Posts Tagged ‘MBTI’

Start Your Career Transition: Step 3 – Word Research

October 17, 2011 1 comment


In this step, you get to do job REsearch, without job searching.  Job research for the sake of finding words and work activities that sound interesting to you.  This step will help you focus future job search (or job creation) activities on the type of work that most interests you, leverages how you are uniquely wired, and provides engaging challenges.

Online Job Research

  1. Go online, at least two or three times, and look at job postings that look interesting.
  2. IGNORE job qualifications at this stage (remember, this activity is NOT an actual job search).
  3. Capture critical information along the way:
  • search terms that produce interesting job results,
  • job titles that seem exciting and just sound “cool” to you, and
  • job responsibilities that you find within job descriptions that seem exceptionally interesting.

Read more…


Start Your Career Transition: Step 2 – Engage Others

October 10, 2011 2 comments


Step 2 – Engage Others

Now that you have a clear picture of yourself (see Step 1 post), take some time to engage others who know you, such as:  friends, family, co-workers, peers, clients, professional colleagues, fellow volunteers, etc.  Think of ~15-25 people who you can invite to participate in your journey – more is better.  Tell them you are seeking some feedback from people who know you or who you’ve worked with as you do some career and life planning.  Ask for 15 minutes of their time (or take the opportunity for a longer coffee meet-up or lunch, or …).


  1. How would you describe me and my work?  As if you were recommending me for a job or someone asked you as a reference.  Please be honest with things you think are good or might seem bad.
  2. How does it FEEL to work with me?  They may struggle with this one a little, but allow them time to think and process.  You may need to offer one word that another person used in response to this question to help get them started.

What You Are Doing During the Conversation

Read more…

Start Your Career Transition, Step 1- First Know Thyself

October 3, 2011 2 comments


I was privileged again recently to speak with someone interested in making a career transition.  She wanted to make sure she didn’t just transition without being thoughtful in how she proceeded.  Frustration and longing for something different can actually get in the way of thinking about how to tactically move forward.  This series offers several steps to help you get moving forward in a purposeful way.

Step 1 – First Know Thyself

Use several different sources to get a crisp picture of who you are – to take a long, slow, inquisitive look into a looking-glass to discover and learn about how you are uniquely designed:

  • What you are great at doing
  • What you love to do
  • What you are passionate about / what gets you jazzed-up and excited
  • What you want in life
  • In what way / environment you do your best work
  • How you communicate and relate with others
  • What is most important to you

Do some assessments and use other resources to better understand yourself.  If you have access to these types of tools at work, say YES!  If not, there are some great reasonably priced resources (several provided below).  Read more…

Mark of a Great Leader – First Know Thyself


According to the Harvard Business Review blog post: The Mark of a Great Leader by Marshall Goldsmith, self-knowledge is central to great leadership.

As a leader, knowing how you are wired (strengths, weaknesses, style and preferences), even just a little bit more:

  • Empowers
  • Develops EQ (emotional intelligence)
  • Makes your more capable to understand a bit about how others are wired, too
  • Increases your ability to work with people who are wired differently
  • and, even better, increases your ability to make the most of working with people who are wired differently – synergy in action!

Ask Yourself:

  • Are you a great leader?
  • Can you quickly describe how you are wired?
  • Are you capable of using self-knowledge to improve both personal and work relationships?
  • Do you apply this knowledge to help to develop others?
  • Have you used this knowledge to influence decision-making (ex: career direction)?


(Acknowledgment that this is an incomplete list of related resources, but its a place to start – please feel free to comment with additional suggestions.)

  • StrengthsFinder 2.0 (book & online assessment) – Identify your top 5 talent themes.
  • Go Put Your Strengths to Work (book) – Follow these 6 steps to discover the strengths and weaknesses at play in your life today and how to make changes so that more of your time is spent on strength-related activities.  Includes a chapter for how to leverage this knowledge in teams.  (Does not require the StrengthsFinder 2.0 test, but it is helpful to connect your top 5 with the strengths you document in this process.)
  • Keirsey Temperament Sorter (free online assessment) – Better understand how your type impacts the way you take in information, make decisions, view the world, and interact with others.  Plan to at least purchase the $4.95 report to receiver your 4 letter type code (E/I, S/N, T/F, J/P).  Based on same Jung theory / research as MBTI.
  • Please Understand Me II (book) – Detailed accompaniment to the Keirsey Temperament Sorter – goes into much more detail than the reports you can purchase online and includes background information / research to the assessment as well as the detail information about each of the 16 types.
  • Showing Our True Colors (book w/ cards) – Use the cards to identify which colors are brightest for you, how that translates into interactions with others and how others might perceive you.  Completely reusable with others – great for families.

It’s not about taking a test, it’s about learning, and then what you do with that knowledge – be the great leader that is inside of you!

Your View of Options


In a recent blog post by well-known thinker and author, Seth Godin, he provides recommendations for how to deal with options when you find them overwhelming.

He’s talking about the difference between MBTI Judging (J) and Perceiving (P).  J’s seek closure and decision-making while P’s prefer options and openness.

Depending on which is your preference, it is valuable insight into how you move forward and make decisions.  Seth provides some simple, yet helpful recommendations, including:

“If it’s thrilling to imagine the wide open spaces, go for it.

“If it’s slowing you down and keeping you up at night, consider artificially limiting your choices. Don’t get on planes. Don’t do spec work. Don’t work for jerks. Work on paper, not on film. Work on film, not on video. Don’t work weekends.”

I agree with him that, whichever your preference, you just need to do whatever it takes to keep on moving.  Additionally, understanding what your preference actually IS will provide powerful insight you can reuse over and over again.

Happy Journeying!

Living the Question and/or Defining Your Life – Can You Do Both?

April 8, 2010 1 comment


A great conversation with inspiring and thoughtful peers tonight brought forward an interesting dichotomy.  A contrasting set of questions was asked and I found it interesting to look at these questions together.

On the one hand – How are you living in the present?

Are You Living the Question?

It’s a focus on living in the uncertainty of the present and doing so the fullest to see where the journey takes you.  A very “P” perspective (MBTI) that is open to possibilities, that soaks up the process of being open.

On the other hand – How do you define your life?

What’s Your Sentence?

Dan Pink asks this question of 9th graders.  What sentence would you write to define your life?  Can you write this story in 6 words or less, Hemingway style?  This approach is much more “J” oriented (MBTI) in that it focuses on closure, putting a stake in the ground.

What’s Your Dash?

Every tombstone has two dates separated by a dash “#### – ####”.  This question focuses on the dash between the beginning and the end of this life.  Also more “J” oriented.

Is it possible to be present, to be living (and thriving) with the question AND to define your life by writing your sentence or defining your dash?  I am finding that I can write a 6 word story (my sentence) AND am thriving with the question as it shapes the journey to that story.  What space are you in?

FaceBook is Using Info About You, Are You?

April 2, 2010 1 comment


An article in FastCompany, Why Facebook Personality Tests Are Hot with Jung-sters, tells the tale of how a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator-based personality test in FB is seen as a fun and interesting activity for youngsters. (Note the clever play-on-words used in the article title referencing Carl Jung, Swiss psychologist, whose findings serve as the foundation for the MBTI.)

It results in a huge sample size of data being used by Nottingham University student David Stillwell to study how MBTI type impacts a person’s social network an other behaviors of particular interest to marketers.

Talk about a creative use of social media to further research (and solve the sample-size problem that plagues so many researchers) and provide meaningful and useful information in the end.

This story may cause you to say,

Hey!  What are you doing with information about ME?

My response to this reaction is:

Hey!  What are YOU doing with information you know about yourself?

What do you know about yourself?

  • Do you understand your natural communication style?
  • Do you know how you re-energize?
  • Do you know your preference for closure vs. options?
  • Do you know how you feel loved or valued?
  • Have you put into order your preferences to be inquisitive vs. organize vs. create things with your hands?
  • Do you understand how you prefer to interact with others (individuals and teams)?
  • Have you noticed the activities that energize you and those that drain you?

If you did know the answers to these questions, think about how you could use this information to (see also Making the Most of How You are Wired):

  • shape the way you interact with people in your current job,
  • identify the next work you’d like to do,
  • re-shape the way you interact with your own family,
  • redefine the work you do currently,
  • and confidently step forward to something that may seem like a “leap of faith” to those around you, but makes all the sense in the world because it leverages everything you know about yourself!

Proceed boldly, my friends!

Following are just a couple of free or reasonably priced resources that can help you get started to better know yourself:
  • Keirsey Temperament Sorter:  Based on same psychological theory as MBTI – provides your type  – 15-20 minutes to complete online (FREE)
  • Go Put Your Strengths to Work by Marcus Buckingham – based on same research as StrengthsFinder (test that provides your top five talent themes), but results in information about which current activities in your life are energizing (strengths) and draining (weaknesses) and helps you to re-shape your work to spend more time living in your strengths.
  • True Colors – The book Showing Our True Colors helps you to understand the order and brightness of the four color types for you. This book helps you to understand how others might perceive you and puts words to what you’ve already known about yourself, but might not have been able to articulate.  I even used this with my 12 year-old and it was a fantastic conversation that helps her know herself and has helped to improve the way we interact with each other, too.