Posted on May 20, 2016 at 12:35 pm
What is Myers Briggs?
Myers Briggs is a well-known personality typing system that was developed by Isabel Briggs Myers and her mother, Katharine Cook Briggs. They were heavily influenced by the writings of psychologist Carl Jung who was a protege of Sigmund Freud. They adopted a lot of Jung’s teachings and added their own observations into the system to deliver what is today known as one of the most effective personality typing systems.
How does The Myers Briggs Test Work?
The subject is given 60 statements and asked to rate on a sliding scale how much they agree or disagree with each statement. They are asked to answer as honestly as possible without thinking about the answer too long. They are also asked to avoid being too neutral in their responses to avoid having overly neutral results. After completing the test, the subject will receive a personality type that is represented by 4 letters. For example: E-N-F-P
What Do The Letters Mean?
Each letter represents a personality type within its category. There are four categories.
- Where you get your energy from. (Extroversion or Introversion) E or I
- What you pay most attention to. (Sensing or Intuition) S or N
- How you make your decisions. (Thinking or Feeling) T or F
- How you orient yourself in the world. (Perceiving or Judging) P or J
The website 16personalities.com does a thorough job of elaborating on the meaning of the results. The site also provides practical application for the results, listing example professions that people with certain personality types might be more likely to gravitate toward or excel at given their personal characteristics.
But I Don’t Want to Be an Introverted Feeler!
Do not panic. Most people don’t like to be shoehorned into narrow categories and have their entire personality summed up in 4 letters. Therefore, it is important to mention that people exhibit many different personality traits and often move fluidly from one to another. This is exemplified by the house metaphor.
People can move freely from room to room, but tend to have one room that they find most comfortable. Results of the Myers Briggs Personality Test also tend to change and evolve over time, so a person’s results are seldom permanent.
How is The Myers Briggs Test Relevant to Business?
The relevance of the Myers Briggs Personality Test is demonstrated in professional settings every day. Many modern businesses will ask for the Myers Briggs of prospective employees in order to find the ideal fit for their new team members or even screen applicants based on the results. It is increasingly common for people to post their Myers Briggs on resumes and social media sites such as LinkedIn.
There is also a critical link between psychology and marketing. Whether you’re a designer, a programmer or an SEO strategist, it is important to know as much as you can about your target audience. Myers Briggs is a universally accepted system for understanding different personalities. The test is an effective tool for creating targeted marketing campaigns. Having insight as to the psychological processes of your ideal customer allows you to create advertising that caters to them on a much more intimate level. Consider, for example, how different the email marketing campaign of a brewery might be compared to that of a bookstore, based on the personality types more commonly associated with each product.
Our Team’s Myers Briggs Experience:
We started out by asking all team members to take the Myers Briggs personality typing test for free online so they could see how accurate the personality typing system is first-hand. The results were quite accurate and very humorous. It turns out we had one ISFP, two ENFP’s and an INTJ in the room.
Our boss is an ISFP. So he is more prone to be organized and logical. However, he is surrounded by sensitive, creative dreamers with little interest in organization and detail in a profession centered around code! We all found this rather amusing.
To finish the exercise we looked at how to write advertisements for the different types of personality types. It’s good practice to try to jump into the shoes of other personality types. We divided the room into P’s and J’s and had each side write an ad for the other personality trait about the same thing:
It was interesting to observe how each group made assumptions about what the other group would want to see based on their personality types. The group that thrived on organization assumed that the creatives would prefer a message that was messy and vague, lacking in detail and chronology. The creatives assumed the organized group would want cold, cerebral facts with no creativity whatsoever.
What did we gain from this exercise?
- A better understanding of ourselves and where we fit on the spectrum of personality types.
- How to use a better understanding of other people’s personality types, how each type differs and what we can do to tailor our marketing efforts to different types of people depending on the business’s goals.
- We learned to use this system to better anticipate what our audience wants to interact with depending on what channel they’re on:
- Personality Types and Advertising: When it comes to crafting advertisements, it is very important to understand the density of personality types in your audience because it impacts everything from the creative design of the ad to the text and CTA’s used to capture their attention and convert them.
- Personality Types and Design: While we didn’t look at this correlation extensively during this exercise, we suspect it would be an interesting link to explore further down the road.
- Personality Types and Social Media: Extroverted Intuitive’s are more likely to engage with social content than Introverted, Sensors. There’s a terrific info-graphic we took a peek at that maps out how to target people on Social Media based on their personality type.
Take the Myers Briggs Test Yourself!