisions based on judgement
Fair and just decisions
Decisions based on values
Want to do the “right thing” by others
Make decisions easily
Like to make lists
Punctuality less important
In the moment
“Play it by ear”
Adapt behaviour to others
Having read this far you probably have a good inkling for which preferences you have. Are you an Introvert or an Extravert? A Sensor or an iNtuitor? A thinker or a feeler? A judger or a perceiver?
Still not sure? It is time to do a test.
How about a close relation, partner or friend. What Myers Briggs type would you give them based on the information that you have so far?
Now you know what your Myers Briggs type is and now you have an idea what type certain people around you are you might be thinking…..
“This is interesting but what can do I with this information?”
Myers & Briggs determined that dependent upon our type (one of the 16 Myers Briggs personality types), different parts of our personality have more influence over us than other parts and that these more dominant parts provide a level of definition over our character. Likewise, they considered that certain areas of our personality would be less prominent or we would be less keen to utilise these areas.
Therefore, if we know which areas we have a strong preference for, we can ensure that we are living our lives to our strengths (maximising our strengths). We can design our life and the way that we spend our time to ensure that we are creating the greatest potential for happiness.
If we know where our weaknesses lie, then we can focus our development on those areas so that we grow to our potential.
If we are in an organisation and we have a job vacancy that needs filling or a business problem, then we can design our ideal staff profile based on the specific requirements of the job or the problem.
If we are searching for a job opportunity, then we can identify the perfect roles to fit our own personality profile.
Myers & Briggs observed that parts or functions of personality could be prioritised as:
- Dominant Function
- Auxiliary Function
- Tertiary Function
- Inferior Function
How do we work out the dominant, auxiliary, tertiary and inferior functions of personality?
The next stage of the process involves applying rules to our four letter type:
Rule 1 – Letter 2 or 3 in the type (S/N or T/F) is the dominant function, the other is the auxiliary function.
Rule 2- One of either letter 2 or 3 is extraverted, the other is introverted. See diagram above.
If J is the preference then T/F is extraverted (and therefore S/N is introverted).
If P is the preference then S/N is extraverted (and therefore T/F is introverted).
Rule 4 – Letter 1 (I/E) tells us what the preferred attitude is, Extraversion or Introversion.
Rule 5 – The dominant function is typically used in the preferred attitude of I/E.
With INTJ, T is extraverted (determined by J) so N is introverted. Introverted Intuition is therefore the dominant function.
With INTP, N is extraverted (determined by P) so T is introverted. Introverted Thinking is the dominant function.
Rule 6 – The auxiliary function is the other letter of 2 or 3.
So in the case of INTJ it is Extraverted Thinking – giving (Dominant) Introverted Intuition and (Auxiliary) Extraverted Thinking.
For INTP is is Extraverted Intuition – giving (Dominant) Introverted Thinking and (Auxiliary) Extraverted Intuition.
Rule 7 – The tertiary function is opposite to the auxiliary function. EG INTJ it would be Feeling. For INTP it would be Sensing.
Rule 8 – The inferior function is opposite to the dominant function. EG INTJ it is Extraverted Sensing. For INFP it is Extraverted Feeling.
Fortunately for you we have done the work for you!
See the table below:
|Type||Dynamic Name (Dominant with Auxiliary) – Most likely, most comfortable||Tertiary||Inferior – Less likely, less comfortable|
|ISTJ||Introverted Sensing with Extraverted Thinking||Feeling||Extraverted Intuition|
|ISFJ||Introverted Sensing with Extraverted Feeling||Thinking||Extraverted Intuition|
|ESTP||Extraverted Sensing with Introverted Thinking||Feeling||Introverted Intuition|
|ESFP||Extraverted Sensing with Introverted Feeling||Thinking||Introverted Intuition|
|INTJ||Introverted Intuition with Extraverted Thinking||Feeling||Extraverted Sensing|
|INFJ||Introverted Intuition with Extraverted Feeling||Thinking||Extraverted Sensing|
|ENTP||Extraverted Intuition with Introverted Thinking||Feeling||Introverted Sensing|
|ENFP||Extraverted Intuition with Introverted Feeling||Thinking||Introverted Sensing|
|ISTP||Introverted Thinking with Extraverted Sensing||Intuition||Extraverted Feeling|
|INTP||Introverted Thinking with Extraverted Intuition||Sensing||Extraverted Feeling|
|ESTJ||Extraverted Thinking with Introverted Sensing||Intuition||Introverted Feeling|
|ENTJ||Extraverted Thinking with Introverted Intuition||Sensing||Introverted Feeling|
|ISFP||Introverted Feeling with Extraverted Sensing||Intuition||Extraverted Thinking|
|INFP||Introverted Feeling with Extraverted Intuition||Sensing||Extraverted Thinking|
|ESFJ||Extraverted Feeling with Introverted Sensing||Intuition||Introverted Thinking|
|ENFJ||Extraverted Feeling with Introverted Intuition||Sensing||Introverted Thinking|
What do these Myers Briggs type dynamics imply? What do they mean?
The dynamic implies that someone does it a lot, is comfortable doing it and is therefore probably good at it. An inferior function is the opposite – normally a weakness.
Someone who’s Dynamic is:
- Introverted Sensing – favours (is good at and does a lot of) recalling facts and details of past events
- Extraverted Thinking – prefers dealing primarily with understanding and organizing the external world. Wants everything to make logical sense, and has very little patience of unproductive activities
- Extraverted Feeling – deals with understanding others emotions and feelings in the present moment
- Extraverted Sensing – lives in the present moment
- Introverted Thinking – wants the world to make sense in a logical manner
- Introverted Feeling – deals with the person’s own individual feelings and beliefs
- Introverted Intuition – deals with understanding how the world works through internal intuitive analysis
- Extraverted Intuition – deals with experiencing the outer world, noticing possibilities, and what could be
Now it is time to look at the different types in detail in order to see how they interact, compliment each other, conflict and consider what the development opportunities are for each type.
What is your Myers Briggs personality type? Take our personality test for FREE now.