Does Personality Matter?

enfp careersHave you ever wondered if it matters what type of personality you have, or what it all means?  Why you seem to have some natural talents and career preferences and to get on better with some people than others. Does an ENFP personality really differ from an INFP, or an ESFP?

This guest post by Dr. Signe A. Dayhoff outlines the basis of the world’s most used personality assessment, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and lists all the different ways in which it can be useful to you.

Are You an ENFP Or ESFP? Why Should You Care?  by Dr. Signe A. Dayhoff

How often have you heard people refer to themselves with some pride, as, “I am an ENFP (or INFP, ESFP, ENTP, etc)”?   Sounds like gobbledy-gook but is, in fact, a shorthand code for your personality type.

Knowing your personality type or temperament is very popular because you tend to value labels that classify who you are and how you function, as well as how you are different from others and are alike.

Your personality is the way that you are predisposed or prefer to operate. Developing early in childhood, it is what makes you unique. It reflects your aims, purpose, needs, drives, and values. It also reflects how you believe, perceive, conceptualize, think, comprehend, and relate to your environment.

While it is highly unlikely that you will ever change your personality in its entirety, you may be able to change some aspects of it over time IF you are highly motivated.  Knowing your type can help you do so.

Categorizing personality types has been popular since Hippocrates, but it was Swiss psychologist Carl Jung who in 1923 proposed that people differ in fundamental ways which are based on a multitude of human instincts, with no one instinct more important than any other.

There are 16 possible psychological types represented by sets of opposites:
– Extraversion vs Introversion (E-I)
– Sensing vs Intuition (S-N) – the “N” is used to avoid confusion with the “I” for Introversion
– Thinking vs Perception (T-F)
– Judgment vs Perception (J-P)

E focuses on the outer world. I on the inner. S looks at realities. N on meanings and relationships. T looks at logical consequences. F at person-centered values. J likes control. P spontaneity.

In 1962 Isabel Myers created scales based on Jung’s typology, called the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). This helps determine a person’s focus of attention (E-I scale), preference for acquiring and processing information (S-N), preference for making decisions (T-F), and orientation toward the outer world (J-P). This has become the world’s most used personality assessment for everything from leadership to coaching and counseling.

  • Knowing your preferences and orientations can help you
  • Determine which career areas and jobs to explore
  • Discover what work environment would be more comfortable and allow you to do your best
  • See how you approach and solve problems
  • Determine what communication style suits you
  • Discover how you learn most efficiently and effectively
  • See why some relationships work better than others
  • Determine what aspects of yourself you would like to develop further, or alter to meet other needs and circumstances
  • Appreciate the differences in others.

You can assess your personality type using the free personality test here.

Dr. Signe A. Dayhoff, Ph.D., teaches solo law practitioners how to magnetically attract prospects and increase their clients 20% in only 3 months in 5 simple steps and do it with professionalism and integrity. Subscribe to her free monthly Get Your Ideal Clients Tips, relationship-based educational marketing e-zine, and claim your complimentary “Effective Listening & Responding Guide.” For creating profitable and dignified visibility and credibility it is here.

Personality Tests, Free!

personality test freeIf you’re interested in personal development you may enjoy taking various sorts of tests and quizzes as they can help you to find out more about yourself. Here are some free personality tests that I thought you might enjoy.

Most take around 10 minutes or less.  I can’t vouch for their accuracy and would suggest that you do them in a spirit of fun and take the results with a pinch of salt rather than relying on them as a basis for any career decisions.

Visual DNA
I particularly like this test as I’m a visual person and this one uses pictures.  You are forced to make just one choice at every stage so it does make you stop and think.  It’s fun, the pictures are attractive and inspiring and I personally found the results to be pretty accurate.

I was a Seeker – what were you?

Marcus Buckingham’s Strong Life Test for Women
First shown on Oprah, this personality test is related to Marcus Buckingham’s book Find Your Strongest Life.  I haven’t read the book yet, but I did enjoy taking this test.  It has 23 multiple choice questions and at the end gives you both your lead and supporting roles with brief career recommendations for each.

Taking it was a bit like doing a behavioural interview as it asked you how you would respond in a number of different circumstances.  There were several instances where I found that none of the responses listed fitted me and I wanted to add another one, but apart from that it was enjoyable.

My Lead Role was a Teacher and my Supporting Role was a Pioneer.  What were your results?

One of the web’s better know test based on Myers Briggs, this one has 72 yes/no questions.  A nice feature is that the results link to several different assessments of your suggested personality type.

Team Technology
This questionnaire based on Myers Briggs theory which produces a free online report that identifies your personality type and leadership style. There are also four optional low-cost reports available which go into further depth and their site has a lot of great information you may find helpful.

Note that it is a British site, so they use UK spelling, punctuation and grammar.