How to Work with the 16 Myers-Briggs Personality Types
Due to the shift to hybrid or remote work, employees have gained a new perspective on how their job is done. The lack of shared workspaces and the daily rhythm of a typical day in the office made us realize that our personalities speak as much, if not more, as our professional performance.
In that case, developing a better understanding of our personalities and colleagues is an excellent way of maximizing our output, especially in a work-from-home environment.
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) could be an efficient and exciting way to manage personality squabble. The MBTI has lately been applied widely within the world of business. Eighty-nine of the Fortune 100 companies utilize it in understanding their employees.
Applying MBTI at Work
According to occupational psychologist John Hackston, not only does the MBTI appear to be a simple concept, but it is a valuable method in seeing what makes team members different from each other and how you can work together more successfully.
"It's a means to boost productivity in people, increasing their engagement and making them generally happier in their work," Hackston says.
In other words, the MBTI may hold the secret to making your remote team operate like a well-oiled machine.
The 16 Myers-Briggs Personality Types and How They Work
The MBTI is a self-reported personality test developed in the 1940s and based on Carl Jung's Theory of Psychological Types. Simple questions regarding feelings and interests are answered by respondents, who are then classified into one of 16 personality types.
Each of these personality types is denoted by four letters: E or I (for extrovert or introvert), S or N (for sensibility/intuition), T or F (for thinking or feeling), and finally, J or P (for judgment or perception). Each personality type also has a label, such as "The Analyst," to fully describe it in action.
As the notion goes, assigning tasks that suit their preferences, proficiencies, and inclinations will become easier once you can grasp your team members' personality types. Additionally, you can communicate more effectively if you have a greater understanding of how others digest information.
1. ISTJ (The Logistician)
Who They Are: They are diligent workers to cherish simplicity, adore routines, and adhere to principles such as integrity, perseverance, and social responsibility. They are dependable, reserved, and relatively quiet.
How to Work with Them: According to psychologist and business coach Rosie Peacock, CEO of Conscious Enterprise, ISTJ is hyper-organized, which is a significant asset in a remote working environment. Therefore, they do not require a lot of supervision; you can send them a list of tasks they need to complete for the week, and you can trust them to finish them quietly. Additionally, they would be ideal for streamlining and organizing any online shared space, like Google Docs and Dropbox.
2. INFJ (The Advocate)
Who They Are: Creative people with moral principles who are subtly assertive, perceptive about others, and considerate of the sentiments of others. They typically have a lot of great ideas and are deep thinkers.
How to Work with Them: "The entire hiring process is considerably more difficult in a remote world, but Advocates can be an ace up your sleeve," says Peacock. INFJs are excellent judges of character; therefore, having them sit in on virtual interviews is a significant asset. Be wary of putting them in the spotlight in virtual meetings. They function far better in the background and do not benefit from attention.
3. INTJ (The Architect)
Who They Are: Perfectionist innovators who are at ease working alone and do well in a remote setting. This personality type excels at turning an idea into a plan of action. They are problem solvers by nature. They pose a twofold threat since they are adept at intuitive and analytical thought.
How to Work with Them: INTJs are more comfortable communicating via chat or text, so they might require a little nudge in answering a call or joining a virtual meeting when it is more beneficial for the situation, according to Hackston. They are also highly focused on deadlines, but there's the danger of making hasty decisions, mainly when there is no one to regulate their impulses. Sometimes it's necessary to encourage INTJs to slow down, take their time, and allow ideas to develop rather than quickly launching into them.
4. ISFJ (The Defender)
Who They Are: ISFJs are the most extroverted introverts; they value unity and cooperation, have a robust work ethic, and are considerate of their coworkers' needs and feelings. But there is steel behind their zeal: They are frequently incredibly diligent workers and natural managers who can maintain remote teams cohesive and content.
How to Work with Them: "ISFJs display incredible attention to detail, so they're great for checking over others' work, editing shared documents, or looking overpitches and proposals at the final stage," says Peacock. Put them in control of whatever time-tracking software you use because they are excellent at adhering to rules and motivating others to do the same. You'll be amazed at how much more productive the entire team becomes.
5. ISTP (The Virtuoso)
Who They Are: These are straightforward, to-the-point people loyal to their friends but not excessively bothered by rules and laws. Of the 16 personality types, ISTPs are the most volatile since they tend to be analytical and sensible but may also be exuberant and spontaneous.
How to Work with Them: Virtuosos will most certainly feel the effects of missing out on daily connections with their teams. Therefore they will gain from planned one-on-one digital meetings to keep their motivation and focus high. "ISTPs tend to excel at troubleshooting, so in a remote work environment, they can be a major tech asset," says Peacock. While they are good at testing new tools and navigating new software, ISTPs lose focus quickly. In a virtual meeting, they're the most likely to turn off their camera, open another window, and begin surfing the internet. Therefore, they do need some management.
6. ISFP (The Adventurer)
Who They Are: Adventurers are pleasant, accessible, kind people who enjoy creating things for others. They are also sensitive doers who avoid conflict. They value learning new things and having novel experiences, too.
How to Work with Them: According to Peacock, ISFPs love living in the moment and can become quickly wrapped up in their work. They can burn out quite promptly while working remotely, so they need a reminder to take some time for quick breaks here and there and finish the work day at a reasonable time. So, while their energy is an advantage, it needs to be harnessed and directed in the right direction with the help of others.
7. INFP (The Mediator)
Who They Are: INFPs are laid-back, value-driven individuals who frequently lose themselves in their fantasies. Despite the energy and enthusiasm they bring to projects, they often struggle to maintain their spirit for extended periods.
How to Work with Them: As the type with deep-rooted values, INFPs could encounter problems because frustrations can rise when they find themselves offended, according to Hackston. "This is amplified when working remotely as grievances can linger for longer, so managers need to encourage them to get any concerns out in the open. Otherwise, the key to getting the best out of this group is to encourage and reinforce meaning in their work," he says. In other words, this group has the potential to be unstoppable if their efforts reflect their ideals.
8. INTP (The Logician)
Who They Are: INTPs are keen problem solvers who adore patterns, are wise to inconsistencies, and value knowledge and reason. They appreciate lockdown more than any other personality type since they thrive on being alone.
How to Work with Them: Peacock says that this personality type needs to be given the liberty to exercise their originality and to be listened to because it is through this kind of treatment that they come up with the best ideas. Hackston adds that this type's weakness is that they neglect to express their decisions and solutions and that deficiency can extend into the remote working environment. Encourage any INTPs on your team to utilize standard software and documentation as much as feasible.
9. ESTP (The Entrepreneur)
Who They Are: Risk-takers who enjoy solving immense challenges quickly. They have a short attention span and can become impatient with longer-term efforts despite their zeal for their endeavors. Entrepreneurs are a great asset to any organization, but they can be challenging to manage because they don't always follow the rules.
How to Work with Them: For ESTPs, the main rule to remember is to keep things fun and rolling. Peacock claims that for a personality type as impatient as an ESTP, giving them a day's worth of tasks in a project is better than any long-term targets. Generally, ESTPs are excellent developers for out-of-the-box ideas, so stuffing them in one will only stifle their bustling creativity.
10.ESFP (The Entertainer)
Who They Are: This personality type is the heart and soul of the company and enjoys showing off. They are natural, energetic, enthusiastic performers and frequently work in the creative or artistic industries. They enjoy being in the spotlight but are also sensitive, courteous, and kind.
How to Work with Them: ESFPs need to be given the light to shine in front of others. Therefore, remote working can be quite draining for them, according to Peacock. Whether at home or in the office, get them involved in anything you can, from videos, voice-overs, podcasts, or other projects that require excellent creative performance. They'll also be beneficial in pitches, in-person or remote, as they can bring vibrant, persuasive energy that could otherwise be lacking via a computer screen.
11. ENFP (The Campaigner)
Who They Are: As observant individuals who possess a thirst for experimentation and exploration, and a need to please other people, ENFPs have solid and intuitive natures and enjoy being around other people, operating from their emotions rather than logic. They are notably more motivated by sincerely developed goals than money.
How to Work with Them: According to Hackston, ENFPs excel in the notion of generating ideas and collaborating on projects, making them a significant asset in brainstorming sessions and any situation that requires big-picture thinking. Their weakness, however, is that they have difficulty completing something from start to finish, so deadlines can become an issue and can be aggravated when working from home, where they don't always see messages or respond quickly enough to colleagues. Due to this, they would often require gentle managing to realize their creative value.
12. ENTP (The Debater)
Who They Are: No wonder many CEOs on the MBTI scale fall under this group. They're known for being charismatic and intellectual people who enjoy taking hold of the reins. Their logical, objective and rational natures constantly need mental stimulation. These leaders and managers prefer to concentrate on big ideas and defy repetitive routines and tasks.
How to Work with Them: As individuals who display caliber in developing huge, fresh ideas and enjoy more extensive discussions about pushing the business forward, ENTPs are predictably good at debating, so play to their abilities. Peacock claims they are skilled at winning over clients and making sales pitches, so you want them on any essential Zoom calls. Occasionally, though, tell them to keep quiet since, if left uncontrolled, they can dominate the conversation.
13. ESTJ (The Executive)
Who They Are: This personality type, also called The Guardian, consists of conservative, diligent, methodical, obedient, and orderly decision makers. If your business were a squad of athletes, they would be the seasoned captain.
How to Work with Them: Organization runs through this personality type's veins. They enjoy organizing themselves, other people, and the world around them, which is both an asset and a liability, as it makes them come across as aggressive and bossy. They frequently need to be reminded to be diplomatic while speaking to others, especially in situations where they often use email or messaging apps, which leave their words more open to interpretation.
14. ESFJ (The Consul)
Who They Are: This group of nurturing caregivers is friendly, polite, and considerate – and will often put others' needs before their own. They thrive on helping the community. They'll be the ones setting up online tests and virtual happy hours while also sending personal messages to coworkers to inquire about their health.
How to Work with Them: According to Peacock, these personality types thrive best as project managers because people enjoy collaborating with them. They're organized just as they're kind-hearted, making them ideal for completing tasks and delivering projects on time. Additionally, they make the best onboarding instructors for new employees due to their caring and patient attitudes.
15.ENFJ (The Protagonist)
Who They Are: Another set of naturally born leaders, but unlike their ENTP counterparts, this cadre is more motivated by instinct and emotion than rationality. If they are managers, they are the inspirational type: Fiercely motivated yet deeply considerate of the needs of people around them.
How to Work with Them: While their tendency, as people-focused diplomats, to forget their own needs in favor of the greater good is admirable, it could also be damaging when it comes to achieving their tasks and, occasionally, their health. The advantages of this group, however, much outweigh any disadvantages.
According to Peacock: "It's always a good idea to have Protagonists lead group discussions, even if they're not in a leadership role because they excel at it. They should be your go-to Zoom meeting host and the heart of any situation involving discussion, consensus, and bringing together people and ideas."
16. ENTJ (The Commander)
Who They Are: They are rational thinkers that enjoy dismantling barriers and finding answers. They appreciate the knowledge and don't tolerate inefficiency well. They are mainly concerned with goal-setting, structure, and organization. They can inspire people to support a similar cause because they are typically charismatic and self-assured.
How to Work with Them: Naturally, this personality type likes examining the big picture and making big decisions, which can establish some issues when working remotely, according to Hackston. They usually miss the finer, and perhaps the most crucial, plan elements. And when it comes to a remote working environment, it poses a risk of them pushing through with decisions without duly listening and reviewing the perspective of others. ENTJs need to remember the necessary balance between the role of consultant and director to excel truly.
There are numerous reasons the MBTI scale has caught the attention of workplaces worldwide. One, it helps people understand each other, therefore improving relationships. Second, it could give employees and supervisors a sense of who they're dealing with and what to expect from each other. And lastly, it helps employees and supervisors understand each other's strengths and weaknesses, further helping them figure out what to expect from each other. For many years, many well-known businesses have utilized the MBTI to help them make hiring decisions as well as to help them build solid teams and establish change management strategies that work with workers of different personality types.