Years ago I did the MBTI test as part of a leadership programme and came out as an INTJ. The Introvert score could not have been higher, and the Thinker was very strong too. People who knew me well agreed the results described me perfectly.
Here’s a little of what the MBTI website says about an INTJ:
As an INTJ, your primary mode of living is focused internally, where you take things in primarily via your intuition. INTJs live in the world of ideas and strategic planning. They value intelligence, knowledge, and competence, and typically have high standards in these regards, which they continuously strive to fulfil. Their mind constantly gathers information and makes associations about it. They are tremendously insightful and usually are very quick to understand new ideas. INTJ’s tremendous value and need for systems and organization, combined with their natural insightfulness, makes them excellent scientists.
That’s all fine but, as a librarian, I work with people constantly and as a public servant I see my role as serving people. My strong T result was a worry – where was my concern for people? Was my desire for social change and equality just an abstract idea?
At about the same time my then-manager, Lynne Walker, urged me to start developing wider networks and get myself “out there”. I took on that challenge and also decided to make a conscious effort to think and, and care for, people more deliberately. It is a few years since I did that MBTI test.
I have recently done the 16personalities test; in fact I have now done it 7 times over about 3 weeks, determined the initial result was wrong. But no, the result is pretty steady. I am now an ISFJ so have gone from iNtuition to Sensing and from Thinking to Feeling.
According to the MBTI website the S means I pay attention to physical reality, what I see, hear, touch, taste, and smell. I’m concerned with what is actual, present, current, and real. I notice facts and I remember details that are important to me. I like to see the practical use of things and learn best when I see how to use what I’m learning. Experience speaks to me louder than words
The F means I believe I can make the best decisions by weighing what people care about and the points-of-view of persons involved in a situation. I am concerned with values and what is the best for the people involved. I like to do whatever will establish or maintain harmony. In my relationships, I appear caring, warm, and tactful.
While I am still introverted, it’s not so extreme as before; I’m more balanced and able to cope with people.
I’m pleased I have worked hard at these things over the last few years and it has paid off. I now naturally care for people and in the last year or two have started advocating for more #kindness in librarianship.
Knowing your personality type can help you understand yourself, modify behaviours you are not happy with and perhaps, like me, even change your spots! This leopard sure did…
Image found on kristinlindeen.com via Pinterest.