I walked into my new workplace and noticed something different right away. There were letters everywhere. Four-letter combinations hanging next to the name placards posted outside of individual offices. INTJ, ISTJ, ESFP, ENTJ directly above the person’s name. It was my first day supporting a new client, and I could tell it would be a challenging assignment. From what I witnessed, this office required all leaders to share their MBTI results publically with everyone in the office. Weird — really weird. I asked one of my colleagues about the letter combinations. She confirmed my suspicion and let me know that I was in for quite an adventure. She was right.
Tactical tips for leveraging your MBTI results as a leader
All The Way Leadership! believes that identifying your MBTI can help you as a leader. It is important to understand who you are. At the end of last year, I described how to ponder the results of your personality type test. In this blog, I am going to share some tactical tips (TTs) for ways to leverage your MBTI results to be a better leader. After all, what good are the results if you don’t use them to your advantage.
TT#1 — Don’t “Game the Test” to get the MBTI results that you want
Some leaders question their MBTI results right away. They don’t believe the test is accurate and refuse to accept their results. They say things like, “I read my personality description and I am nothing like the person it describes”. What do they do next? Take the test over. Of course, they get a different result the next time. Why? Because they know more about how the MBTI works, and they “game the test”. They answer questions in a way that gives them the results they want. It is not difficult to determine what aspects of your personality some of the questions are assessing. Don’t fall into this trap. It is a silly mistake to make. Be honest to get accurate results.
TT#2 — Accept your results as accurate
Some leaders wonder if the test is accurate. My answer is simple. The test is as accurate as you are honest when answering the questions. If you did your best to answer each question honestly, then the results will be accurate. If you gamed the test, your results will be flakey. All The Way Leadership! trusts that you are an honest leader who is willing to look in the mirror to learn the truth about who you are. With that thought in mind — accept your results as accurate. If there are parts of your personality that are not appealing, don’t fret. We all have things we need to improve. At least you know what they are and can work on them rather than guessing.
TT#3 — Confirm your results with feedback from others
The last tactical tip is to confirm your results with feedback from others. If you are not sure if something in your MBTI results is accurate, ask for feedback about that aspect from someone who knows you well. For example, let’s say that your results indicate that you are in introvert, but you feel like you are actually a “capital E” extrovert. Ask someone else what they think. Simply say that you took the MBTI test and want to make sure the results are meaningful. I do not recommend sending the details out to your team for feedback from everyone. That approach is more transparent than you need to be as a leader and may come across the wrong way. Rather — seek feedback from people who know you well about specific parts of your MBTI results.
Never forget — you are who you are, so deal with it
Your MBTI results are one piece of data that will help you understand who you are…really. All The Way Leadership! believes that you must possess a good grasp of who you are in order to be an effective leader. The bottom line is that you are who you are, so deal with it. You have strengths and weaknesses just like everyone else. Your personality type is not really that important. Knowing your MBTI results and factoring them into your leadership style is what matters. Next, I am going to share a few lessons learned (LLs) about leveraging your MBTI results as a leader.
LL#1 — Don’t stare into the mirror for too long
The MBTI test is one of many that a leader can use to learn more about themselves. It is a great starting point of self-discovery for young or new leaders. Other related tools include DISC, Hogan, and Enneagram. Each tool provides leaders a different personal perspective. I am not going to declare that one is better than another. Instead, it is worth mentioning that you can overdo it when it comes to these tools. Don’t take all of them at the same time and sift through a pile of data to try and figure out who you are as a leader. In other words, don’t spend too much time staring in the mirror. Leverage these various tools as you learn and grow as a person, and a leader. Take your time.
LL#2- Let others know your MBTI results, but don’t share too much
It is perfectly okay to let others know your MBTI results. They may be interested to learn that you are a “T”, not an “F” when it comes to making decisions. Also, it will help the members of your team better understand you. As discussed in previous posts — it is important that your team know who you are in order to build trust with them. Having said that, don’t overshare. I worked with leaders who provided way too many details about their personality, and why they are the way they are. Don’t cross the line when it comes to the number of personal details you share with others, especially your team, and your boss.
LL#3 — Ask your boss for his/her MBTI results
It is always helpful to know how your boss is wired. Knowing her or his MBTI results will give you a data point worth knowing, and pondering. In particular, I would spend some time reading from the 16 personalities web site about what your boss is like. Trust me, it will help you avoid potential pitfalls. One time I went from working for a commander (ENTJ) to a logistician (ISTJ). As you might imagine, my interactions with these two bosses were radically different. I really struggled to connect in a meaningful way with the ISTJ, even though that is my personality type. Eventually, I made adjustments and we were fine.
Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.
Bottom line — be the best version of you that you can be
I love the quote from Bruce Lee. It is a great reminder that each of us is different. There is no one exactly like you in the universe. It is okay to learn from other leaders and emulate them. But, it is important to have faith in yourself. Make the most of your unique personality. Bruce Lee did not achieve greatness by trying to be someone else. Neither should you. Simply be the best version of yourself that you can be. That alone is a success.
ATW! is designed to make you a better leader
I hope you join me on this journey to raise up the next generation of leaders. The world is in desperate need of more great leaders. Women and men who lead with confidence, clarity, and creativity. It’s time to become the leader that your world needs. Let’s go All The Way!
All The Way Leadership! will help you become a strong leader by teaching you the three core competencies of leadership: confidence, clarity, and creativity. Visit https://www.allthewayleadership.com/ to find out more.