This is quite a long post, but it’s something that intrigues me…I’ve always been interested by how people behave at work and how teams work together to get tasks and projects complete. I sometimes find myself getting frustrated in the way that other people work and wonder why they’re not following what to me seems like the simplest, most logical route.
During my time in a small-ish team at a pharma company last year, we took part in some team building exercises (groan..!!) but one that I found really interesting was the Myers Briggs test.
So what is Myers Briggs? Simply put, it’s an introspective self-report questionnaire designed to indicate psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions.
MBTI reports tell you your preference for each of four pairs:
- Extraversion or Introversion (how you prefer to focus your attention)
- Sensing or Intuition (how you prefer to take in information)
- Thinking or Feeling (how you prefer to make decisions)
- Judging or Perceiving (how I deal with the outer world)
I’m an ISFJ
I – Introvert
This focuses on where I put my attention and get my energy from dealing with the ideas, pictures, memories, and reactions that are inside my head. Rather than working in a big group, I prefer to look at things either alone or one or two people I feel comfortable with. I’m absolutely no good in big group discussions. I really think about what I;m going to do before I go ahead and do it.
S – Sensing
Some of the points around Sensing I really relate to – I’m not particularly good at reading reams of information to try and learn something. I prefer to actually learn on the job and this is the best experience for me. I learnt a lot in my old role as Clinical Trial Administrator by my old boss throwing me in at the deep end in some aspects so that I had to just get on with it rather than endless reading.
F – Feeling
I definitely base a lot of things on how I am feeling – I made John put the alarm on the other day when we were in bed as I had a weird feeling about someone breaking in. I always like to maintain or establish harmony within a group, be that at work or in my personal life and if things are off kilter, it makes me feel jittery. I am concerned with values and what is the best for the people involved.
J – Judging
You have to be careful about how this one is interpreted – Myers Briggs says that this should not be confused with people believing you are judgmental!
I think the statements that came out in my report are the most relatable to me:
- I like to have things decided.
- I appear to be task oriented.
- I like to make lists of things to do.
- I like to get my work done before playing.
- I plan work to avoid rushing just before a deadline.
The snap shot of this report says “Quiet, friendly, responsible and conscientious. Committed and steady in meeting their obligations. Thorough, painstaking and accurate. Loyal, considerate, notice and remember specifics about people who are important to them, concerned with how others feel. Strive to create an orderly and harmonious environment at work and at home”.
My husband and I have set up an admin consultancy business that we wanted to call “Get Shit Done” but we didn’t think it was socially acceptable!! John says “If you want something done…ask or give it to Emma”.
Some of the strengths of an ISFJ I can see in myself is being Reliable & Patient whereby tasks are done meticulously and carefully, taking a steady approach and bending with the needs of the situation just enough to accomplish their end goals. Anything I take one will be done to the highest standard, but often go well beyond what is required.
Another strength was the Loyal and Hard-Working aspect. ISFJ personalities often form an emotional attachment to the ideas and organizations they’ve dedicated themselves to. Anything short of meeting obligations with good, hard work fails their own expectations and this could not be more true of my last employer.
I can definitely relate to the ISFJ weaknesses which include humble and shy -I don’t blow my own trumpet with any achievements or goals that have been completed and often some of my accomplishments will go unnoticed or recognised. The other is taking things too personally. John says I do this a LOT and things aren’t always my fault whether thats work related or personal life stuff.
John had a go at a basic version of the test and he came out as an ENFJ so how we make decisions and deal with the outside world are similar. When I was in the team who did this test as a group, out of 8 of us, 4 were ISFJ’s.
You can have a go at the basic test John did here: https://www.16personalities.com/
I googled famous ISFJ’s and it includes Emma Watson, Kate Middleton and Beyonce…& who doesn’t want to be like Beyonce?!?!
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