I’m going to give you a secret weapon. The type that can change your life, and the lives of those around you. It’s something I’ll be spending a lot of time unpacking on this blog. Something that I’ve used. Something that has changed my relationships. Something that will make you feel better about yourself. Something that will make you love your spouse and your family members more. Something that will help you get along with your co-workers. Something that will open the door to having better relationships and friendships. But only if you use it.
What is this secret weapon?
It’s the Myers Briggs Type Indicator combined with David Keirsey’s research. These two tools combined have taught me more about myself, and the people I am connected to more than anything other test or self-help book. I ask almost everyone I meet for their types. I suggest it to couples who are struggling. I require it for the young adults I mentor. I keep a spreadsheet and enter anyone I meet who gives me a type. I review them regularly, learning as much as I can about these types.
What is the Myers Briggs Type Indicator?
Based on the research of Carl Jung, Katherine Cooks Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers, this test indicates how you view the world and receive and process information. There are 16 combinations, based on four area of testing.
The test types you in four areas:
- Extroversion or Introversion – Do you prefer to focus on the outer world or on your own inner world?
- Sensing or Intuition – Do you prefer to focus on the basic information you take in or do you prefer to interpret and add meaning?
- Thinking or Feeling – When making decisions, do you prefer to first look at logic and consistency or first look at the people and special circumstances?
- Judging or Perceiving – In dealing with the outside world, do you prefer to get things decided or do you prefer to stay open to new information and options?
(explanations taken from the Myers Briggs website)
Based on 90 years of research, this type indicator is used in everything from team building to life coaching.
Who is David Keirsey?
A psychologist and author, David Keirsey further developed personality typing in his books Please Understand Me and Please Understand Me II. His website, Keirsey.com, has the most information online regarding personality typing for free.
Why should I take the test?
We have two primary ways of understanding and defining ourselves. The first way is the definitions others give us verbally. The second is our internal tape or voice, which is created by external cues, past experiences, our personality and the way we receive all of this information. This tape is first created from the first moment of consciousness. It’s possible to observe babies or toddlers and see introverted or extroverted tendencies, or see that some are more sensitive than others.
What we think of ourselves can dictate our lives. If we think we are stupid, our grades and life will reflect that. If we think we are intelligent, our life will reflect that. If you are a Feeler who grows up in a Thinking household, you will feel overly sensitive. If you are a Rational who grows up in an Idealist family, you’ll feel out of place and never really know why.
These tools help you understand who you are. They help you stop comparing yourself to others, allowing you to achieve and accept yourself based on who you are and your unique abilities. They help you understand those connected to you, allowing you to love and enjoy them fully, just as they are.
If you are a parent, they help you become a more effective parent. If you are a wife, they help you become a better spouse. If you are a boss, they help you become a better leader.
Coming in part two, how to apply these tools in your everyday life.