I wrote this breakup letter a decade ago, hoping the MBTI would change. It hasn't.
This is why I've been attracted to Gallup's Clifton Strengths. Much more data driven and individualised. I'm working with a Clifton Strengths coach as I enter the second 20 years of my worklng life to ensure I'm focussed on doing something where I both get and add value.
Honestly, I started reading this with one eye open while snoozing with my pets, hoping for some relationship advice. 🤨😐🤔🤭🤣 I love it! What a thoughtful and beautifully composed argument for growth and change! Thanks for linking the different assessments. Might need to mosey on over and do some “look in the mirror” as part of my personal growth commitment and journey. Gracias!
Reading this was both painful and funny. Painful because my organization just paid $100 for each member of my team to take and be coached in MBTI. Funny because I could definitely see how personal this has gotten. And yes, I've also kind of broken up with MBTI and have started going out with Big Five. I've found it more helpful and insightful than the MBTI.
In my 10-year full-time coaching practice, I constantly have to "warn" my newly-diagnosed adult (over 18 years old) clients NOT to "disclose" right away. THEN I warn them about their possible assessments during their job search! I share the truth about the MBTI, The Big 5 AND recommend that they watch "Persona" on Netflix. ADHD'ers might think of themselves as introverted or extroverted based on the time of day. AND...they always think that the "other one" is better than the other, lol. This type of inequality, in my eyes, is the EXACT reason I sought a Professional Career Coaching ICF Credential ALONG with my ADHD Coaching/Life Coaching Credentials, two master's degrees and 12 years of teaching. In my 20's and 30s, I worked in "corporate" America as a buyer for all Lord & Taylor stores. For the last ten years, I have been on a personal and, at times, lonely mission to support all ADHD Adults with career choice, company research, branding, networking, connecting with people and thus, career success! For most people with ADHD, a good career choice is being motivated by work so they can get out of bed each morning. People with ADHD are often empaths and need to take the time to find a business environment that is a good match for THEM. People with ADHD can be anything they want to be...and these assessments should NOT stop anyone from realizing their dreams! Unfortunately, ADHD'rs are also VERY impulsive and usually take the first job they are offered. If more people took time to work with a coach or professional to identify their interests, strengths, skills, AND dreams...then the MBTI would not be so significant.
If only all opinion and research papers were this engaging! Great Sunday morning read and something to think about. Thanks!
“And I said you might be more like a horoscope than a heart monitor.”
….You and me both!
Love this! Absolutely hilarious
As a nomad I’d love to hear more about the big five
Beautiful, melodious, and caused me to have a potential break-up with MBTI too.
My blog post about personality assessments is outdated (https://souledout623.wordpress.com/2023/01/09/let-no-personality-go-unanalyzed/). Pardon while I go take the Big 5...
You have not met the Enneagram.
Thanks Adam ..you made my day with this analysis. Couldn't agree more!
I’ve just been asked to develop and organize not only an attitude/aptitude assessment but skills assessments as well for skilled trades. I was planning on diving (more) into your work and stumbling across this article made my day! I LOVE YOUR WORK 👏 👏
MBTI is the truth! Jung was an INTJ and every INTJ picks up on this better than anyone else. Sensors don’t like MBTI because they’re close minded and it exposes that… Big five is only useful for hiring people. -INTJ “OCEAN” is my big five and I couldn’t care less
I love your take on this, especially as I work with a lot of neurodivergent adults for whom many of these personality tests are meaningless. And because my own personality type keeps changing, depending on where I am in my life at that point. I think of them in the same way I approach my Magic 8 ball (which I do use to make decisions): They help me clarify what I think about myself already. I'll see something that confirms what I want to believe about myself and think, "Yes! That's exactly it!" And then I'll see something that I don't want to believe about myself and think, "Oh, I must have answered that question incorrectly. That's not what I meant." So at least they provide a vocabulary to help me describe what I want to believe about myself.
One note: The link to the NEO questionnaire at the bottom is broken. I think it should be pointing here (https://www.personalitytest.net/ipip/index.html) for a choice between the original or shorter versions of the IPIP-NEO, or here (https://www.personalitytest.net/ipip/index.html#ipip1) to go directly to the original 300-question version.
I’ll add to the other comments … we all want to know your Enneagram number and your take on it - ha! I left the MBTI for the Enneagram :)
Hi Adam: What is your relationship (!) with the enneagram? Occasional date? None??
Many moons ago, i remember a consulting firm who charged a significant amount of money to "support" our newly formed consulting team to work together, using MBTI. Our types were presented as if they were cast in stone, and there was an unspoken assumption that INTJ was the preferred type. Some team members (me included) were crestfallen and withdrew into ourselves. Internally I rebelled against this, as my own human experience suggested that we change, grow, expand and contract all the time. I discovered the Enneagram, and worked with it for many years, and then again, the same experience - people would type themselves, and others, even though the underpinning of the Enneagram suggests that we do change and grow. Ten years ago, being frustrated by how some people applied the Enneagram, i discovered, quite by chance, Pam Boney's work, called TILT365. It suggests that personality is where we start, and that character is what matters - we can, and should, choose how we want to show up, depending on our own positive self-regard, who we are with, and what we are working on. It is a great body of work, super helpful to me as a human being, and a coach. If i discover a body of work more helpful and current, i will move on from TILT365 too, but honestly, even though i scan the environment regularly, i doubt that will happen. Assessments (maps) are useful until they are not. To use that somewhat jadeds saying: the map is not the territory. Human beings are far too dynamic and complex to be typed. Assessments suggest direction with regards how we may want to grow and develop, using it to define ourselves and others is such a disservice! Thanks Adam Grant for bringing this important conversation into the open.