In today’s social climate, workplace personality tests have become mainstream, both as part of the hiring process and as a general human resource tool. The reason they are beneficial to anyone working in a team environment is that they are a great indicator of how well a person will be receptive to any sort of communication, whether it’s feedback, criticism, or seemingly benign casual conversation. Knowing the personality traits of your coworkers is instrumental in being able to work cohesively as a well-functioning team.
One of the most highly regarded and well-known tests is known as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). This test is based on the practices of Carl Jung, a Swiss psychiatrist who founded analytical psychology. He was fascinated by the concept of introvert vs. extrovert personalities, peoples’ behavioral patterns, and the power of the unconscious mind. He felt that people’s actions aren’t as random as they might appear. Rather, he believed we all show a pattern of tendencies that can be measured in gradients. One of his determinants looked at Perception (how we take in information) vs. Judgment (how we organize that information to form conclusions). While it’s true that everyone exhibits both of these behaviors, people tend to demonstrate one more strongly than the other. Another factor Jung examined closely was the idea of Extraversion vs. Introversion, showing whether a person is stimulated more by external or internal forces.
Examining a total of four traits, each with two options, he came up with the 16 distinct psychological types that we use today. The results appear in four-letter acronyms to symbolize the preferences of each quadrant. A person with an INTJ score, for example, is someone who is Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking, and Judging. These people are known for being highly creative, yet also extremely logical and analytical, which is a rare combination. This type covers only about 1-4% of the population and is more commonly referred to as the “Strategist” or the “Architect”.
Being introverted means that INTJ’s might have a hard time working with others. They prefer to be alone. When it comes to taking in information, they see the big picture and like to look at problem-solving in an abstract way, not in a narrow-minded, concrete method. When tasked with making decisions, they will follow their head, not their heart. They are more left-brained and tend to seek out truth and facts instead of getting emotional. For better or worse, they have high expectations of themselves and others. They are known as dedicated workhorses and have a strong sense of self-confidence which means they seek to improve and take criticism well, but that also means they expect perfection from those around them and tend to judge people and overthink things. They are great listeners, but they might inadvertently offend someone because of a lack of sensitivity. In their social lives, they respect rules and boundaries and like to have firm plans in place ahead of time. This means they aren’t good at spontaneity.
Careers best suited for an INTJ type would be ones that focus on the analytical, such as doctors, judges, lawyers, scientists, mathematicians or engineers.