More than a half-century ago, the first Myers-Briggs personality assessment manual was published. While many folks might think the behavior of humans is completely random, the developers behind the assessment, following in the steps of Carl Jung, believed there is a rhyme and reason to the way everybody makes decisions and interprets the world around them.
Turns out things aren’t so random after all.
Their research uncovered 16 distinct personality types. Understanding these types of personalities makes it easier for you to work productively with your colleagues. That is, of course, assuming you can identify which personality type each person is (or can ask them without feeling weird).
What follows are brief descriptions of the 16 Myers-Briggs personality types, as well as tips on how to put each kind of person to use effectively.
ISTJs love facts. They’re relatively quiet, and they use logic to arrive at their decisions. Reliable and responsible, ISTJs might not speak up all the time. But when they do, they can be counted on to provide insightful commentary.
When you work with these folks, be sure to listen when they speak. Also try to keep things as organized as possible, because they prefer order to chaos.
ISFJs strive to build consensus among their teams. These folks are also quiet, but they’re also quite friendly — they like learning about their peers. They notice characteristics of those close to them, and they’re fiercely loyal.
If you’re having a hard time getting your team to agree on something, you may want to encourage an ISFJ to serve as a moderator during a discussion.
INFJs love to develop meaningful relationships with their peers and inspire them to reach their full potential. They're very insightful and always work toward improving the common good.
If you’re looking to build a team around someone, a talented INFJ is worth considering.
INTJs are innovators. They have creative minds, and they love developing plans for all initiatives. When INTJs are on board with something, they invest all their energies in ensuring its success.
Launching a new initiative or a new product? An INTJ may be the person you want to spearhead it.
ISTPs aren’t afraid to experiment to find solutions when problems arise. They know how to use most tools, and they don’t mind combing through large swaths of data to find out what’s wrong — or what’s right.
If your business runs into any unforeseen problems and you need a quick fix — or you’re trying to identify areas that deserve more resources — turn to an ISTP.
ISFPs, for the most part, keep to themselves — particularly when they’re working on something. These people don’t like conflicts, so they’re pretty easygoing. They enjoy working at their own pace.
Got any moon shot ideas? Put an ISFP on them.
INFPs like spending their energies on worthy causes. They wish to see a world that reflects the values they hold so dear to their hearts. Flexible by their nature, INFPs can help implement change.
Trying to revamp your organizational culture? Hire an INFP.
INTPs care more about ideas than people. They thrive on innovation and have a unique ability to find solutions to problems in areas that interest them. INTPs are thoroughly analytical.
If you want to streamline your team’s workflow and find ways to realize additional efficiencies, consider putting an INTP in charge of the initiative.
ESTPs aren’t policy people. They don’t want to talk about things in fine details. Instead, they use their energy to uncover solutions. Spontaneous by their nature, ESTPs are also very perceptive.
If you need someone to be the face of a cause or to rally people behind an unpopular initiative, choose an ESTP.
ESFPs are outgoing folks who love working with people to accomplish mutually beneficial goals. Working with ESFPs is definitely enjoyable. These workers fit into new environments seamlessly.
Need someone to speak to the media or give a keynote address? Find an ESFP.
ENFPs are warm individuals who are often seen smiling. They can process information faster than the average person, and they’re quick to offer praise to those who deserve it.
If you need some extra help on a project, look for an ESFP. These folks love to lend a hand when it’s needed.
ENTPs are great debaters who thrive on intellectual challenges. They have an intuitive way about them and can read people like books.
Need someone to represent your interests during the negotiating process? Choose an ENTP.
ESTJs can manage people better than most. They are practical and work expediently to make decisions and implement them. Quite simply, ESTJs get things done.
Have an opening in the C-suite? You’ll find your candidate in an ESTJ.
ESFJs are well-liked by their peers. Social creatures, these folks care about the people they work with and for that reason are widely popular. ESFJs are able to identify what the people around them need and move fast to make sure they are supported.
If you’re in need of a new office manager — or want to transform your office culture — put a talented ESFJ in charge of your efforts.
ENFJs have impressive oratory skills — to the point where they entrance their audiences. Not only that, but they also work hard to motivate those they work with so that together they reach their goal.
Do you need a killer speaker to present your start-up plan to investors? Look no further than your most qualified ENFJ.
ENTJs notice inefficiencies right away. When procedures don’t make sense, these workers immediately begin brainstorming ways to improve them. If there’s anyone who can figure out how to jam a square peg into a round hole, it’s an ENTJ.
If you’re looking to trim the fat off of your operations — even if you’ve done it time and again and it seems impossible — an ENTJ will likely have no shortage of ideas and recommendations.
Not sure which Myers-Briggs type you are? You can take the test here. Try it out as a team-building exercise and help each other work seamlessly together.