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{Personality Tests} Don’t Give Me That “I”!

People are complex, variable and unpredictable. I like to think that we are more sophisticated than any 9-box grid, True Colors or personality test could ever hope to encompass. I feel violated when a marketer gets lucky and I suddenly “need” something I didn’t know even existed a few minutes earlier.


Nonetheless, personality tests are part of what we do. I recently took the Myers-Briggs as part of a health care leadership development program.

The Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator (MBTI) is designed to identify a person’s personality type, strengths, and preferences and is one of the most widely used personality assessments in the world. The scaled preferences focus on four categories:

  • Where you focus your attention: Extraversion – Intraversion
  • The way you take in information: Sensing – Intuition
  • The way you make decisions: Thinking – Feeling
  • How you deal with the outer world: Judging – Perceiving

Now here’s the necessary disclaimer: I am not certified to administer or interpret the MBTI. I am just a girl with an opinion, an observation and my own sets of scaled preference numbers.

In the late 1990s my numbers were: 39-43-13-51.

As an ISTJ, these numbers pegged me as an introverted judgmental human resources professional {Oh, joy!} who preferred to focus on the here and now. If she couldn’t see it, feel, it touch it, hear it, or taste it – it didn’t exist for her. She always stuck to the plan.

Today, these numbers still peg me as an ISTJ but one much closer to center: 25-2-7-1. Now, my preferences reflect a slight shift in internal focus (break out the party hats), more intuition and a new-found flexibility. “Spontaneous” may be a bit of a stretch but I do prefer to keep my options open.

You didn’t see that coming.

Or did you?

People can develop behaviors, strategies and habits that are not consistent with their MBTI type. I did it myself.

Viva the people!

Numbers can’t define a person.

In the space between the numbers, I see life. I see experience, ego and the wisdom of age. I see motherhood. I see relationship. I see desire. I see influence, leadership and a need to be seen. I see writing, speaking and uncomfortable experiences. I see deliberate intention and continuous learning.

You can’t 9-box that.

{Personality Tests} Don’t Give Me That “I” first appeared on lisarosendahl.com

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