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It's Not Alphabet Soup

Posted by Stephen Lemire on January 12, 2012 at 11:30 AM

Nearly twenty years ago I first had the opportunity to take the Myers-Briggs assessment. Since I was curious as to how my personality, attitudes, and aptitude fit with my career as an association executive, I jumped at the chance. (My pedestrian description of the Myers-Briggs is that it is a questionnaire which measures your perceptions and how you make decisions.)
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The timing was particularly important because, until that time, I always believed that I was a health care professional (two degrees in health care administration) that happened to manage associations. Once I got my results, it only made sense that I was, in all actuality, an association professional with a strong interest in health care.
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The Myers-Briggs is not the only standardized measure as there are many other tools used. Since this is not my area of expertise, let me invite you to respond:
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· What other assessment do you like? Is it reliable?

· Is it useful to evaluate potential employees and leaders?

· Is it helpful when making career choices?

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According to the Myers-Briggs, I am an ENFJ which is a personality group that accounts for less than 5% of the population. ENFJs are frequently known as visionaries or called “The Mentor”. ENFJs can frequently be found in the following careers: consultant (check), nonprofit manager (check), teacher (check), and writer (check). ENFJs generally have some of the following traits:

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  • Creative and imaginative
  • Enjoy variety and new challenges
  • Strong organizational capabilities
  • Exceptionally good people skills
  • Get personal satisfaction from helping others
  • Genuinely and warmly interested in people
  • Value people's feelings
  • Loyal and honest
  • Value structure and organization
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My summary reveals:

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· E – Extraversion (preferred to I - Introversion): motivated by interaction with people...enjoy a wide circle of acquaintances…gain energy in social situations

· N – Intuition (preferred to S-Sensing): more abstract than concrete...focus attention on the big picture and future possibilities

· F – Feeling (preferred to T-Thinking): value personal considerations…give weight to social implications when making decisions

· J – Judgment (preferred to P-Perception): plan activities and make decisions early...sense of control through predictability

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If you have completed the Myers-Briggs questionnaire, what was your result? Do you feel that it describes your personality? Is the result compatible with your career choice?

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If you have not taken the test and would like to do so, you can follow this link http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/jtypes2.asp to a free, online questionnaire based on the Myers-Briggs which will provide you with your corresponding personality group.
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Surprised at the findings?
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I was wondering if my result had changed over the past twenty years (maybe shifting from Judging to Perception) so I took the online survey provided above. There had been no change. To mix metaphors: the old dog has learned a lot of new tricks, but you can’t take the ENFJ out of the old dog.

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References:
http://www.myersbriggs.org/my-mbti-personality-type/mbti-basics/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myers-Briggs_Type_Indicator
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychometrics

Categories: Management, Behavioral Health, Odds & Ends

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