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Thoughts on the Myers Briggs Type Indicator


In her November newsletter, consultant Helen Bouchami offers some thoughts on the use of personality questionnaire the Myers Briggs Type Indicator.

Helen argues that the questionnaire is often underused or mis-used, and offers some tips for 'getting the best out of MBTI'. She states that MBTI has proved an enduring, useful and flexible tool which can be used for many different purposes - citing team effectiveness, career choice and personal development as examples. She says that the fact that positive language is used allows individuals strengths to come to the fore and to focus on development needs.

Helen says that the fact that training to administer and use MBTI in the UK can be undertaken seperately from the general qualifications in psychometric testing offered by the British Psychological Society makes the tool accessible and easy to use, but at the same time allows the potential for the test to be used purely on a superficial basis.

Helen continues by saying that although the four dimensions used in MBTI are easy to graps, applying them to day-to-day realities can be more difficult. The article puts forward four key tips for the successful use of MBTI:

  • Verification:Keep in mind that, like all personality tools, results may vary from day to day and will be influenced by cultural factors, expectations or a desire by the participant to attempt to manipulate their scores. A facilitator can work with this to explore the differences between a person's perception of themselves and their actual score.

  • Understanding:In order for MBTI to be used properly, the author says that time needs to be given over to analysing and building properly on the information the tool yields rather than simply delivering the scores and explaining the individual types to those involved. Helen says that the tool can offer much more in terms of helping to appreciate others differences and as a result, helping to improved communication and relationships with others.

  • Exercises:Helen suggests the use of exercises in groups for exploring MBTI as they help people to understand the tool and at the same time learn more about eachother.

  • Application: For MBTI to be truly effective, Helen emphasises that there needs to be a purpose for the assessment in mind, for it to inform practical plans for self-development.ul>
  • Helen Bouchami publishes a monthly newsletter on her website at


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