Do You Know Your Type?

No, I’m not talking about sexual attraction here (I’m sure you know your type in that area!), but your MBTI type. If that doesn’t mean anything to you, read on for enlightenment!

I’ve had a flurry of Myers Briggs enquiries lately which is great because I love the using the *MBTI for coaching. It really suits my style of working. It’s totally non judgemental; you can’t pass or fail it or feel you must aspire to score 100%. It just doesn’t work like that. It’s simply a helpful tool to help you think about yourself and your personality in all sorts of areas of life.

I find it enormously helpful when coaching and my clients love it too. And it was devised by a mother daughter team to boot! (Above) It’s stood the test of time and been added to and revised by psychologists and is still highly respected, despite being introduced in the fifties.


The profiling tool was developed on the initial work of Carl Jung. In brief, (and very simply) Myers & Briggs believed that we all born with innate personality traits and those are the ones we will pay attention to first. We’ll get good at those very quickly and develop them.

Then there are other traits which we develop as we grow and mature but as they are learned traits Myers-Briggs believe that under stress we’ll probably revert to type, to our first instincts and do what comes naturally. And that isn’t always good for us – but it is good to know the signs! Understanding your type can help in almost every area of your life.

For example, instinctively you may be drawn to your own company and dislike socialising. But socialising may be a prerequisite for your role at work or home so you make a conscious effort to develop that side of your personality. And you can become really good at socialising and be the life and soul in company. However, when the chips are down and stress levels are high you’ll probably revert to type and tuck yourself away. Being with people won’t help you and is more likely to drain you.

If you’ve never had an MBTI assessment I thought it might be helpful if I shared mine with you. I came out as an ENFJ (there are 16 categories as below) and it’s a profile I recognise! I don’t neatly fit every bit of the profile, no one ever does but overall I can’t argue with it.  I’ve shortened it (if you have an assessment you’ll get much more than this).

Profile of an ENFJ

ENFJs are people-focused individuals; they live in the world of people possibilities and have excellent people skills. They understand and care about people, and have a special talent for bringing out the best in others. ENFJ’s main interest in life is giving love, support, and a good time to other people. They are focused on understanding, supporting, and encouraging others. They make things happen for people, and get their best personal satisfaction from this.

Because ENFJ’s people skills are so extraordinary, they have the ability to make people do exactly what they want them to do. They get under people’s skins and get the reactions that they are seeking. ENFJ’s motives are usually unselfish, but ENFJs who have developed less than ideally have been known to use their power over people to manipulate them. [I promise I don’t manipulate my clients! 🙂]

I want to be alone…

ENFJ’s are so externally focused that it’s especially important for them to spend time alone. This can be difficult for some ENFJs, because they have the tendency to be hard on themselves and turn to dark thoughts when alone. Consequently, ENFJs might avoid being alone, and fill their lives with activities involving other people. ENFJs tend to define their life’s direction and priorities according to other people’s needs, and may not be aware of their own needs. It’s natural to their personality type that they will tend to place other people’s needs above their own, but they need to stay aware of their own needs so that they don’t sacrifice themselves in their drive to help others.

People love ENFJs. They are fun to be with, and truly understand and love people. They are typically very straight-forward and honest. Usually ENFJs exude a lot of self-confidence, and have a great amount of ability to do many different things. They are generally bright, full of potential, energetic and fast-paced. They are usually good at anything which captures their interest.

ENFJs like for things to be well-organized, and will work hard at maintaining structure and resolving ambiguity. They have a tendency to be fussy, especially with their home environments. [I haven’t noticed that one – better ask my family!]

In the work place, ENFJs do well in positions where they deal with people. They are naturals for the social committee. Their uncanny ability to understand people and say just what needs to be said to make them happy makes them naturals for counselling. They enjoy being the centre of attention, and do very well in situations where they can inspire and lead others, such as teaching.

Ours is not to reason why?

ENFJs do not like dealing with impersonal reasoning. They don’t understand or appreciate its merit, and will be unhappy in situations where they’re forced to deal with logic and facts without any connection to a human element. Living in the world of people possibilities, they enjoy their plans more than their achievements. They get excited about possibilities for the future, but may become easily bored and restless with the present.

ENFJs have a special gift with people, and are basically happy people when they can use that gift to help others. They get their best satisfaction from serving others. Their genuine interest in Humankind and their exceptional intuitive awareness of people makes them able to draw out even the most reserved individuals.

In general, ENFJs are charming, warm, gracious, creative and diverse individuals with richly developed insights into what makes other people tick. This special ability to see growth potential in others combined with a genuine drive to help people makes the ENFJ a truly valued individual. As giving and caring as the ENFJ is, they need to remember to value their own needs as well as the needs of others.

*MBTI, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Myers-Briggs, the MBTI logo and Introduction to Type are registered trademarks of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Trust. Strong Interest Inventory, FIRO-B, SkillsOne, and Davies-Black are registered trademarks and CPI 260, CPI, California Psychological Inventory, the CPP logo, the FIRO-B logo and the CPI 260 logo are trademarks of CPP, Inc. Jane studied the MBTI in the US, the home of MBTI

**This is correct spelling in MBTI terms, taken from Jung.

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Posted on August 23rd, 2011 by

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