MBTI Refresh: The Twitter Way

By Jennifer Tucker  

Time is precious these days, with increasing pressure to digest the world in tweets, sound bites, and elevator speeches.  At the same time, my clients say the top competencies they need – and that are lacking in their teams – are interpersonal skills, communication skills, and critical thinking.  How do we meet these competency building needs when the first question is often, “Can you do it faster than that?”

Psychological type theory, often assessed using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), is a great tool for building competencies through self awareness.  Unfortunately, type theory is too often critiqued for being too complex, being hard to remember, or for taking too long.  This is too bad, because while there are many layers of depth to the theory and MBTI tool, and great richness in exploring these complexities, the core ideas of type are both simple and powerful. 

Simple enough, in fact, for Twitter.

SO, here’s a quick refresh of the MBTI – the “Twitter in Ten” Way!  The following 10 bullets are each 140 characters long or less (one tweet per bullet), and summarize the core ideas behind the MBTI. 

  1. Type and MBTI: Better self-management through increased self-awareness. It’s about psychological preference – what you turn to first.
  2. Which do you prefer: Right or left hand?  4 MBTI scales have 2 sides each. Like your handwriting, you prefer one side over the other.
  3. Objection: I DO BOTH! Yes, you do! Me too! You have to do both – but which do you PREFER? Which is most natural?
  4. Extravert (E) or Introvert (I). What gives you energy? E=External world, action, people. I=Inner world, concepts, ideas.  
  5. Sensor (S) or Intuitive (N). What do you first notice? S=Here-Now details, concrete, practical. N=Patterns, meaning, big picture.  
  6. Thinker (T) or Feeler (F). How do you decide? T=Clarity thru objectivity, problem 1st. F=values based subjectivity, people 1st.
  7. Judger (J) or Perceiver (P). What do you show: data gathering or decision-making? J=Show decisions, closure. P=Show perceptions, openness.  
  8. Your MBTI Type: 4 letters, 1 from each pair. Extravert, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceiver=ENFP. Unique combination of letters, unique dynamics.
  9. SO WHAT? Know what you prefer, know your blind spots, ask good questions to help fill the gaps. Appreciate differences, ask for help!
  10. Learn more!  Thanks for reading!  All the best from Jenny (INFJ), author of Type and Project Management.

What’s the point of this exercise?  I want type theory and the MBTI to be accessible to everyone, because:  Powerful tools are learned one step at a time. Self-awareness comes one day at a time.  Competency building happens one conversation at a time. Try something new today!

Note: MBTI, Myers-Briggs, and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator are registered trademarks of the MBTI Trust, Inc. in the United States and other countries.