How to Use Your Personality Type to Your Advantage

Have you ever taken a personality test to determine what type of personality you have? I’m sure you’ve heard people say that they’re ENFJ or INTJ, etc.,  so in episode 057, I go over those personality types and the test you can take to determine yours – the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.

The reason I wanted to dedicated an entire episode to this test and to this concept, is because I truly believe it can help us work more effective by ourselves and with others if we understand our personalities.

In general, you can gather some information about your personality through some introspection, but we’re better at identifying how we feel during certain situations than identifying specific traits.

 

five ways knowing your personality can help you:

  1. You can learn about all the different personality types, not just your own. Taking an assessment from a reputable source should give you access to descriptions of other types of personalities and their preferences. Understanding the spectrum of other people’s preferences, might help explain the behaviors of other people in your life, which can help with things like communication style. Knowing your personality type can help you understand how others perceive you and what you’re saying.
  2. You get confirmation that you’re not alone, and there’s so much power and strength in that. If you grew up around people or you work with others of types that are very different from yours, you might feel like your natural behaviors and tendencies are wrong. This can happen especially with children who have strong flexible preferences, who grew up in a family with strong organized preferences. These children might be told they are too scattered or flaky as they get older, and they might continue to think that, or that they’re odd, as they continue through life.
  3. It can make working with other people with an opposite personality trait work much smoother. If you can think of anyone you work with that nitpicks every new idea, or at first says why it won’t work, they may have a strong sensing part of their personality, and they’re not actually trying to shoot down your ideas. They just want to be reassured that the direction you’ve suggested has a solid foundation that they can trust. When you understand personality types, it can de-escalate conflicts before they even arise.
  4. You can start to understand what activities drain and energize you. And this has a lot to do with your extrovert or introvert tendency. Maybe you find yourself depleted after working alone at your desk, but you find that going out with friends leaves you energized. Or maybe vice versa. Taking the time for self-discovery can help us get back in touch with who we are, and help us refocus on what’s most important in life, and it can really help with improving that decision-making.
  5. Understanding your strengths. Go through the assessment results and find the traits that give you that spark of recognition of, “Oh, this is funny. I was just complimented on this trait last week,” or, “People are always saying this about me.” List those traits along with examples from your own life that relate to your natural talent or trait. And you can begin to work this into a strength statement that you can weave into job interviews, networking events, talks with your manager or your boss. So this can help lead you to having a reputation for excelling at things that you enjoy doing.

 

Why your personality can help you figure out your passion

Your personality type can be extremely helpful in figuring out what you should be doing ideally with your life, and it can help put you in the right situations. For example, if you like taking risks or being independent, you might want to look into entrepreneurship. People who are very organized and orderly may pursue a career in accounting.

It can help you find a career, and not just a job. We have to play to both our strengths and weaknesses, while having a say in where we’re going… and understanding ourselves can help.

Personality is just one of many factors that guides our behavior. We’re also influenced by our environment, our experiences, our individual goals. Even people who share the same personality type can have significant differences.

 

How the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Can Help You

Myers-Briggs Foundation says that in its essence, the theory of Myers-Brigg Type Indicator is that seemingly random variations in behavior are actually consistent. And this is due to the differences in perception and judgment, basically the different lenses we all see the world through.

The use of the MBTI should be considered as a starting point for self-discovery, not the finish line. And it shouldn’t be used to judge or stereotype anyone. Instead, it shows an average experience of each type. At the minimum, the test help point out that people behave differently, largely because they view and interact with the world differently.

I go through the four dichotomies of the test – your world (aka – are you an extrovert or an introvert), information, decisions, and structure. Listen to episode 057 while driving to work, walking your dog, cooking dinner, etc., if you’d like an explanation and examples… plus I’ll share my personality type with you as well!

 

What’s Next?

I hope you’ll set aside a short bit of time to take the MBTI test. You’ll discover how it can really help you in the way you interact with people at work, in social settings, and even how you set goals and achieve them!

I think understanding your personality type is such an investment in yourself, so take the time to give yourself that gift of understanding who you are.

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Tonya Dalton
Tonya Dalton