Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I gotta be me

As part of my job, every two weeks I get to spend a few hours teaching some concept of project management or leadership to people at my client. Last week I covered the Meyers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and Keirsey Temperament Indicator. It is always a fun class because people get to spend a few hours making observations of others and talking about themselves. We all love to do that, right?

When I was thinking about all of the work that I've been doing to get the closets cleaned out and everything organized, I thought back to that class. It is all so clear why I am where I am. To give some background the MBTI, the concept is that we are born with certain inherent traits just as we are born with a preference for handedness. These traits are classified into four dimensions or dichotomies. These four dimensions put together come up with one of sixteen personality types. There is no one right or wrong personality type, just differences. Differences that all have inherent strengths and weaknesses.

My personality type is INTP. Let me break this down:

I- Introvert.
Yes, I am an introvert, not an extrovert. Many are surprised to hear that of me because I've done public speaking to crowds over 1000 and used to spend years teaching to people all over the world. I love to do it. But being introverted doesn't mean that I can't deal with people or don't want to talk to them, it simply means I get my energy from within. So after a very long day of dealing with many people or going to a party or teaching a class, I need some down time. Extraverts would be totally energized from the connections and the chat. I am drained. That's part of the reason that I love to blog. It gives me an excellent outlet to reaching out to people, but on my terms. As I write, it is just me and my thoughts and it gives me that energy that I need to revive.

N- iNtuitive.
I am iNtuitive as opposed to Sensing. This means that I prefer to look at the big picture rather than focus on the details. This can be a problem for a project manager if they are in more of a tactical role than a strategic one (I'm doing both right now). This is an example where I have taught myself to be more of one thing in a certain role so that I can do well in it. Although I don't like details, I realize I need them to succeed in my job. So I deal with it. At home, I love to start projects, but I often get bored and move on to other ones long before they are finished. If someone asks me to do a specific task without giving me context, I am paralyzed. I seriously can't move forward until I understand how my cog fits with yours and makes the whole clock go around. Even better, let me figure out how it should work instead of you tell me. Then you go make it go instead of me.

T- Thinking.
I am a thinker as opposed to feeling. This means that I look at all of the facts and make the best decision based on the information that I have, regardless of who may get hurt. This doesn't mean I'm a cold hearted natch. I certainly try to lessen the blow as much as possible and try very hard to avoid hurting people's feelings. But if it has to be done, it does. Yes, I've fired people. More than I care to count. A feeler would eventually do it after all other options had been exhausted and all hope was lost. And they would feel really, really crappy about it for a while. A thinker sees a problem and takes care of it for the sake of the greater good.

P- Perceiving.
This label is really misleading. The options are judging or perceiving. But it doesn't have anything to do with people. It is how you live your life. Now I finally get back to the point of my story and why I thought of my class when thinking about my closet. A perceiver tends to be very go with the flow. Deadlines are suggestions and they will procrastinate to the very end. Perceivers tend to be unorganized. They aren't planners, they make it up as they go along. Judgers are punctual, organized, list makers. They get stuff done. At work, I make myself be a Judger. But I can only keep that act up for so long. At home, I'm a perceiver. Bill and I took a trip to Ireland after we had been together about six months. I booked a few rooms and had a general route of where we wanted to go and that was the plan. We drove until we felt like stopping and then we stopped at the tourist bureau and found a room for the night. A judger would rather die a slow death by fire ants than go to a foreign country and not have a itinerary. Bill is a judger. He loved me and went only on blind faith and love. Bill also has a nice clean closet. I am a perceiver. Mine is uh, uh, well, not. But I'm working on it.

So, now that you know my personality type and more about me than you care to know, here's how you can find out what personality type is. Click here to take the test that will be basically an MBTI score. Let me know what you scored. Read about your personality type. Tell me if you agree. I'd really like to know!

If you're curious to know more about me, directly below is the complete profile of an INTP from You can find the other personality types there as well. Go check out yours once you've taken the test:

Architects (INTP)
need not be thought of as only interested in drawing blueprints for buildings or roads or bridges. They are the master designers of all kinds of theoretical systems, including school curricula, corporate strategies, and new technologies. For Architects, the world exists primarily to be analyzed, understood, explained - and re-designed. External reality in itself is unimportant, little more than raw material to be organized into structural models. What is important for Architects is that they grasp fundamental principles and natural laws, and that their designs are elegant, that is, efficient and coherent.

Architects are rare - maybe one percent of the population - and show the greatest precision in thought and speech of all the types. They tend to see distinctions and inconsistencies instantaneously, and can detect contradictions no matter when or where they were made. It is difficult for an Architect to listen to nonsense, even in a casual conversation, without pointing out the speaker's error. And in any serious discussion or debate Architects are devastating, their skill in framing arguments giving them an enormous advantage. Architects regard all discussions as a search for understanding, and believe their function is to eliminate inconsistencies, which can make communication with them an uncomfortable experience for many.

Ruthless pragmatists about ideas, and insatiably curious, Architects are driven to find the most efficient means to their ends, and they will learn in any manner and degree they can. They will listen to amateurs if their ideas are useful, and will ignore the experts if theirs are not. Authority derived from office, credential, or celebrity does not impress them. Architects are interested only in what make sense, and thus only statements that are consistent and coherent carry any weight with them.

Architects often seem difficult to know. They are inclined to be shy except with close friends, and their reserve is difficult to penetrate. Able to concentrate better than any other type, they prefer to work quietly at their computers or drafting tables, and often alone. Architects also become obsessed with analysis, and this can seem to shut others out. Once caught up in a thought process, Architects close off and persevere until they comprehend the issue in all its complexity. Architects prize intelligence, and with their grand desire to grasp the structure of the universe, they can seem arrogant and may show impatience with others who have less ability, or who are less driven.

Albert Einstein as the iconic Rational is an Architect


Steph said...

Ohh, interesting... I've done this before and turned out to be INTJ, but it's been a long time. I wonder if that changes? I'll have to check it out.

LauraC said...

No big surprise here, I've always been an ISTJ... love that the website says "superdependable." That sums me up in one word.

Fortunately Jon is also an ISTJ... helps keep the home harmonious bc we like it neat, organized, and tidy. We also keep a running to-do list and organize our chores by day. We sound boring but it works for us!

I believe the universe gave us twins to help us see that life is not organized, neat, and tidy and there are plenty of cases where there are no rules!

Deanna said...

I'm so glad you're back blogging! The closet pictures look familiar to me...our house is in de-clutter, organize, and rearrange mode. wow!!

Took the test...I came out ISTJ. That's what I've come up as before...and it's pretty darn accurate. :)

Cristie said...

Every time i do this test i am an ISFJ so at least i'm consistent!

Joanna said...

I was just talking about the Meyer's-Brigg's testing recently, so this is timely. It's been afew years since I've done it, but the results are the same, which they should be. I'm and INTJ, but the N is so weak that I normally show up as both and INTJ and and ISTJ when I take the test. You should see my spice's very well organized.

Maria said...

This is cool-
I am ESFP, not at all surprised, but it looks like I am the only one here...what's up with that?!

Lindsay said...

Is it any surprise that LauraC and I are the same thing? I first took this test when I was about 16, and I was an ISTJ. During college, I strayed a bit to the E side of things, but that was just a phase. =)

Mountain Mom said...

It was fun to do this test again. I remember doing it back in the 80s for my first "real" job...wish I could remember what my score was just to see how much it may or may not have changed over the past 20 years. Anyway, I'm an ESTJ. :)

Jess said...

oh, so neat. i'll have to check that site out soon. glad you're back too...i was wondering where ya went. :)

mommyto3kiddos said...

I've done this test before, but never remember what my results are. I took it again and put it in my blog - hope you don't mind I used your definitions. :) I am an ISFJ which after looking at the definitions is totally me.

Anonymous said...

Yep-this is me!

ESFJ - "Seller". Most sociable of all types. Nurturer of harmony. Outstanding host or hostesses. 12.3% of total population.

-Stephani (Blake and Grayson's mom)

glassbeadfairy said...

I've never done one of these before...I'm a ISFJ. I think it's pretty accurate. I did the other one, too. It put me as a Guardian with my buddy Martha Stewart!

Kat said...

I am an ENFP - "Journalist". Uncanny sense of the motivations of others. Life is an exciting drama. 8.1% of total population. Veddy, veddy interesting...

I'm still debating the accuracy of this. But I'll think about it more tomorrow. :-)

Jen said...

I took the test, I am ISFJ, very interesting. It looks like this is very popular although it said that only 13% of the population has this combo. It fits me to a T, maybe that is why I have to profession that I do and the kids that I do.

Michelle said...

I used to love these tests. I'm an ISTJ.

Have you ever heard of the TDF theory? That's one I favor over the Meyers-Briggs.

JenFen said...

Another ISTJ here - there seems to be a lot of us bloggers with that type. Hmmm! I loved studying MBTI and Keirsey in college. Thanks for the reminder and an excellent explanation for your closets. LOL!

BTW - I have something for you on my blog. Not as fancy as some of your other honors, but wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your blog.

Kelly Deneen said...

Interesting. Mine changed! I think I've become more organized in the last few years as I've had to. ha!

ESTJ - "Administrator". Much in touch with the external environment. Very responsible. Pillar of strength. 8.7% of total population.

Anyway, great post. Love your blog. :)

Fullerton Family said...

I can't remember my letters, but it was exactly me! Also, I gave you a blog award, stop by to pick it up!

Half-Past Kissin' Time said...

I love that T.S. I took it years ago and found that I am an EnTJ, I think. I bought the book and did the test with Hubby. It was very enlightening, learning about why we are a good fit (and why we sometimes butt heads). I found the test to be very educational when it comes to how you work with people in all aspects in your life. Definitely worth the money.

Lynda said...

Ah, I am an ENFJ...and proud of it!

LauraC said...

Hey Bridget, I know this is an older post. I'm picking up a book at the library today that my friend recommended and I thought of you. It's called MotherStyles: Using Personality Type to Discover Your Parenting Strengths.

It basically ties each Myers-Briggs personality type to the type of mother you are... so excited to read it! I'm taking it on vacation this weekend so I'll write it up on my blog if it's good. My friend raved about it.