by Kim Rawlings, Director of Training

Even though many of us are still working from home, it may not be long before you find yourself back in the office with coworkers  — and LOTS of different personalities! A personality test is a tool that can provide a better understanding of ourselves. This understanding leads to self-awareness, an element of emotional intelligence, and can serve as a driver for improving as an individual. Learning to recognize our strengths allows us to use them to our advantage.  Learning to recognize our weaknesses allows opportunities for self-development.

One of the most popular personality tests being used today is the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).  This test is based on the theory of psychological types developed by Swiss psychologist Carl Jung. Jung’s theory is focused on how humans collect, process, and perceive information about the world. MBTI was developed in 1944 by Katharine Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers and is a self-reported questionnaire that indicates the differing preferences in how humans perceive the world and make decisions. There are four preference categories:  Introversion/Extraversion, Sensing/Intuition, Thinking/Feeling, and Judging/Perception. The questionnaire indicates the reporter’s preference for each category, then assigns the reporter one of 16 unique personality types.

For the most accurate MBTI results, the questionnaire should be administered and interpreted by a professional certified to do so (at cost). There are several free options that can be found online, but these are only samples of the more sophisticated official test. These free tests can still be useful; however, care must be taken when interpreting the results.

One such sample test can be found at 16 Personalities. This site allows you to complete the assessment and provides your unique personality type.  It also provides information regarding your specific personality type on topics such as strengths/weaknesses, career paths, and workplace habits. Some ways you can use the results:

  • Mark 3 statements from each category that you feel strongly represent you.
  • Choose at least one statement from your “weaknesses” category to focus on developing.
  • Share your results with someone close to you and have that person mark 3 statements from each category he/she feels strongly represent you. Compare those with your own 3 statements as a measure of self-awareness.
  • Ask someone close to you to take the assessment and compare results. This will highlight differences in personalities.
  • Study the other personality types. Acknowledge that all have strengths and weaknesses and no one personality type is better or worse than the others.

If you are an employee of Lutheran Family Services of Virginia, contact Kim Rawlings krawlings@lfvsa.org for more information on ways to use this information in the workplace or assistance specific to developing your workplace weaknesses.