What is the MBTI®? The MBTI is the worlds-leading research-validated personality assessment tool. It sorts people into 16 basic categories that help explain motivations, communication style, personal strengths and challenges. The MBTI was developed by Isabel Briggs-Myers and her mother Katharine Cook Briggs based on Carl Jung's theory of personality type. Over the past 50 years, the MBTI has been constantly refined and tested to make it even more useful and reliable.
How is the MBTI® used? In organizations, the MBTI is used to increase understanding and appreciation of individual differences, ease communication with people (especially those of different types,) increase teamwork, reduce unhelpful conflict and develop leadership.
What organizations have successfully used the MBTI®? Many companies, big and small, have used the MBTI to achieve results. Some of the more high-profile ones include: JetBlue, Sony, Kaiser Permanente, Southwest Airlines, Ernst & Young and Baptist Healthcare. Click here for case studies.
What can the MBTI® tell me? The MBTI attempts to arrive at your preferences for different ways of interacting with and understanding the world. Based on your relative preferences across four scales (Extraversion/Introversion, Sensing/Intuition, Thinking/Feeling and Judging/Perceiving) and the interactions between and among your preferences, the MBTI will suggest a "type." This type is not necessarily your "best-fit type," which ultimately can only be confirmed by you.
Based on those scales, I can already tell my preferences, do I need the MBTI®? Actually, the above worlds are used differently in Type Theory than they are used in the everyday world. For example, the world "Extroverted" is often taken to mean "sociable," "confident" or even "loud," however, in the MBTI world, "Extraverted" (note even the different spelling!) means only that energy is directed to and taken from the outside world. A qualified administrator understands and has been trained in these nuances.
Does the MBTI® tell how smart I am or how good I am at my job? No. The MBTI is not a diagnostic test at all. It cannot identify mental illness or pathology and draws no conclusions regarding skill, intelligence or development. Thus, it cannot and should not be used for hiring, firing or promoting. The MBTI is based on two assumptions: 1. All types are neutral - neither good nor bad (they just are,) and 2. the person taking the test is a psychologically healthy adult.
Why should I take the MBTI®? The MBTI can help you and your organization:
• Improve individual and team performance
• Nurture and develop talent
• Develop leadership at all organizational levels
• Improve communication
• Reduce workplace conflict
Is the MBTI® reliable? Yes, when used and administered properly to adults. In such cases on retest, between 75% and 90% of the time people come out with 3 to 4 preferences the same. Furthermore, when people do change their type, it is usually on one scale (and most often on the scale in which the Preference Clarity Index (PCI) was low). Most recently, a the newer Form M of the indicator was introduced, which further increased its reliability.
Is the MBTI® valid? Yes. And in fact the test has been widely studied for validity. Some of the ways are:*
• Factor analysis of MBTI item pools and against factor scores of other instruments**
• Comparison of MBTI-reported type with self-reported type
• Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) for individual scales and for whole types
• Whole type analysis
• Analysis of brain activity patterns
Why should I hire MIVISTA to administer the MBTI®? Michelle E. Villalobos is qualified to administer the MBTI by CPP, Inc., the publisher of the instrument. She was trained by one of the foremost experts in the field, Dr. Charles R. Martin, who has authored and co-authored several books and manuals in the field.
Why is it important to have a qualified administrator? Having a qualified MBTI administrator is not only important, it is essential. The indicator seems simple but is actually quite complex. It takes in-depth training to be able to properly administer the instrument, interpret scores and guide people in applying the results. Furthermore, there is widespread misuse of the instrument. Online forgeries are just one example. Only qualified administrators can even purchase the real MBTI. So websites that offer “free Myers-Briggs tests” are actually inferior imitations of the actual instrument.
Can I take the MBTI® and get my results by email? One of the conditions to purchase and administer the MBTI is that we must give feedback in person. No qualified administrator can ethically interpret over the Internet.
How long does it take? The test itself can take anywhere from 20 minutes to about an hour and can be done in the same session as interpretation and feedback. It usually takes between 3 to 4 hours to identify someone’s “best-fit type.”
What can I do with the results? Knowing your best-fit type is an enlightening and often liberating experience that can help you understand yourself better and interact more effectively in the world. It is great for individuals seeking to develop self-awareness, identify potentially interesting careers, get along better with family and friends and be more effective at work. In addition, the MBTI can help develop stronger, more effective organizational teams.
How do you use the MBTI®? We focus on 3 main applications of the instrument:
3. Management & Leadership Coaching: Understanding your own type as well as the types of those you are leading can help you to manage better, lead more effectively, give more appropriate feedback and in general improve your team's performance.
I'm interested, what now? Contact us and let me know what you'd like to accomplish!